Community Arts Round 1 Awards Announced

On December 12, 2017 MRAC awarded $300,262 to 63 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2018 Community Arts grant program. The organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and a connection to a community.

The Community Arts grant program utilizes a block grant system to ensure funds are distributed broadly in the seven counties of MRAC’s service area. This grant program is made possible with funds from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. The following is a list of this round’s grant recipients sorted by the county of activity that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees’ websites when available. Please note that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from the surrounding suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.

Anoka County

Anoka-Hennepin Community Education Project Power $5,000.00
Funding to partner with local artists and organizations to provide a series of six hands-on art experience, allowing individuals with special needs the opportunity to express their personal creativity. Activities will take place between March and December 2018.

City of Blaine $4,000.00
Funding for the 11th annual Blaine World Fest, a public event exploring the cultural arts and ethnicities in and around Blaine. The event will take place in May 2018.

JOYA! Chamber Music Series $5,000.00
Funding for three chamber music concerts at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka. Concerts will take place in January, February, and April 2018.

Rumriver Art Center $4,761.00
Funding for a series of free community art programs in Anoka County. Activities will be held at Anoka County venues between January and August 2018.

Wavelets Creative $5,000.00
Funding to develop and present a site-specific Art + Nature community performance installation in partnership with Positively Fridley, The Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts, and Anoka County Parks. Activities will include interactive community art-making workshops, artist residencies, and will culminate in a free outdoor public performance installation at Manomin Park.

Carver County

ISD 108 Community Education $5,000.00
Funding for the 15th annual “Music in the Park” series of eight performances on Thursday evenings at Legion Memorial Park in Norwood Young America during the summer of 2018.

Dakota County

Caponi Art Park $5,000.00
Funding for Caponi Art Park’s 2018 Summer Performance Series of four music, theater and dance programs. The series consists of four performances from June – August 2018 at Caponi Art Park’s Theater in the Woods amphitheater in Eagan.

Eagan Men’s Chorus $3,885.00
Funding for the presentation of 15 concerts to be performed at senior living facilities, Veterans’ Homes, Veteran’s Hospital and community activities that recognize our veterans. Concerts will be performed in Dakota County from March – December 2018.

Eagan Parks and Recreation $5,000.00
Funding to present the 13th annual Harvest of Art Celebration in September 2018. The community event, themed The Art of Story, will highlight the visual art education programming at the Eagan Art House, and facilitate a variety of engagement opportunities, including exhibition, artist production, outdoor raku pottery firing, demonstrations, entertainment, art samplers and video stories. The event will culminate with a premier screening of amateur short films on the Art House grounds.

Forte Fine Arts Academy $5,000.00
Funding to present Disney’s Beauty and The Beast JR, a 60-minute musical based on the Disney animated classic. Artists age 10-18 will be part of all aspects of producing, creating and performing this musical production. The show will be performed at the Kenwood Trail Middle School auditorium in Lakeville during July 2018.

Rosemount Area Arts Council $5,000.00
Funding for ArtBlast 2018, the fifth annual early summer week-long community-wide celebration of the arts in Rosemount. Activities will take place in June and July 2018 at various venues in Rosemount.

Velvet Tones $5,000.00
Funding for nine vocal performances for groups with limited arts access. The performances will take place in the greater metropolitan area between January and June 2018.


Altered Esthetics $1,750.00
Funding to support the 2018 Film Programming season, including the 5th annual AE Film Fest and corresponding Microcinema events. The Festival will take place in June 2018, with four preceding Microcinema events beginning in February 2018.

Balkanicus Institute for Balkan Art Culture and History $5,000.00
Funding to produce a free public concert of new Balkan chamber music that will include three world premieres written specifically for Balkanicus as well as numerous American premieres. The concert will take place at Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall at the University of Minnesota in April 2018.

CAPI USA $5,000.00
Funding for the Twin Cities World Refugee Day Festival, a family-oriented day of celebration that highlights the stories, arts, and cultures of refugees in Minnesota and the diversity of cultures, experiences and assets they bring to our community. The annual event will be held at Loring Park in Central Minneapolis in July 2018.

Cialuna Storydance Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to remount Golmah: The Jewish Wonder Woman as a full 1.5-2 hour play combining dance with acting and storytelling for two performance in April 2018 at the Bryant Lake Bowl Theatre in Minneapolis.

courageous heARTS $3,900.00
Funding for the spring 2018 session of Open Studio, a fee-free after school program for youth. Open Studio will take place Monday through Thursday between January and May 2018.

Diversity Street Dancers $5,000.00
Funding to research, design, choreograph, and practice a new folk-inspired program to perform in three different venues in Minneapolis – Loring Park Art Festival in July 2018, Dignity Adult Day Care in September 2018, and Nicollet Towers in November 2018.

Duniya Drum and Dance $5,000.00
Funding for the Fakoly Drum and Dance Project, providing opportunities to explore and experience traditional African diasporic rhythm and movement with renowned master drummers and dancers. The June 2018 project includes dance and hand drumming workshops taught by local and visiting artists culminating in a public performance at the University of Minnesota’s Barbara Barker Dance Center and Rarig Center.

Eclectic Edge Ensemble $5,000.00
Funding for Rhythm Flow, the 15th Anniversary Show featuring Minnesota Jazz Dance Choreographers from the 1970s to today with guest artists and Artistic Director Karis Sloss. Rhythm Flow will be presented at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis during July 2018.

Edina Chorale $5,000.00
Funding for “The Soul of Gospel,” a collaboration between the Edina Chorale and Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir. Two concerts will be held during May 2018 at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis.

Fortune’s Fool $5,000.00
Funding for the regional premiere production of The Skriker, a play by Caryl Churchill. Performances will take place at The Crane Theater in Minneapolis in April 2018.

Journey Productions $5,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Theater Experience, a 15-week audition-based performing arts program in Minneapolis for youth between the ages of 9 and 18. The program will culminate in the presentation of 16th Street, a play centered on the historic events that occurred in Birmingham Alabama during the fall of 1963, to be held at the Minnsky Theater in March 2018.

Magic Lantern Puppet Theater $4,590.00
Funding to re-work a touring puppet show Three Tales, One World, with three, free culminating performances to take place in March 2018.

Funding for ten bi-monthly concerts by professional jazz sextets, quintets and trios. Each concert will focus on the music of a specific composer or group from the jazz hard bop era. The concerts will be held at the Boom Island Brewing Co performance stage in Minneapolis from January to May 2018.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop $5,000.00
Funding for the New Puppetworks Project, a contemporary puppet theater program, offering artists of color and indigenous artists the opportunity to create a short puppet performance, and to gain skills in contemporary puppet theater production and artistry. The project will culminate in the presentation of new works in 2018.

Open Eye Figure Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to present the Driveway Tour, offering family-friendly puppet theater to more than 100 communities in the Twin Cities area during summer 2018. Performances will take place at host sites in over 70 metro area neighborhoods.

She Rock She Rock $5,000.00
Funding for Ladies Rock Camp, a three-day music camp for women, gender nonconforming and trans folks ages 19 and older. Participants will form a band, write original songs, and take workshops on songwriting and gear. Activities will take place at Lake Harriet House of Music in South Minneapolis and culminate in two live shows in April 2018.

Sparkle Theatricals $5,000.00
Funding for the development and presentation of a new dance-theater production entitled, The Room with Closets. Performances will take place at the Southern Theater in May 2018.

The Arts’ Nest $5,000.00
Funding for the September 2018 Fledgling project. Fledgling works with emerging artists to teach them how to produce by giving them the chance to create a show at Phoenix Theater.

The Warming House $5,000.00
Funding for Free Music Thursdays, a series of 14 free shows featuring singer/songwriter and Americana band performances. Performances will take place in March, April and May 2018.

The White Page $5,000.00
Funding for a series of three artist residencies that will culminate in public exhibitions. The residencies will take place at The White Page’s studio and gallery between December and June 2018.

Vega Productions $5,000.00
Funding for Make Music Twin Cities, an interactive music event taking place throughout the Twin Cities on International Make Music Day on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

West Bank School of Music $5,000.00
Funding to hold a series of community music-making and skill-building activities. The pay-what-you-can classes will be held from March – July 2018 in Minneapolis.

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to produce Garden of Names, a restaging of a work inspired by Lawrence Thornton’s novel, Imagining Argentina. The flamenco concert will be presented along with Joe Chvala and dancers from the Flying Foot Forum, and will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in April 2018.

Saint Paul

Camp Masala $5,000.00
Funding for Camp Masala 2018, a South Asian heritage camp that focuses on the cultural arts unique to Northeast India and Nepal. The camp will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul during June 2018.

ComMUSICation $5,000.00
Funding for Sforzando, a middle-school weekly vocal program that will launch in January 2018 at the Mt. Airy Boys & Girls Club in St. Paul. The program culminates in a showcase concert at MPR’s IBS Forum in St. Paul.

District 1 Community Council $5,000.00
Funding to design and create a mural on a local recreation center building that has been privatized but re-opened to the community. The theme will be the rivers that flow through the lives and histories of the various ethnic groups of this neighborhood. The work will involve gathering community stories and composing the elements that will illustrate the lives along the river from March – October 2018 in the Eastview neighborhood in East St. Paul.

District Council 13, Inc (Union Park District Council) $4,250.00
Funding for “Playing with Music,” a free parent/child music and movement program in public spaces. Five classes will occur in St. Paul parks from May – September 2018.

Friends of Swede Hollow Inc. $5,000.00
Funding for the 9th annual Art in the Hollow~Artists in Action, a community arts festival held in Swede Hollow Park on the East Side of St. Paul. The event will be held in June 2018.

Maia Maiden Productions $5,000.00
Funding for ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers Evening, a dance presentation featuring dozens of local hip hop dancers and choreographers along with special guest artists at the Wellstone Center in St. Paul during June 2018. Several workshops, open to all ages and dance abilities, will be presented in conjunction with the performance at the Wellstone Center and Indigenous Roots in St. Paul and the Cowles Center for Dance & Performing Arts in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company $5,000.00
Funding for the world premiere of “Natasha and the Coat,” a play about two millennials. When Natasha, a fashion intern, meets Yossi, a Hasidic Jew taking over his family’s dry cleaning business in Brooklyn, their very different worlds intersect and their eyes are opened to what their futures may hold. Performances will be held in April and May 2018 at Highland Park Community Center in St. Paul.

MNKINO $4,600.00
Funding for the 5th annual MNKINO Film Score Fest, an event that brings filmmakers, composers, and musicians together to create new short films with original scores that are performed live at the screening. The event will take place the Science Museum of MN in St. Paul in August 2018.

Spitting Image Collective $5,000.00
Funding to collaborate with contemporary music group Seen/Heard Trio to develop two new works and present a concert program and educational workshop in April 2018. The workshop will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and concerts will be held at Studio Z in St. Paul and the Slam Academy in northeast Minneapolis.

The Floating Library $4,936.00
Funding for The Floating Library, a public art project that brings artists’ books to people recreating on an urban lake. Activities will take place on St. Paul’s Lake Phalen in July and August 2018.

The New Ruckus $5,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Composer Night concert series, a monthly performance series that affords composers of all aesthetics and disciplines the opportunity to present new work, gain feedback and insight, and increase their visibility. Programming will take place at Studio Z in St. Paul between January – December 2018.

Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation $5,000.00
Funding to partner with BareBones Productions to provide children in grades K-5 who live at Liberty Plaza and in the surrounding Summit-University and Frogtown neighborhoods with a ten-day full-immersion creative arts experience during the 2018 Liberty Plaza Summer Arts Camp. The camp will be held in July and August 2018 at Liberty Plaza in St. Paul.

Scott County

Voices of Hope Prison Choir $5,000.00
Voices of Hope
Funding for the Voices of Hope January-March 2018 quarterly project and concert at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee.

Suburban Hennepin County

After 5 $1,190.00
Funding for six performances from spring through fall 2018 to assist in memory stimulation of older adults. Performances will be held in locations where seniors gather including memory daycare, senior facilities and community events for seniors.

Courage Kenny Foundation $5,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Art of Possibilities Art Show & Sale, a juried art show featuring nearly 200 artists with disabilities from around the world. The exhibition will be held at the Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley in April and May 2018.

Edina Singing Seniors $5,000.00
Funding for the Edina Singing Seniors to present songs in a sing-a-long format to senior activity centers, nursing homes, and senior living facilities. 31 performances will be held from January – December 2018.

Harmony Theatre Company and School $5,000.00
Funding to create a play based on true stories from Save a Child’s Heart, an Israeli-based international humanitarian project. Following a medical team that saves children in need around the world, the story illuminates the road to peace and reconciliation. Two performances will be held at the Minneapolis Jewish Community Center Theatre and one performance will be held at the University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center during April and May 2018.

Honeywell Concert Band $2,400.00
Funding for 12 concerts presented at care centers, assisted living centers, senior housing complexes, and public parks. The performances will take place between February and December 2018.

JazzMN, Inc. $5,000.00
Funding for two concerts in the 2017-2018 season at the Performing Arts Center at Hopkins High School: The Commission Project in March 2018 and a concert with Bill Evans in April 2018.

Music Association of Minnetonka $5,000.00
Funding for four young people’s concerts. Two performances of Young People’s Concerts will be in February 2018 at Minnetonka United Methodist Church and Minnetonka Community Center, and two performances of Spooktacular concerts will be performed in October 2018 at Minnetonka City Hall and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.

Orono Community Education Early Learning Program $5,000.00
Funding for Sound Track – Making Music Together, which includes a music exploration space, guest artists and music activities for 180 young children and their families culminating with a Kids Concert family music event in May 2018 at the Discovery Center in Maple Plain.

Plymouth Concert Band $5,000.00
Funding to present Winter and Spring 2018 concerts at Wayzata High School in Plymouth. The Winter concert will be held in March 2018 and the Spring concert will be held in May 2018.

St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts $5,000.00
Funding for a community film fest in St. Louis Park to explore perspectives on life in the city through a series of film challenges, workshops, and screenings. Workshops will be held from February – July 2018 at Lenox Community Center with the final film screening held in September 2018 at Showplace Icon Theater in St. Louis Park.

The Park Theater Company $5,000.00
Funding to present two performances of “Music Moves Around the World” under the musical direction of Roderick Phipps-Kettlewell. This musical program will be performed by St. Louis Park Community Band and Meadowbrook Gospel Choir, with choreography accompanying music representing all seven continents around the world. Performances will be held at the Recreation Outdoor Center in St. Louis Park during summer 2018.

Suburban Ramsey County

Northeast Youth & Family Services $5,000.00
Funding for the 2018 Summer Arts Camp, a three-week social justice themed theater arts program for twenty 10-14 year olds. The program will be held in July 2018 in Roseville.

Silverwood Park-Three Rivers Park District $5,000.00
Funding to support the 2018 season of Silverwood Onstage, a series of 14 concerts and performances to take place June-September 2018 in Silverwood Park’s outdoor amphitheater in St. Anthony.

Washington County

Children’s Performing Arts $5,000.00
Funding for Children’s Performing Arts’ production of The Little Mermaid Jr. for children in grades K through 6th. Four performances will be held in February 2019 in Forest Lake High School’s auditorium.

Harmonic Relief $5,000.00
Funding for the spring show, Pure Imagination, featuring a mix of styles, choreography, and staging to be held in May 2018 at Maplewood Performing Arts Theater. The show will be reprised in whole or part at a minimum of three free summer performances.

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