MRAC Awards Arts Project Support Round 2 Awards to 94 Groups

A musician plays an instrument while perched in a tree

On March 24, 2020 the MRAC board awarded $848,046 to 94 organizations/projects in the second 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.

These applications were written and submitted in December 2019 before COVID-19 was a reality. MRAC always allows project changes based on timeline and activities in funded projects and applicant groups can seek such changes if necessary because of the global health situation or other realities.

Image is from The Belwin Conservancy’s Music in the Trees event in 2019. 

We thank these individuals for serving as panelists for this grant review round:
Abby Frank Taylor, Afton Benson, Alice Kim, Alneida Madrigal, Amanda Cortés, Ben Owen, Brita Midness, Chris Harrison, Cigale Ahlquist, Craig Harris, Delta Giordano, Dustin Steuck, Emma Saks, Emma Marlar, Gabrielle Sacha, Hannah Smith, Jeff Ambroz, Jen Arlen, John Munson, Kajsa Jones, Kathy Mattson, Keliyah Perkins, Larry Weinberg, Loren Niemi, Lydia Four Horns, Mally Watkins, Margo Gray, Margot Olsen, Mark Salovich, Melissa Dargay, Michelle Chang, Momoko Tanno Niemi, Nancy Ariza, Nancy Fushan, Pa Na Lor, Paul Eastwold, Phillip McGraw, Quinn Villagomez, Rachel Bender, Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria, Sarah Wiechmann, Scott Swanson, Sophie Peyton, Stanton Wood, Yan Pang

Anoka County

Fridley Community Education                 $10,000.00
Funding to stage the musical Mamma Mia at the Fridley District Auditorium in July and August of 2020.

Impact Services                   $10,000.00
Funding for Voices of Impact choir rehearsals and performances for people experiencing Dementia and Alzheimers in Coon Rapids from August 2020 through December 2020.

Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project                       $10,000.00
Funding for the Iraqi Voices Storytelling Lab and Photography Exhibit, showcasing two Iraqi Minnesotan photographers and the stories of eight Iraqi Minnesotans, curated by Tricia Heuring. The exhibition will be at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts in Fridley during Fall 2020.

JOYA! Chamber Music Series                    $10,000.00
Funding for six chamber music concerts presented in July, October, and November 2020, and January, March, and May of 2021 at Zion Lutheran Church in Anoka.

Northern Starz Theatre                 $7,895.00
Funding for The Awesome 80’s Prom at Northern Starz Theatre Company, in Anoka, during March, April and May of 2020.

Rumriver Art Center                      $10,000.00
Funding for the Emerging Artist 55+ Mentorship Program in Anoka during April through November. This program is designed to provide older adults ages 55+, who never had the opportunity to find their artistic voice during their youth, a chance to explore and find it now.

Carver County

ISD 108 Community Education                $7,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Summer Music and Arts in the Park Series held on nine Thursday evenings in June and July, from 6:30 – 8 pm at Legion Memorial Park in Norwood Young America. An average of 200 community members will attend each week and 25 – 30 youth will participate in the extra art activity added just for them.

JazzMN, Inc.              $10,000.00
Funding for a concert performance by the JazzMN Orchestra featuring guest vocalist Luciana Souza at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres on April 20, 2020

Dakota County

Caponi Art Park                   $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020 Summer Performance Series, three immersive performance/experiences that take place June – August 2020 in the park’s Theater in the Woods Amphitheater in Eagan. 

Chamber Music Lakeville              $3,720.00
Funding for the last two concerts of our 2020 series of four Coffee Concerts at the Lakeville Area Arts Center on April 5th and June 7th 2020.

City of Hastings                    $7,000.00
Funding for Performances in the Park in Hastings from June through September 2020.

City of West St Paul             $10,000.00
Funding for a new art park in West St. Paul during summer 2020. The City has a small park at the corner of Oakdale and Butler that is currently empty. A lack of funding has kept anything except a basic sidewalk and bench from happening there. The City is pursuing ideas to make this a park that encourages and sparks art, a place where art can flourish. We hope to bring the community together to create a mosaic column in the art park to begin creating an atmosphere that encourages creativity.

International Festival of Burnsville                    $9,800.00
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 & entertainment from established & emerging Minnesota artists, and an array of ethnic foods & family arts activities.  The festival is held in July 2020 at Nicollet Commons Park & adjacent Ames Center in Burnsville.   

Rosemount Area Arts Council                  $10,000.00
Funding for ArtBlast 2020, a nine-day celebration of the arts, in Rosemount during June 2020.

Velvet Tones            $5,000.00
Funding for eight vocal performances for groups with limited arts access. The performances will take place in the greater metropolitan area between April and June 2020.


Analog Dance Works                      $10,000.00
Funding for Analog Dance Works’ inaugural evening of dance entitled Tellus at the Tek Box in Minneapolis during September 2020.

April Sellers Dance Collective                  $10,000.00
Funding for the final rehearsal and world premiere of Man Blossom Man, a major new work to be presented at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis in November of 2020.

Black Storytellers Alliance                        $10,000.00
Funding for 30th Annual Black Master Storytelling Festival, “Signifyin’ & Testifyin'”, a six-day event during September 2020.

Black Table Arts                  $8,150.00
Funding for eight poetry readings of “A Garden Of Black Joy” in the Twin Cities during April – December 2020.

Combustible Company                   $10,000.00
Funding for “Monsterheart”, a new theater work presented at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis during September 2020. This production will combine a feminist perspective with a poetic approach to take a fresh look at Mary Shelley’s classic “Frankenstein,” focusing on the life of its author and her relationship to her husband, the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.

DisabiliTease Festival                    $10,000.00
Funding for DisabiliTease Festival at LUSH in Minneapolis during July 2020.

Drama Interaction              $10,000.00
Funding to conduct a specialized Parent-Teacher-Child Training Project that lays the groundwork for the creative life of special-needs children in the Twin Cities’ East African-American population at an early period in their lives. This project will take place during April – August 2020 at St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development in Minneapolis.

Hauss Dance             $10,000.00
Funding for Inbox@Artbox in Minneapolis during July 2020

Hope Community, Inc.                    $10,000.00
Funding for Power of Vision Community Mural Project which includes community historical and cultural research, and the design and production of a public mural in south Minneapolis. The project will take place from March – November 2020.

Katha Dance Theatre                     $10,000.00
Funding dance/theater work, BLACK CANDLE, a tribute to the women of Bangladesh, India, Nepal & Pakistan now in the Twin Cities. Based on the poetry of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, the show combines spoken text and music with Kathak dance. The concert will be held in May 2020 at the Cowles Center in Minneapolis.

Kulture Klub Collaborative                       $10,000.00
Funding for Poetic Justice with Keno Evol, a 12-week creative writing series for youth ages 16-24 experiencing homelessness, in Minneapolis during spring & summer 2020.

Mixed Precipitation                        $9,905.00
Funding for the12th annual Picnic Operetta tours to community gardens, farms, orchards, and vineyards. 10 performances in 2020 throughout the Twin Cities will feature a lively adaptation of Gluck’s 1774, Iphigénie en Aulide, with a multi-generational cast, an epic story of climate crisis, and tasty bites.

MPLS (imPulse)                   $5,505.00
Funding for MPLS (impulse) to present two thematic choral programs in the Twin Cities in nontraditional performance venues during the May and June 2020.

One Dance Company                      $8,407.00
Funding for One Dance Company’s performance of Out Pour in Minneapolis during September 2020.

Poetry for People                $6,263.00
Funding for Poetry and Pie in the Park in Powderhorn Park summer 2020 and to commission poet Lisa Brimmer to create a winter solstice poem that will be sent in the mail to participants of the event in December 2020.   

Purple Playground             $10,000.00
Funding for Purple Playground’s “Academy of Prince,” a two-week summer music program for youth in Minneapolis and Saint Paul during August 2020.

Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment                $10,000.00
Funding for Muslim Sheroes of Minnesota in Minneapolis during April – December 2020.

Rhythmically Speaking                  $10,000.00
Funding for Rhythmically Speaking presents . . . The Cohort 2020, a new program supporting the shared development of new work by local and national choreographers inspired by jazz and American social dance ideas. This project will culminate in a production at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis in August 2020.

SAATH (formerly Bollywood Dance Scene)                   $10,000.00
Funding for five (5) episodes of a Bollywood web series to be filmed, edited, and released during March – December 2020.

Salsa Fiesta               $10,000.00
Funding for Minnesota Salsa Fiesta, a music and dance collaboration and celebration featuring live salsa ensembles and Latin dance performance groups. The event will feature a series of open workshops concluding with a final event at the Mill City Ruins in Minneapolis during July 2020.

Sod House Theater             $10,000.00
Funding for Arla Mae’s Booyah Wagon. Performances will take place during August 2020 in Minneapolis and Hastings.

TaikoArts Midwest             $10,000.00
Funding for the DIA+ Collaborative Concert with Enso Daiko at the Rarig Center in Minneapolis during June 2020.

Taja Will Ensemble             $10,000.00
Funding for Blood Language, a new ensemble contemporary dance by choreographer Taja Will, to premiere in Minneapolis during Fall 2020/ Winter 2021 season at the Cedar Cultural Center.

Tangible Collective             $10,000.00
Funding for the 3rd Annual Tangible Showcase in North Minneapolis during July 2020.

Tasks Unlimited, Inc.                      $7,000.00
Funding for Creating Arts Learning Activities for people with mental illness during May – June 2020 in Minneapolis; and during September – October 2020 in Brookyln Park.

The Full Moon Puppet Show                     $10,000.00
Funding for the spring 2020 and fall 2020 Full Moon Puppet Show at Open Eye Figure Theatre in Minneapolis.

The Minneapolis Art Lending Library                $10,000.00
Funding for Minneapolis Art Lending Library Events in April 2020 at the Northeast Recreation Center and July 2020 at North Commons Recreation Center.

Twin Cities Iranian Culture Week                       $9,360.00
Funding for Twin Cities Iranian Culture Week in Minneapolis during August 2020.

Vibrant and Safe Downtown                     $10,000.00
Funding for Year 2 of Beyond the Box, a series of six free performing arts events on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis during summer 2020.

Wavelets Creative               $7,000.00
Funding for the ongoing and roving iNMiGRATiON performance installation series in Minneapolis during summer 2020 at Midtown Farmers Market in June, Longfewllow Roth Arts Grain Elevator in August/September, and Midtown Farmers Market in October.

Whittier Alliance                 $10,000.00
Funding for the Eat Street Food, Music, & Arts Festival in Minneapolis during September 2020. 

Scott County

Lao Culture Dance and Fashion Show                 $7,000.00
Funding to teach students traditional Lao dance and support a Lao New Year celebration in Savage during March – July, 2020.

Saint Paul

113                 $10,000.00
Funding for the Twin Cities New Music Festival in Saint Paul during May 2020.

Beijing Chinese Culture Center                $10,000.00
Funding to support a full-length concert entitled “My Life in Minnesota (2) – Chinese Women in Minnesota” in December 2020 at Benson Greater Hall at Bethel University.

Cerenity Senior Care- Humboldt             $10,000.00
Funding for quality arts programing for low income seniors, including living theater, watercolor classes, and poetry groups from May 2020- June 2021 in St. Paul.

Creative Enterprise Zone              $10,000.00
Funding for ChromaZone Mural and Art Festival in Saint Paul during September 2020.

Cypher Side              $10,000.00
Funding for Cypher Side’s Spring Dance Showcase in St. Paul in June 2020.

DanceCo                    $10,000.00
Funding to produce Wolf Tales in St. Paul during October 2020.

Film Score Fest                    $10,000.00
Funding for Film Score Fest in St. Paul from April through October 2020.

Gender Reel              $9,000.00
Funding for Gender Reel’s 10 year anniversary celebration during May 2020.

Giving Voice             $10,000.00
Funding for the Giving Voice St. Paul Chorus project for people with dementia and their care partners to participate in a dementia-friendly chorus that fosters joy, well-being, purpose, and community understanding through weekly chorus rehearsals and bi-annual public concerts. Concerts will be held at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul during December 2020 and May/June 2021. 

Hmong Women of Minnesota with Disabilities            $10,000.00
Funding for the production of a broadcast-quality documentary film paired with an effective impact campaign which will demystify misunderstandings about Hmong women with disabilities. The project will take place from April 2020 – June 2021 in Saint Paul.

Lower Phalen Creek Project                     $8,408.00
Funding for Lower Phalen Creek Project to partner with arts organization Oyate Hotanin, to engage Dakota, Hmong, and African American artists as well as community members to create culturally-inspired patterns of flowers that outline the future restored Phalen Creek on public land south of Lake Phalen. Volunteers will engage participants in the cultural and natural importance of restoring the creek. The flower art will remain for 2 days in Summer 2020.

Lowertown Blues Festival             $10,000.00
Funding for the Lowertown Blues Festival in St. Paul’s Mears Park during July 2020. 

Make a Scene Scenario Festival               $10,000.00
Funding for Make a Scene Scenario Festival in Saint Paul in August 2020.

Midwest Special Services, Inc.                  $7,000.00
Funding for beatboxing and musical improvisation workshops for adults with disabilities at all six Midwest Special Services locations over the first half of 2021.

Million Artist Movement               $10,000.00
Funding for Arts Workshop Series in Saint Paul and Minneapolis during April through December 2020.

Mizna             $10,000.00
Funding for two issues of “Mizna”, in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2020. This project entails publishing two 2020 issues of our biannual journal; creating a more robust online presence for the journal; and presenting journal release readings, a weeklong residency with workshop from visiting novelist Randa Jarrar, and other events that stem from and support the literary publication.

New Day Community Voice                       $7,000.00
Funding for Song Circle Project in Saint Paul during April-November 2020, to continue collaboration with NEW DAY Community Voice singers who live in Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing at St. Christopher Place and Dorothy Day Place in Saint Paul, and CorVoce Chamber Choir.

One Voice Mixed Chorus                $10,000.00
Funding for One Voice Mixed Chorus to present “Re-Membering: Homecoming & Exile”, a performance that parallels Minnesota’s history of both refuge and exile for LGBTQ people and Dakota and Ojibwe nations, to be performed June 20 & 21, 2020 at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul and July 4 & 5, 2020 at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The concert tells the real stories of Minnesota individuals and communities whose voices have been hidden or silenced, and is brought to life by life-sized puppets.

Rain Taxi Inc.                       $10,000.00
Funding for the 20th annual Twin Cities Book Festival, featuring Minnesota authors, publishers, booksellers, and book artists, as well as select writers from across the nation. The Festival highlights their work through an all-day book fair, children’s activities, youth programs, and author readings and book signings held at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds during October 2020. 

Sospiri                       $10,000.00
Funding for Sospiri 2020 Programming in St. Paul/Minneapolis during October and December 2020.

TruArtSpeaks                      $10,000.00
Funding for Re-Verb Open Mic in Saint Paul during 2020-2021. The Re-Verb Open Mic is an intergenerational, multi-disciplinary, dialogical space in which artists and audience convene to engage with art through public performance, exhibition, dialogue and guided response on a weekly basis. It has an eight year history of serving as a safe space for artists in all stages of their career and a reputation for being a “beginning” for some of Minnesota’s greats.

Urban Roots MN                  $10,000.00
Funding for Urban Roots, River Story Gathering in St. Paul during the summer of 2020. Urban Roots youth with core arts partner other media group, and city partner Great River Passage Initiative proposes a multidisciplinary story and image gathering project engaging Saint Paul East Side communities in conversation about their relationships to the natural world. 

Suburban Hennepin County

Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs               $10,000.00
Funding for choral workshops from January – March 2021 with the professional choral ensemble CANTUS for the 40th Anniversary Season.

ArtStart                     $10,000.00
Funding for Posibilidades de Polinizador, a collaboration with Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and organizations in Richfield & Bloomington from March 2020 – May 2021. Participants will have opportunities to work with Latinx and Spanish speaking naturalist and artists to learn how to care for MN pollinators while creating Pollinator Puppets, a Purépecha story cloth/banner on the Monarch life cycle and migration, and a Nicho or home for bees.

Chain Reaction Theatre Project               $10,000.00
Funding for eight performances of “White Privilege;” in Edina, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Chaska, Minnetonka, Hopkins and Forest Lake in May 2020.

Cross Community Players             $10,000.00
Funding for seven performances of the musical, “Mamma Mia!” at Osseo Senior High School in July 2020. Cross Community Players has a unique dual mission of providing a quality artistic theater experience and an awareness of hunger within the community.

Honeywell Concert Band               $2,900.00
Funding for band rehearsals and 8-9 concerts presented at care centers, assisted living centers, senior housing complexes, and public parks. The performances will take place from late March through mid October 2020.

Plymouth Concert Band                $8,700.00
Funding for five free, accessible concerts, including one multi-concert series, to be rehearsed and performed at venues in and near Plymouth from May 2020 – March 2021.

Richfield Community Education              $10,000.00
Funding for Richfield Community Education to partner with several community organizations to create and implement arts offerings for older adults in two community living facilities and for the community at large at the Central Education Center. Activities will be specifically designed for older adult learners to meet their areas of interest and enhance their quality of life. Classes will be offered September – December 2020 and January – March 2021.

Siengkane Lao MN               $6,913.00
Funding for Siengkane Lao MN performance group to perform 12 traditional Lao dances at six events in Hennepin county during spring/summer 2020.

Story Arts of Minnesota                 $6,000.00
Funding for StoryFest 2020, a storytelling and spoken word festival in partnership with Normandale Community College in Bloomington during May 2020.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota (St Louis Park)                $10,000.00
Funding for MinnesoThai Food and Culture Festival in St. Louis Park during May 2020.

Vail Place                  $9,000.00
Funding for the Arts Participation project, providing opportunities for Vail Place members living with serious mental illnesses to express themselves and their lived experiences through a collaborative theater and storytelling project with the History Theatre. Workshops will be offered in Minneapolis and Hopkins during fall/winter 2020 – 2021 and will culminate in a final event at the History Theatre.

Westonka Community Theatre                $10,000.00
Funding for the presentation of The Wizard of Oz at Westonka Performing Arts Center in Minnetrista during July 2020.

Suburban Ramsey County

Ecumen Lakeview Commons                    $6,820.00
Funding for three nine-session art classes taught by artists from COMPAS at Ecumen Lakeview Commons in Maplewood from April 2020 to March 2021.

Mural Arts Collective                     $10,000.00
Funding for the Mural Club at Roseville Area Middle School during April – September 2020.

Roseville Parks and Recreation               $7,000.00
Funding for Live at the Rog performance series in Roseville during summer of 2020.

Washington County

ArtReach St. Croix               $10,000.00
Funding for the Mobile Art Gallery’s Summer 2020 programming at 3 parks in the St. Croix Valley.

Encore Wind Ensemble                 $10,000.00
Funding to support seven concerts in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the Charles B. Olson Young Composers Contest from March 2020 through May 2021.

FamilyMeans                        $7,000.00
Funding for the Landfall Teen Podcast Project in the mobile home city of Landfall between October 2020 and May 2021. Ten Landfall teens will write, produce, and record a new narrative podcast that gives voice to their ideas, hopes and/or concerns. The podcast will be publicly shared at a community listening party and through the StoryArk Network app, to become featured on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, Sound Cloud, Spotify, and Google Play.

Marine Film Society                        $7,000.00
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. 

Music Saint Croix                $10,000.00
Funding for two chamber music programs, St. Croix Celebration and Jokesters & Pranksters, at the Courthouse in Stillwater during October-November 2020

The Belwin Conservancy               $7,000.00
Funding for Music in the Trees taking place at Belwin Conservancy in Afton, MN on August 15 and 16, 2020. The event will feature 20 performers in a red pine grove and an hour-long performance by the Center for Hmong Arts and Talent.

Valley Friendship Club                  $7,500.00
Funding for a theater/arts camp and performance in Stillwater in June 2020.

Vets for Music                      $8,800.00
Funding for a one day, free music festival to honor our nation’s Veterans’, to be held at Richard Walton Park in Oakdale MN in July 2020.

Washington County 4-H Federation                   $5,000.00
Funding for Washington County 4-H Arts-In, a four-day intensive performing arts camp for youth in grades 7 through their first post-secondary year. The camp takes place at the Washington County Fairgrounds in July and culminates with performances at the Washington County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair in July, August, and September 2020.

Z-Fest             $8,000.00
Funding for the Z-Fest Film Festival during March 2021 at the Alamo Drafthouse in Woodbury and the Radisson Blue Hotel in Bloomington.


Skip to content
%d bloggers like this: