Flexible Support Round 1 Awards

Congratulations to the 88 groups and organizations who are recipients of the first round of MRAC Flexible Support grant awards. On November 16, 2021, the MRAC board approved $1,287,688 in funding for the following organizations to receive grant awards in the first round of the Flexible Support program for FY22. 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 In Progress. Image description: Two individuals with dark hair and face masks on are standing in front of a brick wall with photos of George Floyd Square pasted to the wall. The individual on the left is holding a photo print of people in a protest.

Anoka County

Northern Starz Theatre Company

Funding to bring live radio shows of “The Golden Starz Radio Hour- Jewels of deNial,” a comedic romp thru the Golden Years of Seniorhood, to the residents of senior facilities.

Rumriver Art Center

Funding to grow and expand the ceramics program at Rumriver Art Center.

Carver County

Chaska Valley Family Theatre

Funding for facility fees, allowing Chaska Valley Family Theatre to continue providing high-quality family-friendly performing arts opportunities to the people of greater Carver County.

Watertown-Mayer Community Education

Funding to support Summer Youth Theatre in executing our annual six-week youth theatre experience for 40 kids ages 10-16.

Dakota County


Funding to be used for the community arts component of the Memorialization of the Early Black Community in Hastings. 4-5 projects such as temporary public art, murals and performance will be planned.

Eagan Art Festival

Funding to provide the staffing and expertise to create a more robust online festival platform for the community, and to bring back a hands on community art project to the in person festival event.

International Friendship Through the Performing Arts

Funding to present four top female Asian musicians in a concert and outreach activities – Gao Hong (Chinese), Vân-Ánh Võ (Vietnamese), Susie Ibara (Filipino), and Masayo Ishigure (Japanese).


Funding to be used to expand the OOPS Recipe Series, which commissions local composers and musicians to create and film art songs based on real recipes that celebrate a variety of cultures.

Youth Dance Ensemble

Funding for 25 economically disadvantaged & academically at risk 6-8th graders to explore modern dance with professional teaching artists, ending with the Modern Dance Project Community Concert.


Alive & Kickin

Funding to support the relaunch of A&K’s SingOUT! program at Cora McCorvey Center in 2021-22.

Art Shanty Projects

Funding for critical festival infrastructure and personnel to meet the unique installation and accessibility needs of presenting Art Shanty Projects’ annual outdoor winter art festival on ice.

Burn Something Collective

Funding for the production of a collaboratively-produced zine and a launch event.

Emerging Curators Institute

Funding to support the Professional Development Learning Program of our annual awarded fellowship for 4 emerging curators.

Kairos Alive!

Funding to expand audience for Kairos Alive! Dancing Heart™ Live 2-way interactive arts engagement webcast for underserved older adults to create connection, health and intercultural enjoyment.

Kevin Kling & Co.

Funding for a series of 3 one-week performance residencies to celebrate emerging and established masters of the storytelling form, and promote artistic excellence, fellowship, and empathy.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance

Funding for a 2022 Spring Performance, giving youth the opportunity to learn and perform ballet and modern dance to a community.

Lightning Rod

Funding to support Phase Three of our transdisciplinary ensemble of queer and trans performance artists in research, development, regular studio practice and a culminating public performance.

Little Earth Residents Association

Funding for NYAC Almanac Project will support the creation and publication of a Native Almanac with the Little Earth Urban Farm, detailing the cultural significance of heirloom and medicinal plants.

Metro Work Center, Inc.

Funding for a metal sculpture project for adults living with disabilities will connect MWC participants with the Longfellow community in South Minneapolis through the arts in the spring of 2022.

Minneapolis American Indian Center

Funding to build and broaden meaningful opportunities for native curation by working to achieve key goals of engaging current, innovative ideas around the representation of Indigenous communities.

Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association

Funding for 10 free live orchestra concerts featuring the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra at Lake Harriet Bandshell Park.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra

Funding to perform one free orchestral music concert performed by the MPO.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

Funding to teach five in-person creative writing workshops across four Metro-Area prisons. Course offerings will be designed in collaboration with student-led Writers Collectives at each facility.

Natyakala 2021

Funding to host iconic Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Alarmel Valli (of Chennai, India) for a week-long residency to consist of workshops, master classes, and presentations

New Arab American Theater Works

Funding to support New Arab American Theater Works community programs Yalla Drum! Arab drum ensemble, & SWANA Dive! New Works by SWANA (Southwest Asian/North African) Playwrights for fiscal year 2022.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association

Funding for the ’22 Minneapolis Monarch Festival celebrates the monarch butterfly’s migration from Minnesota to Mexico by blending artistic programs, environmental education, and community building.

Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association

Funding for the 2022 Art-A-Whirl open studio tour, anticipated to be the first Art-A-Whirl in two years with full in-person attendance and programming.

Northern Lights MN Inc

Funding for a community-based, multimodal art project meeting the traditional Hmong cross-stitch of Paj Ntaub (“pan dow”) with cross-cultural storytelling, folklore, and narratives of perseverance.

Open Eye Theatre

Funding to renovate Open Eye’s 20-year-old modular stage and include an accessible wheelchair ramp to better serve our artist community.

Open Flame Theatre

Funding to perform Open Flame Theatre’s work “The Garden,” a surrealist, queer opera about rewilding and the roots of internalized transphobia, in the Twin Cities.

Red Eye Collaboration

Funding to support local performance-based artists creating and presenting new work in Red Eye’s New Works 4 Weeks 2022 Festival.

Skewed Visions

Funding to create and produce a 12 episode audio podcast, “Impossible Performances,” to provide our audiences access to Skewed Visions’ unique creative work in a safe and accessible manner.

Sod House Theater

Funding to support Actor/Director Joy Dolo on devising a new project entitled SISU as well as funding staff during the 3 months of the project.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum

Funding for weekly traditional Somali dance classes for Somali youth.

Soo Visual Arts Center

Funding to support artists by providing space and staffing for year-round programming.

Spice Arts

Funding for 3 offerings of Really Spicy Opera’s Aria Institute for Composers and Librettists specifically designed to minimize financial and practical barriers to participating in creating opera.

Strike Theater

Funding For Coaches/Teachers/Producers of Friday Night Stage Match and to replace older sound and lighting equipment.

Technologist Computers

Funding for Joy on Film, a program designed for youth age 16-24 to use digital cameras to photograph the things that bring them joy. Youth learn documentary film-making skills, & process trauma.

The DIAL Group

Funding for the Arts Program Capacity Building Project will support community artist-mentor training, curriculum development, and residencies to sustain our Unified Creative Learning program.

Threads Dance Project

Funding for our 2022 Tapestries Choreography Program, an annual project in which 3 BIPOC and/or women emerging choreographers can experience the typical professional choreography process.

Voices for Racial Justice

Funding to support internal capacity building for our cultural arts strategy leading to more inclusive, intersectional work that better serves Black, Indigenous and People of Color across the region.

Walker Methodist Health Center

Funding for three in-person 8-week residencies and one performance. Allowing older adults to experience in-person art in a group setting led by professional teaching artists.

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz

Funding for Z Puppets Rosenschnoz to produce Star Turtle (a family-friendly virtual show about keeping alive Cherokee language) and provide free access to Twin City Native American community partners.

zAmya Theater Project

Funding to support salary for an Operations Manager in 2022.

Saint Paul

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS)

Funding for the Little Africa Village, a year-end virtual and in-person art and culture event celebrating the strength, resiliency, creativity, and assets of Minnesota’s African immigrant communities.

Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations

Funding to support the organization and the artistic & cultural activities for the annual Mall of America ‘MOA Celebrate the Spring Festival 2022 – Year of the Tiger’ to be held on Feb 5 & 6, 2022.

Asian Economic Development Association

Funding to support primarily Southeast Asian artists and revive the arts and cultural activities of the 2022 Little Mekong Night Market after a two-year absence due to the pandemic.

Balkanicus Institute for Balkan Art Culture and History

Funding for April 30 chamber concert of several Balkan composers including Cene visiting from Albania and October 15 cross-cultural performance in collaboration with Duluth Haitian composer Perrault.

Celtic Junction Arts Center

Funding for a media manager and funding for a bookkeeper to support this growing arts organization by strengthening its administrative and financial foundation.

COLLIDE Theatrical

Funding to support the development and performances of OUR STORIES, an evening of dance storytelling rooted in the Black experience that seeks to connect, educate, and heal audiences.


Funding to support ComMUSICation’s development of a strategic plan that will result in an enduring vision, clear mission, powerful values, and organizational strategies to guide our work

East Side Arts Council

Funding to provide accessible arts classes taught by professional artists in poetry writing, clay, drawing and painting for older people ages 62 + at four sites on the East Side of St. Paul.

Exposed Brick Theatre

Funding to produce four new plays developed through the theatre’s “Through Our Eyes” project, which commissioned Minnesota BIPOC playwrights to write from their perspectives about 2020.

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

Funding to host The FAWK Super Show, a live comedy show that will take place in April 2022 at the Ordway Center for Performing Arts.

In Progress

NEXUS is a digital arts program that provides mentorship, access and presentation opportunities to 24+ self-taught artists that face barriers to traditional professional development opportunities.

India Association of Minnesota

Funding to support IndiaFest 2022 featuring 100 artists performing Asian-Indian dance, music, theater, and storytelling on August 13, 2022 at the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul.


Funding to organize a wellness arts conference called The Black OM. The Black OM is a 6 hour conference event focusing on the power of art. Promoting how art is healing.

Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health

Funding to revise the script and score of Fidgety Fairy Tales-The Mental Health Musicals’ Rapunzel, a story about anxiety, which will be performed live and adapted into an online puppet show.

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 from March to June 2022, culminating in a musical performance.

Minnesota Youth Media

Funding for Screenwriting and Media Production Workshop presented to the 8th grade students at Global Arts Plus in Saint Paul. The workshop introduces students to screenwriting and media production.


Funding for 240 $62.50/musician hours used towards 45 weekly Sunday afternoon “Hard Bop” Jazz concerts. Each concert will feature a different African American composer of the Hard Bop Jazz Idiom.

Rhythmically Speaking

Funding to support the creation and production of annual production featuring local choreographers and dancers, as well as visiting artists working in jazz and American social dance ideas.

Selby Ave JazzFest

Funding for the 2022 Selby Ave JazzFest, a 20-year living testament to the power of arts-based community development, taking place September 2022 in St. Paul.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre

Funding to support rehearsal and six public performances of Macbeth, by William Shakespeare, performed by an ensemble of 15 teens ages 13-19, and supported by professional artists and designers.

Southeast Community Organization

Funding for the Highwood Performance Series will bring neighbors together to celebrate community through the appreciation and enjoyment of diverse cultural performing artists.

Sub-Saharan African Youth & Family Services in MN (SAFYSM)

Funding to cover rent, interpreters/translators, written advertising, and miscellaneous art supplies to ensure African immigrant and refugee women continue to have access to quality arts experience.

The Victoria Theater Arts Center

Funding for the Community Coordinator position, to ensure continued artistic engagement, access, and opportunities for creative connection in our community.

Theatre 55

Funding for Theatre 55’s production of “The Rocky Horror Show,” performed by artists 55+, focusing on celebrating LGBTQ representation.

Wonderlust Productions

Funding for Lost and Found, a collaboration between artists and communities who have experienced ambiguous loss to celebrate our capacity for resilience in the face of unresolvable grief.

Suburban Hennepin County

4 Community Theatre

Funding to offset the production costs of our 5 productions for 2022-2023, allowing us to continue and to extend our outreach for greater diversity in our casts, supporting staff, and audiences.

Autism SIBS Universe

Funding for poetry mentorships for neurodivergent learners age 13-21 at South Education Center in Richfield who will each write and publish books of poetry under the Unrestricted Interest imprint.

Beijing Chinese Culture Center

Beijing Chinese Culture Center respectfully requests $15,000 of Flexible Support grant to support a full-length concert entitled “My Life in Minnesota (3) – My Neighbors”, in November 2022.

Chops, Inc

Funding for Pan Outreach steel-drum K-12 instructional residencies at three Title 1 Minneapolis and Saint Paul Public Schools in winter/spring of 2022.

Cross Community Players

Funding for 7 performances of “Legally Blonde” at Maple Grove Town Green in June 2022. Cross Community Players (CCP) has a mission of providing a quality theater experience and an awareness of hunger.

House of Dance Foundation

Funding for House of Dance Foundation’s 8th Anniversary Weekend will support two days of high quality performance and educational programming, intended to serve Minnesota’s diverse Hip Hop community.

Journey Productions

Funding for 2022 Theater & dramaturgy experience, audition-based performing arts program in Minneapolis for youth 8-18. The program will culminate in the performance of Clinton 12:The Hill we Climbed.

Maia Maiden Productions

Funding to strengthen organizational capacity through marketing and corporate sponsorship development.

Richfield Symphonic Band

Funding for a 4 concert series performed at the Richfield band shell in summer 2022 by the Richfield Symphonic Band.

Sonora Winds

Funding for 6 concerts presented to immigrant and elderly audiences.

Summit Music

Funding for thirty musicians and administrative work for senior outreach concerts.

The Givens Foundation for African American Literature

Funding to support the Culture Matters K-12 Residency programming for 9-12 graders enrolled at the Menlo Park Academy located within the Eastside Neighborhood Services Complex located in NE Mpls.

Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective

Funding for capacity development, community outreach, and programming for the 2022 Twin Cities Iranian Culture Festival.

Suburban Ramsey County

Average Mohamed

Funding for Average Mohamed for covering our existing responsibilities to staff and contractors, primarily wages and funding current projects. We are creating education cartoons for children.


Funding to support the rehearsal of and performance of “Tracing Sacred Steps” (TSS) in spring 2022.

Dark & Stormy Productions

Funding to support programing for Dark & Stormy’s 10th anniversary season to reconnect with pre-pandemic audiences, reach new audiences, and engage a diverse group of artists.

Washington County


Funding for high school students from the East Metro to initiate virtual creative teams to produce podcasts, short films, and literary arts including short stories, poetry and song lyrics.

The Belwin Conservancy

Funding for Belwin Conservancy’s Music in the Trees, August 2022, will support 40 musicians and dancers of diverse and unique styles, performing in a red pine forest.

Vets for Music

Funding for a free, 1-day music festival to honor our nation’s Veterans to be held at Richard Walton Park in Oakdale MN in July 2022. This will mark the fourth year of this annual event.


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