Neal Cuthbert guided and redirected the arts program at McKnight Foundation from 1991 to 2007. Here are some of the things he counts as his greatest hits.
1. Launching McKnight's annual Distinguished Artist honor. Each year since 1998, the program recognizes with a large cash gift a Minnesotan — this year it's composer Libby Larsen — whose career has elevated the arts in this state.
2. A study of suburban culture. Titled "A New Angle," the 2002 report highlighted the growth in suburban arts centers and the need for arts to move beyond the city.
3. A report on arts in rural Minnesota. Using several small towns as examples, "Bright Stars" illustrated how arts could be used to stimulate the rural economy.
4. "Here and Now," a 1996 publication with essays on the states of various artistic disciplines and an economic impact analysis. This became something of a base document for journalists, bureaucrats, artists and others to get a handle on numbers.
5. The website mnartists.org. A joint effort with Walker Art Center, it's become an important venue for individual artists to make their cases and create more dialogue.
6. Projects that transformed sections of the city or towns, including the Jungle Theater and Open Book in Minneapolis and the New York Mills Cultural Center.