Recent Arts Learning Grant Awards

Arts Learning FY19 Round 2 Awards

On April 23, 2019 MRAC awarded $216,136 to 22 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY2019 Arts Learning grant program. Geographic listings represent the county where the organization is based; note that Saint Paul is listed separately from Suburban Ramsey county.

Anoka County

Northern Starz Theatre                 $7,886.00
Funding for a seven-month course for adults 55 and older. Participants will learn the tools and techniques in the performing arts.


Black Table Arts                  $10,000.00
Funding for Black Lines Matter: Where Black Writers Meet, a nine month writing program centered on developing and fostering black writers, taking place at The Loft Literary Center. 

Exposed Brick Theatre                  $10,000.00
Funding for Omission Bake Off, an in depth playwriting workshop series and mentorship for eight emerging playwrights from September – November 2019.

Indigenous Peoples Task Force               $10,000.00
Funding for the Ikidowin Art Camp which will engage Native youth in script writing, visual arts, and theater. The program will take place May 2019 to August 2019.

Little Earth Residents Association                      $10,000.00
Funding for Dagwaagin (Ojibwe for “It is Fall”), a series of arts based workshops for teens in the Little Earth community focusing on storytelling and renewal. Activities will occur in fall of 2019.

Minneapolis American Indian Center                 $10,000.00
Funding to support young Native American women ages 10-18 to design and create fancy shawls for traditional Pow-wow dancing in summer and early fall of 2019.

Once Were and Again We Are (dba Northern Monday Films)          $10,000.00
Funding for Impact Lab, a distribution and engagement workshop for Twin Cities-based immigrants and refugee artists, activists, and community leaders to create impactful short documentary films.

Public Functionary             $10,000.00
Funding for a 12-month workshop series and mentorship program for 8 emerging artists as part of Public Functionary’s new Studio #400 which provides subsidized studio space for visual artists.

Soo Visual Arts Center                   $10,000.00
Funding to educate Walker Methodist Health Center residents about contemporary art through gallery tours and and instructional art workshops. Activities will take place May 2019 through May 2020 in Minneapolis.

zAmya Theater Project                  $10,000.00
Funding to support eight weeks of performance skills training for library patrons experiencing homelessness at the Minneapolis Central Library. Activities will take place in May and June 2019. 

Saint Paul

Ananya Dance Theatre                   $10,000.00
Funding for the Connective Creations projects at two St. Paul high schools: Gordon Parks High School and the High School for Recording Arts. Activities will take place in late spring and fall of 2019 at the Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice.

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                 $9,150.00
Funding for the Community Editors Project, which teaches writing skills and literary arts appreciation within an editing and publishing context. Activities take place October through December 2019.

ArtStart                     $10,000.00
Funding for Art Meets Science: A Bird’s-Eye View, engaging grade 3 students and teachers at 3 urban schools in ecoarts residencies in which students create textile banners and pole puppets based on Minnesota’s endangered and threatened birds who use the Mississippi River flyway to migrate annually.

CLUES            $10,000.00
Funding for the Latino Muralism Apprenticeship which will be led by 4 Minnesota-based Latino muralists with varied backgrounds and skill-sets who will mentor 10-20 aspiring muralists.

COLLIDE Theatrical            $10,000.00
Funding for 44 weeks of bi-weekly dance classes and complimentary childcare for company dancers and apprentices.

Highland Friendship Club             $10,000.00
Funding to collaborate with Eric Mueller Photography to offer 8 mobile device photography classes for 15 members and 7 personal care assistants delivered in sequential, weekly learning sessions. Five in-studio classes will run for 2 hours each and 3 field trip classes will run for 3 hours each.

In Progress               $10,000.00
Funding for an 8 month arts mentorship program for newly developing artists that lack access to digital learning opportunities. The program focuses on small group mentorship, individualized coaching, and goal planning with youth ages 12-22.

Indigenous Roots                $10,000.00
Funding for classes to pass on Indigenous art forms in ongoing structured master artist/students relationship; the project will be documented for community use.

Keane Sense of Rhythm                 $10,000.00
Funding to provide free tap classes for students in grades 6-12 in two Freedom School programs held at public schools in Saint Paul in summer of 2019.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre                 $9,100.00
Funding for a 6-week intensive theatre program for students aged 13-19, culminating in a production of Shakespeare’s comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Students will gain skills in acting, movement, text analysis, and storytelling while creating community and developing confidence, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Suburban Ramsey County

113                 $10,000.00
Funding for Studio113, Minneapolis Public Schools, instrument builder and composer Schuyler Tsuda, and local teaching artists to present a 2-week children’s summer instrument building and music technology workshop. Activities take place in June 2019.

Washington County

StoryArk                   $10,000.00
Funding for students in grades six through twelve to develop writing, editing, acting, recording, and filming skills by producing either a podcast episode, short film, comedy sketch webisode, or short story to be shared and discussed at StoryArk Network Live! Activities will take place in Stillwater from June of 2019 to February of 2020.


FY 2019 Arts Learning Round 1

On January 22, 2019 MRAC awarded $275,839 to 28 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2019 Arts Learning grant program. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts learning programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.

Dakota County

Minnesota Productions, Inc., DBA Theater NOW                     $10,000.00
Funding for a hands-on, creative expression course for seniors focused on radio/audio broadcasting including story-telling, script writing, interviewing, and careful listening, speaking clearly and effectively while “on the air,” and how to focus on a specific task as a team.

OboeBass!                 $10,000.00
Funding for OboeBass! to present their “Pages of Music” series of seven monthly one-hour education programs to five senior residences throughout the Twin Cities metro area.  Activities will occur between June 2019 and January 2020.

Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc                 $10,000.00
Funding for a year-long free after school recording studio audio & video production program to be held at THE GARAGE’s 2,000 sq ft recording studio in Burnsville, MN. 


20% Theatre Company                  $10,000.00
Funding to host an 8-week “My Naked Self” workshop for local LGBTQ artists & writers focused on creative performance-making.

Alive & Kickin                      $10,000.00
Funding for a monthly vocal and music education series for underserved and disabled senior citizens, 65-90+ years of age at the Cora McCorvey Health & Wellness Center in North Minneapolis. Activities will take place February 2019 – December 2019 with 10 classroom and rehearsal sessions leading up to a community performance event.

Art Buddies              $10,000.00
Funding for the Winter/Spring 2019 Art Buddies after-school art mentor program at Barack & Michelle Obama Elementary in St. Paul, where 30 students ages 8 to 11 will be paired with 30 creative adult mentors during 10 weekly artist-led sessions.

Grace Minnesota                  $10,000.00
Funding to produce “Radical Community Care—Body, Dance, and Action,” a curriculum of 8 workshops to explore resistance and community resilience using improvisatory public dance as a radical method of self-expression, healing, and activism, from March to October 2019.

Heart of Dance                     $10,000.00
Funding for Dancing Classrooms, a semester-long residency that will provide 20 partner social dance lessons, twice per week for ten weeks, to fifth grade students at Harambee Elementary in Maplewood, Pinewood Elementary in Mounds View, and Prodeo Academy in Minneapolis in spring 2019.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North                    $10,000.00
Funding to provide a beginning band and instrument lesson experience in Spring 2019 through Fall semester 2019 at the Stonebridge World School.

Inverted Arts                       $10,000.00
Funding for an Art Exploration Program for 105 middle and high school students in partnership with Hope Academy in South Minneapolis during the summer of 2019 in which students choose one of five artistic disciplines taught by professional artist mentors.

Jones-Harrison Residence            $10,000.00
Funding to host two successive arts learning programs; a 12-week residency in photography followed by a 12-week residency in collage for older adults in the Jones-Harrison community between June and November of 2019.

Kulture Klub Collaborative                       $10,000.00
Funding to support a 12-week arts learning series in design and sculpture for youth ages 16-23.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                        $10,000.00
Funding for an eight week summer intensive ballet workshop for students at Les Jolies Petites School of Dance from July to August 2019. Activities will take place in Minneapolis.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop                $10,000.00
Funding to provide four high-quality introductory creative writing classes in four Metropolitan Area prisons.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop              $10,000.00
Funding for workshops for adult Native/POC interested in learning contemporary puppetry, from February-December 2019.

She Rock She Rock              $10,000.00
Funding for four sessions of Girls Rock n Roll Retreat; a week-long summer camp for girls, trans, and nonbinary youth ages 8-18. Participants will learn an instrument, form a band, collaboratively write songs, take workshops on band merch, music technology, and social justice issues, and perform in two showcases.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                $10,000.00
Funding to engage new audiences – both Somali and non-Somali – from across the Metropolitan area to learn from the practice of traditional Somali folk arts of dancing and weaving. Each learning will both practice the art form and learn about its origins and traditions, creating an understanding of both the art and the Somali people and histories.

The DIAL Group                  $10,000.00
Funding for the Youth Empowerment Studios: Digital Media Arts & Youth Leadership Program that provides at- risk, low-income youths of color in North Minneapolis an after-school media arts program, with a service-learning component.

Unrestricted Interest                     $10,000.00
Funding for teaching writers to work with students with autism and other unconventional learners during poetry and songwriting residencies and produce high-quality chapbooks and CDs of students’ work to be shared at community book launch and CD release events.

Young Dance, Inc.                $10,000.00
Funding for All Abilities Dancing, programming that engages individuals living with disabilities in quality dance experiences in 2019, through open enrollment dance classes, residencies at two Twin Cities’ schools, and a program with incarcerated youth at the Hennepin County Home School.

Scott County

APIA MN Film Project                    $10,000.00
Funding for a 5-month screenwriting intensive teaching APIA filmmakers how to create, write, and edit an one-hour TV drama script in 2019.

Saint  Paul

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation                $10,000.00
Funding for IN A NEW VOICE, a visual arts extended residency (encompassing 34 sessions between March-August 2019) with Sandra Menefee Taylor. Arts Learners will be a group of 32 older adults with physical, cognitive, and/or mental health issues in the supportive day program.

CommonBond Communities                    $10,000.00
Funding for four 10-week acrylic painting classes: two at Concordia Arms in Maplewood and two at Oak Ridge Manor in Hastings. The classes will take place between February and December 2019.

East Side Freedom Library                       $6,063.00
Funding for two Algerian American artists to lead two sessions of programming at the East Side Freedom Library for children ages seven to 12 in July 2019.

Oratorio Society of Minnesota                  $10,000.00
Funding for the Summer Chorus, which includes eight workshop sessions open to all community singers, culminating in dress rehearsal and performance of a concert A Night At The Opera, featuring opera choruses and arias, accompanied by a professional orchestra.

Suburban Hennepin County

Youth Dance Ensemble                  $9,776.00
Funding for a three week dance and musical theater program for Burnsville youth ages 8-12. The three week program will consist of rehearsals and stage set and costume creation; culminating in a community performance of a children’s musical.

Suburban Ramsey County

Contempo Physical Dance             $10,000.00
Funding for a dance intensive in summer 2019 focused on technique learning, repertoire exploration, and involving a mini-choreography project

Johanna Shores                   $10,000.00
Funding for 5 arts programs for the senior housing and care residents.  Arts programs will take place on site in Arden Hills between February 2019 and January 2020.

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