While roaming around Reedsburg one may come across poems scattered throughout the downtown, part of a scavenger hunt for a new public arts project launched by Reedsburg ArtsLink.

Director Joann Mundth Douglas said the idea of the project is to support literacy artists from the Reedsburg area, “elevate poetic verse” and give locals a way to reflect on the community with an artistic touch. It’s another way for people to explore Reedsburg’s downtown to hunt for the poems posted on white and red triangle signs.

“We know the people who read and enjoy poetry may be not so many, but the people who would enjoy a scavenger hunt would be the majority of people,” Douglas said.

Maps and guides can be picked up at the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce at 240 Railroad Street during its summer hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sunday and holidays. Participants follow the map to find each of the poems. Once all poems are found, partakers can bring the map back to the chamber office and claim a prize.

Douglas said the poems will remain throughout the area until the city of Reedsburg and Reedsburg ArtsLink “feel the project has run its course,” which she estimates will be about five years.

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The project was dedicated May 31 at the Reedsburg Area Chamber of Commerce, where the poets selected for the project presented their 15-25 word poems.

Douglas said the process of launching the project took about a year and 80 poems were submitted with a selection committee narrowing down the list to 20.

The project is funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. The Reedsburg Arts Committee and the Reedsburg Area United Fund also provided funding for the 20 Poems Project.

Reedsburg Arts Committee Chairman Jennifer Stanek said it was the first project the committee funded since its formation two years ago. Other projects recently given the OK by the city include a $2,000 grant for the Polychrome Wildflower that will be installed in City Park for Reedikulus Days in July and $4,500 for the Wormfarm Institute for Fermentation Fest.

Follow Erica Dynes on Twitter @EDynes_CapNews or contact her at 608-393-5346.

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