MRAC Awards $806,429 in Arts Project Support Funding

Young dancers on stage for the Les Jolies Petites School of Dance Winter Performance

On October 22, 2019, the MRAC board awarded $806,429 to 84 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2020 Arts Project Support grant program. The Arts Project Support projects chosen will provide arts events and programs for Minnesotans of all ages to experience and enjoy arts in a variety of disciplines and at venues across the region. From theater productions to camps to classes and more, the Arts Project Support grants provide quality engagement with the arts at a variety of entry points. The Arts Project Support grant program is made possible with funds from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.

We thank these individuals for serving as panelists for this grant review round:

Adrienne Doyle, Anna Ostroushko, Bethany Madetzke, Betty Mackay, Bob Peskin, Brenna Mosser, Carly Swenson, Cassandra Shore, Celia Mattison, Charles Campbell, Chris Garza, Daisuke Kawachi, Daniel Tran, David Evans, Denetrick Powers, Eri Isomura, Jennifer Ilse, Joko Sutrisno, Karen Charles, Laurie Phillips, Lydia Sadoff, Marcus Young, Nate Hance, Rachel Yang, Richie Yang, Rob Thomas, Roxane Wallace, Sagirah Shahid, Sai Chang, Sara Kleinsasser Tan, Sherine Onukwuwe, Sophie Liu-Othmer, Taous Khazem, Tia-Simone Gardner, Tisidra Jones, Xianping He, Zoë Bird

Anoka County

Anoka-Hennepin Community Education Project Power             $9,250.00
Funding for Get In the Act, a variety of performing dramatic arts experiences for individuals with developmental disabilities. Activities will take place between November 2019 and November 2020 in Coon Rapids and Minneapolis.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance             $10,000.00
Funding for its 2019 Winter Showcase during December 2019 at Fridley Community Theater.

Carver County

Watertown-Mayer Community Education                    $10,000.00
Funding for Summer Youth Theatre offered through Watertown-Mayer Community Education during May-July 2020.

Dakota County

CommonBond Communities                      $10,000.00
Funding for four 10-week art classes at four East Metro senior housing communities. The classes will take place between January and April 2020.

Eagan Art Festival                 $10,000.00
Funding for the 26th Annual Eagan Art Festival taking place in June 2020.

Eagan Parks and Recreation                       $10,000.00
Funding for Art Block 2020 in Eagan during September 2020. Art Block 2020 is a 2-week collaborative arts event, featuring over 20 collaborators, presenting over 40 arts activities within a one square mile area in the heart of Eagan.

Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater             $7,000.00
Funding for a new project, Oh, the Places I’ve Been! / Life Stories told through movement and music, for low-income seniors at Oakwoods and Oakwoods East residences in Eagan during spring 2020.

Youth Dance Ensemble                   $9,844.00
Funding for the Modern Dance Project, an eight week after school program for economically disadvantaged and academically at risk 6th-8th grade youth from Burnsville.  The project takes place January-March 2020 and culminates with a Community Concert at Burnsville High School’s Mraz Performing Arts Center.


10th Wave Chamber Music Collective                  $10,000.00
Funding for three concerts featuring classical chamber music by Asian American composers with ballet dance in March 2020, at the Tek Box at the Cowles Dance Center in Minneapolis.

20% Theatre Company                    $10,000.00
Funding for The Naked I: 6, a company- and community-created production featuring 75+ local LGBTQ artists and allies. Performances will take place at Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis during April 2020.

Alive & Kickin            $10,000.00
Funding to support a collaborative performing arts senior citizen ensemble who work alongside theatre professionals to create, rehearse, and perform across the metro from November 2019 – May 2020, culminating in June 2020 with an original two-week/eight-show run (two-hour fully staged performance) at the Bloomington Center for the Arts.

Alternative Motion Project             $10,000.00
Funding for Alternative Motion Project’s 9th annual performance, to take place at The LAB Theater in Minneapolis during March 2020.

ARENA DANCES, Inc.                        $10,000.00
Funding to present the Candy Box Dance Festival, an annual festival featuring artist performances, workshops, public showings, and dance community panel discussions. The Festival will take place in Minneapolis at the Southern Theater in April 2020.

Balkanicus Institute for Balkan Art Culture and History             $10,000.00
Funding to produce two free public concerts of the Balkanicus ensemble, featuring contemporary Balkan chamber music in Minneapolis during April 2020 and October 2020.

Breanna’s Gift                       $10,000.00
Funding for Breanna’s Gift programming in Minneapolis and St. Paul during January – June 2020.

Cleveland Neighborhood Association                   $10,000.00
Funding for Live on The Drive Community Concert Series in Minneapolis during June – August 2020.

COLLIDE Theatrical               $10,000.00
Funding for Romeo and Juliet, a new Dance Musical retelling of a Shakespeare classic, to be performed in 5 shows at the Cowles Center for Dance in February 2020.

DJ-U                $7,000.00
Funding for DJ-U 2020 intro and advanced courses at Pinwheel Movement and Arts in Minneapolis from January – June 2020.

Four Humors Theater                      $10,000.00
Funding for the original theatrical production Hobo-Sapien. Performances will take place at Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis during May – June 2020.

Full Circle Theater Company                       $10,000.00
Funding for a fully staged production of the play ATACAMA from May 9 – 24, 2020 at Mixed Blood Theatre, Minneapolis.

Hatchery Arts Initiative                   $7,220.00
Funding for Outpost, an interdisciplinary concert series taking place in January and June 2020 at The Hook and Ladder in Minneapolis.

Her Voice Productions                     $10,000.00
Funding for three concert programs: Enough, a two-concert series in December 2019 in St. Paul; Songshare, a collaboration concert in March 2020; and Found in May 2020 in Roseville.

Jawaahir Dance Company               $10,000.00
Funding for Ancient Roots/Emerging Choreographers in Minneapolis during February or March 2020.

Kairos Alive!              $10,000.00
Funding for Language of Dance Spoken Here, where older adults participate in weekly dance/music/theater experiences to develop community performance works shared in a culminating performance. The final performance will be at American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis during spring 2020.

Kevin Kling & Co.                  $8,000.00
Funding to host award-winning Native storyteller Dovie Thomason (Lakota/Kiowa Apache) for a one-week residency honoring Indigenous history, arts, and culture. The residency includes four performances of Thomason’s How the Wild West Was Spun, an opening night reception, nightly post-show talkbacks, a gallery exhibit, artist talk, and reception. Activities will be held at Open Eye in Minneapolis during January 2020.

Key Words Collective                       $6,959.00
Funding for creative writing workshops with survivors of gender-based violence during February – March 2020 at the Tubman Center in Minneapolis.

Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra                $8,750.00
Funding for three free, accessible concerts during their 39th season. Concerts will be held in November 2019, Spring 2020, and May/June 2020.

Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association             $10,000.00
Funding for Free Concerts for Seniors, consisting of eight outreach visits by small groups of musicians to senior activity centers and day centers during January – May 2020 in Minneapolis, and five orchestra concerts during July 2020.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop                  $10,000.00
Funding for New Puppetworks, a program for Native/POC to create short puppet theater pieces in Minneapolis during January – June 2020.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association             $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Minneapolis Monarch Festival, a celebration of the monarch butterfly’s migration from Minnesota to Mexico. The bilingual festival blends artistic programs, environmental education, and community building and will take place during September 2020 at Lake Nokomis Park in Minneapolis.

Off-Leash Area                      $10,000.00
Funding for their 2020 Mainstage Production, a dance and choral production in collaboration with See Change Treble Choir to be performed in Minneapolis in fall 2020.

Queertopia                $10,000.00
Funding for the 15th annual production of Queertopia in Minneapolis during June 2020.

Red Eye Collaboration                     $10,000.00
Funding for Red Eye Theater’s New Works 4 Weeks 2020 Festival during May – June 2020 at the TEK BOX in Minneapolis.

Right Here Commissions                 $10,000.00
Funding for the presentation of the 6th annual Right Here Showcase, a juried mini-festival of mid-career Minnesota-based performing artists and original contemporary performance work, to be presented at Off-Leash Area Art Box in Minneapolis in June 2020.

Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council                     $10,000.00
Funding to produce a four-event Artist Salon Series that engages Jewish artists from many arts disciplines. Salons will be held in November 2019 at Studio Z in St. Paul; in February 2020 at the Textile Center in Minneapolis; in April 2020 at East Side Freedom Library in St. Paul; and in May 2020 at HUGE Theatre in Minneapolis.

She Rock She Rock               $10,000.00
Funding for the three-day Women’s Rock n Roll Retreat, culminating in a showcase, during April 2020 in St. Paul.

Simply ArtAble                      $10,000.00
Funding for Pizza Paint Parties at Simply ArtAble Studio in Minneapolis from November 2019 – December 2020.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                   $10,000.00
Funding to present the Traveling Exhibit, featuring Somali traditional art, targeting Somali youth and segments of the Somali community who lack access to traditional arts and culture. The exhibit will be shown at 10 metro area locations from December 2019 –  December 2020.

SPARK theater + dance                    $10,000.00
Funding for the Colors in Motion creation process during February – April 2020 at Off-Leash Art Box in Minneapolis.

Sprig of That              $9,950.00
Funding for Sprig of That’s Metro Blend: Twin Cities Composer Commissions in Minneapolis during October 2019 – June 2020.

Stevens Square Community Organization                        $10,000.00
Funding for the Red Hot Art Festival in Minneapolis during July 2020.

The DIAL Group                    $10,000.00
Funding for the Media Arts Apprenticeship Program (MAAP), an artistic and creative professional development program for emerging artists of color interested in exploring media arts and new media as a potential career. The program will give media artists a first-hand look at the working life of professional artists, creative organizations, and businesses through apprenticeships, mentorships, training, and community-focused projects. MAAP will run in the Twin Cities from January – December 2020.

Theatre 55                 $10,000.00
Funding for Rent (55+), performed by actors 55+ years of age in March of 2020 at Illusion Theater in Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Carifest              $10,000.00
Funding for Carifest, a family-friendly festival featuring Caribbean music, storytelling, dance, cuisine, and a Carnival-style parade that will take place in Minneapolis in July 2020.

Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir                    $7,000.00
Funding for the Twin Cities Community Gospel Choir spring concert at Sanctuary Covenant Church in Minneapolis on May 2, 2020. 

Twin Cities Jazz Workshop              $10,000.00
Funding for the Twin Cities Jazz Workshop, a summer experience offering professional Jazz music instruction to local students with a culminating local performance opportunity at a professional jazz venue. The program will take place in Minneapolis during summer 2020.

Umbrella Collective              $10,000.00
Funding for production of A Squid Has Three Hearts in the Twin Cities during July 2020.

Viva La Pepa              $6,950.00
Funding for the next season of free Drag Story Hour performances in Minneapolis and St Paul.

Voices for Racial Justice              $10,000.00
Funding to engage a cohort of formerly incarcerated people and families of people affected by incarceration in learning about, exploring, and creating Ancestral Visionary writing. Workshops will be held twice monthly in Minneapolis from March – September 2020 and will culminate in a print anthology and showcase in October 2020.

Walker Methodist Health Center               $10,000.00
Funding for Kairos Alive! dance program at Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis during January-April 2020.

Wonderlust Productions                 $10,000.00
Funding for production of a new play about and starring the community of people impacted by incarceration, to be presented in May 2020.

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz                   $10,000.00
Funding to produce Through the Narrows: A Watch it, Make it, Take it event in their South Minneapolis studio in March 2020.

Saint Paul

Ananya Dance Theatre                    $10,000.00
Funding for Āgun, during which choreographer Ananya Chatterjea and her team of collaborators will create a full-length, original dance theater work for premiere at The O’Shaughnessy at St. Catherine University in St. Paul during September 2020.

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                    $10,000.00
Funding for Saint Paul Almanac Anthology 2020, including a book release party and a series of eight community-based reading events throughout Saint Paul, in Fall 2020.

Art Buddies               $10,000.00
Funding for the Winter/Spring 2020 Art Buddies after-school art mentor program at Barack & Michelle Obama Elementary in St. Paul, where 20 students ages 7-11 will be paired with 20 creative adult mentors during 9 weekly artist-led sessions. Sessions will run from March – May 2020.

Border CrosSing                    $10,000.00
Funding for the third season of Border CrosSing’s Puentes concert and community singing series in Minneapolis and St. Paul between December 2019 and June 2020.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                   $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020 annual production at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul during January 2020.

Camp Masala            $7,000.00
Funding for Camp Masala, a South Asian heritage camp that focuses on the Southern region of India. The camp will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul during June 2020.

East Side Arts Council                      $10,000.00
Funding for Artmobile, a traveling art van with professional artists in community spaces during the summer of 2020. Artmobile will travel to ten outdoor sites over seven weeks in July and August on the East Side of St. Paul.

Flying Foot Forum                $10,000.00
Funding to premiere Bully World (working title), a dance/theater fable collaboration between Twin Cities choreographers Joe Chvala, Susana di Palma of the Zorongo Flamenco Dance, and the African/Caribbean-based dance styling of Patricia Brown. Bully World will be presented at Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul through 18+ performances during fall 2020.

India Association of Minnesota                  $10,000.00
Funding for the 47th annual IndiaFest to be held during August 2020 at the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul. 20,000 Minnesotans are expected to attend this free event showcasing the arts and cultural contributions of Asian Indians.

Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota dba  Sumunar  $10,000.00
Funding for the project Exploring Islam in America through Hip-Hop and Gamelan at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul on February 9, 2020.

Irish Music & Dance Association                $10,000.00
Funding for 39th annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration and 18th annual Day of Irish Dance held at Landmark Center in St. Paul during March of 2020.

Maia Maiden Productions               $10,000.00
Funding for ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening at Park Square Theater in St. Paul during June 2020.

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health                 $9,879.00
Funding for Fidgety Fairy Tales – The Mental Health Musical, a 40-minute performance using familiar fairy tales to raise awareness of children’s mental health disorders. Fidgety Fairy Tales will be performed 10 times at sites throughout the Twin Cities metro area during April – May 2020.

Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company                    $10,000.00
Funding for Significant Other by Joshua Harmon. A new play about Jordan, a young Jewish gay man in his 20s living in NYC, explores identity and the human desire for connection. This project will take place at the Highland Park Community Center in St. Paul during February – March 2020.

Minnesota Music Coalition             $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Minnesota Music Summit, entitled MUSIC – A Voice for Climate Change, to be held in Saint Paul and Minneapolis in April 2020.

MN HARD BOP COLLECTIVE                        $10,000.00
Funding for Music of African American Composers Series in breweries located in St. Paul, Minneapolis and Minnetonka between November 2019 and June 2020. This concert series hosts 6 free concerts per month focusing on the music of African American hard bop composers.

More Than a Single Story                $10,000.00
Funding for a series of 6 interactive readings and community conversations and 4 hands-on experiential writing workshops led by IPOC writers. The series will be presented in 6 neighborhoods throughout the Twin Cities during 2019 and 2020. 

Pan Asian Arts Alliance                    $10,000.00
Funding for the Southeast Asian Festival in St. Paul in April 2020, to increase arts participation among Southeast Asian youth in St. Paul, create community-wide economic impact and promote a broad range of cultural offerings.

Selby Ave JazzFest                $10,000.00
Funding for 2020 Selby Ave JazzFest in St. Paul taking place September 12, 2020.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre                   $10,000.00
Funding for a 6-show run of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The production will be performed by youth ages 13 – 19 who do not attend a traditional school. The six performances will occur in March 2020 at SYT’s Vandalia Tower theatre space in Saint Paul.

Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                       $10,000.00
Funding for Songs of Hope global youth concerts in various Metro cities during July 2020.

Spitting Image Collective                 $10,000.00
Funding for concerts of new works performed by 10th Wave Collective at Sudio Z in St. Paul and Antonello Hall in Minneapolis during May 2020. 

Theatre Unbound                 $10,000.00
Funding for Girl Shorts 2020: Theatre Unbound’s 20th Season Celebration of Women’s Stories at the Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul during March 2020.

Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center             $10,000.00
Funding to produce a showcase featuring drum dances and traditional dances & songs to celebrate Chinese New Year. The production will be held at the O’Shaughnessy in St. Paul in February 2020.

Twin Cities Stepper Association                 $5,710.00
Funding to offer free weekly stepping classes at Western U Plaza in St. Paul from April to July 2020. The program will culminate in a stepping performance at Rondo Days in St. Paul in July 2020.

U Partner Dance                   $10,000.00
Funding for the 7th annual U Dance Fest, a two-day ballroom dance event featuring competitions, social dancing, and workshops. U Dance Fest will be held at Union Depot in St. Paul during March 2020.

Young Artists Initiative                    $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Winter Theatre Experience, an eight-week audition-based theatre program which will engage 35 youth in rehearsing and fully staging eight public performances of Matilda. Performances will take place at The Wellstone Center Theater in Saint Paul during March 2020.

Suburban Hennepin County

ART MEDIA US-CHINA                     $10,000.00
Funding for a full-length concert, entitled The Voice of Spring – Jiang Nan Love, featuring Chinese folk songs and dances, Chinese Kunqu Opera and selections of Western Opera. The concert will be held at Minnesota Masonic Cultural Heritage Center Auditorium in Bloomington on February 8, 2020.  

Crossroads Panorama                      $10,000.00
Funding for the 10th annual presentation of Scrooge in Tha Hood, a holiday classic with an urban twist. Performances will feature youth, amateur and professional performers, and will take place at Hub Shopping Center in Richfield during December 2019.

Edina Singing Seniors                       $9,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Edina Sining Seniors rehearsal and performance year.

Suburban Ramsey County

Sonora Winds                       $6,917.00
Funding to perform two concert programs entitled Explorations and French Pictures, each to be performed at Maplewood Good Samaritan Center, Maplewood Care Center, Southview Acres Health Center in West St. Paul, and Benedictine Health Center at Innsbruck in New Brighton during March 2020 and October 2020.

Washington County

StoryArk                     $10,000.00
Funding for a film camp run by high school students for high school students supported by professional artists, held in Stillwater during Summer 2020. Working together with teaching artists and peer mentors, each student will create a two minute short film.

Photo depicts dancers from the Les Jolies Petites School of Dance at their 2018 Winter Performance at Fridley High School.  

Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: