“Eating for Art” benefits businesses, community

People eating-out in Kingfield and Lyndale today will get the chance to support local businesses and the local arts scene.

Seven area restaurants will participate in the second annual Eating for Art event, donating a portion of their sales to help fund public art projects and neighborhood group initiatives. The Kingfield Neighborhood Association (KFNA) and Lyndale Neighborhood Association (LNA) organized the event and will decide how to use the contributions.

Some of the proceeds will help pay for the “Walldogs on Nicollet” mural project done during the summer. Professional sign painters and volunteers who participated in the Walldogs effort painted ten murals in four days on eight different sites along Nicollet Avenue.

Eating for Art was created as a community-building venture to improve awareness of artists in Kingfield and Lyndale and the value of their work.

“The arts are consistently sadly under-funded,” said Sarah Linnes-Robinson, KFNA’s executive director.

The participating restaurants will donate up to 31 percent of their earnings to the neighborhood associations, but Linnes-Robinson said the businesses benefit as well.  Last year the restaurants saw a 25 percent increase in sales.

“It’s a huge contribution for these businesses,” she said.

Helping the businesses and the public arts projects can mean anything from a full meal or a quick snack.

“People can do it whatever way it fits their lifestyle,” Linnes-Robinson said.

The neighborhood associations were pleased with last year’s results, but Linnes-Robinson admits they don’t know what to expect this year. Butter Bakery Café, Champion’s Sports Bar and Grill, El Pariaso and Victor’s 1959 Café are some of the restaurants donating a portion of their earnings throughout the day. Curran’s Restaurant will be donating a portion of its lunch sales.

“It’s the kind of thing we really like to support,” said Dan Hunter, owner of the Grand Café. He also helped out last year and will be donating 31 percent of the day’s sales.

Anodyne Coffee House will donate 21 percent of its sales. Owner Theresa Lien said the event is just as important for the community as it is for the arts scene.

“This is not just for art. It’s fostering events where the community comes together for the art,” she said.

Lien said seeing volunteers come together for the Walldogs project last summer was a great thing.

“That’s what our city needed,” she said.

For more information and a full list of participating restaurants, check out www.kingfield.org.