FY19 Organizational Development Grant Awards Announced

On May 28, 2019 the MRAC board awarded $320,941 to 33 groups and organizations in the Organizational Development grant program. All applications were reviewed over four days of panel convenings with members of the arts community assessing the proposals. Thank you to the panelists who gave their time and expertise to this process:

Adia Morris Swanger, Allison Sharkey, Amy Danielson, Anitra Budd, Anne Gomez, Becka Rahn, Bethany Gladhill, Brandon Boat, Cherie Anderson, Conie Borchardt, David O’Fallon, Dawn Bentley, Elissa Weller, Eva Song Margolis, Glorianne Svitak, Heather Rutledge, Heather Haynes, Jasmine Russell, Jeff Larson, Jon Jee Schill, Kabo Yang, Lynne Beck, Mark Collier, Michelle Tran Maryns, Mike Bishop, Noah Keesecker, Patrick Rhone, Ross Willits, Steve Boland, Steve Thao, Terri Thao

The Organizational Development grant projects will provide arts organizations in the Twin Cities Metro area with resources and expertise to continue with strong arts engagement with their communities. These programs are intended to make structural investments in groups who are achieving both high artistic engagement with their communities and those with potential for organizational growth and advancement.

These grant programs are made possible by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts organization is located; note that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin County.

Photo shows instructors from the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop sharing at their community event at Hamline University in fall of 2018. Photo by Anna Min. 


20% Theatre Company $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Executive Director to support the Artistic Director & Founder in building capacity and running the organization.

Cuban American Youth Orchestra $9,500.00
Funding to support a professional grant writer to be tasked with identifying and pursuing foundation and corporate support for Twin Cities programs.

Grace Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to improve and make efficient the fundamental administrative systems that underpin the daily management of the organization.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part time Development Director in order to increase the organization’s financial sustainability.

Kulture Klub Collaborative $10,000.00
Funding to continue work with a consultant to strengthen internal evaluation, participant feedback, and organizational equity by increasing youth, artist, and participant voice in the creative planning and strategic decision-making of the organization.

Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute $10,000.00
Funding to hire a Development Manager to oversee annual fundraising, build donor base, and support the board and Executive Director in their efforts to meet revenue goals.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to streamline organizational structure and increase staff time by 10 hours/week to implement a comprehensive development plan focused on individual giving.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop $10,000.00
Funding for Executive Director to be paid as contracted staff for first time and funding for grant consultant to systematize grantwriting process.

Nimbus Theatre $10,000.00
Funding to hire a Front of House Manager for their venue, the Crane Theater. These funds will help expand a previously small, volunteer position into a paid management position.

Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association $10,000.00
Funding to employ the Interim Executive Director for the summer, from June to August, giving the organization time to plan for the future, seek out other funding sources, and lay the foundation for successful programming and financial stability in 2020.

Off-Leash Area $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Development Assistant to work with the organization to develop new funding streams, community partnerships, and business sponsors in support of the organization’s new programs and expanded mission.

Once Were and Again We Are dba Northern Monday Films $10,000.00
Funding to hire a contract Development Coordinator in the weeks leading up to and during the 2020 budgeting process, June through November 2019.

Red Eye Collaboration $10,000.00
Funding for a strategic and space planning initiative as the organization moves into its first full year of new leadership and searches for a permanent new home.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding to increase the Operations Manager’s weekly hours to relaunch the Youth Board and create a stronger, sustainable sponsorship funding model.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum $8,840.00
Funding to devote staff time and board capacity to a new strategic planning and documentation process, while also building internal capacity for improved financial reporting and program budgeting to support that growth.

Soo Visual Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to explore how to achieve the best position and sustain growth for the organization. Board and staff will create a roadmap for the future through a detailed strategic plan.

The DIAL Group $6,200.00
Funding to hire a consultant to create a comprehensive strategic plan, assess current and future fundraising strategies, and work with board and staff to implement the plan.

The Moving Company $10,000.00
Funding to develop infrastructure and strategies around fundraising and donor development, including implementing a donor customer relationship manager system, policies and procedures around donor records and development, and developing and implementing an actionable donor development strategic plan.

Theatre Unbound $10,000.00
Funding to create salaried positions for a Marketing Director and Social Media Director to implement recommendations from a marketing strategy plan developed with a consulting firm.

Umbrella Collective $10,000.00
Funding to strengthen organizational structure through the creation of paid leadership positions and a yearly organizational retreat.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding to increase staffing needs associated with a move to the organization’s new permanent home, opening in September 2019.

Saint Paul

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac $10,000.00
Funding to add a half-time Management Associate position to formalize administrative support at a time of critical transition.

ArtStart $10,000.00
Funding for organizational transition planning, including outlining steps in leadership succession as the organization’s Founder/Executive Director moves toward retirement.

Bach Society of Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to hire an Operations Manager to lead all key elements of the organization’s concert productions.

Celtic Junction Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to hire a software engineer to evaluate and develop an accessible, intuitive, and responsive website.

COLLIDE Theatrical $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time contractor to grow and sustain individual donor cultivation.

East Side Arts Council $7,000.00
Funding to work with a consultant from Propel Nonprofits to assess the organization’s current budget and cashflow documents, as well as receive staff and board training in financial best practices and communication.

East Side Freedom Library $9,600.00
Funding to develop an RFP for a new integrated data management and communication system to update the current use of a donor database, email marketing system, and spreadsheets.

Exposed Brick Theatre $9,801.00
Funding to hire a consultant to work with staff to develop an individual donor plan and create the materials and infrastructure to launch an individual giving campaign.

Wonderlust Productions $10,000.00
Funding to support a new Training Labs program for workgroups in non-profits, corporations, and government agencies, widening the impact of the organization’s work and eventually yielding earned revenue to support other programs.

Suburban Hennepin County

Four Humors Theater $10,000.00
Funding for the creation of a digital and physical assets archive spanning 14 years of itinerant production history in order to prepare for focused, long-term company growth.

St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to facilitate a planning process and develop an Arts and Culture Strategic Framework in support of community priorities.

Washington County

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding to develop a culturally sensitive evaluation method that successfully captures the data needed to analyze programing and inform decisions for the organization.

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