Second Round Flexible Support Grants Awarded

Somali Museum of Minnesota

Congratulations to the 79 groups and organizations who are recipients of the second round MRAC Flexible Support grant awards. On March 16, 2021, the MRAC board approved $1,130,735 in funding for the following organizations to receive grant awards in the second round of the Flexible Support 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 Flexible Support grant provides up to $15,000 in funding to help groups create access to the arts and stay connected to audiences/community across the seven-county metro area. Funding can be used for organizational support or projects that bring the arts to the local communities.

Photo from The Somali Museum of Minnesota

Carver County

Watertown-Mayer Community Education

Funding for Summer Youth Theatre offered through Watertown-Mayer Community Education during March-July 2021.

Dakota County

City of Hastings

Funding for the Performances in the Park series in Hastings from July 2021 through September 2021.

International Friendship Through the Performing Arts

Funding to provide live and/or virtual performances (followed by live Zoom Q & A sessions) for residents in retirement communities by top musicians from a variety of cultures and musical genres.

Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community

Funding for a new project to foster and proliferate the Dakota arts, culture, language, and more through a series of classes, community based projects, and new media initiatives.

People Incorporated

Funding for Artability Art and Music Workshops in 2021 with new opportunities and platforms, expanding access to supportive arts instruction virtually and in person.

XV Latvian Song and Dance Festival, Inc.

Funding for a Masterclass led by Latvian composer Ēriks Ešenvalds, followed by a choir concert of Ešenvalds’ works performed by Magnum Chorum in collaboration with two choirs visiting from Latvia.


Art Buddies

Funding to provide art mentoring and education, arts and crafts supplies to our kids at high-need schools of the Twin Cities, while they are isolated & Distance Learning.

Asian Women United of Minnesota

Funding to create Talking Suitcases project. Participants will create a series of story objects to hold within their suitcases and work toward telling a complete story within the larger suitcase.

Average Mohamed

Funding to create Somali poetry and cartoons for the next generation. We will make 3 poems into 3-minute long cartoons. The primary topics will be opioid abuse, gang involvement, and education.

Black Storytellers Alliance

Funding for interactive online African/African American Storytelling classes from an African/African American perspective to create a cadre of authentic African/African American Storytellers.

Black Table Arts

Funding for a cooperative space by and for Black artists in the Twin Cities.

Community Peace Celebration

Funding for the 25th Community Peace Celebration: a milestone commemoration featuring local artists and organizations building Peace in the Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods of St. Paul.

Confluence: An East Lake Studio for Community Design

Funding for a neighborhood studio and media incubator, the East Lake Autonomous Media Unit at Chicago Avenue & East Lake Street.

Emerging Curators Institute

Funding to expand staff capacity, build a CRM, expand grant writing, and plan long-term strategies with the advisory committee on relationship building with new partners and donors.

Folk Will Save Us

Funding to build a community repertoire of Jewish folk music, and to organize socially-distant in person and online learning events in 2021-22.

Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Transgender Pride Twin Cities dba/Twin Cities Pride

Funding to pay the Minnesota artists performing at the annual Pride Festival. If the Festival is in-person, it will also help pay the staging costs, if online, it will help pay for production costs.

Giving Voice

Funding to support the general operations of Giving Voice Initiative and help ensure continued access to high-quality arts programming through dementia-friendly chorus groups in the Twin Cities.


Funding for Honey: A dance performance installation celebrating the bodies, movement, and music of queer club spaces. Performance space as dancefloor, dancefloor as sacred spectacle.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North

Funding to support affordable music lessons in North Minneapolis.

Intro to Success

Funding for equipment and rented studio space will enable participating ITS Factory residency artists to develop a community healing art installation project from concept to fruition.

Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project

Funding to develop accessible arts programming, hire its next Executive Director, and partner with CarryOn Homes on a touring exhibition of new photography storytelling artwork.

Lightning Rod

Funding to establish a multidisciplinary ensemble of queer and trans performance artists. Artists will research historical and contemporary queer art forms, and develop their own ensemble practice.

Minnesota Fringe Festival

Funding for permanent expansion of online programming to continue offering virtual performances as a means of building organizational capacity to improve community vitality through Arts and Culture.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra

Funding to compensate our Artistic Director, Concertmaster, and a guest composer for their work to create a free virtual concert series.

MOVO Space

Funding for The Bridge Project – Incubation for Mid-Career Queer and BIPOC performing and multidisciplinary artists.

Open Eye Theatre

Funding to support SURVIVE & THRIVE, a 3-show series of COVID-safe events that nourishes emerging & established artists and sustains & cultivates community connections.

Open Flame Theatre

Funding to hire ensemble members as administrative staff in the coming year.

Pan Asian Arts Alliance

Funding for a youth-led K-pop online showcase – Gen-K, to: 1) increase arts participation among youth of color; 2) use community-wide dialogues to redirect anxiety and inspire peaceful resolution.

People Serving People Charities, Inc.

Funding to bring the arts to People Serving People’s Early Childhood Development programs because music and storytelling gives children an opportunity to connect with others and express themselves.

Poetry for People

Funding for “Free the Deeds”, a community-based public art project that uses storytelling, visual art and poetry to inspire people to erase racial covenants on their homes and practice reparations.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum

Funding to present a full length (50min – 90 mins) Riwaayad, a Somali traditional play with music and dance, about current issues facing our communities.

Speaking Out

Funding to support Speaking Out Collective’s storytelling partnership with 5 MPS classrooms & administrative support to sustain current operations and create future programming.

The DIAL Group

Funding to collaborate with artists of color to evolve our arts-based school curriculum for the new distance-learning environment, which will help sustain our programming.

The Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts

Funding to support the transition to a new Executive Director and new stage of the organization, including neighborhood youth, artists, the Board of Directors and community members in this process.

The Witness Project (at UROC)

Funding to engage 6-9 teaching artists for expanded programming, hire an expert to create an organization website, and support publication of a mini-anthology as part of a cross-mentorship initiative.

Time Track Productions

Funding to create the first half of Toward Utopia, a new work engaging 6 dancers, 1 composer, 3 jazz musicians, and 1 visual/media artist.

Twin Cities Jazz Workshop

Funding to purchase new equipment, diversify operations and staff, and offer weekly instruction on Latin music to Twin Cities’ area youth. To take place at Capri Theater in North Minneapolis.

Unicorn Riot

Funding for the production and post-production of ‘The Mothers’ feature-length documentary about mothers who’ve lost their children to police killings to be released on Unicorn Riot.

Uprising Theatre Company

Funding for artistic director salary support, website redesign for accessibility needs and a mission update, and launching an online marketing campaign for community growth and relationship building.

Weavers Guild of Minnesota

Funding to support Fiscal Year 2021-Quarter 3 operations and programming.

Whittier Alliance

Funding for the 2021 Eat Street Food, Music, & Arts Festival to be adapted into a three-day, socially-distant event series with local artists/makers, dance, youth arts activities, and live music.

zAmya Theater Project

Funding to support the creation of an Operations Coordinator position to expand zAmya’s ability to engage people experiencing homelessness during the pandemic and beyond.

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre

Funding to create a 3-part community performance series. The project includes five free outdoor performances and two tickets events of new choreographic works by local flamenco artists.


APIA MN Film Collective

Funding for APIA MN Film Collective to purchase new equipment and to pay staff and APIDA film artists.

St. Paul

Alanna Morris-Van Tassel Productions

Funding for the development and presentation of Black Light, a kaleidoscopic multidisciplinary collaboration of dancers, poets and musicians for the Great Northern Festival in February 2022.

Away Runakuna

Funding to support an Ecuadorian dance project that represents a well known tradition called “El Capariche” through dance classes and performance.

Change Inc.

Funding to create an arts learning experience for young adults ages who are immigrants, refugees, and English Language Learners, culminating in a video documenting their journeys and perspectives.

Creative Enterprise Zone

Funding for an inaugural outdoor Graffiti Art Invitational event in May 2021, curated by Peyton Scott Russell of SPRAYFINGER in partnership with the Creative Enterprise Zone at Bang Brewing.

Eastside Stories Production Group

Funding for an online weekly video series that highlights Eastside BIPOC residents and business owners. The purpose is to amplify marginalized voices and to create a deeper sense of community.

Exposed Brick Theatre

Funding to support the development of four new plays in the “Through Our Eyes” project, in which Twin Cities playwrights explore the impact of multiple pandemics on their specific communities.

Face to Face Health and Counseling, Inc.

Funding for the Recording Arts program at SafeZone drop in center for youth experiencing homelessness.

Fireweed Community Woodshop

Funding to offer online woodworking classes and free educational video content to women and non-binary makers.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (F.A.W.K)

Funding to support the development of a FAWK Comedy TV Show.

JazzMN, Inc.

Funding for JazzMN Orchestra to present a live streamed outdoor concert and to produce a virtual recording that will be marketed to underserved populations.

Lower Phalen Creek Project

Funding to support development of 20-month cultural arts and heritage programming plan for Wakaŋ Tipi Center in Saint Paul, MN.

Million Artist Movement

Funding to support ongoing Million Artist Movement community engagement and programming.

Minnesota Jazz Education

Funding for Experience Jazz, a 12-week music making lab engaging up to 30 middle and high school students. Sessions will take place online from March to June 2021, culminating in a recording project.

More Than a Single Story

Funding to present BIPOC+ writers discussing issues of importance to them in their own words, and to engage broad communities in those conversations.

Selby Ave JazzFest

Funding for 2021 Selby Ave JazzFest in St. Paul, MN which will take place in September, 2021.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre

Funding to create the Dream Project, an interactive website and film project that will present Shakespearean Youth Theatre’s audio dramas alongside young artist commentary and creative concepts.

Six Elements Theatre Company

Funding to produce the Count of Monte Cristo Web Series while exploring safe and socially distant film practices and provide work for 60 local artists.

Skylark Opera

Funding for eight socially-distanced, COVID compliant opera/musical theater performances at senior residences and six digital mini concerts available to the general public.

Trilingua Cinema

Funding to organize a series of multilingual, multicultural film screenings and film events on St. Paul’s East Side.


Funding to bring increase access to arts programming for historically marginalized communities, increase our capacity by bringing on a grant writer and to sustain the work we do now.

Wingspan Life Resources

Funding for collaboration with COMPAS for 3 residencies with teaching artists for adults with developmental disabilities.

Suburban Hennepin

Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs

Funding to support outside in-person choir rehearsals and performance for singers in grades K – 12.


Funding for CHOICE Inc. to partner with Cow Tipping Press to enable its artists to learn to express themselves through the arts of creative writing and storytelling.

Crossroads Panorama

Funding to build capacity and increase staff and programs.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance

Funding for the 2021 Spring Performance.

Maia Maiden Productions

Funding to hire a Technical Director and COVID cleaning company.

Minnesota Chinese Music Ensemble

Funding for a 5-part Chinese music lecture series with student showcase. Presentations introduce different regional styles of Chinese music followed by student performances.

Placebo Records

Funding to create a digital venue and re-establish programming and operations.

Reach for Resources

Funding for our Art Abilities will allow help us fulfill our mission by providing access to art programming for individuals with cognitive disabilities and mental illness.

St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts

Funding to produce the St. Louis Park Art Fair, Artist Showcase Exhibit, and Art-Walk in the Park projects in alignment with St. Louis Park Strategic Roadmap for Advancing Arts & Culture

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota (St Louis Park)

Funding for Songkran, the Thai New Year, will be utilized to celebrate moving into a new year with our community.

Vail Place

Funding to provide opportunities for individuals with serious mental illness to express themselves and their lived experiences through a collaborative theater project with the History Theatre.

Suburban Ramsey

Metropolitan Area Agency on Aging

Funding to engage playwrights in the development of diverse scripts to be used to engage around a dementia capable society and to reduce the fear, stigma, & isolation associated with Memory Loss.


Art from the Inside MN

Funding to grow our organizational capacity to offer inclusive, engaging, community-centered exhibitions of visual art of incarcerated artists serving time in Minnesota state prisons.

Lao Culture Dance and Fashion Show, LLC

Funding for a traditional Lao dance, fashion, pageant and culture program for youth, with online programming highlighting current and past performances.

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