FY20 Organizational Development Grant Awards Announced

Photo of a solo performer on stage in costume

On May 26, 2020 MRAC awarded $276,808 to 28 organizations/groups in the FY 2020 Organizational Development grant program. This year’s grants were reviewed by three panels and comments and scores were submitted online due to COVID-19. The Organizational Development grant projects will provide arts organizations in the Twin Cities Metro area with resources and expertise to continue strong arts engagement with their communities. These programs are intended to make structural investments in groups who are achieving both arts 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 Saint Paul groups are listed separately from the Suburban Ramsey County.

These applications were written and submitted in early March 2020 before COVID-19 was very impactful in our community. 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:
Alejandra Tobar Alatriz, Alex Buffalohead, Basil Considine, Bob Bierscheid, Brandon Boat, Conie Borchardt, Dan Adolphson, Debra Stone, Eva Song Margolis, Filsan Ibrahim, Genoveva Castañeda , Heidi Rich, Jasmine RuKim, John Nuechterlein, Jon Jee Schill, Juleana Enright, Mark Kausch, Mathew Janczewski, Mike Brown, Tom Loftus, Weily Grina-Shay

Photo is from Toot’s Tweezerburn performance; image is by Zoe Cinel.


Alive & Kickin $10,000.00
Funding to hire a contract grant writer/fundraising consultant and provide staff and board with fund development training.

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center $8,208.00
Funding to hire a program evaluation consultant to create logic models and develop additional evaluation tools and processes in collaboration with staff and key stakeholders.

Cow Tipping Press $10,000.00
Funding to engage a consultant in strategic business planning, codify inward and outward-facing practices, and acquire reliable and appropriate technology.

Emerging Curators Institute $10,000.00
Funding to increase staff time to build relationships with partners, expand grant writing and outreach efforts, and to engage the advisory committee in long-term strategic planning.

Encouraging Leaders $10,000.00
Funding to update the organization’s website to include photos, videos, multimedia tools, and updated content.

Giving Voice $10,000.00
Funding to increase contributed income streams through new fundraising initiatives in planned giving, a tribute program, and multi-year arts funding via federal grants.

Kulture Klub Collaborative $10,000.00
Funding to hire a development consultant to create fundraising and communications tools to increase organizational capacity.

Lightning Rod $10,000.00
Funding for the artistic leadership to plan and build out a detailed protocol for shared leadership and design structure for Lightning Rod values in the rehearsal room and in operations.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra $10,000.00
Funding to develop a strategy and supporting infrastructure for individual donor and corporate sponsor development, including updating the current customer relationship management system, creating policies and procedures, and developing and implementing an actionable plan.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to create a new part-time position, the Mentor Program Coordinator, to facilitate the organization’s one-to-one mail Mentor Program.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to increase the Executive/Artistic Director’s allotted time to be able to carry out communications needs and work on growing the diversity within the organization’s community.

New Arab American Theater Works $9,600.00
Funding to hire a consultant to help with board and organizational development.

SAATH $10,000.00
Funding for a part-time Executive Director to support organizational growth.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding to cover transitional costs as the current Co-Executive Directors resign and the organization hires and trains a new Managing Director.

Toot $10,000.00
Funding to hire an administrative assistant to help the organization grow into a sustainable future.

Uprising Theatre Company $10,000.00
Funding to financially compensate the Artistic Director for the first time.

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz $10,000.00
Funding to hire a Development Research Associate to identify funding sources and performance opportunities for two new touring shows.

zAmya Theater Project $10,000.00
Funding for zAmJam, a project designed to bolster the organization’s mission by increasing earned income, reaching new audiences, and building troupe member skills through refining and marketing a series of workshops designed for companies and organizations.

Saint Paul

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac $10,000.00
Funding to design and build a new website to enable the organization to reach broader audiences and communities of donors.

Bach Society of Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to create a Communications/Audience Engagement Coordinator staff position to engage and collaborate with a broader diversity of communities.

Exposed Brick Theatre $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to create a development plan to increase general operating support and unrestricted funds.

Full Circle Theater Company $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant and to expand weekly staff hours for a six-month period in order to carry out a fundraising initiative broadening and expanding the organization’s foundation and corporate support.

Mizna $10,000.00
Funding to hire a nonprofit consultant to lead the organization through a board governance and broader strategic planning process.

The Victoria Theater Arts Center $9,000.00
Funding to create a BIPOC advisory board, which will then, with professional facilitation, create foundational policies on equity and inclusion to guide organizational decision making, programming, systems, and practices.

Wonderlust Productions $10,000.00
Funding to create, hire, and manage a new part-time Managing Director position to support the organization’s growth in programs with administrative support of fundraising, financial tracking, data management, and communications.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Communications Manager who will strategize and implement communication, marketing, and publicity presenting a unified message and branding of the organization.

Suburban Ramsey County

113 $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to create organized, accessible donor and documentation databases.

Washington County

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding to hire a PR consultant to create and implement an overall public relations and social media plan to support current and future efforts.

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