Under A Wing Art Mentor Fundraiser

Dear Ely Friends & Family:

Like many small towns in rural America, Ely is losing its youth to the lack of year-round employment.  It is tough keeping young adults active and involved in a rural town. In order to have a strong community, school and economy, we need young adults to return to Ely to establish roots.  

Our mission with Into the Brush is to use art education as a means to improve our local economy through art tourism. We’ve expanded our scope to include our Under A Wing (UaW) Art Entrepreneur Program.  Ely’s best and brightest art students are given a push toward art entrepreneurship. With extended art and entrepreneurial skills training at this young age, necessary confidence and skills are fostered for success in a future art business. The goal is for these young adults to return to our beautiful region and offer their artwork for sale.  

This affords them a way to earn a living in Ely, benefits our school, local businesses, tax base, and aging population.  Through early specific art education, Under A Wing is building an industry in art for Ely which will attract more art business to town in many different areas from art production (using the internet, printing services, commercial art) and other means including, but not limited to, art tourism.

Under A Wing Art Program:

  • Teaches art entrepreneurship through advanced skills training, exposure, and target marketing.
  • Builds confidence and intrinsic motivation to succeed in art as a potential career
  • Promotes community-based, non-compensatory projects such as Ely Stone Stash
  • Introduces new, young artists to the community
  • Encourages exceptionalism and individuality in artwork. 

UaW kids are hand-selected for this FREE, 100-hour mentorship based on the recommendation of the Ely School art teacher. Quality of work, dedication, and overall mindset are the primary considerations for acceptance into this exciting mentorship. This is a scholarship program; therefore, enrolled students pay no fee for materials or instruction. Under A Wing goes beyond basic instruction of school art classes.  Along with entrepreneurship, we integrate mentored students into community involvement projects for building well-rounded, intrinsically motivated, upstanding adults. A recent example of a community event is the Ely Stone Stash (ESS). ESS was tremendously popular during MEA weekend, and a bigger ESS is being planned for MEA 2020. Tourists as well as local community members have already expressed their intent to annually participate with their families. UaW kids develop local pride and confidence as artists. 

UaW kids are exposed to art shows and events as part of the mentor program.  Upon program completion UaW will be holding an exhibit where the public is welcome to view and purchase student art.  In remaining with artistic entrepreneurship, mentor students keep the earnings from their work. 

Into the Brush has raised $2500 to date through Go Fund Me and social media.  These donations are used for art supplies, studio rental space, and mentoring time.  The cost for Under A Wing is $5,000 per student for 100 hours. Joe Baltich is the head artist leading the program, and much of his time is volunteer to the benefit of our community. However, we do need your help. 

We are asking you to donate to Under A Wing art mentor program.   Ours is an especially worthwhile cause that will directly and positively benefit Ely and the region far beyond the Ely Stone Stash. From fine art productions to greeting cards to web design, printing & video production, and all types of design, art is here to stay; and it can be produced from anywhere in the world with the internet for clients everywhere.  So, why not Ely? Again, our goal is to produce a gainfully-employed, young adult population in Ely for our collective future. We will neither quit nor give up, but community support will lend substantial integrity and capability to our program.

Can you help us achieve this ongoing goal for Ely?  Any monetary contribution is genuinely appreciated and will be visible in our community through art and young adults who return to make their home in Ely. This is a “long game” program that will evolve over the course of years, but we believe its presence will yield a bright future for the Ely community.

Checks can be made out to:   Into The Brush

Mailing Address:  Into The Brush,  P.O. Box 690, Ely, MN 55731

Donations Drop-off:  Donations may be dropped off or mailed and directly deposited in the “Into The Brush account” at the Ely Credit Union, 2 E Chapman St, Ely, MN 55731

Thank you for support of Ely and it’s future!


Joe Baltich
CEO, Into The Brush
Lead artist, Under A Wing Art Mentor Program

Under A Wing Fundraiser Letter – Click Here

Into The Brush is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to art education for regional economic security.