Round 8 of Equity Response Grant Awards

Congratulations to the 29 organizations who are recipients of the seventh round MRAC Equity Response grant awards. On June 15, 2021, the MRAC board approved $70,950 in funding for the following organizations to receive grant awards in the eighth and final 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.

Image from zAmya Theater Project

Carver County

Drama Interaction

Funding for a unique arts learning project for children with special needs in the Twin Cities’ East African-American population conducted by Drama Interaction.


Art ASAP, Incorporated

Funding for Art ASAP’s 10 week arts program for kids 8-12 living in the Mt. Airy Affordable housing complex in downtown St.Paul. Classes are held in the community center and are free.

Black, Bold & Brilliant

Funding for work space and to strengthen the strategic business/marketing plan to sustain the organization’s ability to engage Black youth in cultural & artistic activities.

Blockfort LLC

Funding for a mobile DJ/Music/Theater/Performance stage that can be trailered and powered to provide an accessible, safer, multi-sensory experience for local communities.

Cow Tipping Press

Funding for a Cow Tipping Intern with disabilities: a new groundbreaking role with our org in addition to our authors, fellows, speakers, teachers, and advisors with disabilities.

Growing North Minneapolis

Funding for Food for Thought: Completion will allow Growing North Minneapolis to assist in the completion of three youth driven murals and one Veggie Mobile in North Minneapolis and a celebration.

Language Attitude

Funding to host a board retreat for our Board of Directors, collaborate with a podcast consultant to develop a creative and strategic plan, and purchase necessary podcast recording equipment.

Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota

Funding for a leadership capacity building project collecting and recontextualizing the history of Lao Assistance Center arts programming between 1983-2020.

Legal Rights Center

Funding for a youth led portion of a mural project with the theme of “And Justice For All”. This mural will celebrate BIPOC and youth community members, and those the Legal Rights Center serves.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop

Funding for Monkeybear to purchase lighting equipment so our community can self produce small scale shows outdoors and create puppet films, for safe public presentations during the pandemic.

Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)

Funding for BIPOC Sex Workers Story Circles, which will uplift and archive the voices and narratives of BIPOC sex workers in Minneapolis.

Speaking Out

Funding for this project will support the strengthening and further development of Speaking Out Collective’s critical organizational infrastructure by providing stipends to the admin team.

Virginia Twins

Funding for Virginia Twins to develop/pilot a workshop for LGBTQ+ youth to explore their imagination and connect to their bodies in new and affirming ways through improvisation and physical theater.

We Win Institute, Inc.

Funding for photographer to capture Black children’s joy of reading. WE WIN When We Read gives free beautiful artistic books by Black authors and illustrators in order to foster a love of reading.

zAmya Theater Project

Funding to support development of a theatrical presentation designed to create dialogue and address racial disparities in the healthcare system.


APIA MN Film Collective

Funding to support a comedic short film about the Hmong community.

Shakopee Diversity Alliance

Funding will go towards providing healing art workshops, a community mural and to encourage digital storytelling in order to shape the narratives being shared about our communities of color.

St. Paul


Funding to engage a team youth of color to use their artistic skills and interests to reshape how we deliver Afrocentric Arts and Culture as a healing tool.

Black Women Speak

Black Women Speak will engage artist and teacher Kenna Cottman/Voice of Culture to offer arts-based, culturally-appropriate childcare at 10 BWS events or programs throughout the 2021-2022 year.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater

Funding to engage in discussions regarding the affect of “Asian hate” on CAAM CDT, its community and participants and using social media and other communications to create meaningful understanding.

Face to Face Health and Counseling, Inc.

Funding for youth experiencing homelessness/housing instability to collaborate on a song and video sharing their stories and voicing their struggles surrounding social and racial justice.

Hmong Women of Minnesota with Disabilities

Funding to pay Victoria Kab Vang, our in-house storyboarder, to create a graphic novel based the screenplay that the Hmong Women of Minnesota with Disabilities writers group have just written.

In Progress

Funding to support a series of 5 dinners dialogues with artists that created digital artwork around the trauma of 2020.

Minnesota Youth Collective

MinneDesk is a concert series where local Minnesota artists perform and answer questions about how electoral politics impact them, as well as their opinions on the role of art in organizing.

One Voice Mixed Chorus

One Voice Mixed Chorus requests funding to support a series of “ReMembering: Singing Water” outdoor pop-up concert viewings in the Twin Cities July 2021.

Points of Light Music

Funding to build capacity for Biracial & Rural, an arts-based community of care for folks who identify or connect with the experience of being mixed and rural by growing the advisory board membership.

Suburban Hennepin

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance

Funding to purchase additional personal protective equipment for students and staff as well as cleaning and disinfectant supplies to make sure our dance environment is safe for all.

Minnesota Freedom Band

Funding for purchases of percussion and other equipment to enhance safety during COVID-19 and to diversify musical programming.

Suburban Ramsey

Sacred Grounds Coffee House

Funding for 6 month’s lease for a person with disabilities (PWD) led Minnesota artist-based storefront in Shoreview. Funding will also help support a semester of writing workshops.

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