The Next Step Fund, funded by the McKnight Foundation, provides project grants up to $5,000 to artists in any discipline for the purpose of research, career development, and artistic achievement. Applicants may be at any stage in their career, but must demonstrate achievement in their artistic field and have a history of public presentation or community contribution.
The McKnight Foundation’s arts program is founded on the belief that Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The McKnight Foundation supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities.
After a record applicant pool of 567 artists submitted proposals in this year’s Next Step Fund, our panelists read and rated all of the applications in round one, determining the 108 finalists. After reviewing work samples in round two, the 34 grantees were determined.
We would like to extend our sincere gratitude for the hard work and thoughtfulness of the following panelists:
Beverly Cottman, Cameron Gainer, D. Allen, Dameun Strange, DejaJoelle, Diver Van Avery, Esther Callahan, Gabrielle Grier, Heidi Wiren Bartlett, Jeffy Hnilicka, Jonathan Herrera Soto, Laura Joseph, Maria Isa Perez-Hedges, Mariona Lloreta, Miko Simmons, Nico Wheadon, Pao Her, Rachel Breen, Sara Tan, Shaiwna Adams, Zamzam Mohammed
We would like to extend our warmest congratulations to this year’s grant recipients!
Alanna Morris-Van Tassel
Funding for research for the development for new choreographic project, Black Light
Funding to create, build, market and sustain artistic practice.
Benji Perez Gonzalez
Funding to pay a filmmaking crew
Funding for a new laptop computer and printer to revise essay manuscript, The House on Rondo, create a website and query agents.
Funding for sensory media equipment for the research and production of Warming, to be developed during a post-pandemic Arctic Circle Research Residency. Warming will complete the cycle of three works that comprise the Open Air Cycle.
Funding for equipment purchase for photo studio
Funding for the creation of a puppetry digital series called “Sanjabeel/ginger”, that explores mental health wellness and meaningful connection in challenging times
Funding for the production of a significant body of work
Funding to purchase music equipment to professionalize as well as increase output and quality.
Funding for the creation of a home music studio to support development of an album of new music.
Funding to present the Hmong Batik Workshop.
Funding for professional video production equipment to produce a short film pulled from the feature length script “Eat 30 (Noj Peb Caug),” that will be used to raise funding to produce the entire feature film.
Funding for an immersive large-scale watercolor on paper painting to be exhibited at The Gordon Parks Gallery at Metropolitan State University in April 2022.
Funding for a solo exhibition at Saint Cloud State University
Funding for a chapbook of specialty poems
Funding for The Southern Artist Tour focusing on archiving, filming, and collaborating with Black artists, farmers, and storytellers in cities throughout Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia.
Funding for first professionally published artbook
Funding for equipment for documentation, preservation and marketing of Lao dance and performance
Funding for research into the origins and development of Raga in Indian music.
Funding to hire a music business coach and mentorship program enrollment.
Funding for additional education and equipment purchase
Funding for travel to India to study in depth, the folk songs of Rajasthan from an acclaimed master.
Funding for the creation of a new solo performance
Funding for documentation of first solo exhibition outside Twin Cities and building a website dedicated to storytelling using the documentation.
Funding to revise full manuscript, (Memoir) with professional Developmental Edit with Line editing
Funding to purchase new equipment for home studio, attend a workshop and network as a woman composer of color.
Tahiel Jimenez Medina
Funding for Tahiel to direct his short film My Mama Can’t Swim.
Taylor Ngiri Seaberg
Funding for new video equipment to film/livestream an immersive and psychedelic Black jazz rock soundscape in my home studio in Anoka.
Funding for first solo full-length album.
Funding for new equipment to remain prepared and active in writing and illustrating diverse children’s books.
Funding to develop a website; commission podcast marketing material and create content for podcast and website
Funding to create a business plan to scale up production capabilities and continue to produce commissioned pieces, and move more work to a more gallery friendly presentation.
Funding for equipment and project support.
Funding for the completion and revision of a first full-length poetry manuscript.