Flexible Support Round 1 Awards Announced

On November 22, 2022 the MRAC board approved $1,292,532 in funding for the following 88 groups or organizations to receive grant awards in Round 1 of the Flexible Support grant program for FY23.

For Round 1 of Flexible Support, MRAC received 270 applications from all 7 counties in the region. The total amount requested from groups was $3.9 million. Approximately 115 groups requested and received applicant services (i.e. meetings with MRAC staff, assistance via email, language support), and 150 applicants viewed the Grant Information Webinar and/or attended the program Q&A sessions. Grant guidelines and documents were provided in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and in accessible formats.

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. A portion of grant funds in Flexible Support is reserved specifically for groups whose Leadership is more than 50% people who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC); and/or disabled people/people with disabilities; and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+) people (read about this strategy here https://mrac.org/2021/08/05/mrac-evolve-a-year-in-review/).

Note that the county designations indicate where the organization is located.

Anoka County

North Suburban Center for the Arts

Funding to support NSCA operations via salary support for a Program Manager.

Northern Starz Theatre Company

Funding to Northern Starz Theatre Company to produce “The Laramie Project”, to create LGBTQ+ allyship and Education through theatre.

Carver County

Minnesota Connect Aphasia Now

Funding for Minnesota Connect Aphasia Now (MnCAN)’s Talk to Me Drama Club, which provides an opportunity to access theater activities for people with aphasia using aphasia-friendly supports.

Dakota County

International Festival of Burnsville

Funding to support a summer festival, art gallery exhibit, and virtual art programming celebrating the cultural diversity of Burnsville and surrounding communities.


Funding for MIXTAPE VI: Cypherspace, a dance theater performance. Cypherspace is a place of limitless possibilities where solidarity is built, difference is celebrated, and questions are explored.

Youth Dance Ensemble

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

Hennepin County

Alternative Motion Project

Funding to support AMP’s 11th Season Performance in April 2023. This will include a weekend of performances, a rehearsal process for the creation of new works, and audience engagement initiatives.

An Opera Theatre

Funding to support the following administrative positions: Executive Director, Web & Graphic Coordinator, Accountant, Social Communications Manager, Voice Lab Facilitator, Artistic Producer.

April Sellers Dance Collective

Funding for one-week production residency at Center for Performing Arts in Minneapolis to develop Echo, a new work by April Sellers Dance Collective. The residency will be documented in a video blog.

Art Buddies

Funding to provide free meaningful in-person art education and creative mentoring with Character Creation Programming, for scholars grades 2-5 at Lucy Craft Laney Elementary School.

Art Shanty Projects

Funding for critical festival infrastructure and personnel to meet the unique installation and accessibility needs of presenting the 2023 Art Shanty Projects festival on a frozen Minneapolis lake.

ASH: Sacred Arts

Funding to work with Green Card Voices on a digital and in-person initiative that uses immigrant narratives and dance to inspire people to tell their own migration stories.


Funding for this program will introduce persons with disabilities to Clay, a tactile and engaging medium. Together, they will gain knowledge of the medium as a form of expression and collaboration.

Cine Latine

Funding to support three emerging LGTBQAI BIPOC filmmakers to produce their first independent short narrative film with the support and mentorship of Cine Latine.

Constellation Arts Collective

Funding for 5 workshops focused on theater disciplines in management, design/technical, directing/producing, and performance, and providing educational, hands-on experiences for marginalized youth.

Folk Will Save Us

Funding for 2023 season of the Longfellow Village Band learning jam; including workshops with a featured master artist; and funding for operations staff, including promotion and outreach.

Fortune’s Fool

Funding for the world premiere production of COLD PLANET WARM HEART, a new musical by Daniel Pinkerton and Robert Elhai, to be staged July 14-30, 2023 at the Phoenix Theatre in Minneapolis.


Funding to support weekly FreeWriters classes for 1,000 Hennepin County Jail inmate-participants over 6 months and expand our offering by the end of the project.

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

Funding for increasing accessibility at Pride events. Pride will expand current efforts by working with various subject matter experts to enhance current accessibility practices and implement them.

Great Northern Union Chorus

Funding for ChoirsPopping!, a series of four “pop up choir” events wherein we will partner with diverse choral groups in the community for workshops and performances.

Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)

Funding to present an in-person concert series in the Spring/Summer of 2023. The 4 concerts will present renowned world-class artists of Indian classical music from India and will include 2 lectures.

Intro to Success

Funding to develop ITS’ marketing and communications structure.


Funding for Play with Earth, three seasons of play sessions for Black children and their caregivers. The earth will be our playground – playing on, in, and with the ground, soil, and clay.

Jagged Moves

Funding to launch and produce, “Soiled Dance Series” (SDS), a collaborative dance performance experience dedicated to bringing awareness to radical dance and agriculture/farming.

Katha Dance Theatre

Funding for the world premiere in Spring 2023 of a new Kathak dance, “KATHAK E-motion,” an authentic, classical Kathak work to share India’s cultural heritage with a diverse Twin Cities audience.

Kulture Klub Collaborative

Funding for the expansion of Kulture Klub Collaborative’s innovative, multidisciplinary arts programs engaging youth ages 16-24 experiencing homelessness.

Little Earth Residents Association

Funding for the Native Youth Arts Collective (NYAC) Film Project will support the production of a film that will highlight Indigenous resistance and uphold cultural storytelling traditions.

Maia Maiden Productions

Funding for ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers’ Evening in St. Paul during June 2023.

Make a Scene Scenario Festival

Funding to operate the Make a Scene (MAS) Festival in summer 2023 and to offer regular scenario programming taking place about once every 6-8 weeks over one year.

Metro Work Center, Inc.

Funding for this project will introduce persons with Developmental Disabilities to clay, a tactile and interactive substance. Knowledge of the substance as a form of expression will be gained.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra

Funding to develop and hire an executive director for America’s first LGBTQ orchestra.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

Funding to teach four 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.

MOVO Space

Funding for MAJOR MAINTENANCE: A program that offers space to BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ dance artists  to locate themselves and their practices outside of the streams of normative cultural production.

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association

Funding for the ’23 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 2023 Art-A-Whirl open studio tour.

Phantom Chorus Theatre

Funding to produce 8 performances of the Color Spectrum Show and 4 accompanying workshops at a local community space and 1-3 disability-focused organizations.

Poetry for People

Funding for the 11th annual Poetry and Pie. Twin Cities poets rotate around to people’s blankets and offer new poems while attendees enjoy homemade pie prepared by neighborhood residents.

Purple Playground

Funding for Purple Playground to support and expand “Academy of Prince” music education programs where teens collaborate to write their own original music inspired by Prince and his musical methods.

Red Eye Collaboration

Funding to support local performance-based artists creating and presenting new work in Red Eye’s New Works 4 Weeks 2023 Festival.

Rosy Simas Danse

Funding to support dance, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary artists residencies for Native, Indigenous, Black and People of Color.

Rough Magic Performance Company

Funding to support RMPC’s mainstage production of Hurricane Diane by Madeleine George, a creative reimagination of a Greek classic exploring female empowerment, consumerism and climate change.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum

Funding to put on a full length “Riwaayad,” a Somali traditional play with music and dance, about current issues facing our communities. The play will be performed in person and digitally recorded.

Soo Visual Arts Center

Funding to value artists through living wage employment and tools to enhance their meaningful organizational work.

Spice Arts

Funding for 3 new 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.

The Givens Foundation for African American Literature

Funding to provide one semester of our Culture Matters K-12 Residency Program at the PCYC Arts & Tech HS with one of Literary Teaching Artist.

Theatre Pro Rata

Funding to produce “By the Bog of Cats,” an uncompromising tale of greed, betrayal, murder, and profound self-sacrifice loosely based on Euripides’ tragedy Medea.

Tlalnepantla Arts

Funding to present: 10th Annual “Festival de las Calaveras,” Twin Cities Latinx Music and Arts Festival, centered on the traditional and contemporary indigenous Mexican Dia de los Muertos celebration

Twin Cities Carifest

Funding for Carifest to share the many cultures of the Caribbean at its annual festival. The day-long event connects diverse communities via Caribbean music, dance, arts, food and culture.

Wavelets Creative

Funding for a new admin / project manager position and for presenting our ongoing outdoor “Sound Gardens” performance installation series at three sites around the metro area in 2023.

You & I (YAI)

Funding for You And I (YAI, pronounced YAY!) a festival & residency that will convene a constellation of artists & food producers in dialogue about their practices & creating a community experience.

Z Puppets Rosenschnoz

Funding for Z Puppets Rosenschnoz to produce and premiere Episode 2 of Star Turtle, a family-friendly web series about keeping alive the Cherokee language.

Ramsey County

Advocating Change Together

Funding to support our 2023 season for Side-By-Side Mixed Chorus, an ensemble of artists with and without disabilities.

Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations

Funding to support the organization and the artistic & cultural activities for the annual Mall of America, ‘2023 Lunar New Year Celebration at MOA – Year of the Rabbit’ on January 21&22, 2023.

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation

Funding for arts access programming, supporting Wilder’s older adult clients with physical or cognitive challenges to engage with Northern Clay Center’s ART@HAND Vital Aging program.

Aniccha Arts

Funding for Prairie|Concrete–a large-scale embodied movement commission exploring relationships between movement-making and plant-growing, seeking connections amidst ecological and racial reckoning.


Funding to provide opportunities for women in recovery to experience guided, sensory exploration of the natural environment of the Mississippi River with a naturalist/artist team inspiring artmaking.


Funding to support the development of people data systems at Brownbody in 2023.

Cerenity Senior Care- Humboldt

Funding to fund artists who design their workshops and classes with seniors in mind. Starting after the grant is awarded, we will work with COMPAS to schedule selected artists.

COLLIDE Theatrical

Funding for Our Stories-Chapter 2, original dance storytelling rooted in non-binary and LGBTQIA+ experiences that seek to inform and entertain audiences of all ages.

East Side Arts Council

Funding to provide a series of free accessible art classes for youth ages 4-12 and older people 62+ years of age on the East Side of St. Paul taking place throughout our diverse neighborhoods.

Exposed Brick Theatre

Funding to produce the world premiere theater production of Muyehpen by Ehkudah Zar.

Flip the Script Festival

Funding for a 2SLGBTQIA+ film series celebrating multidimensional representations of the Queer community.

Full Circle Theater Company

Funding for Full Circle Theater to connect MN audiences & communities with the play ANTIGONICK which powerfully addresses issues of social justice through a re-imagining of the classic play ANTIGONE.

In Black Ink

Funding to support Black Publishing Arts Residencies for K-8 students in two metro area schools.

In Progress

Funding for THE COLLECTIVE, a digital arts program that provides mentorship, access & presentation opportunities to 24+ artists that face barriers to professional development opportunities.

India Association of Minnesota

Funding to support IAM’s 50th IndiaFest in 2023 featuring 170 artists performing Asian-Indian dance, music, theater, and storytelling on August 12, 2023 at the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul.

International Indigenous Youth Council – Twin Cities

Funding for a project to document the intergenerational contributions of grandmothers in our community in a photo series and exhibit on the 7th Street Cultural Corridor on the East Side of Saint Paul.

Kalpulli Tlaloctecuhtli

Funding to build a website, create video outreach, and rebranding digital platforms (graphic design).

Ladylike Exhibits

Funding for the Ladylike Exhibits 2023 program will support two community exhibits, curatorial opportunities and educational workshops featuring local female, femme and queer identifying artists.

Listen Up! Youth Radio

Funding for Listen Up’s Youth Media Collective will employ under-empowered and underrepresented youth to co-develop creative and entrepreneurial media arts programming with and for their peers.

Minnesota Krump L.L.C.

Funding for Krump performances, workshops, and Krump exchange (battle) in June 2023.

Mixed Precipitation

Funding for Mixed Precipitation’s metropolitan tour of Pickup Truck Opera, a lively outdoor opera and harvest celebration, presenting a contemporary interpretation of Handel’s Giulio Cesare.

More Than a Single Story

Funding to support More Than A Single Story’s seventh season, using the artistic process to amplify BIPOC voices that have long been ignored, and animate cross-cultural public discourse.

Nautilus Music-Theater

Funding for the Nautilus Composer-Librettist Studio, a two-and-a-half week intensive program designed to cultivate collaborative skills and re-imagine how theatrical stories are told through music.

PAPA Projects

Funding to produce PAPA Project’s 2023 Exhibition Cycle and accompany exhibition catalog launch.

Recreation Arts

Funding for two participatory singing and songwriting projects—Sunny Songs and House Calls—with older adults living with disabilities and chronic health conditions.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre

Funding for an original performance of King Lear at the Gremlin Theatre in Saint Paul by young artists ages 12-19, for audiences of all ages.

The Black Ensemble Players

Funding for The Black Ensemble Player’s Ifẹ̀ Lab, a fellowship highlighting three BIPOC performing artists by commissioning new work and filming their processes culminating as a 30 minute documentary.

The Victoria Theater Arts Center

Funding for the Community Coordinator position, to ensure continued artistic engagement and access, and the creation of equitable partnerships with our community.

Tibetan American Foundation of Minnesota (TAFM)

Funding for traditional Tibetan music and dance classes for Tibetan youth living in Minnesota to learn, connect with, and celebrate their cultural heritage.


Funding to compensate Toot’s administrative personnel for day-to-day organizational work.

Twin Cities Stepper Association

Funding to offer free weekly stepping dance classes Western U Plaza in St. Paul. Funding would also pay for dedicated office space and help support the director role at TCSA.

Wonderlust Productions

Funding for a new caregiver-focused project will build relationships and gather stories from organizations and people involved with caregiving & culminate in a public reading of a new play script.

Yan Pang Create

Funding for Yan Pang Create programming, workshops, and performance of ” One-Log Bridge – a new opera theatre work about the first-generation Asian-American immigrants’ experience in the U.S.

Scott County

South Metro Chorale

Funding for a two-concert choral series in May 2023, focusing on climate change.

Washington County

Light in the Well

Funding for our public performance involve people with disabilities at the Landmark Center, and related projects to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Locally Grown Theatre

Funding to pay 9 stage directors and 10 teaching assistant positions to run 7 education and engagement theatrical camps for youth aged 4-18 to learn creative artistic expression.

Vets for Music

Funding to provide a free, one day music festival to honor our nation’s Veterans to be held at Richard Walton Park in Oakdale, MN in July 2023. This will mark the fifth year of this annual event.

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