Arts Impact for Individuals Grant Awards

Congratulations to the 79 individuals who are recipients of the MRAC Arts Impact for Individuals grant awards. On December 21, 2021, the MRAC board approved $392,917 in funding for the following individuals to receive grant awards in the Arts Impact for Individuals program for FY22. Note that the county designations indicate where the individual’s primary address is located; Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from their counties.

The Arts Impact for Individuals grant provides up to $5,000 in funding to support artistic projects in Minnesota led by individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color (BIPOC); and/or a Person with Disabilities (PWD); and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+) and have primary addresses in the seven-county metro area. This grant is designed to support individuals leading efforts to create access to the arts for communities and/or engage with communities through artistic endeavors.

Photo of Arneshia Williams. 

Anoka County

James Curry
Funding to engage in the production of a documentary that focuses on the African American experience history in Minnesota through the lens of two Black families.

Carver County

Bonnie Neumann
Funding to establish new relationships within the special needs community and provide artistic exposure to adult individuals with physical, mental and developmental needs.

Dakota County

Arneshia Williams
Funding to produce a project to connect and move.

Djenane Saint Juste
Funding to adapt and present my forthcoming book “Tanbou” chronicling the life cycle of the Haitian drum into a multidisciplinary performance interweaving dance, drumming, singing, and visual art.

Sharon Lennartson
Funding for the development of a comprehensive publication of the history of Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Arts, Culture, Traditions, and a timeline of significant events and memories as a Dakota woman.


A.P. Looze
Funding to rework material from a self-produced film for the stage.

Alicia Steele
Funding to complete my second children’s book titled “Consent is for Me!” A young child learns to tune into their feelings as they interact with others in their community.

Anne Sawyer
Funding to teach two creative writing/art-making residencies centered on mental health at Bancroft Elementary and Mississippi Creative Arts School

Aparna Ramaswamy
Funding to present a 3-city Greater MN tour of my solo dance work, As the Ocean is Infinite—a multilayered project of word, music, and movement.

Artemis Brown
Funding to develop/produce a devised performance based on Agamemnon by Aeschylus. We will use the script to explore concepts of justice and generational trauma through collective devising exploration.

Ashwini Ramaswamy
Funding to create and perform a new multilayered dance work called ‘Invisible Cities’

Basil Considine
Funding for writing the music and libretto for a new opera about the applicant’s personal, intersectional experiences as a mixed-race person in Minnesota.

Benjamin Kreibich
Funding for a hybrid live-action/animated short film about a trans person with a severe mental illness crushing on someone. Finally, a cute movie about mental illness–not a thriller.

bill jeter
Funding to revitalize and extend a 5-year annual art and cultural heritage program I created called the Black History Month Emporium.

Brian Malloy
Funding for a creative writing enrichment class for older LGBTQIA+ Adults.

Candida Gonzalez
Funding to create a series of 6 temporary, public, community engaged installations designed to promote healing and community connection in South Minneapolis.

Chris Griffith
Funding to collaborate with Dakota/Lakota artist Graci Horne on the first phase of development of a Dakota language performance: consulting with three Dakota language educators and wisdomkeepers.

Chris Kalogerson
Funding for Music at the Veterans Home.

Corinne Teed
Funding for the production of “Entangling Banks”, a participatory animation project on mutual aid and queer ecology and for an outdoor public screening including short films with similar themes.

Dave Fallon
Funding for adults with disabilities to experience workshops and tours.

Elle Thoni
Funding for playwright/creator Elle Thoni and collaborators to hold a week-long place-based workshop to stage an outdoor version of Saber, MN, a haunting mask piece about extinction and resilience.

Eri Isomura
Funding to present a percussion recital in March 2023, featuring pieces for marimba, Korean drums, and electronics.

Eric Jones
Funding for Lions of Judah Drumline’s effort in recruiting Black youth; providing training and performance opportunities, with a special focus on youth reside at N Mpls, and St. Paul Frogtown area.

Graci Horne
Funding for Dakota/Lakota artist Happistinna Graci Horne to design and paint a mural to honor the ancestral homelands of the Dakota people on the studio of Z Puppets Rosenschnoz in South Minneapolis.

Ishwari Rajak
Funding to edit, publish and distribute a poetry book written by a WOC immigrant and a survivor. The book will include paintings, drawings and stories of the projects that I have been a part of.

Jade Juno
Funding to produce zines, Gifs, videos, drawings, and paintings to tell stories of queer resistance, resilience, and joy within Minneapolis.

Funding for Artists as Archivists will activate four local Somali American artists to create, document and connect art and archiving.

Kat Purcell
Funding to advance the composition and live reading of a dramatic trilogy.

Laura Levinson
Funding for DOYKEIT, a new performance work for Minnesota audiences, led by Laura Levinson with collaborators Daniel Lentz and Sarah Larsson and anchored in traditional Yiddish music and dance.

Marco Real-d’Arbelles
Funding for a concert recital series featuring classical music of Caribbean and Latin American Composers.

Marlina Gonzalez
Funding to support site-specific performances about five immigrant shop owners along the #21 bus line and their reflections on the 2020 killing of George Floyd.

Martha Bird
Funding to address the mental health of individuals/communities through monthly art-making gatherings building collaborative baskets. Project will culminate in a group exhibition with presentation.

Matthew Gogola
Funding for the completion of a recorded musical work and accompanying live performaces.

Moheb Soliman
Funding for research, residencies and public talks for a poetry book on early immigrant travelling salesmen and similar transients from the Arab world and the figure of nature in the American Mid/West.

Monica Sheets
Funding to produce Issue 3 of The GRIND, a printed zine in which erotic dancers present writing and art about the current conditions of and utopian visions for stripping.

Nicole Smith
Funding for a residency series engaging a community of Black elder women in the Rondo neighborhood to tell their own stories through video production.

Nicole Thomas
Funding for a workshop, “Weave a Memory,” where participants learn to interpret a memory on a small woven tapestry using found materials and various techniques to achieve different textures.

Noboru Nikaido
Funding for a workshop to teach the community how to document their life and heritage through photography.

Paul Herwig
Funding for Paul Herwig & Queen Drea Reynolds to create/perform 4 site-specific installations of projection and soundscapes as spaces of community healing in Longfellow neighborhood of Minneapolis, Fall 2022.

Paul Kruse
Funding for Once Removed, a documentary performance project about LGBTQ people and their families in rural and small town Minnesota and the upper Midwest.

Pooja Pavan
Funding to present two lecture-demonstrations covering five different Hindustani (North Indian classical) vocal forms such as Khyal, Tarana, Thumri, Dadra and Ghazal.

Rachel Mueller
Funding for the production of rural Minnesotan shadow puppetry stories about race and ancestry to be featured in a documentary about a community’s response to white supremacy.

Ranee Ramaswamy
Funding for of three solo interpretive and expressive dance pieces with extensive description of word, sound, image and meaning, and dialogue with audience post performance.

Rosa Garcia
Funding for monthly streaming & recording DJ mixes in order to create & stay connected to local & international DJ communities.

Sarah Warren
Funding for a 6-month outdoor book exhibit that will connect the public with diverse MN artists. Readers can meet local authors and use QR codes to buy their books.

tahiel jimenez
Funding to facilitated a month long workshop for aspiring BIPOC and LGTBQIA+ filmmakers to direct and screen their first narrative short film to their local community.

Tamara Nadel
Funding for a 2-city MN tour of Haven’t I Hidden Your Name?—a solo dance work that explores the synergies between Jewish and Hindu mystical traditions through the living language of Bharatanatyam.

Valerie Oliveiro
Funding to support Dance Performance “Soft Freedoms” in March 2022 at Cowles Center.

Saint Paul

Aki Shibata
Funding to Sewing and Seeing Project connect artists from around the world through collaborative sashiko sewing. The sewing will happen in sewing circles in the Frogtown and Rondo in St. Paul.

Cassidy Wall
Funding for Tence Magazine to produce, print, publish and distribute an Issue of the publication.

Danielle Daniel
Funding to present a performance/presentation to the community at large about African American women experiences of womanhood.

Deborah Thayer
Funding for “From Tokyo to Brooklyn” supports a contemporary dance project being created in the Frogtown neighborhood which fosters a sense of community belonging throughout the choreographic process.

Elizabeth Flinsch
Funding for the production of a book of photographs and written word to serve as the foundation for in-person hands on visual journal workshops designed for people with disabilities.

Hilal Isler
Funding for the multimedia, online literary arts journal: the Hennepin Review, which publishes, exclusively, the work of women and non-binary artists of color.

Ismail Khadar
Funding for the Bracing the Waves film project. This short documentary will analyze the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people who are experiencing homelessness in the twin cities metro area.

Jasper Hardin
Funding for a free workshop series that teaches disabled writers who are new to being published. This series will give them the tools they need to get their work ready for publishing.

Joko Sutrisno
Funding to hold an intensive 15-day residency at Interact Center teaching Indonesian gamelan music to up to 45 student musicians with disabilities.

Kao Yang
Funding to organize and execute a family-friendly reading experience around Kao Kalia Yang’s five children’s books at the McDonough Housing Project.

Lucina Kayee
Funding for In The Eyes of the Invisible Children, a documentary on the impact that the foster care system has on the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of Black foster youth.

Marina Castillo
Funding for this project will help different cultures in the community come together and interact with the art. People will travel long distances to partake in the mural.

Naomi Cohn
Funding to offer online writing workshops and coaching to advance the voices of people living with disabilities and others with discounted voices.

salaa scott
Funding for The Black Seeds Project, a public art series that celebrates Black Elders and their lived experiences using animation, visual poetry, and music.

Sequoia Hauck
Funding to create a documentary capturing the process of making an all Native Opera about Zitkála-Šá.

Suchitra Sairam
Funding for post-pandemic revival of my “Dance Informance” series, first presented in 2017, structured with demonstration, performance and audience participation and Q&A components.

Tri Martodikromo
Funding to conduct a 15-day dance residency at the Interact Center in Saint Paul, to teach artists who identify as living with disabilities.

Suburban Hennepin County

Deneal Trueblood-Lynch
Funding for “Secrets”, a true story of the spiraling events that took place over a lifetime…….culminating in an assault, an incarceration and, finally redemption.

Jamie Schumacher
Funding for illustrated books about Sri Lankan culture for young audiences, illustrated and written by South Asian / Sri Lankan artist(s).

John Eiden
Funding for creating 8 new screen-prints featuring diverse PWDs drawn from pop culture ad references. Documentary video, voice over, creative process blog, Pop up exhibition with live demo.

Joyce Marrie
Funding for research and development of Sojourner Truth play that will be presented to the public as a workshop production.

Kaysone Syonesa
Funding for a Southeast Asian Street Theatre Performance.

Leanna Browne
Funding to provide free dance classes in Umfundalai for the community.

Lydia Four Horns
Funding for learning about Indigenous Weaving as a form of cultural survival and place-based traditional practice in the Upper Midwest region.

Pamela Mercado-Michelli
Funding for Daniela y Mateo viajan a Argentina. A children’s book in Spanish that celebrates and embraces language and culture.

Rita Mustaphi
Funding will be used by dancer/choreographer Rita Mustaphi to create the video of a new Kathak dance work, MASK, that is specifically designed for streaming to Twin Cities audiences & throughout MN.

Ryan Bynum
Funding to compose original music and produce an album featuring seven multi-genre Black musicians, deepening my own creative capacity while promoting the diversity of the MN music community.

Washington County

Ishaya Yarison
Funding for an art music project that provides access to art to the African migrant community, art that affirms their identity as Africans as well as deals with their social and cultural issues.

Niphone Phommaras
Funding for Niphone Phommaras to host a dance and culture demonstration booth for the Twin Cities Lao New Year event in May 2022.

Shun Jie Yong
Funding for creating new portraits for Occupation series, revamping website, and to help with the cost associated with distribution of the comics (zines) based on Occupation series in Twin Cities.

Sydney Latimer
Funding for an art exhibition called “THEY” that explores the experiences of non-binary, genderqueer, and gender people.

Thank You To The FY22 Arts Impact for Individuals Panelists

A’Bryana Ware, Adriana Foreman, Alneida Madrigal, Alyssa Stormes, Andi Cheney, Anna Stitt, Benjamin Merritt, Billy Lackey, Brittenany Gillespie, Bryan Thao Worra, Cat Fitzgerald, Catherine Lundoff, Chris Cinque, Chris Garza, Christin “Kiki” Light, Christopher Bineham, Christopher Selleck, David Kang, Dee Baskin, Divya Karan, Emma Kasiga, James Everest, Jeanne Bain, Julie Zhou, July Vang, Karla Arredondo Payan, Kat Vang, Malia Lee, Mally Watkins, Marlena Myles, Mary Popelka, Mellie Chelberg, Michael May, Michelle Boone, Nastaaja Johnson, Nora Murphy, Raki Kopernik, Reynaldo Lara, RJ Lawrence, Sasha Blinnikova, Savannah Bustillo, Suzanne Roberts, Tarek Abdelqader

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