Governor Proclaims 2007 ‘The Year Of The Windmill’

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Kathie Starkweather, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1014
Barbara Chamness, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1009

Lyons, Nebraska – On Wednesday, February fourteenth, Governor Dave Heineman, proclaimed the year 2007 as The Year Of The Windmill.

The proclamation is in honor of all the windmill has done for Nebraska. Windmills enabled the settlement of Nebraska, bringing water and life itself to pioneers and enabled the agricultural base that created and continues to be this State’s primary economic engine. The image of windmills evokes that pioneering spirit and reminds us of the important role wind and water has played in creating our way of life. The evolution of windmills to modern wind turbines as a source of renewable energy is a hallmark of Nebraska’s resilience, a harbinger of rural development that suggests a strong future.

And this year artists throughout Nebraska will be creating windmill images that will be displayed all across the State as a part of the Center for Rural Affairs art project, Winds of Life: Windmills Across Nebraska.

"The Center is committed to rural communities and their future," said Barbara Chamness, lead on the project. "This project will create a positive impact for communities all across Nebraska in many ways: increased tourism dollars, attention to the arts and the fine artists Nebraska embraces, and ultimately a project like this brings the state together creating real opportunity for our future."

Outdoor windmill sculptures will be displayed in communities throughout Nebraska from May 2007 through Spring 2008. Maps of these displays will be available at the Center for Rural Affairs and local tourism information sites. “The project is intended to encourage Nebraska residents and tourists to explore country byways to view the art and be reminded that windmills not only symbolize the past but also represent the changing face of rural Nebraska,” said Chamness.

All sculptures and artistic pieces will be auctioned off in the Spring of 2008. Auction proceeds will support the work of the artists and rural community development. Proceeds invested in rural development will be shared by participating communities and the Center for Rural Affairs for activities such as the Women’s Project for Rural America, whose goal is to increase rural women’s activism and advocacy for rural issues.

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