MRAC Announces 2020 Next Step Fund Recipients

After a record applicant pool of 519 artists submitted proposals in this year’s Next Step Fund, our panelists read and rated all of the applications in round one, determining the 72 finalists. In past years we have sent these finalists to round two of review, culminating in an in-person panel review complete with significant discussion among the panelists to determine the grant recipients. With the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic, these in-person reviews would be impossible and cannot be duplicated with alternative means.

For that reason, and the reality that all artists are suffering with the limitations placed on convening and making art together, MRAC along with the support of the McKnight Foundation, the funder of this program, decided instead to name all 72 finalists grant recipients this year, awarding each artist $2,500.

Recipients can use these funds to do part of their proposed project or can use the funds to cover other more immediate needs. MRAC is not requiring reporting on the awarded funds in this Next Step Fund grant cycle.

Congratulations to this year’s grant recipients!



We also thank this year’s panelists for their time to review the applications:

Aki Shibata, Carolyn Holbrook, Christopher Harrison, Deja Stowers, Denzel Belin, Ezra Bartsch, Lindsy Halleckson, Marjorie Fedzyszyn, Markus Hoeckner, Marlena Myles, May Ling Kopecky, Nora  Montanez Patterson, Pa Na Lor, Rachel Castro, Rebekah Crisanta de Ybarra, Ritika Ganguly, Tana Hargest, Taous Khazem, Tarek Abdelqader

The 2020 Next Step Fund Grantees

A. Andrews, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Adrienne Doyle, Screenwriter, Minneapolis

Andrea Gilats, Writer, St. Paul

Andrew Neef, Film Artist, Suburban Hennepin County

Andrew Young, Puppetry Artist, Minneapolis

Andy Sturdevant, Writer, Minneapolis

Anna Stitt, Media Artist, Minneapolis

Ashembaga (Ashe) Jaafaru, Theater Artist, Minneapolis

Autumn Ness, Theater Artist, Washington County

Ayo-Ma , Craft Artist, Minneapolis

Belo Miguel Cipriani, Writer, Suburban Hennepin County

Brendan Barrett, Woodworker, Minneapolis

Cadex Herrera, Multidisciplinary Artist, Suburban Ramsey County

Candida Gonzalez, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Catherine Licata, Film Artist, St. Paul

Christine Delp, Media Artist, Minneapolis

Christopher Palbicki, Painter, St. Paul

Daniel Dukich, Musician, Minneapolis

Deka Abdullahi, Multidisciplinary Artist, Anoka County

Donna Ray, Clay Artist, Suburban Hennepin County

Doug Little, Musician, Minneapolis

Ellina Kevorkian, Painter, Minneapolis

Eric J. Garcia, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Essence Bonitaz, Writer, Suburban Ramsey County

Fatima Camara, Writer, Minneapolis

Ginny Sims-Burchard, Clay Artist, Minneapolis

Greg Byers, Musician, Minneapolis

Greg Grease, Musician, Minneapolis

Gretchen Wagener Burau , Painter, Carver County

Haley Paige, Media Artist, St. Paul

Hallie Bahn, Media Artist, Minneapolis

Harry Leeds, Writer, Minneapolis

Ivan Konev, Musician, St. Paul

Jay Afrisando, Musician, St. Paul

Jaysen Hohlen, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Jeffrey Skemp, Multidisciplinary Artist, Minneapolis

Jessica Gotkin, Clay Artist, Suburban Hennepin County

JG Everest, Musician, Minneapolis

Joe Strachan, Musician, St. Paul

Josephine Geiger, Glass Artist, St. Paul

Julie Koehnen, Film Artist, Suburban Hennepin County

Karin Wolverton, Opera Singer, Suburban Hennepin County

Kay Hannahan, Film Artist, Minneapolis

Kehayr Brown-Ransaw, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Lillie Gardner, Screenwriter, St. Paul

Linda Ramson, Quilt Artist, Minneapolis

Lindsay Schlemmer, Musician, Minneapolis

M. Hajji Ahmed, Multidisciplinary Artist, St. Paul

Margo Gray, Multidisciplinary Artist, Minneapolis

Mary Prescott, Interdisciplinary Artist, Minneapolis

Michael Alberti, Writer, Minneapolis

Mo Perry, Writer, Anoka County

Mong Vang, Film Artist, Minneapolis

Nancy M. Musinguzi, Photographer, Minneapolis

Naomi Ko, Film Artist, Scott County

Paul Hill, Musician, Minneapolis

Preeti Kaur Rajpal, Poet, Minneapolis

Regan Golden, Visual Artist, St. Paul

Rosey Lowe, Theater Artist, Minneapolis

Sadie Ward, Theater Artist, St. Paul

Sagirah Shahid, Poet, Minneapolis

Sahar Hassan, Opera Singer, St. Paul

Tahiel Jimenez Medina, Film Artist, Minneapolis

Taja Will, Dancer, Minneapolis

Terrence Shambley Jr., Writer, St. Paul

Tomas Araya, Visual Artist, St. Paul

Tommy Franklin, Film Artist, St. Paul

Tori Hong, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Valerie Oliveiro, Dancer, Minneapolis

Witt Siasoco, Visual Artist, Minneapolis

Yan Pang, Multidisciplinary Artist, Minneapolis

Za’Nia Coleman, Interdisciplinary Artist, Minneapolis

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