The Cultural Centre in Bird Island, MN seeks to enrich the lives of community members by making the arts an essential part of community and community an essential part of the arts. We believe participation in the arts, wellness, and socialization enhances the quality of people’s lives and community wellness.


The Cultural Centre in Bird Island’s mission is to integrate the arts into the community and to reflect the community in the arts. We believe the quality of life is enhanced by ensuring the arts are an active part of the social fabric of the community and beyond. Participation in the arts, whether active or passive, leads to discourse, communication, between people of all ethnicities, religious affiliation, genders and age groups. We believe through discourse the human condition becomes authentic for the individual and the community at large.


The story of the Cultural Centre began in mid 2016.  A discussion between Gordy Blem, owner of Dirks-Blem Funeral Home in Bird Island, and Mark and Rosemary Glesener started. The Gleseners approached their attorney in July 2016 and were encouraged to create a non-profit entity to fulfill the vision, and work began in earnest. Blem’s business eventually decided to donate the entire building and grounds to the community for a non-profit Bird Island Cultural Centre. It was his hope that the “repurposing” of the building would honor the community’s long-standing dedication and commitment to innovation and creativity.

After many months of organization the Centre was legally registered as the Bird Island Cultural Centre on November 8, 2016 as a nonprofit corporation by the Office of the Secretary of State, the Centre was also recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) as of November 22, 2016.  As noted, the original name of our organization was “Bird Island Cultural Centre,” however, because we go beyond the borders of our small town, we changed the name to “The Cultural Centre in Bird Island.” 

After years of organizing 3-day art shows in various locations throughout Bird Island and Olivia showcasing local artists. The founders, Mark and Rosemary Glesener, were given the opportunity to establish a permanent gallery through the donation of the funeral home by Gordy Blem of Dirks-Blem Funeral Service. The Cultural Centre’s role in the community is to facilitate the creation of a space which enhances socialization, art appreciation, inspires creativity and thoughtful discourse. We achieve this through monthly art exhibits, social gatherings, music lessons, mini concerts, art classes, writing workshops, CPR/First Aide classes, etc. Although this space is filled with activities, we strive to maintain an environment that is relaxing and welcoming – a soft place, a retreat, an environment where pondering and inspiration are nurtured.

In September 2017, the Centre purchased the historic Baker House, an early 1900 Craftsman-style design brick house on Highway 212 (Yellowstone Trail) in downtown Bird Island. The house is currently being evaluated for National Registry Designation and its planned use will be to enhance the Cultural Centre’s many programs.