Community Arts Round 2 Awards Announced

On March 27, 2018 MRAC awarded $321,414 to 67 organizations/projects in the second 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

Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts $5,000.00
Funding for the 19th Art at Rice Creek, a free festival bringing together artists, writers, and the surrounding community for a celebration of the arts. The festival will take place at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts and in the adjacent Manomin Park in September 2018.

Columbia Heights Fine Arts Foundation $1,945.00
Funding to produce 39 Steps, by Patrick Barlow. Performances will take place at Columbia Heights High School in July 2018.

Fridley City Band $2,775.00
Funding for a series of at least seven in-facility band concerts provided to assisted living facilities at no charge to residents. Performances will take place throughout Anoka County between June 2018 and March 2019.

Fridley Community Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to produce the musical, Sister Act. Performances will take place at the Fridley District Auditorium in July 2018.

Independent School District 15 $5,000.00
Funding for Lunch Bunch, a series of monthly concerts for older adults residing in Anoka County. Performances will take place at the Sandhill Center for the Arts between September 2018 and February 2019.

Minneapolis American Indian Center $5,000.00
Funding for the War Ponies Project, a youth-oriented hands-on arts activity where Native American youth learn about the history and significance of the horse to Lakota/Dakota/Nakota tribal nations, as well as the regalia and artwork used traditionally to decorate horses. The project will complement the Horse Nation exhibit traveling to Minneapolis from South Dakota in summer of 2018.

Carver County

ISD 112 Community Education $5,000.00
Funding for the 15th annual “Hooked on Books…and the Arts, too!”, a one-day community event to celebrate the joy of reading and the arts. The annual event provides performing and creative arts experiences for children and families and will be held in February 2019 at Chanhassen High School.

Spirit in the House $3,640.00
Funding for a tapestry artist-in-residence to provide demonstrations, conversation about art process, hands-on activities, creative storytelling, and writing based on ideas stimulated by tapestry materials and images. Activities will occur at Spirit in the House’s Sower Gallery in Chaska for six weeks during April and May 2018.

Dakota County

International Festival of Burnsville $5,000.00
Funding for International Festival of Burnsville [IFB], featuring an indoor art exhibit with interactive global cultural display booths in conjunction with outdoor activities showcasing a parade of flags, onstage traditional cultural attire and entertainment from established and emerging Minnesota artists, an array of ethnic foods and family arts activities. The festival will be held in July 2018 at Nicollet Commons Park and adjacent Ames Center in Burnsville.

Inver Grove Heights Community Education $5,000.00
Funding to support the production of “The Little Shop of Horrors” in August of 2018 at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights.
Dakota County

ISD 197 Community Education $5,000.00
Funding to partner with two resident artists from The Cowles Center for Dance & the Performing Arts to lead K-8 youth in the community event, Adventures in Broadway. The artists will teach the youth rhythm, song, & movement, then lead them in two performances for family, friends, & community members. This two week project will occur during the School-Age Care summer camp in July & August 2018 at the Noreen Activity Center in West Saint Paul and Moreland Elementary in St. Paul.


Augustana Care $5,000.00
Funding to engage teaching artists from McPhail Center for Music’s Music for Life program to help Open Circle members with dementia and physical disabilities explore melody, rhythm, syncopation, vocal techniques, pitch, improvisation and composition. The program will take place over 22 weeks at three metro locations beginning in September 2018.

Bells of the Lakes $5,000.00
Funding to present a four part concert series held at senior living facilities in the Twin Cities designed to introduce communities to the art of handbells.

Chronofon Productions $4,500.00
Funding for the development and execution of a concert chronicle about the life and works of American conductor, composer, educator and social activist Leonard Bernstein in the centenary year of his birth, drawing on Bernstein’s collection of music and letters exchanged between the artist and his family, friends and contemporaries. Performances will be at the Open Eye Figure Theater in Minneapolis during September 2018.

Collective Unconscious Performance $5,000.00
Funding to produce and present Le Cirque Féerique (The Fairy Circus), a new, ensemble-driven play directed by David Hanzal and written in collaboration with Emily Dendinger. Performances will take place at Off-Leash Area’s Art Box in Minneapolis in October 2018.

Community Bridge $5,000.00
Funding for Free to be Different Together, a series of three visual art exhibits with corresponding community art events, featuring emerging artists and people of color who live and work in the Twin Cities Community. The exhibitions and events will take place at the Center for Changing Lives between May 2018 and January 2019.

DanceCo $5,000.00
Funding for Which Witch is Which?, a family-friendly, original dance production. Performances will take place at the Avalon Theater in October 2018.

DJ-U $5,000.00
Funding for a series of workshops and mentorship opportunities teaching the history, styles, and basics of DJing with turntables, CDJs, and laptop set-ups. Activities will take place in spring and summer 2018.

Freshwater Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to present local playwright Ruth Virkus’s play, Preferred by Discreet Women Everywhere, a series of three one act plays about women at various crossroads in their lives. The mainstage performance will run in repertory with The Feminine Surcharge, a series of short pieces exploring the finances of being feminine. Performances will take place at the Crane Theater in October 2018.

Friends of the Minnesota Sinfonia $5,000.00
Funding for a free children’s concert to be held at Webber Park in North Minneapolis in July 2018.

Hope Community, Inc. $5,000.00
Funding for The Power of Vision, a neighborhood mural program that will partner with St. Stephens Human Services and Mia to engage approximately 20 youth of color and 18 adults experiencing homelessness. The project will take place between April and September 2018 and culminate in a public mural and community unveiling ceremony.

Indonesian Performing Arts Association of MN d.b.a Sumunar $5,000.00
Funding for the creation of a new Javanese dance drama featuring two artists from outside of Minnesota and a public dance workshop. The workshop and performances will be held at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis during October 2018.

LALA Festival $5,000.00
Funding for LALA Festival, a week of cutting-edge experimental performances and critical conversations about artistic process. Activities will take place in Minneapolis venues during July 2018.

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota $5,000.00
Funding to present a series of eight interdisciplinary arts exhibitions featuring the work of Lao Minnesotans. The exhibitions will take place at the Lao Assistance Center’s lobby at the Harrison Recreation Center between May and December 2018.

Metro Work Center, Inc. $5,000.00
Funding for a metal sculpture project for adults with severe to moderate intellectual disabilities. Each participant will create an individual sculpture and help create a group showpiece display. The project will culminate in an open house and exhibition of finished works.

Midtown Farmers Market / Corcoran Neighborhood Organization $5,000.00
Funding to support up to 69 performing arts activities to take place during the Midtown Farmers Market’s Saturday markets, with a focus on increasing racial and cultural diversity to better reflect the surrounding communities. Performances will take place over 26 weeks between May and October 2018.

Minneapolis Southside Singers $5,000.00
Funding to support up to 40 concerts, including at least 20 free or reduced cost concerts to under-served audiences across the seven county metropolitan area between April 2018 and March 2019.

Oratory Bach Ensemble $5,000.00
Funding for Bach & Brews, a concert series that will present the secular music of J.S. Bach in brewpubs. Performances will take place at three metro breweries in July 2018.

Poetry for People $5,000.00
Funding to host the sixth annual Poetry and Pie Picnic in Powderhorn Park, a celebration featuring a diverse group of poets and pie bakers from the surrounding neighborhood. The picnic will take place in June 2018.

Powderhorn Porchfest $5,000.00
Funding for Powderhorn Porchfest, a neighborhood music festival that is free to the public, family friendly, and features over 20 local musical and spoken word groups performing on residential porches. The festival will take place in the Powderhorn neighborhood in September 2018.

Proof Public $5,000.00
Funding for creating accessible, free printing events open to the public with the goal of amplifying marginalized voices. Activities will take place at Fontlove Studio between May and November 2018.

Queertopia $5,000.00
Funding for Rabbit Hole, a participatory space for artists and audiences to co-create a world that is full of radical consent. The event will coincide with the Queertopia’s mainstage show in June 2018.

Samantha Johns & George McConnell $5,000.00
Funding to produce SUPERHERO, an epic community-built theatrical performance to debut at The Southern Theatre in July of 2018.

SHIFT $5,000.00
Funding for Interface, a series of six installations, each designed by a different artist of color working in the interdisciplinary fashion industry. Every installation will be a glimpse into the artists’ creative voice and process, and audiences will be able to enter and experience each artist’s work in an immersive and focused way.

Strains New Music Ensemble $3,950.00
Funding to commission Ann Millikan for new work, present an educational workshop, and perform a concert series. The concert series will be at the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis and Studio Z in St. Paul, and the educational workshop will be at the MacPhail School of Music. All events will take place in October 2018.

The Dream Songs Project $5,000.00
Funding to commission a new work for classical voice and guitar duo by composer Joshua Weinberg. The work will be premiered as part of a full concert program at three Twin Cities venues in January 2019.

The Italian Cultural Center of Minneapolis/St. Paul $5,000.00
Funding for Italian Cultural Center to bring Mimmo Cuticchio and Opera dei Pupi from Sicily to Minnesota to present puppet performances and workshops. Activities will take place in November 2018.

The SEAD Project $5,000.00
Funding for a convening of six performances and multiple workshops to collect and share missing stories of the Southeast Asian diaspora in Minnesota. Activities will take place between April and December 2018.

Twin Cities Stepper Association $5000.00
Funding to offer free weekly Stepping classes at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis during April – July 2018. The program will culminate in a stepping performance at Rondo Days in St. Paul in July 2018.

Scott County

Domaci Inc $4,400.00
Funding for ‘Hometown Holidays, Celebrating European Traditions’ featuring traditional folk dancing and singing, vendors with homemade crafts, a Kid’s Corner and European style cuisine. The event will take place in December 2018 at the Park Ballroom in New Prague.

Saint Paul

Ancia Saxophone Quartet $5,000.00
Funding for four concerts featuring new music for saxophone quartet. Performances will take place at Studio Z in St. Paul and three Public Libraries in 2018.

Arts Us $5,000.00
Funding for the Community Youth Artists Corps, a program that encourages youth leadership through the arts by partnering with community artists of various disciplines. The program will run from April – July 2018 at Dunning Recreational Center in St. Paul.

Dispute Resolution Center $5,000.00
Funding for the Hip-hop, Poetry, and Peace Project led by St. Paul teaching artists and Dispute Resolution Center Youth Coordinators. Teaching artists will lead a daily workshop for a week for Mt. Airy Homes youth, combining hip-hop, spoken-word, poetry, and conflict resolution skills. The Hip-hop, Poetry, and Peace Project will be held at Mt. Airy Homes Community Center in St. Paul during July 2018.

East Side Freedom Library $5,000.00
Funding for “Native American and African American Histories in the Arts”, a monthly arts series at the East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul from May through September 2018.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (F.A.W.K) $5,000.00
Funding for the Clapback Cabaret, monthly comedy cabarets and skill-building workshops designed to empower Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) diasporic women and trans women-identified voices to combat microaggressions. 10 free workshops will be presented at Indigenous Roots in East St. Paul and 10 cabarets will be pretend at Black Dog Coffeeshop in Lowertown St. Paul from April 2018 through February 2019.

Growing West Side $4,961.00
Funding for Arts on the Market, which will bring 30 artists to the West Side Farmers Market on the West Side of Saint Paul over the 20-week summer farmers market season from June – October 2018.

Smallest Museum in St Paul $5,000.00
Funding for monthly exhibits at the Smallest Museum in St. Paul from July to December 2018.

The Illicit Sextet $5,000.00
Funding for the All Originals Jazz Series, a sequence of six jazz performances featuring existing local jazz ensembles who specialize in performing original jazz compositions. Performances will take place at Studio Z in Lowertown St. Paul during July, August and September 2018.

The Sleeping Child $5,000.00
Funding to bring The Sleeping Child, a puppet and clown show for children and adults, to six St. Paul Parks and Recreation passive parks. The tour will also include three puppet making workshops. Performances will take place in summer and fall 2018.

Trademark Theater $5,000.00
Funding to produce the world premiere of Understood, a new play by Tyler Mills, directed by Tyler Michaels, that explores the way we engage with people of differing beliefs. The shows will occur in October & November 2018 as lead up to the 2018 midterm election at a soon to be determined non-traditional theater space in the Twin Cities.

Vail Place $5,000.00
Funding to work with History Theatre teaching artists to develop performance pieces based on participants’ lived experiences with mental illnesses. The project includes a 15-week workshop in fall 2018 resulting in performance pieces that will be incorporated into Vail Place community outreach presentations. Some of the performance pieces will also be chosen and arranged into a final project performance at the History Theatre in St. Paul during February 2019.

Vox Nova Chorale $4,600.00
Funding for A Minnesota Christmas, featuring songs by Minnesota composers. VNC will collaborate with two nationally known clinicians who will work with college and community musicians to produce two free public concerts in August 2018 at St. Mary’s Chapel in St. Paul.

Suburban Hennepin County

4 Community Theatre $5,000.00
Funding to stage the 2018 summer production of the musical “Anything Goes” for six performances during July 2018 in suburban / rural western Hennepin County.

Alma Folklorica Dance Ensemble $5,000.00
Funding for the Alma Folklorica Dance Ensemble’s Community Tour Project. The youth of this performing dance ensemble will present seven one-hour long performances from April to November 2018 at various venues in Wayzata, Plymouth, Orono, and Long Lake.

Discovery Arts Council $4,000.00
Funding for the Orono International Festival, an annual fall arts festival held in October allowing community members to share the arts and culture of their heritage through performances, country booths, folk arts, costumes and displays. The Festival will be held at Otten Brothers Nursery in Orono during October 2018.

Plymouth Rockers $5,000.00
Funding for a series of at least 21 performances at nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior-living venues from April through December 2018; two free public concerts at Wayzata Central Middle School in May and December 2018; and performances at the Minnesota State Fair and at least two other outdoor park venues in the summer of 2018.

Richfield Community Education $5,000.00
Funding for a series of painting classes at the Central Education Center in Richfield. Classes will be offered in June – July 2018 and September – November 2018.

Saint Anthony Community Theater $3,985.00
Funding for the production Mr. Popper’s Penguins, to be presented over two weekends in July and August 2018 at the St. Anthony Village High School Auditorium.

Sigma’s Bookshelf $3,827.00
Funding for a workshop series that will teach novel writing skills to teenagers. The classes will be taught by Rachel M. Anderson, co-founder of Sigma’s Bookshelf, at the Hopkins Center for the Arts in June – July 2018.

Z-Fest $5,000.00
Funding for the Z-Fest Project, an annual Twin Cities based contest-style film festival that features original, seven-minute, short films made by local filmmakers. The contest opens in late summer 2018 and culminates in screenings at the New Hope Cinema Grill and an awards gala at Mall of America’s Radisson Blu Hotel in March 2019.

Suburban Ramsey County

Calvary Community Theater $5,000.00
Funding to stage the musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat” through three performances at the Frank Rog Amphitheater at Central Park in Roseville and two performances in the auditorium at Calvary Church in Roseville during June 2018.

Mounds View Community Theatre $5,000.00
Funding for the musical Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. 13 performances will be presented at Irondale High School in New Brighton during July 2018.

Ramsey County 4-H $5,000.00
Funding for the Ramsey County 4-H Arts-In Program, in which 30 youth create a 30 minute musical performance. The program runs from May – July 2018 with culminating performances at the Ramsey County Fair in Maplewood during July 2018.

Roseville Parks and Recreation $5,000.00
Funding for “Creative Crossroads” which features a different world region each week, with the goal of illustrating similarities and differences across cultures through performance styles. 28 performances will take place during Summer 2018 in Roseville’s Central Park Frank Rog Amphitheatre.

Washington County

Canvas Health $3,830.00
Funding for Jammin’ Art, a project requested by participants of Canvas Health’s Clubhouse Recovery, which provides social and learning opportunities for 25 adults in Washington County who live with mental illness, such as severe depression, schizophrenia, PTSD, and bi-polar disorder. Jammin’ Art will provide art instruction during 45 of Clubhouse Recovery’s weekly sessions through 6-8 different visual mediums at East Suburban Resources in Stillwater from April 2018 – March 2019.

Marine Film Society $5,000.00
Funding for the Marine Documentary Series, a five-month curated film series featuring local and regional film makers. Screenings will take place at the City of Marine Town Village Hall, one of the only non-fiction dedicated film venues in Minnesota, between October 2018 and February 2019.

Music Saint Croix $5,000.00
Funding for the fall 2018 performances “A St. Croix Celebration,” a free outreach concert in collaboration with the Valley Chamber Chorale and the St. Croix Jazz Orchestra; and “Carnival of the Animals,” a family-friendly concert featuring pieces all about animals. “A St. Croix Celebration” will be performed in October 2018 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater and “Carnival of the Animals” will be presented in November 2018 at the Washington County Historic Courthouse in Stillwater.

Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: