Community Arts Round 2 Awards Announced

Poetry and Pie Festival in Powderhorn Park. Photo credit: Bruce Silcox Photography

On March 26, 2019 MRAC awarded $346,335 to 72 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY 2019 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.

Photo: Poetry and Pie Festival in Powderhorn Park. Bruce Silcox Photography

These individuals dedicated their time and shared their expertise in the arts in their service as grant review panelists. Thank you to each of these individuals: Alneida Madrigal, Aryca Myers, Brenna Depies, Brett Day, Brian Stephenson, Brittenany Gillespie, Cam Yang, Chanida Phaengdara Potter, Dan Pinkerton, Essma Imady, Heather Barringer, Ini Augustine, Dr. Joyce Broderson, Kate Lucas, Kate Mohn, Kelli Miles, Kit Leffler, Larry Weinberg, Lia Rivamonte, Maia Maiden, Margo Gray, Marisa XiuKuauhtli Martinez, Mary Jo Lewis, Michelle Chang, Mike Brown, Momoko Tanno, Naomi Crocker, Nikkyra Whittaker, Nkuli Shongwe, Pam Russell, Paul Eastwold, Sophie Peyton, Tree Croyle Johnson, Tri Vo, Xiaolu Wang, Ying Vu

Anoka County

City of Blaine                        $4,000.00
Funding for the 12th annual Blaine World Fest, a public event exploring and sharing arts, food, dance, clothing, and music that represent the different cultures and ethnic heritages that are represented in and around the City of Blaine. The event will take place in May 2019.

Columbia Heights Fine Arts Foundation                        $2,189.00
Funding for the theatrical production of “Harvey” by Mary Chase. Performances will take place during July 2019 in the Columbia Heights High School auditorium.

Fridley Community Theatre                     $5,000.00
Funding to stage the musical Urinetown at the Fridley District Auditorium in July of 2019.

Independent School District 15               $5,000.00
Funding for Lunch Bunch, a monthly concert series for older adults residing in Anoka County. Performances will take place at the Sandhill Center for the Arts between September 2019 and May 2020.

Rumriver Art Center                       $5,000.00
Funding for free community art classes for seniors 55+. Classes will be held at the Rumriver Art Center and senior centers and assisted living facilities in Anoka County.

Carver County

Drama Interaction              $5,000.00
Funding for an 8 week program that combines theatre, music and dance instruction to youth with disabilities, along with their parents. The program will introduce artistic expression, offer a unique performance experience and lay a foundation for life-long creative development. This program will take place at Victoria Recreation Center in the spring and summer of 2019.

Dakota County

Art Works Eagan                 $5,000.00
Funding for exhibits and performances taking place at Art Works Eagan in the Summer and Fall of 2019.

Eagan Men’s Chorus                       $5,000.00
Funding for the Eagan Men’s Chorus to perform 10 free concerts at senior residences and veterans facilities during 2019.

International Festival of Burnsville                   $5,000.00
Funding for International Festival of Burnsville, featuring an indoor art exhibit with various interactive family friendly cultural arts and activities.  This event will be held on July 13, 2019 at Nicollet Commons Park and adjacent Ames Center.

Minnesota Brass, Inc.                     $5,000.00
Funding for a drum and bugle competition hosted at Farmington High School in July 2019.

River Valley Band                $4,800.00
Funding for two concerts in 2019. Concerts will take place in May at the City of Hastings Rotary Pavilion and in November at Hastings Middle School Auditorium.

Rosemount Area Arts Council                  $5,000.00
Funding for 2019 Rosemount ArtBlast, a week-long celebration of the arts in late June presenting 30+ multidisciplinary arts events.


Byzantine Choral Festival             $5,000.00
Funding for the 10th Annual Byzantine Choral Festival, which includes a free choral workshop and public concert. Activities will take place at St. Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church in Minneapolis during October 2019.

Continental Ballet Company                     $5,000.00
Funding to bring performances of classical ballet to five parks in Hennepin County during summer 2019.

DanceCo                    $5,000.00
Funding for a family-friendly production entitled Expectation Station in collaboration with the Roe Family Singers and Engineer Paul of Choo Choo Bob’s Train Show and Store. Performances will take place at the Avalon Theater in Minneapolis during October 2019.

Flux Casting Access            $5,000.00
Funding for introductory courses in bronze casting for Twin Cities youth with the end goal being a collaboratively made trellis that honors the importance of urban community gardens.

Hauss Dance             $5,000.00
Funding for the second year of Inbox@ArtBox (a choreographers’ evening) taking place in July of 2019.

Lightning Rod                      $5,000.00
Funding for the third annual production of Lightning Rod, a collaborative performance process and week-long arts intensive. Teams of artists and activists spend six days making and then performing devised collaboratively created work that responds to the prompt: “What needs to be said this week?” Two performances will be held at Pillsbury House + Theatre in Minneapolis during July 2019.

Malleable                  $5,000.00
Funding for Malleable, a series of three events that are of, by, and for trans women and trans femme artists. Events will be held during summer 2019 at Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis.

Metro Work Center, Inc.                $5,000.00
Funding for a metal sculpture project for adults with severe to moderate intellectual disabilities. Workshops will take place during summer 2019 in Minneapolis and will culminate in a Make and Take event at Moon Palace Cafe in August 2019.

MidWest Mixed                    $5,000.00
Funding for arts engagement at the 2019 MidWest Mixed Conference. Within, Between, and Beyond, a collaborative project led by artist Leslie Barlow, is a series of paintings with a participatory audio/visual archive about the untold stories of mixed race people and transracial adoptees. The 2019 MidWest Mixed Conference will be held in July 2019 at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis.

Northside Singers               $4,410.00
Funding to provide nine free choir performances at independent and assisted living facilities and a community event during June 2019 – June 2020 in Minneapolis, Robbinsdale, and Crystal.

Poetry for People                $5,000.00
Funding for the seventh annual Poetry and Pie, where seven poets will be commissioned to write a new poem and neighborhood bakers will bake 20 pies for attendees. The event will be held in Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis during June 2019, the week of the summer solstice.

Pollinator Friendly Alliance                     $5,000.00
Funding for PolliNATION Art & Music Festival, an indoor and outdoor celebration of art, music, science, and community.  Activities will take place at the Food Building in Minneapolis during August 2019.

Powderhorn Porchfest                  $5,000.00
Funding for Powderhorn Porchfest, a music festival highlighting local emerging and established artists. Activities will take place in September 2019.

Puppeteers of America                  $5,000.00
Funding for the free community day of the 2019 National Puppetry Festival which includes performances, a workshop, and a public picnic. Activities will occur in July 2019 at the University of Minnesota.

Stevens Square Community Organization                     $5,000.00
Funding to support the Red Hot Art Festival, an annual accessible art fair, performance festival, and community get-together held every July in Minneapolis’s Stevens Square-Loring Heights neighborhood.

Sub-Saharan African Youth & Family Services in MN (SAFYSM)       $4,606.00
Funding for weaving classes geared toward African immigrant women to learn weaving techniques on portable looms and create wearable art or household decorations.  Classes will be held in the community room of a high-rise residence in Minneapolis throughout April and May 2019.

Syncopated Silents              $5,000.00
Funding for a series of three silent films paired with compositions and live performance. Activities will occur in July 2019 at St. Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis, September 2019 at the Trylon in Minneapolis, and fall 2019 at The Heights Cinema in Columbia Heights.

The Arts’ Nest                      $5,000.00
Funding for the inaugural year of the New Leaf: New Work Development Program in partnership with the Playwright Cabal. Activities will take place at Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis from May – September 2019.

The Urban Spectrum Theatre Company             $5,000.00
Funding to produce an original production entitled “Eartha!”, based on the life of Eartha Kitt. Performances will occur in October 2019.

Upper Midwest Flute Association                       $4,185.00
Funding for Flute Fest in Minneapolis during March or April 2020.

Uprising Theatre Company                       $5,000.00
Funding for a six week course on writing for the theatre for women in the probation system during the spring of 2019.

Wisdom Dances                   $4,980.00
Funding to host a free outdoor public gathering featuring folk dances from Greece, Bulgaria, and Turkey with guest artist singer/songwriter and speaker Lyla June. Activities consist of an introductory workshop in June 2019 and a public gathering in July 2019 at Lake Hiawatha Park in Minneapolis.

Saint Paul

African Economic Development Solutions                    $5,000.00
Funding for the 2019 Little Africa Fest, an annual celebration of St. Paul’s Little Africa Business & Cultural District and a creative placemaking initiative for connecting African immigrant business, art, culture, music, and food to mainstream markets. The festival will take place at Hamline Park in St. Paul in August 2019.

Artaria                       $5,000.00
Funding for a 6-concert chamber music series at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul featuring the Complete String Quartets of Beethoven.

Carry on Homes                  $5,000.00
Funding for the Hamm Park Autumn Art Festival located in the East Side of St. Paul. The festival will take place in October 2019 to celebrate and honor the immigrant population.

Irreducible Grace Foundation                  $5,000.00
Funding for the production of an original interactive performance piece, showcasing Irreducible Grace youth and young adult artists sharing their own healing from trauma stories and mind-body practices.

ISD 197 Community Education                $5,000.00
Funding to partner with resident artists from COMPAS and SteppingStone Theater to lead K-8 youth in the community event, Under the Big Top. The artists will teach the youth to blend theater, music, singing, and dance with circus arts in a final performance for family, friends and community members. This two week project will occur during the School-Age Care Summer Camp in July 2019 at the Heritage E-STEM Magnet School in West St. Paul.

Macalester-Groveland Community Council                  $5,000.00
Funding for the 6th annual Mac-Grove Fest, an outdoor event that brings together artists, businesses, organizations, and community members. The event will take place at the Groveland fields in Saint Paul on Saturday, September 7, 2019.

Mixed Precipitation                        $5,000.00
Funding for 10 performances of the 11th annual Picnic Operetta, an opera harvest celebration touring to farms, community gardens, orchards and vineyards throughout the metro area.

Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota               $5,000.00
Funding for local artist Aimee Bryant to provide expanded storytelling training to 20 Parent Leaders in Minnesota Communities Caring for Children’s Parent Leadership Program during April 2019 – March 2020.

Smallest Museum in St Paul                      $5,000.00
Funding for 6 exhibits at the Smallest Museum in St. Paul, a 3ft x 2ft micro museum, housed in a vintage fire-hose cabinet outside Workhorse Coffee Bar on University Ave. Exhibits will be presented from July to December of 2019.

Spitting Image Collective               $5,000.00
Funding to collaborate with contemporary music group Hub New Music to develop three new works. A workshop will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul and two concerts will be held at Fallout Arts in Minneapolis and Studio Z in St. Paul during May 2019.

The Illicit Sextet                   $5,000.00
Funding for the All Originals Jazz Series, a sequence of 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 2019.

The New Ruckus                 $5,000.00
Funding for The New Ruckus Composer Nights 2019–2020, a monthly performance series of new works of sound/music and works-in-progress that enables composers to connect with audiences for interactive feedback. Activities will take place at Studio Z in St. Paul from April 2019 – March 2020.

Universal Dance Destiny                $5,000.00
Funding to produce their sixteenth bi-annual showcase, themed “International World of Dance”, featuring dances created by up to 15 local emerging and established Twin Cities presenters. The showcase will be held at Dayton’s Bluff Theater in Saint Paul during August 2019.

Vail Place                  $3,595.00
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/winter 2019 resulting in performance pieces that will be incorporated into Vail Place community outreach presentations. Performance pieces will be staged at the History Theatre in St. Paul in February 2020.

Vox Nova Chorale                $5,000.00
Funding for Folksongs Near and Far, choral concerts highlighting diverse musical styles from 13 countries and promoting emerging composers, conductors, and singers. VNC will collaborate with two nationally known clinicians who will work with the choral musicians to produce two free public concerts in August 2019.

Suburban Hennepin County

Dans Askina Turkish Dance Ensemble               $5,000.00
Funding for Rakkas Minneapolis 2 – Cultural Crossroads, a weekend of Middle Eastern dance workshops, an informal ‘Meet the Masters’ hafla (dance party), and gala show. Activities will occur at the Holiday Inn Airport South in Bloomington during August 2019.

From Age to Age                  $5,000.00
Funding to research, rehearse, and perform “Made in Minnesota” concerts. Performances will be held in Minneapolis, Anoka, and Chanhassen during spring 2020.

Golden Valley Orchestra                $4,000.00
Funding for Handel’s Messiah with soloists, local choral people and the chorus of Holy Family Catholic Church in December 2019.

Honeywell Concert Band               $2,800.00
Funding for 8-9 concerts presented at care centers, assisted living centers, senior housing complexes, and public parks. The performances will take place from April through November of 2019.

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota                    $5,000.00
Funding for two Lao performance groups, Lao Women’s Dance Group and Sing Kane Dance Group, to perform at the Tater Daze Festival in Brooklyn Park during summer 2019.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                        $5,000.00
Funding for the training leading up to and the production of its 2019 Spring Performance. Performances will take place at the Minnesota Masonic Heritage Center during June 2019.

Plymouth Rockers              $5,000.00
Funding for a series of at least 25 performances at care centers, assisted living facilities, and senior living venues from April through December 2019; two free public concerts in May and December 2019; and two or more concerts at public outdoor venues in the summer of 2019.

Richfield Community Education              $5,000.00
Funding for Richfield Community Education to offer several visual arts opportunities as shared learning experiences for underserved youth and their parents or caregiving adults to participate in together. The project will take place between April through December 2019.

Richfield Symphonic Band                        $4,920.00
Funding for four outdoor concerts at the new Richfield bandshell in June and July 2019.

Saint Anthony Community Theater                     $5,000.00
Funding for St. Anthony Community Theater’s summer musical theater production. Performances will take place at St. Anthony Village High School during July and August 2019.

Siengkane Lao MN               $5,000.00
Funding for summer camp project that highlights Lao culture, traditional dance, musical instruments. The summer camp includes a free workshop open to the community. Activities will take place during late summer 2019.

Z-Fest             $5,000.00
Funding for the Z-Fest Project, an annual contest-style film festival that features original, seven-minute, short films made by local filmmakers. The contest opens in late summer 2019 and culminates in screenings at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Woodbury and an awards gala at Mall of America’s Radisson Blu Hotel in March 2020.

Suburban Ramsey County

Calvary Community Theater                     $5,000.00
Funding to stage the musical, “Beauty and the Beast” through three performances at the Frank Rog Amphitheater at Central Park in Roseville and two performances in the auditorium at Calvary Church during June 2019.

City of New Brighton                      $5,000.00
Funding for the creation of a community mural as part of The Beautiful Project. The mural will be located on the west wall of the New Brighton Community Center and visible from I-695. This project will be take place in summer 2019.

Mounds View Community Theatre                      $5,000.00
Funding for the production of the classic musical Man of La Mancha. Performances will take place July – August of 2019 at the Chippewa School in North Oaks.

Ramsey County 4-H            $5,000.00
Funding for the Arts-In program, an intensive arts experience that engages 30 youth in grades 7-12 during the summer. During this program youth create a musical revue production to be performed during the Ramsey County Fair in Maplewood in July 2019.

Rosetown Playhouse                      $5,000.00
Funding for 2 week-long summer camps for 7-9 year old youth entitled EAT, PLAY, READ taking place during the summer of 2019 in Roseville.

Roseville Parks and Recreation               $5,000.00
Funding for “Live at the Rog”, a free summer performance series featuring a different world region each week. Performances take place at the Roseville Central Park Frank Rog Amphitheater.

Washington County

Canvas Health                      $2,500.00
Funding for Jammin’ Art, a project which will provide art instruction during 40 of Clubhouse Recovery’s weekly sessions through 6-8 different visual mediums at East Suburban Resources in Stillwater from April 2019 – March 2020.

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, between October 2019 and February 2020.

Valley Friendship Club                  $4,350.00
Funding for five 2-hour creative writing sessions led by artists from Cow Tipping Press to 10 VFC members resulting in published original works that will be shared at a public reading. Sessions will be held during October and November 2019 at Valley Friendship Club in Stillwater.

Vets for Music                      $5,000.00
Funding for a one-day, free music festival to honor veterans to be held at Richard Walton Park in Oakdale in July of 2019.

Washington County 4-H Federation                    $5,000.00
Funding for Washington County Arts-In, which provides youth ages 13-19 with first-hand exposure to the performing arts. Approximately 60 youth will perform in the cast, band, and technical crew of a musical performance. Participating youth will experience a four-day overnight encampment and will give nine performances at the Washington County fair in July and August 2019 and two performances at the Minnesota State Fair in August and September 2019.

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