BLUE EARTH, Minn. (AP) _ A Minnesota nonprofit is looking to breathe new life into Blue Earth's downtown by renovating three long-vacant buildings in hopes of attracting artists and entrepreneurs.

The Rural Renaissance Project of Mankato is raising $2.5 million for renovating the buildings known as Three Sisters in Blue Earth. The idea is for the buildings to house a mix of small businesses, public arts and events spaces.

Janie Hanson, the nonprofit's co-founder, tells reporters she launched the project last year after residents lamented vacant buildings in prime downtown spots.

The nonprofit hopes to raise $1 million by this fall.

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