First Round Equity Response Grant Awards

Three women dancing in unison

Congratulations to the 16 organizations who are recipients of the first MRAC Equity Response grant awards. On October 20, 2020, the MRAC board approved $39,478 in funding for the following organizations to receive grant awards in the first round of the Equity Response program for FY21. Note that the county designations indicate where the organization is located; Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from their counties.

The Equity Response grant program was created to serve the flexible needs of groups and organizations that are led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), People with Disabilities (PWD), and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+) individuals. There are multiple future deadlines for this grant program and we encourage you to visit the grant page to learn more.

Image shows Katha Dance Theatre, photo by Anjana Nair. 

Dakota County

Funding for STRONGmovement’s rehearsals between November 1 – December 20, 2020 in preparation for upcoming shows which were previously postponed due to COVID.


Katha Dance Theatre
Funding to  provide access to its creative works and dance classes to its audience of adults and students throughout the 7-county metro via the internet.

Art Shanty Projects
Funding for an online retreat facilitator to help assess and update the organization’s mission, vision, and values, to better align with the equity, inclusion, and accessibility work it is doing.

20% Theatre Company
Funding to digitize two past NAKED I productions, and to edit four past NAKED I productions to prepare them for virtual screenings this fall.

Voices in the Back
Funding for a series of six 30-minutes segments, hosted by Anastasia Ellis and Alexei Moon Casselle, including conversations about issues in the music industry with performances from local musicians.

Rosy Simas Danse
Funding to conduct a survey of the needs of Native, Indigenous, Black, and People of Color working in the performing arts in Minnesota.

Minnesota African American Heritage Museum and Gallery
Funding for organizational infrastructure.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra
Funding for video and audio recording equipment we will use to create virtual music concerts.

My Otherwise Arts
Funding for a play called Word.The Urban Musical for next summer. The production centers around the last Hip hop and R&B radio station in the country in a lower class Midwest community.

Threads Dance Project
Funding for a Virtual Technology Kit to provide programming including live movement classes and community events that will offer a creative outlet and alleviation from community trauma and stress.

TaikoArts Midwest
Funding for TaikoAlive! to provide local community members access to the health and wellness benefits of the art and culture of taiko through virtual lessons until it is safe to practice in-person.

Saint Paul

Funding to produce a Toot Suite cabaret-style event following the premiere of Toot’s show Tent In My Woods

Border CrosSing

Funding for Border CrosSing to purchase professional equipment and software to create digital performance and educational content in lieu of live concerts and events during the COVID Pandemic.

Suburban Hennepin

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota (St Louis Park)
Funding for Loy Krathong to facilitate healing and growth in the Thai and Southeast Asian community in MN through Thai traditional performances, food, and Khom loy building.

Strive Publishing
Funding for Strive Publishing to bring free short stories to readers in North Minneapolis and promote free writing contests for local Black authors with the purchase of a Short Story Dispenser.

Suburban Ramsey

10th Wave Chamber Music Collective
Funding to increase the effectiveness of a branding and marketing plan by working with a consultant for classical music ensembles, and for administrative fees and wages.

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