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Shawn and Michelle Fagan awarded 2022 Sandy Keith Award

Release Date: August 2, 2022

Media Contact: Katie Adelman
Rochester Downtown Alliance
Office: 507-216-9886



Shawn and Michelle Fagan recipients of Sandy Keith Award

ROCHESTER, Minn.—Shawn and Michelle Fagan of Fagan Studios are the latest recipient of the Rochester Downtown Alliance’s Sandy Keith Downtown Impact Award.

Shawn and Michelle first opened their photography studio doors in 2007. Built in the late 1800s, the space at 324 South Broadway needed extensive renovation to bring it to code, and Gillian Duncan who nominated the couple said they were up for the challenge. In addition to the photography business, Shawn and Michelle created an arts hub with the Studio 324 gallery and event space.

“In the face of changing demographics and an increasing premium on downtown building space, Shawn and Michelle remained steadfast in their support of downtown,” said Duncan. “When other businesses came and went, Fagan Studios remained in its same location for 15 years. It has been reassuring to see their familiar faces working in the studio, conducting sessions, and greeting everyone—both clients and those guests who walk by—with a warm smile and wave.”

Additionally, during the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Shawn helped several small business owners survive the disruption by volunteering his time to redesign their menus, websites, and business practices.

“It is people like Michelle and Shawn who continue to push the margin of what can be accomplished by small business owners and the positive impact they can have,” said Will Forsman, RDA board development chair. “Not only are they great people and great neighbors but they are truly making the downtown a better place through their presence.”

Shawn and Michelle were recognized at the RDA’s annual Stakeholder Appreciation Night Monday. Their commitment to downtown will be honored with a plaque affixed to a downtown public space bistro chair.

The Sandy Keith Downtown Impact Award recognizes a person or group whose efforts have made or are making a substantial impact on the downtown community through a passion for urban growth and community development.

Past Sandy Keith Downtown Impact Award recipients include Keith himself in 2017, Café Steam and then-mayor Ardell Brede in 2018, and Terry Spaeth and the late Gus Chafoulias in 2020.

About the Rochester Downtown Alliance
The Rochester Downtown Alliance is a nonprofit corporation comprised of a broad range of people representing property owners, business leaders, the city and others with a direct stake in enhanced business and economic development conditions in the downtown district. We work together to build a vibrant downtown community. We believe a strong core positively impacts the greater city of Rochester. Through a series of special events, activities, and initiatives, we create energy, excitement, and a unique character to Downtown Rochester, Minnesota.