Next Step Fund Awards Announced

On June 27, 2017 MRAC awarded a total of $173,214 to 35 individual artists in the FY 2017 Next Step Fund grant program. The Next Step Fund program, funded by The McKnight Foundation, is designed to help artists in the 7-county metropolitan region complete a project that will help them rise to the next level in their careers regardless of whether they are emerging artists or artists well established in their disciplines. Finalists were asked to submit work samples as background information and support for their Next Step project. Artists could work in any discipline but must have a community connection and demonstrated achievement in their artistic field.

Mayumi Amada $5,000.00
Visual Arts – Sculpture
Funding to create first public art installation.

E.G. Bailey $5,000.00
Media Arts – Film
Funding to support travel to Lagos, Nigeria to work on the artist’s first African film.

Amber Bjork $5,000.00
Theater
Funding to purchase portable theatrical lighting equipment.

Elizabeth Blair $5,000.00
Photography
Funding to create and equip a basement studio.

Shannon Brunette $5,000.00
Visual Arts
Funding for the development and production of the artist’s first solo exhibition entitled, Our Bodies.

Bob Burns $4,315.00
Music – Popular
Funding to upgrade recording studio computer and operating system

Sha Cage $4,800.00
Theater
Funding for career training and a director’s retreat.

Santanu Chatterjee $5,000.00
Media Arts – Film
Funding to purchase a new cinema camera Kinefinity TERRA.

Stephanie Claussen $5,000.00
Music
Funding to attend the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and prepare a harp concert in response.

Paul Coate $5,000.00
Opera/Musical Theater
Funding for first professionally recorded album.

Nancy Cook $4,700.00
Literature
Funding to engage a writing coach and travel.

Emily Davis $5,000.00
Music – Jazz
Funding for the artist’s first professionally recorded album.

Casey Deming $5,000.00
Interdisciplinary
Funding for the production of five artist publications.

Seth Eberle $5,000.00
Theater – Puppetry
Funding for formal marionette construction and performance mentorship with marionette artist Kurt Hunter.

Rolf Erdahl $4,399.00
Music – Chamber
Funding to purchase a doublebass travel trunk.

Mychal Fisher $5,000.00
Music – New/Experimental/Electronic
Funding to purchase an analog synthesizer, wireless microphone headset, and road cases to enhance live performance and begin touring.

Lindsy Halleckson $5,000.00
Visual Arts – Painting
Funding to participate in an expedition to study atmosphere, weather, and environmental change in the Arctic Circle

Jennifer Klukken $5,000.00
Music
Funding to study marimba in France.

Emily Koehler $5,000.00
Visual Arts
Funding to purchase a new printmaking press.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs $5,000.00
Literature – Poetry
Funding to support a second book’s national promotion

Thomas LaBlanc $5,000.00
Interdisciplinary
Funding to record a new album of original poetry with music.

Joua Lee $5,000.00
Media Arts – Film
Funding for artistic and professional development, including training workshops, networking events, personal board of directors, and a peer mentoring group.

Mary Jane Mansfield $5,000.00
Visual Arts
Funding to professionalize artistic practice with marketing materials, professional documentation and the opportunity to bring work to a new community.

Megan Mayer $5,000.00
Dance – Modern
Funding to revise, rehearse and complete an evening-length dancework prior to Lumberyard’s artist technical residency opportunity in 2018 in Catskill, New York. 

Brighton McCormick $5,000.00
Visual Arts – Sculpture
Funding to build and outfit a mobile “tiny studio” in order to make site specific work, create large outdoor sculpture, and teach art workshops in varying communities and locations

Crystal Myslajek $5,000.00
Music – New/Experimental/Electronic
Funding for pianist’s first solo composition and recording project.

Jerri Neddermeyer $5,000.00
Crafts – Clay
Funding to purchase ceramic studio equipment to create an efficient work process that maximizes the artist’s limited human resources (energy and time) due to physical disability.

Loren Niemi $5,000.00
Theater – Storytelling
Funding for the creation of a website and video documentation to support marketing efforts.

Allalaghatta Pavan $5,000.00
Music – Ethnic/Folk-inspired
Funding to create a novel Tabla Ensemble in MN to present the art of poetic Tabla drumming.

Ashwini Ramaswamy $5,000.00
Dance
Funding to travel to India to receive intensive one-on-one classes with Alarmél Valli, one of the foremost living exponents of the Pandanallur style of Bharatanatyam in the world.

Marco Real-d’Arbelles $5,000.00
Opera/Musical Theater
Funding to attend an opera conducting workshop.

Adriana Rimpel $5,000.00
Music – New/Experimental/Electronic
Funding to record a full length solo album and music video.

Marciano Silva dos Santos $5,000.00
Dance
Funding for travel to Brazil to develop an experiment in creating new music for dance, working with composer Divan Gattamorta, four Brazilian musicians, and students from the University of Campinas-Sao Paulo.

Caitlin Skaalrud $5,000.00
Visual Arts
Funding to purchase professional equipment for a home illustration studio and re-launch the artist’s website with a finished full-length color web-comic.

Oanh Vu $5,000.00
Media Arts – Video
Funding to create a 15 minute long film that documents the impact of the artist’s family’s forced immigration to the United States using live action and stop motion animation techniques.