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New faces, new spaces at The Depot Foundation!


DULUTH, MN (May 5, 2021) – Big changes are in store for the Depot Foundation. Having recently announced their intention to move from a private foundation status to that of a public foundation, the Board of Directors is expanding the foundation’s staff and has moved ahead in hiring new Development Director, Jessica Lind Peterson, with the goal of building on its donor base and increasing the foundation’s impact on its grantees and the local arts community.

“As we strive to return to a public foundation status, the board felt it was a priority to hire a Development Director to spearhead this initiative. Jessica brings a wealth of development experience and we are looking forward to this next chapter for the foundation,” says board chair, Renee Mattson. Peterson, a native Duluthian, comes to the Depot Foundation after 12 years of serving as Director of Development and Communications at Yellow Tree Theatre, a nationally acclaimed professional theatre she founded in the Twin Cities. In addition to her work in nonprofit arts development, Peterson is an award-winning author and playwright, as well as a passionate arts advocate. “I couldn’t think of a more perfect position for me to step into upon returning home,” says Peterson. “I grew up doing plays at the Duluth Playhouse, running around the train museum, exploring the Depot building was a very impactful part of my childhood. Now, with arts organizations slowly emerging after having been shuttered for over a year, foundation support is more important than ever. The arts are vital to our business community, to our well-being, to our cultural awareness and appreciation”

In addition to this new hire, the foundation offices will be moving back to the Historic Union Depot Building, having previously been located downtown in the Wells Fargo building, and renovations for a new office space are well underway. “Moving back to the Depot feels just right,” says Peterson. “Being in the same building as our grantees will allow us to make an even greater impact.”

Since 1979, the Depot Foundation has been supporting vital arts and historical organizations housed within the Historic Depot Building such as: Duluth Playhouse, Duluth Arts Institute, Lake Superior Railroad Museum, Arrowhead Chorale, St. Louis County Historical Society, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and St. Louis County Historical Society, Matinee Musicale and the Minnesota Ballet. In 2020, to help organizations weather the pandemic, the Depot Foundation increased its annual gifts to its grantees, giving an additional $141,000 in Operational Grants on top of $224,998 in Programmatic Grants. “We want to spread the word that the Depot Foundation is here to support our beloved arts and historical institutions, and we are working hard to increase our capacity to make an even greater impact. We are committed to ensuring the rich legacy of the Depot remains strong and continues to grow,” says Peterson.

Here’s a sneak peek of the renovation. We hope to be in our new offices by July!

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