Arts Learning Round 2 Grant Awards Announced

People huddled around a camera

On April 28, 2020 MRAC awarded $247,114 to 26 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY 2020 Arts Learning grant program. The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding through the arts for children, youth, and adults by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Geographic listings represent the primary county where the arts learning programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.

These applications were written and submitted in January 2020 before COVID-19 was a reality. MRAC always allows project changes for timelines and activities in funded projects and applicant groups can seek such changes if necessary because of the global health situation or other realities.

We thank these individuals for serving as panelists for this grant review round:
Alexandra Nicome, Ashley Lustig, Bill Mathis, Chavonn Williams Shen, Christie Owens, D.A. Bullock, Dee Baskin, Fatima Camara, Flordelino Lagundino, Houa Lor, Lisa Dejoras, Melissa Clark, Mia Laufer, Natalia Vargas Marquez, Ni’Kol Imani Dowls, Nora Montañez, Teresa Pérez, Vivia Alfifuson

Anoka County

After Hours Big Band                     $9,950.00
Funding for the participatory learning After Hours Jazz PROject in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Eagan, Fridley, Mounds View, Saint Anthony Village, and Spring Lake Park between November 2020 – April 2021.

Mizna             $10,000.00
Funding for a two-week, bilingual (English and Arabic) theater and film summer camp for students between nine and fourteen years old at the Fridley Community Center in Fridley during July 2020.

Carver County

Drama Interaction              $10,000.00
Funding for Superhero Camp, engaging 24 students in three sessions of adaptive summer camp for youth ages 7-17 and young adults ages 17+ with autism, to be held during summer 2020 at Victoria Recreation Center and the Music Lab in Bloomington.

Dakota County

Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc                 $7,210.00
Funding for a free year-long after school songwriting, performance, audio recording, and video production program to be held at THE GARAGE, a music venue, educational facility, and recording studio located in Burnsville, during 2020 – 2021.

Youth Dance Ensemble                  $8,900.00
Funding for a four week dance and musical theater program for Burnsville youth ages 8-12. The four-week program will consist of rehearsals and stage set and costume creation; culminating in a community performance of a children’s musical. 


hinterhands puppet company                  $10,000.00
Funding for Animating Queer Stories, a series of puppetry workshops for LGBTQ youth and elders in Minneapolis from September 2020 – February 2021.

Kulture Klub Collaborative                       $10,000.00
Funding for Design and Sew, a 12-week workshop series with Greg Grease for youth ages 16-24 experiencing homelessness, in Minneapolis during the summer of 2020.

Maia Maiden Productions             $10,000.00
Funding for The Art of KRUMP, ten-3 hour training sessions for young adults 18-25 years old in Minneapolis during June-August 2020.

New Arab American Theater Works                   $6,500.00
Funding to train community members in the traditional art form of Arabic drumming, to create a drum ensemble and to perform for the community.

Soo Visual Arts Center                   $10,000.00
Funding to educate Walker Methodist Health Center residents about contemporary art through gallery tours, artist visits and and instructional art workshops. Activities will take place May 2020 – May 2021 in Minneapolis.

Weavers Guild of Minnesota                     $10,000.00
Funding for a course series supporting the learning and skill advancement of fiber artists with disabilities from June 2020 through December 2020. Courses will be held at Interact Center in St. Paul and at the Weaver’s Guild in Minneapolis.

Saint Paul

Ananya Dance Theatre                  $10,000.00
Funding to conduct Shared Rhythm projects at two St. Paul high schools: Gordon Parks High School and the High School for Recording Arts for 70 total students in 39 workshops conducted during the 2020-2021 academic year. Activities will take place at ADT’s facility, the Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice which is situated directly across University Avenue from the two schools.

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                 $10,000.00
Funding for From Page to Publishing, a 12-session series of writing workshops in 5 communities during September – December 2020, and a series of 6 panels/workshops on the business of publishing during January 2021, serving communities of color and other underserved communities.

Art Buddies              $10,000.00
Funding for the Fall 2020 semester of Art Buddies, an 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 10 weekly artist-led sessions. Sessions will run from September – December 2020.

Black Visions Collective                 $10,000.00
Funding for Black Visions Cohort arts and community organizing learning for youth artists ages 18-24 in Twin Cities during Summer 2020 – Winter 2021.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                  $9,250.00
Funding for Contemporary Chinese Dance classes for young adults at CAAM Chinese Dance Theater in St. Paul from Summer 2020 until Summer 2021.

CLUES            $10,000.00
Funding for collaborative and hands-on learning circle called “Manualidades Cohort” in St. Paul, led by 6 local Latino craftspeople who will engage 10-20 youth, adult, and senior CLUES participants, with the goal of  overcoming social isolation, and learning culturally-relevant skills in weaving, poetry, collage and paper arts. This project will take place June – December 2020.

Frogtown Tuned-In            $10,000.00
Funding for a 3 month course, over the summer of 2020, to teach individuals with developmental and physical disabilities skills to create their own radio dramas, radio poetry, radio news or documentaries. The produced radio pieces will be aired on WFNU-LP and put in podcast format, available for on demand online listening.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (F.A.W.K)              $10,000.00
Funding for Her Screen/Her Stage Workshop Series in St. Paul during October 2020.

In Progress               $10,000.00
Funding for an immersive arts mentorship program for newly developing artists that lack access to digital learning opportunities. The program focuses on small group mentorship, individualized coaching, and goal planning with youth ages 12-22. The mentorships will take place in St. Paul between July 2020 and March 2021.

Keane Sense of Rhythm                 $10,000.00
Funding for tap classes for students in 6th-8th grade in two Freedom Schools in St. Paul during June and July 2020.

Minnesota Youth Media                 $10,000.00
Funding to present a Screenwriting and Media Production Workshop to the 8th grade students at Global Arts Plus in Saint Paul. The workshop will introduce students to elements of screenwriting, media production and allow the students to present their work in the Global Arts Plus Film Festival at The Trylon Cinema in the Spring 2020.

Sandbox Theatre                 $8,000.00
Funding for training artists in theatrical storytelling that combines aerial silks with clowning and puppetry in St. Paul during June 2020.

Suburban Hennepin County

Partnership Resources, Inc.                      $7,304.00
Funding for “The Art of Working” residency in partnership with Upstream Arts to engage Vocational Immersion Program participants, who attend Partnership Resources in Golden Valley, in arts activities that help to build effective social and communication skills that can be applied to personal goal attainment. The residency will be held from January 2021to April 2021.

Suburban Ramsey County

Minnesota Guitar Society              $10,000.00
Funding for two weekly guitar classes at the Special Education Department of White Bear Lake High School during the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Washington County

StoryArk                   $10,000.00
Funding for a creative writing intensive serving secondary students in the St. Croix Valley during August of 2020. 

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