Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards $697,219 in Arts Activities Support Grants

On September 26, 2017, the MRAC board awarded $697,219 to 72 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2018 Arts Activities Support grant program. The Arts Activities Support projects chosen will provide high-quality arts events and programs for Minnesotans of all ages to experience and enjoy arts in a variety of disciplines. From festivals to concerts to writing workshops and more, the Arts Activities Support grants provide quality engagement with the arts at a variety of entry points. The Arts Activities Support grant program is made possible with funds from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.

Carver County

Watertown-Mayer Community Education                     $10,000.00
Funding for a seven-week Youth Summer Theatre Program featuring an original script and musical score. This is will be the thirtieth anniversary of the start of Summer Youth Theatre. The program will take place during the summer of 2018 at the Watertown-Mayer Performing Arts Center and will culminate with four public performances.

Dakota County

Chamber Music Lakeville              $6,016.00
Funding for three of the four concerts in the 11th season of Coffee Concerts at the Lakeville Area Arts Center. The 2018 Coffee Concerts will be presented at the Lakeville Area Arts Center from January – May 2018.

Eagan Art Festival               $10,000.00
Funding for the 24th Annual Eagan Art Festival, a free two-day art festival featuring a broad range of artists, entertainment, and hands-on art activities for all ages. The Festival will to be held on the grounds of the Eagan Community Center during June 2018. 

Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc                $10,000.00
Funding for the Young Artist Empowerment series, an opportunity for diverse underserved young artists to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to further their self-sustaining career in the music industry. Twelve events will take place at the alcohol-free, all-ages venue THE GARAGE in Burnsville from October 2017 through September 2018.

City of Minneapolis

20% Theatre Company                  $10,000.00
Funding for The Naked I: 5.0, a company- and community-created production that will feature over 75 local LGBTQ artists and allies. Performances will take place at Intermedia Arts in February 2018.

Alternative Motion Project                       $10,000.00
Funding for Alternative Motion Project’s 7th Annual Performance, including the production of six dance works, a rehearsal process and audience engagement activities. Performances will take place at The Lab Theater in March 2018.

Aniccha Arts            $10,000.00
Funding for There/Here, a durational public performance project investigating the impact of systematic information gathering on the body, in our everyday lives, and through our communities. The performance, which will feature 100 performers, will take place at a parking garage as part of the Northern Spark Festival in June 2018.

ARENA DANCES, Inc.                       $10,000.00
Funding for Candy Box, an eclectic annual festival of local dance artists’ performances, workshops, and public showings presented by Mathew Janczewski’s ARENA DANCES. Activities will take place at the Southern Theater in April and May 2018.

Breanna’s Gift                      $10,000.00
Funding for an arts program for children with cancer and other serious illnesses offering classes in dance, theater, visual arts and music at three Twin Cities health related facilities. Activities will take place between January and August 2017.

Brownbody              $10,000.00
Funding for its spring 2018 stage performance featuring work from Artistic Director, Deneane Richburg and Associate Artistic Director/FlyGround founder, Lela Aisha Jones. Performances will be held in April 2018.

Cleveland Neighborhood Association                $10,000.00
Funding for Live On the Drive, a free concert series held on Victory Memorial Drive in North Minneapolis featuring high caliber musicians and celebrating the diverse talents of the community. The series will consist of three concerts held on the second Thursday of June, July, and August 2018.

Contempo Physical Dance             $10,000.00
Funding to present a reignited choreographic exploration of Vulcao at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in Minneapolis for two evenings and one student matinee during February 2018.

Full Circle Theater Company                   $10,000.00
Funding for the world premiere production of the play “Under This Roof” written by Barbara Kingsley and directed by James Austin Williams. Performances will be at the Dowling Studio of the Guthrie Theater in May 2018.

Givens Foundation for African American Literature              $10,000.00
Funding for Culture Matters: Writing Within Community, which takes writing out of the classroom and into the neighborhood, offering skill-building workshops and public presentations that use literary arts as a catalyst for community engagement. The ten-week series of intergenerational creative writing workshops and public reading events are grounded in African American literature. The program will be presented in four Twin Cities  communities during summer 2018.

Grace Minnesota                 $10,000.00
Funding for Don’t You Feel It Too?, a participatory practice of dancing one’s inner life in public spaces. The 2018 season of activities will include more than 40 public sessions, three large-scale events, and an expansion of the cohort to 20 members, between March and August 2018.

Hennepin Health Foundation                   $10,000.00
Funding for the second installment of ArtCare Mosaic, a 12-month participatory arts activities program with teaching artists Michèle Coppin and Holly Nelson for cancer and pediatric patients and their families at Hennepin County Medical Center. The program will feature several concurrent art projects and group installations.

Junior Composers              $10,000.00
Funding for Junior Composers Summer Programs, a two-week residential summer music composition camp for students ages 14 through 20. The program will be held at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities in July 2018.

Kairos Alive!                        $10,000.00
Funding for a collaboration with guest artists Kevin Washington Quartet and Tom Johnson to choreograph and mount a new, all-ages-and-abilities community participatory dance, music, and story theater performance work. Activities will take place at five social service and community sites in the metro area between November 2017 and March 2018.

Midwest Special Services, Inc.                 $10,000.00
Funding for 16 Midwest Special Services participants to engage in classes with teaching artists from Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center. Participants will explore the medium through workshops from February – April 2018. The completed works will be installed at MSS’s St. Paul site and will culminate in a public unveiling celebration in spring 2018.

Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association                     $10,000.00
Funding to perform six Free Concerts for Seniors during July 2018. Four coffee concerts will be held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, with listeners bused in from senior care facilities throughout the Twin Cities. Community concerts will also be held in Elliot Park and at Como Park Pavilion in St. Paul.

MPLS (imPulse)                   $10,000.00
Funding to present two, ninety-minute thematic choral programs in the Twin Cities in diverse, non-traditional performance venues. Performances will take place in January and May of 2018.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association                     $10,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Minneapolis Monarch Festival, a celebration of the monarch butterfly’s migration from Minnesota to Mexico. The bilingual festival blends artistic programs, environmental education and community building and will take place in September 2018.

Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association             $10,000.00
Funding for the 27th annual Powderhorn Arts Festival, a two-day public event featuring juried art by local and national artists, performances and art making. The festival will take place in Powderhorn Park in August 2018.

Red Eye Collaboration                   $10,000.00
Funding for NEW WORKS 4 WEEKS 2018, a multidisciplinary performance festival that serves as the culmination of Red Eye’s artist development programs, which provide space and technical support for the creation of new work. The project will begin in fall 2017 and culminates in the presentation of new works in May and June 2018.

Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council                 $10,000.00
Funding to produce a four-event Artist Salon series that engages Jewish artists from many disciplines in dialogue with local audiences. The Artist Salons will take place at various venues throughout the Twin Cities between November 2017 and April 2018.

Salsa Fiesta               $7,825.00
Funding for Minnesota Salsa Fiesta, a music and dance collaboration and celebration featuring live salsa ensembles and Latin dance performance groups. The event will feature a series of open rehearsals concluding with a final event at the Cedar Cultural Center in May 2018.

Savage Umbrella                  $10,000.00
Funding for a site-specific production of The Ravagers, a performance piece exploring the complex and devastating effects of self-righteous political leadership, cultural isolation, and the precipice between obedience and resistance. Performances will take place at the Haunted Basement’s Minneapolis venue in February and March 2018.

Simply ArtAble                    $9,878.00
Funding for Pizza Paint Parties, an arts activity for 20 persons with cognitive and developmental disabilities and 20 volunteer “paint buddies”. Events will be hosted monthly from October 2017 through September 2018.

St. Stephen’s Human Services                   $10,000.00
Funding for the annual Fall Roadshow, a collection of scenes, songs, and exercises designed to engage community audiences in a creative dialogue about homelessness. The Roadshow will premiere at Salvation Army – Harbor Lights during National Hunger and Homelessness Week in November 2017, then tour faith institutions, community events, shelters, and corporations through January 2018.

The Minneapolis Art Lending Library                $9,670.00
Funding for the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, a program that allows patrons to browse a collection of artworks and select one to borrow for three months, to display and enjoy in their homes. The Library will host three lending events at Minneapolis Parks and Recreation centers between October 2017 and April 2018. 

The Theater of Public Policy                    $10,000.00
Funding for a series of eight weekly improv shows in spring 2018, featuring a local thought leader who will discuss an important issue, followed by a team of comedic improvisers who will present unscripted scenes about the issue. Performances will take place at the Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis.

The West Bank Business Association                $10,000.00
Funding for information sessions, workshops, and a Community Convening and Pop Up Exhibit to rally community support and share proposals for the Cedar Avenue Arts Walk, a public arts installation on Minneapolis’s West Bank. Activities will take place between October and December 2017.

Toneworks Community Foundation                  $10,000.00
Funding for Learning Through Music, a group music therapy program for children enrolled in 22 Early Childhood Special Education classrooms in Minneapolis. The program will run for 28 weeks beginning in October 2017.

Tru Ruts Endeavors                       $10,000.00
Funding to produce A Hip Hop Xmas, an innovative approach to the traditional medium of theater with puppetry and urban music forms such as hip hop, yiri, gospel, and highlife, to honor the culture, ancestry, and ritual of the holiday season. Performances will take place at Open Eye Figure Theater in November and December 2017.

Turtle Theater Collective              $10,000.00
Funding to produce Thorton Wilder’s play, Our Town, reinterpreted through a Native lens. The production, the third in the company’s inaugural season, will be performed at The Division of Indian Work in May 2018.

Twin Cities Carifest                        $10,000.00
Funding for Carifest, a family-friendly festival featuring Caribbean music, storytelling, dance, cuisine, and a Carnival-style parade that will take place in Minneapolis in July 2018.

Twin Cities Jazz Workshop                      $9,040.00
Funding for the Twin Cities Jazz Workshop, a summer experience offering professional Jazz music instruction to local students with a culminating local performance opportunity at a professional jazz venue. The program will take place in summer 2018.

Walking Shadow Theatre Company                    $10,000.00
Funding to present the regional premiere of the rock musical Hatchet Lady by Savannah Reich. Performances will take place at Red Eye Theater in December 2017.

City of Saint Paul

Ananya Dance Theatre                   $10,000.00
Funding for Shaatranga: At the Edge of New Worlds, the fifth and capstone iteration of the company’s five-year series, Work Women Do, that explores and celebrates the physical, emotional, intellectual, philosophical, and political labor of women in global societies of color to sustain their communities. Performances will take place at The O’Shaughnessy in September 2018.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                  $9,970.00
Funding for the annual production “Our Dance, Our Dreams,” celebrating CAAM CDT’s 25th anniversary and 2018 Chinese New Year, to be presented at the O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul in January 2018.

Consortium Carissimi                   $5,500.00
Funding for the first program of the 2017-2018 season, the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s Reformation. The program will feature the Franco-Flemish composers of most significance to Martin Luther. Performances will be held at St. Timothy Lutheran Church in St. Paul and First Lutheran Church in Crystal during October 2017.

East Side Arts Council                    $10,000.00
Funding for Artmobile, a mobile art project offering seven weeks of free drop-in art classes for inner-city youth. Artmobile will be held at public spaces around the East Side of St. Paul in the summer of 2018.

India Association of Minnesota               $10,000.00
Funding for IndiaFest 2018, a free festival that celebrates the arts and culture of Minnesota’s Asian Indian community. IndiaFest will take place at the state capitol grounds in St. Paul during August 2018.

Indigenous Roots                $9,860.00
Funding for the Mexica Nahua Cultural Preservation Project, which includes a two-week residency by Mexico City-based master artist Teo Santin Martinez to teach dances and songs, open workshops for community members, and a public performance by community members and Kapulli Yaocenoxtli artists. The residency will take place in fall 2017; workshops and performances scheduled for spring 2018 in St. Paul.

International Friendship Through the Performing Arts                    $10,000.00
Funding for “Blending Ancient Souls from Syria and China” featuring Syrian oud master Issam Rafea and Chinese pipa master Gao Hong. Performances will be in May and June 2018 at Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University, Mizna, and Sholom Home East in St. Paul; Kang Le Asian Day Care in Richfield; and Yinghua Academy and Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. 

Irish Music & Dance Association            $8,000.00
Funding for the 37th consecutive/annual St. Patrick Day Celebration and the 16th consecutive/annual Day of Irish Dance. Both events will be held at the Landmark Center in St. Paul during March 2018.

Lowertown Blues Festival                        $7,825.00
Funding for Lowertown Blues Festival’s fifth annual outdoor festival, to be held in Mears Park, located in downtown St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, during July 2018.

Lyra Baroque Orchestra                $10,000.00
Funding for a program of “Music for a King,” featuring the music of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach with local musicians and international guest soloists. The performance will take place at Sundin Hall in St. Paul in April 2018.

Million Artist Movement               $10,000.00
Funding for six interactive art-making community workshops from October 2017 – April 2018. Workshops will be held at various St. Paul and Minneapolis venues.

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health             $10,000.00
Funding for Fidgety Fairy Tales – The Mental Health Musical, a 40-minute performance using familiar fairy tales to raise awareness and reduce the fear and misunderstanding that surrounds children’s mental health disorders. Fidgety Fairy Tales will be performed 10 times by youth ages 8 – 18 throughout the Twin Cities metro area in April and May 2018.

Minnesota Guitar Society              $9,660.00
Funding to present eight concerts and two masterclasses with guitarists from Minnesota, the United States and abroad. The concerts will be held at Sundin Music Hall between October 2017 and June 2018.

Minnesota Music Coalition                       $10,000.00
Funding for the 7th annual MN Music Summit, a music festival and conference for artists, fans and those working in the music industry. The summit will feature workshops, mentoring sessions, a national keynote speaker and concerts showcasing emerging bands and Minnesota acts. MN Music Summit will take place in St. Paul and Minneapolis during April 2018.

Mixed Precipitation                        $10,000.00
Funding for 10 metro area performances of the annual Picnic Operetta, Dr. Falstaff and the Working Wives of Lake County, an adaptation of Otto Nicolai’s 1849 German opera re-set on Lake Superior. 10 site-specific performances at various Minneapolis and St. Paul venues will occur during August and September 2018.

More Than a Single Story              $10,000.00
Funding for More Than a Single Story, a series of six panel discussions and community conversations that feature writers of color and indigenous writers on a wide range of issues that they experience in their lives and explore in their work. The series will take place at several Twin Cities venues between October 2017 and September 2018.

Musical Offering                  $10,000.00
Funding for three concerts in the 47th season. Concerts will be held at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul in November 2017, February 2018, and April 2018.

Nautilus Music-Theater                 $10,000.00
Funding for six ROUGH CUTS works-in-progress presentations of new music-theater plus two “special edition” ROUGH CUTS presented during the Saint Paul Art Crawl. Activities will take place between October 2017 and July 2018.

Rhythmically Speaking                  $9,975.00
Funding for Rhythmically Speaking’s tenth annual production featuring new and reconstructed dances created by five to nine emerging and established local choreographers working in jazz and American vernacular dance. The show will be held in the Twin Cities during August 2018.

Selby Ave JazzFest               $10,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Selby Ave JazzFest, an annual free event featuring jazz performances, family activities, interactive artist displays, health screenings and cultural food offerings. The event will take place in September 2018 at the intersection of Selby Avenue and Milton Street in St. Paul.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre                  $10,000.00
Funding for a 5-show run of Twelfth Night performed by youth ages 13 – 19 who do not attend a traditional school. Performances are scheduled in the Gremlin Theater and Vandalia Tower in St. Paul during March 2018.

Theatre Unbound                $10,000.00
Funding to present eleven performances of A Wive’s Tale, a science fiction drama written by Christina Ham and directed by Kate Powers. Performances will take place at the Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul in March and April 2018.

Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center                       $10,000.00
Funding to produce the annual production, a full-length Chinese arts performance featuring Chinese classical imperial dance and ethnic dances of the southeastern mountain area of China. Performances will take place at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium and the Chinese New Year Carnival at the Mall of America in February 2018.

Universal Dance Destiny                $10,000.00
Funding to remount Universal Dance Destiny’s largest production, African Roads, American Streets (ARAS1). The remounted production, ARAS2, is a multi-disciplinary theater production with a cast of 25 performers that explores the traditional African roots of today’s urban dance movement and blends the two with music, spoken word, beat-box.

Young Artists Initiative                  $10,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Winter Theater Experience, an eight-week, audition-based theater program based on St. Paul’s East Side, which will engage 30 youth, ages 8 – 18, in rehearsing and fully staging a full-length Broadway musical. Performances will take place at The Wellstone Center on Saint Paul’s West Side in March 2018.

Suburban Hennepin County

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra                     $10,000.00
Funding to perform two concerts in Winter/Spring 2018 and the orchestra’s appearance at the Bloomington Orchestra Festival. The winter concert will feature repertoire for the first-time concertgoer and the spring concert will be made up of French favorites. These concerts will be held at the Masonic Heritage Center in Bloomington in February and April 2018. The Bloomington Orchestra Festival will be held at Jefferson High School in Bloomington during March 2018.

Cross Community Players            $10,000.00
Funding to produce seven performances of the operetta “Pirates of Penzance” at Osseo Senior High School during July 2018.

Drama Interaction              $10,000.00
Funding for a 10-week creative arts performance program for seniors living in three Sholom Community Alliance care facilities in St. Louis Park. The program will take place from October – December 2017.

Reach for Resources                      $5,000.00
Funding for Art Abilities, a six-session series of workshops that offers youth and adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to explore a variety of art media. Workshops will be held at the Eisenhower Community Center in Hopkins and French Regional Park in Plymouth in November 2017 – January 2018 with an art exhibit taking place in the Spring of 2018.

Sabes JCC Performing Arts Department             $10,000.00
Funding for the 9th annual Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park and the St. Paul Jewish Community Center in January 2018.

Twin Cities Jewish Chorale                      $9,100.00
Funding for TCJC’s 2017-18 season featuring three concerts and six outreach events. Concerts are scheduled for January 2018 and May 2018.

Washington County

East Metro Symphony Orchestra             $10,000.00
Funding to support four major concerts and two Senior Living Community concerts during the 2017-2018 season. Major concerts will be held in October 2017 at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Woodbury; December 2017 at East Ridge High School in Woodbury; February 2018 at Lake Elmo Event Center; May 2018 at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul; Senior Living Community concerts will be held at Boutswell Landing in Oak Park Heights and Stonecrest in Woodbury.

Square Lake Film & Music Festival                     $9,900.00
Funding for the 2018 Square Lake Film & Music Festival, a daylong, outdoor celebration of Minnesota-made music and film held on a scenic 25-acre hobby farm near Stillwater. The festival will take place in August 2018.

StoryArk                   $10,000.00
Funding for 40+ student artists from various secondary schools in the east metro to write, produce and perform three sci-fi podcasts: #HUSHpodcast, Shush! and HUSH Jr. Podcast. Episodes are aired monthly on the radio show Voices in the Valley on KLBB 1220 before being uploaded to iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. Activities will take place at Stillwater Area High School from October 2017 – February 2018. 

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