Last night at the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council’s annual meeting the MRAC Board of Directors announced and presented the 2017 Arts Achievement Awards. This year, we honor East Side Freedom Library and Minhua Chorus; each group has been given a cash award of $5,000 for their outstanding achievements and commitment to the arts in MRAC’s 7-county region.
The nominations were reviewed by the MRAC Board of Directors and assessed on how arts groups exemplify MRAC’s vision for the region by:
- Causing artists and arts activities to thrive, and/or
- Integrating the arts into the social fabric and identity of a community(s), and/or
- Enhancing understanding of the public value of the arts.
The 2017 Arts Achievement Awards received a record number of nominees and the selection process was especially difficult with all of the great art projects and groups enriching the Twin Cities metro area. Congratulations to these award recipients!
With over 75 chorus members, Minhua Chorus is the largest and longest running Chinese American choir in Minnesota. Based in Roseville, the choir performs across the metro area each year, including a large annual production and smaller concerts that reach thousands of audience members annually. Founded in 1991, Minhua Chorus has presented over 100 concerts and brought numerous guest artists from China to enrich the artistic landscape of Minnesota. The MRAC board was impressed with Minhua Chorus’ commitment to partnerships, dedication to artistic excellence, and the numerous ways they have enriched the artistic landscape in the Twin Cities Metro area.
East Side Freedom Library
Located in Saint Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood in a repurposed Carnegie Library building, the East Side Freedom Library opened in June 2014 and has been engaging community through theater performances, readings, community events, lectures, arts activities ever since. In addition to their non-circulating research collections on the history of labor, immigration, and diverse Americans, the East Side Freedom Library is the new permanent home for the Hmong Archives. The MRAC board was impressed with the large number of collaborations with local arts organizations, the dedication to culture and the arts for residents of the East Side of Saint Paul, and the innovative programming they have embraced in a short time.
Previous recipients of the Arts Achievement Awards are:
Ananya Dance and Caponi Art Park
Young Dance and Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts
Saint Paul Arts Collective and Yellow Tree Theater
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association and Rosemount Area Arts Council
Sounds of Hope and Rosetown Playhouse
Open Eye Figure Theatre and New Prague Art Center
Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company and White Bear Center for the Arts
Kulture Klub Collaborative and Center for Hmong Arts and Talent