Arts Project Support Round 3 Awards Announced

Photo of a person dancing alone in an urban landscape

On June 23, 2020 the MRAC board awarded $586,032 to 63 organizations/projects in the third and final 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 round of the Arts Project Support grant reviews:
Abby Frank Taylor, Akiko Ostlund, Anitra Budd, Annie Moua, Arneshia Williams, Averie Mitchell-Brown, Carolina Gustafson, Connie Fullmer, Dan Pinkerton, Delta Giordano, Diana Siegel-Garcia, Doug Little, Dustin Steuck, Emma Marlar, Irna Landrum, Isela Xitlali Gomez, Jamie Marshall, Janet Grove, Jeff Ambroz, Julia Gay, Kajsa Jones, Karla Nweje, Karla Arredondo Payan, Kathy Mattson, Keila Anali Saucedo, Kevin Johnson, Loren Niemi, Madison Rubenstein, Marggie Ogas, Marjorie Simon, Michelle Maryns, Mona Smith, Pete Driessen, Ryan-Olivia McCoy, Susan Tarnowski, Suzanne Roberts, Ying Vu, Zhen Zou

Image is of a dancer taking part in Grace Minnesota’s Don’t You Feel it Too? programming. Photo by Ryan Stopera. 

Carver County

Minnesota Landscape Arboretum $8,209.00
Funding for three 6-8 week art classes taught by professional artists at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, serving adult learners from October 2020 – June 2021.

Dakota County

Bells of the Lakes $5,450.00
Funding for Handbell Concerts at Senior Living Facilities in the Twin Cities Metro Area during October and November of 2020.

ISD 197 Community Education $7,000.00
Funding to partner with local theater artists to lead K-8 youth in the community event, “Journey of the Noble Gnarble.” This two week project will occur during the School-Age Care Summer Camp between June and August 2020 at Moreland Elementary School in West St. Paul.

Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community $10,000.00
Funding for the 21st Annual Traditional Wacipi, a three-day Native American artistic and cultural celebration and social gathering. Activities will take place on the St. Peter’s Church grounds in Mendota in September 2020.


826 MSP $10,000.00
Funding for Writing as Community Building in Minneapolis from August through December of 2020.

Appetite for Change $7,000.00
Funding for the performance group, Urban Youth of Appetite for Change to film a music video for their single, “Beautiful Black Queen (BBQ),” engaging the North Minneapolis community in a block-party style BBQ to perform and film the video during August and September 2020.

Ballet Co.Laboratory $8,800.00
Funding for “Freddie – Break Free: a new ballet based on the life of Freddie Mercury and the music of Queen” a 90-minute rock ballet at the Cowles Center for Dance in Minneapolis during  April 2021. 

Black Women Speak $10,000.00
Funding for Black Mama’s Heal in Minneapolis during June 2020 – February 2021.

Carnaval Brasileiro $10,000.00
Funding for Carnaval celebration of Brazilian music, dance, art and culture in February 2021 in Minneapolis.

Cialuna Storydance Theatre $7,000.00
Funding to present a play – The Garden: A Refuge, in April 2021 at Zorongo Flamenco Dance studio in Minneapolis. The project will be developed in stages with Gathering events to include the community in the making of the final presentation.

Emerging Curators Institute $10,000.00
Funding for the development, production, and presentation of ECI Fellows’ exhibitions in Minneapolis during December 2020 – June 2021.

Encouraging Leaders $5,500.00
Funding for Project S.W.A.G., a curriculum that promotes the empowerment of youth and young adults through spoken word. Weekly spoken word classes will be offered July – September 2020 and culminates in a Spoken Word Slam in October 2020.

Exposed Brick Theatre $10,000.00
Funding for the world premiere of Aamera’s Siddiqui’s play, Log Kya Kahenge, in the Twin Cities during March/April of 2021.

Flip the Script Festival $7,000.00
Funding for Film the Script Fest in Minneapolis during October 2020.

Folk Will Save Us $10,000.00
Funding for The Longfellow Village Band Klezmer music sessions in Minneapolis during fall 2020-spring 2021.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North $10,000.00
Funding for the 2020-21 season of Hopewell’s Ensemble Program in North Minneapolis from September 2020-June 2021.

Inverted Arts $10,000.00
Funding for the documentary film “Priest” in production in North Minneapolis from August – November 2020 with screenings at Sanctuary Covenant Church and Inverted Arts in November.

Jones-Harrison Residence $10,000.00
Funding for a series of culturally diverse dance performances to begin in September of 2020 to be followed by a 12-week residency in interpretive dance and movement inspired by the performances that will take place at Jones-Harrison Residence, a senior living residence, located in Minneapolis.

Lightning Rod $10,000.00
Funding for the fourth annual Lightning Rod in Minneapolis during August 2020.

New Musical Theatre Exchange $10,000.00
Funding for a series of public readings of three musicals in Minneapolis and St. Paul during 2020-2021.

Open Flame Theatre $10,000.00
Funding for the premiere of Open Flame Theatre’s opera The Garden at the Southern Theatre in June 2021.

Powderhorn Porchfest $10,000.00
Funding for Powderhorn Porchfest in Minneapolis during September 2020.

Rough Magic Performance Company $10,000.00
Funding for “Norma Jeane Baker of Troy” at the Open Eye Figure Theater in Minneapolis during early winter 2021.

Soo Visual Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding for Pedram Baldari and Nooshin Hakim Javadi to transform the entire gallery space into a game room exploring different aspects of American politics through its colonial history and intervention in the SWANA region (South West Asian/ North African) in Minneapolis during October and November of 2020. 

Southside Family Nurturing Center $8,000.00
Funding for the Our Storytelling Across Three Cultures project, a series of lessons on traditional storytelling from African American, Latin American, and Native American cultures. Each series of lessons will actively engage Southside Family Nurturing Center children, parents and families, between October 2020 and May 2021.

Spit Take Comedy Series $7,225.00
Funding for Spit Take Comedy Series Fall Festival at Bryant Lake Bowl in Minneapolis during September-November 2020.

The Moving Company $10,000.00
Funding for continued development and local production of an original work with the working title “You’re Invited” at the Lab Theater in Minneapolis during November & December 2020.

TigerLion Arts $10,000.00
Funding for TigerLion Arts’ production of The Buddha Prince in Minneapolis in July 2020.

Toot $10,000.00
Funding for Toot’s production of Tent In My Woods at Fresh Oysters Performance Research in Minneapolis during November 2020.

Tru Ruts Endeavors $10,000.00
Funding for Khephra / Black Arts Performance and Institute in Minneapolis during September 2020.

Uprising Theatre Company $8,500.00
Funding for a six-week education program in October and November 2020 for trans and non-binary youth.

What’s Next $5,500.00
Funding for Sex Ed: a Sexprov Performances at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis during October 2020, December 2020, February 2021, April 2021, and June 2021.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding for Homecoming in St. Paul, September 2020 – May 2021, with final performance in Minneapolis, May 2021. 

Scott County

APIA MN Film Project $10,000.00
Funding to create a horror short film based on Asian American experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Saint Paul

Advocating Change Together $10,000.00
Funding for a monthly integrated singing group for those with developmental disabilities as well as general public without disabilities. Activities will take place in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. \

BareBones Productions $10,000.00
Funding for the 27th Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza in Saint Paul during October 2020 at Hidden Falls Park.

Center for Irish Music $10,000.00
Funding for the 13th Annual Minnesota Irish Music Weekend in Saint Paul in June 2021.

CLUES $10,000.00
Funding for “Santuario,” a multi-part public art and creative placemaking project led by a team of 4 MN-based Latino artists in Saint Paul from July 2020 – June 2021.

Contempo Physical Dance $9,490.00
Funding for Footprints, two new works exploring intersections of contemporary dance with indigenous Brazilian dance and First Nations Australian dance, at The O’Shaughnessy in Saint Paul in March 2021.

Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services $10,000.00
Funding for a community outdoor concert series in East Side Saint Paul’s Railroad Island neighborhood during late summer-fall 2020.

East Side Freedom Library $10,000.00
Funding for a 3-part discussion series on immigrant and refugee dance artists in the Twin Cities for MN Dance & the Ecstasies of Influences in fall 2020.

Feel So Young Theatre $9,375.00
Funding for a production of YOLO by Feel So Young Theater, a play about seniors who are dealing with technology, that will tour to Minneapolis and Saint Paul retirement homes and senior care facilities during September 2020.

Grace Minnesota dba Don’t You Feel It Too? $10,000.00
Funding for “Commitments: Supporting Community Resilience,” to expand the organization’s capacity and deepen connection with participants at two partner organizations, Rondo Community Library and Episcopal Church Home, from July 2020 – March 2021.

In Progress $10,000.00
Funding for a digital arts and exhibition program that supports 10 youth in using digital art-making to tell the stories of life in the McDonough Homes.

Jazz at Studio Z $10,000.00
Funding for Jazz at Studio Z, a series of jazz workshops, podcasts, and professional concerts featuring local musicians. Events will take place monthly at Studio Z in downtown Saint Paul between September 2020 and May 2021.

Minhua Chorus $10,000.00
Funding for a full-length concert featuring music and dances related to the evolution of movie and television theme music at the O’Shaughnessy Auditorium in Saint Paul in November 2020.

Minnesota Guitar Society $10,000.00
Funding for a series of nine concerts at Sundin Music Hall in Saint Paul from September 2020 through June 2021. Concerts will feature international artists as well as locally based guitarists.

Once Were and Again We Are (dba Northern Monday Films) $10,000.00
Funding to score and screen “If You See Something Say Nothing,” a short documentary about human rights violations in the Great Lakes region of Central Africa. The project will take place from June to December 2020.

Polish American Medical Society of Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding for Kalejdoskop: Spotlight on Polish Americans in the Twin Cities from July 2020 to May 2021.

Sandbox Theatre $10,000.00
Funding for Light My Way, an artist-developed play exploring generational trauma, mental illness, and transition at the Co-Motion Center for Movement Theater in Saint Paul in October 2020.

Southeast Community Organization $10,000.00
Funding for the Highwood Performance Series in southeast Saint Paul during August 2020.

Teatro del Pueblo $7,984.00
Funding to produce “Real Women Have Curves” in Saint Paul during the spring of 2021.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library $10,000.00
Funding for the 27th season of the Fireside Reading Series at the Hamline Midway branch of the Saint Paul Public Library in January and February 2021. The series presents diverse literary voices and perspectives.

The Victoria Theater Arts Center $6,999.00
Funding for a multidisciplinary arts workshop series in Frogtown, Saint Paul from July through September 2020.

Trilingua Cinema $7,000.00
Funding for film screenings in East Saint Paul during July and August 2020.

We Were the Lucky Ones from Venezuela $10,000.00
Funding for a documentary film paired with an impact campaign to increase understanding of and empathy with asylum-seekers and displaced Venezuelans living in Minnesota. This project will take place in 2020-21.

zAmya Theater Project $10,000.00
Funding to adapt an original script A Prairie Homeless Companion for a special engagement at the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint. Paul during National Hunger and Homelessness Week in November 2020.

Zeitgeist $10,000.00
Funding for 2020-2021 Eric Stokes Song Contest program, including the Eric Stokes Song Contest plus Zeitgeist’s annual Playing it Close to Home concerts and workshops. Activities take place at Studio Z in Saint Paul and the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis.  

Suburban Hennepin County

Bloomington Symphony Orchestra $10,000.00
Funding for a free outdoor Art in the Park concert at Normandale Lake Bandshell in August 2020 and a ticketed family-friendly concert at Masonic Heritage Center in October 2020.

Hammer Residences $10,000.00
Funding for Uncommon Connections: Neurodivergent Story and Performance in Wayzata and Minneapolis from October 2020 to April 2021.

Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM) $10,000.00
Funding for four chamber concerts and one community festival of Indian classical music in its Fall/Winter 2020 Concert Series.

Washington County

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding for four introductory creative writing courses in four metro-area prisons in fall 2020.

The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists $10,000.00
Funding for The Singers’ “Considering Matthew Shepard” concert in Mahtomedi in October 2020.


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