Arts Learning Round 1 Grant Awards Announced

On January 23, 2018 MRAC awarded $280,370 to 29 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2018 Arts Learning grant program. The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding through the arts for children, youth, and adults by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts learning programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.


Alive & Kickin $10,000.00
Funding for a monthly vocal education series for underserved and disabled senior citizens aged 65 to 90+ at Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center. Activities will take place March 1 – December 31, 2018.

Ananya Dance Theatre $10,000.00
Funding for a series of 67 Choreographing Identity Workshops for 150 students at three Minneapolis high schools during 2018.

Copper Street Brass Quintet $10,000.00
Funding for a 10-week residency at Minneapolis’ South High School in the Spring of 2018 that will teach musicianship and peer-to-peer communication skills using chamber music as the medium.

Emerging Curators Fellowship $10,000.00
Funding to support five emerging curators through a year-long fellowship program comprised of research, professional development, critical exchange, and public exhibitions, from October 2018–October 2019.

Grace Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to teach “Radical Community Care—Dance, Body, and Action,” a curriculum for community resilience using improvisatory public dance as a tool for self-expression, body awareness, healing, and activism. Activities include 15 community workshops which will take place from April to August 2018.

Kairos Alive! $10,000.00
Funding for Intergenerational Performance Project, an intra-Latino, Latino/Anglo and multi-age cultural exchange, based in intergenerational interactive participatory dance/music/story/theater approaches. Activities will take place at Centro Tyrone Guzman Community Center in Minneapolis in the Summer of 2018.

Kulture Klub Collaborative $5,000.00
Funding for a twelve-week dance and movement class series taught by Roxane Wallace at Zenon Dance in Minneapolis for youth ages 16-23 who are experiencing homelessness.

Little Earth Residents Association $10,000.00
Funding for Ziigwan (Ojibwe for “it is Spring”), a series of arts based workshops for teens in the Little Earth community focusing on storytelling and renewal. Activities will occur from March through May 2018.

Minneapolis American Indian Center $9,200.00
Funding for workshops for twenty youth and adults to learn to make hand drums, drum sticks, hear the teachings behind the drum, and learn how to sing in Ojibwe and Dakota, during Winter/Spring 2018.

Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association $9,200.00
Funding for Kids Play, a music education program for band and orchestra students at South and Southwest High Schools in Minneapolis.

Patrick’s Cabaret $10,000.00
Funding for a three-month Teaching Artist Residency focused on “performing social justice” with Southside Family Charter School (SFCS) students in 2nd and 4th grade reading and writing classes, culminating in a performance and zine. Activities will take place from March through May 2018.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding for four weeklong sessions of Girls Rock n Roll Retreat during the summer of 2018. Participants will learn an instrument, form a band, write original songs and perform in two live shows.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum $10,000.00
Funding for classes in Somali traditional dance and nomadic finger-weaving, targeted towards Somali-American youth. Classes will take place at various locations in St. Paul/Minneapolis and surrounding suburbs from February through October 2018.

Somali Arts Language and Leadership Institute $10,000.00
Funding for Saved by Faith & Verse, a year-long series of writing workshops that will teach via multiple literary forms to build skills for emerging and experienced Somali writers. Activities will take place at the Opportunity Center and The Loft throughout 2018.

The DIAL Group $10,000.00
Funding for In Focus: Digital Media Arts & Youth Leadership Program, a program that provides at-risk, low-income youth of color with an after-school media arts program. Activities will take place at Olson Middle School in North Minneapolis in the winter and fall of 2018.

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre $10,000.00
Funding for a series of workshops featuring master artist-teachers Antonio Hidalgo Paz and Fanny Ara for the Zorongo (Majas) apprentices, company members, and the wider flamenco community of dancers. Activities will take place in July and December 2018.

Saint Paul

Alternative Motion Project $10,000.00
Funding for a eight-day dance education residency at Como Park Elementary School in St. Paul in January/February of 2018. Students will also attend a performance by Alternative Motion Project at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis in March 2018.

Art Buddies $10,000.00
Funding for Art Buddies at Riverview Elementary West Side School of Excellence in St. Paul, where 20 students, ages 8 to 11, will be paired with 20 creative adults during an artist-led after-school program during the 2018 winter/spring season.

ArtStart $10,000.00
Funding to implement Pollinator Particulars: Of Bees, Birds, Bats, and Butterflies in five Twin Cities schools. The 5-day integrated arts residency focuses on the challenges 4 different kinds of pollinators face with loss of habitat, pesticides, and disease.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to provide four high-quality introductory creative writing classes in four Metropolitan Area prisons.

Threads Dance Project $7,650.00
Funding for nine weeks of modern dance classes and creative exploration of self-identity through dance for Hazel Park Preparatory Academy students, grades 6th-8th, from January-March 2018.

Young Artists Initiative $10,000.00
Funding for Disney’s MULAN, Jr., with rehearsals on St. Paul’s East Side and performances on St. Paul’s West Side. Thirty youth will learn and develop skills in singing, acting, and choreography, along with teamwork and leadership, culminating in five public performances at the Wellstone Center Theater in August 2018.

Zeitgeist $10,000.00
Funding for Lowertown Listening Sessions (LLS), a performance and discussion series for adult listeners hosted by Zeitgeist and featuring a diverse array of new music performing artists. Sessions are held at Studio Z, Zeitgeist’s performance space in the Lowertown neighborhood of downtown St. Paul. Zeitgeist will present 12 75-minute sessions from March to December 2018, and will engage 20-25 participants per session.

Suburban Hennepin County

Eclectic Edge Ensemble $9,400.00
Funding for the Educational Outreach Program, teaching Jazz Dance at Anoka Middle School, Northwestern University, and holding open company classes with visiting guest artists. Activities will take place from February through July 2018.

Givens Foundation for African American Literature $10,000.00
Funding for two K-12 literary residences in Roseville and St. Louis Park schools, taught by experienced African American literary teaching artists. Activities will take place in the Spring and Fall of 2018.

Suburban Ramsey County

City of Maplewood $10,000.00
Funding for a free outdoor summer arts learning series that features family-friendly participatory performances and hands-on arts learning activities. Maplewood youth and their adults will learn to make puppets, use visual art to express viewpoints about the world, and explore fundamental performance skills of voice, physical and facial expression.

Contempo Physical Dance $9,920.00
Funding for Contempo Summer Dance Intensive 2018, a rigorous week of technique learning, repertoire exploration, and creating, culminating in a public showing and samba party. The Intensive introduces professional and pre-professional dancers to a fusion of Afro/Brazilian dance, capoeira, and contemporary dance, creating work that explores cultural dynamics of the Afro/Brazilian diaspora.

Washington County

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding to support St Croix Valley students in writing, performing, and recording a series of podcasts throughout the Spring and Summer of 2018.

Valley Friendship Club $10,000.00
Funding for The Art of Me, a six week program for children, teens and young adults with disabilities to create and showcase short vignettes, poetry, songs and dance. Activities will take place in Stillwater, MN in the summer of 2018.

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