Arts Impact for Individuals Awards Announced

Congratulations to the 83 individuals who are recipients of the MRAC Arts Impact for Individuals grant awards. On April 25, 2023, the MRAC board approved $412,442 in funding for the following individuals to receive grant awards in the Arts Impact for Individuals program for FY23. Note that the county designations indicate where the individual’s primary address is located.

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 Minnesotans. Projects must center enhancing Minnesotans’ access to the arts through projects that: connect Minnesotans with arts and arts experiences; and/or integrating arts into community efforts and projects; and/or connecting Minnesotans with arts learning opportunities.

Prior to the application deadline, 67 individuals requested and received applicant services (i.e. meetings with MRAC staff, assistance via email, application eligibility reviews), 220 individuals viewed the Grant Information Webinar, and 21 individuals attended two Question & Answer sessions. Grant guidelines and documents were provided in English, Spanish, Haitian Creole and in accessible formats. MRAC received 147 applications from all seven counties in our region, including two in audio-recording format. 

Anoka County

Gorinka Shrivastav
Funding for producing a South Asian Ghazal performance and choreographing a dance interpretation.

Isadora Collins
Funding to build a platform where Liberian women elders and community, can begin to rebuild their identity and lineage. 

Maneesh Shrivastav
Funding to take photos/videos of Minnesota’s beauty and interpret the vision through cultural vocal/instrumental expression. 

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

Joseph Lennartson
Funding for production and publication of a Native American Graphic Novel.

Hennepin County

Alex Church
Funding for a workshop and staged reading of a new musical examining addiction. Members of the creative and recovery communities will give feedback on the show, and network at a post-show reception.

Alfred Sanders
Funding to bring the documentary, “Forgotten Souls,” to local audiences in various settings, and invite them to explore further through a memorial website.

Allalaghatta Pavan
Funding for two lecture-demonstrations on Hindustani (North Indian classical) percussion, covering the art of Tabla drumming in solo and in accompaniment.

Ameet Kamath
Funding to compose original music and produce an album featuring six queer South Asian diaspora, deepening my own creative capacity while promoting the diversity of the MN music community. 

Amy Wilderson
Funding to teach introductory wirework jewelry-making as a tool for exploring creativity, expanding artistic inspiration, and strengthening connections through art.

Ashwini Ramaswamy
Funding to create a new choreographic methodology called ‘Sacred Axis,’ which manifests from deep research on the aesthetic, historical, and philosophical principles of Bharatanatyam.

Brian Malloy
Funding for Minnesota Rainbow Ink, an online creative writing class by and for LGBTQIA2+ Minnesotans.

Briauna Williams
Funding to host free ”storytelling through paint” classes with BIPOC youth within North Minneapolis around using art as a tool for coping with emotions.

CC Stanhill
Funding to organize and present the 11th installment of the MinnAnimate festival, an annual showcase of animated films by Minnesota-based artists with a focus on diversity.

Chaun Webster
Funding for Writing Against Absence will support two offerings of a weekend long workshop where participants will build a vocabulary around disappearance.

Chou Moua
Funding for ceramic arts pop up sessions: Clay, boards, wheels, tools, and for a central kiln to fire pieces. 

Chris Kalogerson
Funding for a new music show at the Veterans Home.

Christopher Clouser
Funding for the composition and performance of 4 new collections of original music and multidisciplinary works to be debuted at The Temple in Saint Paul.

Damon Kelsey
Funding to film, edit, and distribute a documentary exploring Minneapolis Ballroom Scene (an African-American and Latino underground LGBTQ+ subculture) centered around the Minneapolis Is Burning Ball.

David Kang
Funding for Reel Lab will support an advanced filmmaking and media arts training program for under-served BIPOC youth. The goal is to increase the number of BIPOC represented and employed in media.

Denzel Belin
Funding to research, develop and produce a pilot episode of a late-night show style show. The project will exist both as an in-person event with an audience and digital content on social media.  

Destiny Anderson
Fund to create a dance workshop series that integrates rigorous and explorative dance classes and accessible healing practices. 

Diver Van Avery
Finding for Grieving the Glaciers: A self-guided, immersive audio story walk at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center on the shore of Gitchi Gumi.  

Eiko Mizushima
Funding for creating sacred spaces in nature and at home through ancient and new rope sculptures and community teach-ins. 

Geno Okok
Funding for a free in person, 4 sessions instructional art course for people of minority communities. The art course is also an art learning opportunity for people within the community.

Gloria Rivera
Funding to form a new ensemble and perform music of my father, Cuban composer Niño Rivera. The resulting live concert would be filmed and recorded to secure future performance opportunities. 

Hannah Frick
Funding for an art gallery showing and performances in my basement during the Art In The Basement 2023 – 2024 season.

Ian Snyder
Funding to present 6 concerts featuring music written by LGBTQIA+ composers for solo violin.

jai Stephenson
Funding to support myself, a black trans queer screenwriter/director to produce my first independent short film and work with an all LGBTQAI2+ BIPOC cast and crew.

Jason Gonzalez
Funding to develop a performance and community discussion led by 4 young adult spoken word artists. Themes will center exploring ideas of family legacy and reconciling different identities.

Jerry Wilson
Funding to increase awareness of minority authors through podcasts.

José Luis
Funding for “Solo Perspectives” provides residency for marginalized dance makers interested in solo research by eliminating financial burden and providing access to new audiences.

Kat Purcell
Funding to engage existing and new audiences in workshops, in the lead up to a full show in August 2024.

Kimberly Laudert
Funding for an art activity that unites participants living with mental illness, honors the history of the individual, and underscores the commonality of the collective experience.

Kurt Engh
Funding to produce 16 performances of my new play “Only Ugly Guys” during Pride Month 2023. This will serve as a community gathering event and provide comedic relief for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Lara Montes
Funding to run two separate sections of a virtual, five-week writing workshop lead by the artist, open to writers of poetry and creative prose and visual artists.

Laura Migliorino
Funding to support a traveling exhibition to outstate locations, of Queer History seen through photographs of the LGBTQIA+ Tretter Archive at The University of Minnesota.

Laura Harada
Funding to develop and perform world music programs for senior living communities in the 7-county area, providing seniors with an opportunity to connect with new and familiar music and instruments.

Maria Tavera
Funding for an art exhibition and event on the theme of La Cucaracha, an artistic satirical commentary of historical and contemporary political and social issues of Mexicans and Mexican diaspora.

Martha Bird
Funding for a Weaving Wellness basketry class utilizing art and art-based interactions to benefit the mental health of members of Vail Place. 

Mary Prescott
Funding to create and present an original music performance for in-person audiences.

Megan Brunston
Funding to provide resource-limited individuals and communities access to traditional rug making techniques in the format of group workshops.

Nicole Smith
Funding to enhance skills established by previous workshops in Storytelling Photography Jewelry-Making. 

Nicole Cavender
Funding for a short film.

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

Pamela Mercado-Michelli
Funding to offer engaging and impactful Spanish Storytime’s in community based organizations to increase accessibility to native Spanish literature, art, and community.  

Patrick Scully
Funding for A Half Century will support Patrick Scully in creating this new work. Illusion Theater will premiere the work.

Pooja Pavan
Funding to present a series of four workshops for beginners, concluding with a recital, covering four different Hindustani (North Indian classical) vocal forms.

Rosy Simas
Funding for Haudenosaunee raised beadwork workshops with master Oneida beadworker Karen Hoffman. Participants will also gather throughout the year for 16 practice sessions.

Sabrina Ford
Funding for the first Dream Chambers Film Festival, is a week-long event centering Juneteenth, that supports underrepresented filmmakers in a queer black centered space. 

Sachiko Nishiuchi
Funding to offer free after-school Flamenco classes to the inner-city youth at Modus Locus Art Gallery for the duration of 16 weeks in Fall 2023 and Spring 2024. 

Sam Aros-Mitchell
Funding for The Entering Aniam Dance Residency, a dance program for Native and BIPOC artists in Minnesota.

Sara Osman
Funding to produce a short doc film highlighting the social importance of shopping malls as spaces for Somali women in Minneapolis to cultivate identity and construct sites of cultural remembrance.

Sarah Greer
Funding to share a grieving composition developed in community through a series of curated collaborative workshops, especially with and for Black and other marginalized artists.

Sayge Carroll
Funding to offer clay arts access to the GFS community. Supporting this community in an effort to offer a healthy creative release. 

Sheryl-Christina Scott
Funding for this project will help me create a community dance class in which we focus on connecting to our bodies and healing through movement. 

Sydney Parisa Naini
Funding for a Kids Persian Dance Summer Camp.

Symone Wilson
Funding to create a series of pop artist workshop sessions involving elements of performance, music creation, and community.

tahiel jimenez
Funding to form and facilitate a screenwriting group for BIPOC LGTBQAI Screenwriters to write their first feature film script. 

Teresa Mock
Funding to support a series of theatre mask improvisation workshops, offered low or no cost to local performing artists. Workshops will deepen my capacity as a teaching artist and expand my practice.

Tynan Pratumwon
Funding to facilitate a community facing project to visually express the strength of the Lake Street community following the events during the Protests for George Floyd in the Summer of 2020.

Valerie Oliveiro
Funding for VASTNESSESS, a dance project.

Vie Boheme
Funding for the CENTERPLAY interactive series of  Film Screening and discussions for Black women and Femmes will go toward screenings, facilitator compensation and materials. 

zoe cinel
Funding for 5 moderated events where groups of 8-15 people read books, make heating pads and share perspectives on care, disability and chronic illness from intersectional/interdependent standpoints. 

Ramsey County

Alanna Morris
Funding to develop two modules for the training and continued development of advanced movement practitioners and BIPOC Creatives.  

Cassidy Wall
Funding to produce, print and publish Tence: A Collection, a free newspaper about queer Minnesota artists featuring up to 25 artists. Funding will make this a free, accessible community resource.

Conie Borchardt
Funding to bring Dances of Universal Peace leaders to 5 communities in Greater Minnesota.

Jennifer Kwon Dobbs
Funding to develop an in-person workshop for Korean adoptees to explore Korean folk histories and practices, and to write/present creative pieces inspired by these indigenous ancestral frameworks.

Joko Sutrisno
Funding for an intensive, 15-day residency at the Sejong Academy Korean Immersion School in St. Paul to teach Indonesian gamelan music to K – 6 graders. 

Kabir (Legal Name: Nasreen) Mohamed
Funding to hold conversation with past organizers focused on art objects, images, and performance recordings that made up the Queer BIPOC organizing history in the Twin Cities

Kalinda Melvin
Funding to pilot a Creative Puppetry Camp for children (Pre-K – Grade 5) at indoor and outdoor sites in the Twin Cities.  The experience will include a puppet performance, and a make-and-take craft.

Katie Ka Vang
Funding for phase 1 of a community driven theater production that highlights Saint Paul’s 7th Street as a major cultural corridor amplifying stories of resilience, abundance and traditions.

Ken Takata
Funding to produce and record new musical settings for the lyrics in Shakespeare’s plays. These settings will address the disproportionate lack of roles and speeches for women in Shakespeare’s work.

Kieran Tverbakk
Funding for a series of 3 screening events showcasing local artists’ experimental moving image works in a non-traditional setting.

Margaret Ogas
Funding to develop a new dance performance project that will engage BIPOC and queer artists.

Monroe Wright
Funding for , musician compensation, promotional material, music compositions, rehearsal costs, travel expenses and website.

Mychal Fisher
Funding to provide a unique sound healing experience for Black Minnesotans to experience and engage with music as a healing practice.

Petra Lommen
Funding for creating a series of a New Triptych (3 paintings) to exhibit in the community to bring a sense of transition from survival to wonder through the painting of Avian and Astronomical motifs.

Ritika Ganguly
Funding to present ‘yeh Chaman hamaara’ (this Garden is ours) – a musical performance in collaboration with South Asian elders and survivors of elder abuse.   

Sequoia Hauck
Funding for a public screening of They Didn’t Deserve to Die, a documentary of six Native families across Turtle Island sharing their heart-wrenching stories of loved ones lost to police brutality.

Suchitra Sairam
Funding to create and deliver “Nritya Laya Samvaada – Conversation between Dance and Rhythm,”  a workshop to introduce audiences to South Indian vocal percussion and how it integrates with movement.

Tri Martodikromo
Funding to conduct a 15-day dance residency for K-6 graders at the Sejong Academy Korean Immersion School in St. Paul that culminate with a performance.

Washington County

Niphone Phommaras
Funding for this project is to share and preserving our lao rich heritage culture dance for our youths, communities and passing on to the next generations.

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