HASTINGS, Minn. — Marin Peterson and Deb Holdgrafer are both Hastings-based artists who had an idea: create a place where local artists can showcase their work.

“We were having to leave town to do shows all the time and we thought, ‘gol, it would be nice if we had something in town that we could go to every month, every two months, whatever,’” Peterson said.

After looking at local events and venues, the friends realized that what they were hoping to find and participate in did not yet exist in Hastings.

“If we wanted a setup like that every month we decided we’d probably have to build it ourselves,” Peterson said.

So, that’s what Holdgrafer and Peterson did. They created "ArtBeat."

ArtBeat will be a show held at Artspace during the third weekend of each month beginning in March.

Along with offering a space for creatives to show their work, ArtBeat is meant to be a place where people can meet and artists can network. While ArtBeat will be held in Hastings each month, participating artists do not have to be based in or near the city.

“I wouldn’t have an opportunity to meet those people without having an event,” Holdgrafer said.

Professional artists are not the only people Peterson and Holdgrafer hope to highlight in ArtBeat.

“We also want to start spotlighting senior citizens that are artists to reignite their own passions,” Peterson said.

“We really want to highlight someone of all ages from elementary schools, even the preschools if they want to come in,” Holdgrafer added.

Hastings is surrounded by cities and towns with thriving arts communities. The two friends want to make Hastings an art destination.

“We have a lot of really creative people in this town. We could be on the map with Maiden Rock and Lake City,” said Peterson.

ArtBeat is one of the many arts organizations that are being created and grown in Hastings. With the Hastings Prescott Area Arts Council, Artspace, Black Dirt, (lumin)theater lab and many other organizations and individual artists, Hastings is continuing to grow its creative economy.