Promoting creative growth & enriching the community through art & music.

The Cause

In the winter of 2008, in order to fight the seasonal blahs and get over the last hump of a bitter Minnesota winter, the Post Holiday Extravaganza began. The first Extravaganza was a two day event featuring art and music from local artists with enough creative energy to cure the worst cases of seasonal depression. After an immensely successful inaugural year, the event became annual occurence in Mankato. In 2010, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic and liver cancer, and the Extravaganza took on new meaning: It became a benefit for me and my family. The community came together, raising money that allowed me to focus on my health and still have energy--after weekly chemo treatments at Mayo Clinic--to be creative. After 18 months of treatment, my cancer diminished, and I have returned to a somewhat-normal state of health. Inspired by my increasingly improving mental and physical condition, I have to give back. That's just who I am!

The outpouring of community at the 2010 Post Holiday Extravaganza spawned the creation of the Midwest Art Catalyst (MWAC). With the help of my nearest and dearest. a non-profit organization was formed, with the goal to create, promote, and support artistic / musical events and ideas. In addition to donating to local art and music programs, we also sponsor fundraisers for individual causes. Our goal is to bring the community's creatives closer together, thus making us all a bit stronger and more inspired. Get on board! MWAC is for everyone who needs a little creative stimulation to complete their lives.

Thanks for life...
Edgar Burn aka Eric Barnes

TThe goal of the Midwest Art Catalyst is to support the growth of the arts community in our area. We hold fundraisers to fund art and music programs in our local public schools and to provide art to the greater community. We're always looking for new ideas!

2013 : $2000 KIDS MAKING MUSIC:

The Kids Making Music program fixes used and donated instruments for students who want to participate in band/orchestra but cannot afford an instrument. With our donation, Kids Making Music was able to refurbish 10 instruments for local students.

2014 : $2000 THE 410 PROJECT:

The 410 Project has been a staple in the Mankato arts community for many years. Our donation helped the 410 Project continue to present exciting exhibitions, community events, and art sessions to kids and adults alike.


MWAC donated $5000 to the Franklin PTO, enabling pottery artist Michelle Kiesersalt to introduce all Franklin students to the pottery wheel.


MWAC donated $1000 to Central High School for some much needed art supplies.

$2500 : THE 410 PROJECT:

Our donation will help the 410 Project continue to present exciting exhibitions, community events, and art sessions to kids and adults alike.

Upcoming Events


    This year's Post Holiday Extravaganza we raised $2,500 for the 410 Project!!! We had such an amazing turnout! Thankyou so much to the bands and the donating artists and bakers!!! We love you Mankato!

    Read about PHE VIII here!