Arts Learning Round 1 Grant Awards Announced

On January 22, 2019 MRAC awarded $275,839 to 28 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2019 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.

We wish to acknowledge and thank our panelists who served as grant reviewers for this round of Arts Learning grants:

Alexandra Nicome, AP Paulson, Bao Vue, Brittany Keefe, Bryan Boyce, Caitlin Hammel, Caroline Taiwo, Carrie Hendrickson, Christian Novak, Drea Reynolds, Ellen Fee, Houa Lor, Jenny Keight, Jocelyn McQuirter, Kat Vang, Kate Fisher, Kinzie Longley, Leslie Barlow, Naheeda Hirji-Waliji, Natalia Vargas Marquez, Ryan-Olivia McCoy, Zeena Fuleihan, Zhen Zou


Dakota County

Minnesota Productions, Inc., DBA Theater NOW                     $10,000.00
Funding for a hands-on, creative expression course for seniors focused on radio/audio broadcasting including story-telling, script writing, interviewing, and careful listening, speaking clearly and effectively while “on the air,” and how to focus on a specific task as a team.

OboeBass!                 $10,000.00
Funding for OboeBass! to present their “Pages of Music” series of seven monthly one-hour education programs to five senior residences throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  Activities will occur between June 2019 and January 2020.

Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc                 $10,000.00
Funding for a year-long free after school recording studio audio & video production program to be held at THE GARAGE’s 2,000 sq ft recording studio in Burnsville, MN. 


20% Theatre Company                  $10,000.00
Funding to host an 8-week “My Naked Self” workshop for local LGBTQ artists & writers focused on creative performance-making.

Alive & Kickin                      $10,000.00
Funding for a monthly vocal and music education series for underserved and disabled senior citizens, 65-90+ years of age at the Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis. Activities will take place February 2019 – December 2019 with 10 classroom and rehearsal sessions leading up to a community performance event.

Art Buddies              $10,000.00
Funding for the Winter/Spring 2019 Art Buddies after-school art mentor program at Barack & Michelle Obama Elementary in St. Paul, where 30 students ages 8 to 11 will be paired with 30 creative adult mentors during 10 weekly artist-led sessions.

Grace Minnesota                  $10,000.00
Funding to produce “Radical Community Care—Body, Dance, and Action,” a curriculum of 8 workshops to explore resistance and community resilience using improvisatory public dance as a radical method of self-expression, healing, and activism, from March to October 2019.

Heart of Dance                     $10,000.00
Funding for Dancing Classrooms, a semester-long residency that will provide 20 partner social dance lessons, twice per week for ten weeks, to fifth grade students at Harambee Elementary in Maplewood, Pinewood Elementary in Mounds View, and Prodeo Academy in Minneapolis in spring 2019.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North                    $10,000.00
Funding to provide a beginning band and instrument lesson experience in Spring 2019 through Fall semester 2019 at the Stonebridge World School.

Inverted Arts                       $10,000.00
Funding for an Art Exploration Program for 105 middle and high school students in partnership with Hope Academy in South Minneapolis during the summer of 2019 in which students choose one of five artistic disciplines taught by professional artist mentors.

Jones-Harrison Residence            $10,000.00
Funding to host two successive arts learning programs; a 12-week residency in photography followed by a 12-week residency in collage for older adults in the Jones-Harrison community between June and November of 2019.

Kulture Klub Collaborative                       $10,000.00
Funding to support a 12-week arts learning series in design and sculpture for youth ages 16-23.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                        $10,000.00
Funding for an eight week summer intensive ballet workshop for students at Les Jolies Petites School of Dance from July to August 2019. Activities will take place in Minneapolis.

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

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop              $10,000.00
Funding for workshops for adult Native/POC interested in learning contemporary puppetry, from February-December 2019.

She Rock She Rock              $10,000.00
Funding for four sessions of Girls Rock n Roll Retreat; a week-long summer camp for girls, trans, and nonbinary youth ages 8-18. Participants will learn an instrument, form a band, collaboratively write songs, take workshops on band merch, music technology, and social justice issues, and perform in two showcases.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                $10,000.00
Funding to engage new audiences – both Somali and non-Somali – from across the Metropolitan area to learn from the practice of traditional Somali folk arts of dancing and weaving. Each learning will both practice the art form and learn about its origins and traditions, creating an understanding of both the art and the Somali people and histories.

The DIAL Group                  $10,000.00
Funding for the Youth Empowerment Studios: Digital Media Arts & Youth Leadership Program that provides at- risk, low-income youths of color in North Minneapolis an after-school media arts program, with a service-learning component.

Unrestricted Interest                     $10,000.00
Funding for teaching writers to work with students with autism and other unconventional learners during poetry and songwriting residencies and produce high-quality chapbooks and CDs of students’ work to be shared at community book launch and CD release events.

Young Dance, Inc.                $10,000.00
Funding for All Abilities Dancing, programming that engages individuals living with disabilities in quality dance experiences in 2019, through open enrollment dance classes, residencies at two Twin Cities’ schools, and a program with incarcerated youth at the Hennepin County Home School.

Scott County

APIA MN Film Project                    $10,000.00
Funding for a 5-month screenwriting intensive teaching APIA filmmakers how to create, write, and edit an one-hour TV drama script in 2019.

Saint  Paul

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation                $10,000.00
Funding for IN A NEW VOICE, a visual arts extended residency (encompassing 34 sessions between March-August 2019) with Sandra Menefee Taylor. Arts Learners will be a group of 32 older adults with physical, cognitive, and/or mental health issues in the supportive day program.

CommonBond Communities                    $10,000.00
Funding for four 10-week acrylic painting classes: two at Concordia Arms in Maplewood and two at Oak Ridge Manor in Hastings. The classes will take place between February and December 2019.

East Side Freedom Library                       $6,063.00
Funding for two Algerian American artists to lead two sessions of programming at the East Side Freedom Library for children ages seven to 12 in July 2019.

Oratorio Society of Minnesota                  $10,000.00
Funding for the Summer Chorus, which includes eight workshop sessions open to all community singers, culminating in dress rehearsal and performance of a concert A Night At The Opera, featuring opera choruses and arias, accompanied by a professional orchestra.

Suburban Hennepin County

Youth Dance Ensemble                  $9,776.00
Funding for a three week dance and musical theater program for Burnsville youth ages 8-12. The three week program will consist of rehearsals and stage set and costume creation; culminating in a community performance of a children’s musical.

Suburban Ramsey County

Contempo Physical Dance             $10,000.00
Funding for a dance intensive in summer 2019 focused on technique learning, repertoire exploration, and involving a mini-choreography project

Johanna Shores                   $10,000.00
Funding for 5 arts programs for the senior housing and care residents.  Arts programs will take place on site in Arden Hills between February 2019 and January 2020.

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