Recent Arts Learning Grant Awards

Arts Learning FY20 Round 2 Awards

On April 28, 2020 MRAC awarded $247,114 to 26 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY 2020 Arts Learning grant program. Geographic listings represent the primary 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.

Anoka County

After Hours Big Band                     $9,950.00
Funding for the participatory learning After Hours Jazz PROject in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Eagan, Fridley, Mounds View, Saint Anthony Village, and Spring Lake Park between November 2020 – April 2021.

Mizna             $10,000.00
Funding for a two-week, bilingual (English and Arabic) theater and film summer camp for students between nine and fourteen years old at the Fridley Community Center in Fridley during July 2020.

Carver County

Drama Interaction              $10,000.00
Funding for Superhero Camp, engaging 24 students in three sessions of adaptive summer camp for youth ages 7-17 and young adults ages 17+ with autism, to be held during summer 2020 at Victoria Recreation Center and the Music Lab in Bloomington.

Dakota County

Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc                 $7,210.00
Funding for a free year-long after school songwriting, performance, audio recording, and video production program to be held at THE GARAGE, a music venue, educational facility, and recording studio located in Burnsville, during 2020 – 2021.

Youth Dance Ensemble                  $8,900.00
Funding for a four week dance and musical theater program for Burnsville youth ages 8-12. The four-week program will consist of rehearsals and stage set and costume creation; culminating in a community performance of a children’s musical. 


hinterhands puppet company                  $10,000.00
Funding for Animating Queer Stories, a series of puppetry workshops for LGBTQ youth and elders in Minneapolis from September 2020 – February 2021.

Kulture Klub Collaborative                       $10,000.00
Funding for Design and Sew, a 12-week workshop series with Greg Grease for youth ages 16-24 experiencing homelessness, in Minneapolis during the summer of 2020.

Maia Maiden Productions             $10,000.00
Funding for The Art of KRUMP, ten-3 hour training sessions for young adults 18-25 years old in Minneapolis during June-August 2020.

New Arab American Theater Works                   $6,500.00
Funding to train community members in the traditional art form of Arabic drumming, to create a drum ensemble and to perform for the community.

Soo Visual Arts Center                   $10,000.00
Funding to educate Walker Methodist Health Center residents about contemporary art through gallery tours, artist visits and and instructional art workshops. Activities will take place May 2020 – May 2021 in Minneapolis.

Weavers Guild of Minnesota                     $10,000.00
Funding for a course series supporting the learning and skill advancement of fiber artists with disabilities from June 2020 through December 2020. Courses will be held at Interact Center in St. Paul and at the Weaver’s Guild in Minneapolis.

Saint Paul

Ananya Dance Theatre                  $10,000.00
Funding to conduct Shared Rhythm projects at two St. Paul high schools: Gordon Parks High School and the High School for Recording Arts for 70 total students in 39 workshops conducted during the 2020-2021 academic year. Activities will take place at ADT’s facility, the Shawngram Institute for Performance & Social Justice which is situated directly across University Avenue from the two schools.

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                 $10,000.00
Funding for From Page to Publishing, a 12-session series of writing workshops in 5 communities during September – December 2020, and a series of 6 panels/workshops on the business of publishing during January 2021, serving communities of color and other underserved communities.

Art Buddies              $10,000.00
Funding for the Fall 2020 semester of Art Buddies, an after-school art mentor program at Barack & Michelle Obama Elementary in St. Paul, where 20 students ages 7-11 will be paired with 20 creative adult mentors during 10 weekly artist-led sessions. Sessions will run from September – December 2020.

Black Visions Collective                 $10,000.00
Funding for Black Visions Cohort arts and community organizing learning for youth artists ages 18-24 in Twin Cities during Summer 2020 – Winter 2021.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                  $9,250.00
Funding for Contemporary Chinese Dance classes for young adults at CAAM Chinese Dance Theater in St. Paul from Summer 2020 until Summer 2021.

CLUES            $10,000.00
Funding for collaborative and hands-on learning circle called “Manualidades Cohort” in St. Paul, led by 6 local Latino craftspeople who will engage 10-20 youth, adult, and senior CLUES participants, with the goal of  overcoming social isolation, and learning culturally-relevant skills in weaving, poetry, collage and paper arts. This project will take place June – December 2020.

Frogtown Tuned-In            $10,000.00
Funding for a 3 month course, over the summer of 2020, to teach individuals with developmental and physical disabilities skills to create their own radio dramas, radio poetry, radio news or documentaries. The produced radio pieces will be aired on WFNU-LP and put in podcast format, available for on demand online listening.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (F.A.W.K)              $10,000.00
Funding for Her Screen/Her Stage Workshop Series in St. Paul during October 2020.

In Progress               $10,000.00
Funding for an immersive 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. The mentorships will take place in St. Paul between July 2020 and March 2021.

Keane Sense of Rhythm                 $10,000.00
Funding for tap classes for students in 6th-8th grade in two Freedom Schools in St. Paul during June and July 2020.

Minnesota Youth Media                 $10,000.00
Funding to present a Screenwriting and Media Production Workshop to the 8th grade students at Global Arts Plus in Saint Paul. The workshop will introduce students to elements of screenwriting, media production and allow the students to present their work in the Global Arts Plus Film Festival at The Trylon Cinema in the Spring 2020.

Sandbox Theatre                 $8,000.00
Funding for training artists in theatrical storytelling that combines aerial silks with clowning and puppetry in St. Paul during June 2020.

Suburban Hennepin County

Partnership Resources, Inc.                      $7,304.00
Funding for “The Art of Working” residency in partnership with Upstream Arts to engage Vocational Immersion Program participants, who attend Partnership Resources in Golden Valley, in arts activities that help to build effective social and communication skills that can be applied to personal goal attainment. The residency will be held from January 2021to April 2021.

Suburban Ramsey County

Minnesota Guitar Society              $10,000.00
Funding for two weekly guitar classes at the Special Education Department of White Bear Lake High School during the 2020 – 2021 school year.

Washington County

StoryArk                   $10,000.00
Funding for a creative writing intensive serving secondary students in the St. Croix Valley during August of 2020. 

Arts Learning FY20 Round 1 Awards

On January 28, 2020 MRAC awarded $272,988 to 28 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY2020 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.

Dakota County

OboeBass!                 $9,566.00
OboeBass!, Carrie Vecchione, oboe, and Rolf Erdahl, double bass, present a 7-part, monthly music learning series to 4 senior residences in the Twin Cities area. The programs are a mixture of lecture and performance on a variety of musical topics, designed to approximate the level of a college music appreciation course.


113                 $10,000.00
Funding for Studio113 Vocal Performance and Composition Residency at Folwell School Performing Arts Magnet in Minneapolis during February through May of 2020. 

The Arts’ Nest                      $10,000.00
Funding for a directing workshop for emerging directors with 10 meetings over five months, starting in September 2020 at the Phoenix Theater in Minneapolis.

Black Storytellers Alliance                        $10,000.00
Funding for a three-month course on learning The Art of Oral Storytelling from an African/African-American perspective at the Robert J. Jones UROC in near North Minneapolis in 2020 for students of all ages.

East Side Neighborhood Services            $10,000.00
Funding for Youth Out Loud’s Arts & Activism Film Project at East Side Neighborhood Services in Minneapolis from February – August 2020.

Emerging Curators Institute                     $10,000.00
Funding for the Emerging Curators Institute’s Fellowship Learning Cohort in Minneapolis and St. Paul during February – November 2020.

Grace Minnesota dba Don’t You Feel It Too?                 $10,000.00
Funding for “SEED: Supporting Emerging Embodied Discoveries,” an intensive 7-month interdisciplinary learning experience using the public dance practice Don’t You Feel It Too? to realize embodied, mindful approaches to racial justice, solidarity-building, street action, and art-making.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North                    $10,000.00
Funding for the Beginner’s Band program at Stonebridge World School in Minneapolis during the 2020 calendar year.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                        $10,000.00
Funding for an 8-week summer workshops for students from July – August 2020 in Minneapolis.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop               $10,000.00
Funding for four workshops (a few days long to week-long) and 16 Open Studio Learning Sessions in Minneapolis from February – December 2020.

SAATH (formerly Bollywood Dance Scene)                   $10,000.00
Funding for 39 weekly South Asian fusion dance classes and 9 monthly acting/improv workshops in Minneapolis from February to October of 2020. 

She Rock She Rock              $10,000.00
Funding for Girls Rock n Roll Retreat, a music summer camp for girls, trans and nonbinary youth during July and August 2020 in Minneapolis & St. Paul.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                $10,000.00
Funding for Somali Dance and Weaving classes in the Twin Cities during June 2020 to reach both Somali and non-Somali residents seeking to understand the art and culture of the Somali people in the diaspora across the globe.

zAmya Theater Project                  $10,000.00
Funding for Acting for Change Training Initiative from May – July 2020 at the Minneapolis Central Library. Acting for Change will train five current zAmya troupe members and 20 new participants using tools from the Theater of the Oppressed pedagogy.

Saint Paul

Amherst H. Wilder Foundation                $5,000.00
Funding for a visual arts residency for older adults with chronic conditions, including memory loss, from April – July 2020 in Saint Paul.

Border CrosSing                  $10,000.00
Funding for Heritage Choir, a community choir program, to be held in the West Side of St. Paul in Fall 2020 and Spring 2021. 

Change Inc.               $8,800.00
Funding for theater artist Janelle Ranek to create an arts learning experience for young adults ages 18-24 who are primarily immigrants, refugees, and English Language Learners. Students will learn and analyze elements of theater including plot, theme, character, language, sound, genre, structure, and aesthetics. The project will culminate in a performance based on students’ lives and cultural experiences and will be presented at Neighborhood House and Hastings High School in March 2020. 

ComMUSICation                  $10,000.00
Funding for Hands on Music, a tuition-free youth percussion ensemble, at three elementary schools in St Paul during spring 2020.

Dangerous Productions                 $10,000.00
Funding for a weekly video arts program HOPE NEWS which teaches youth video production skills in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul, from Jan 30 – Dec 31 2020. It will  feature original content created by youth, highlighting their artistic capabilities, and showcasing people in their community.

East Side Arts Council                    $10,000.00
Funding for art classes taught by professional artists for seniors and elders in the East Side neighborhoods of St. Paul. Art classes range from writing poetry, print-making, to shibori indigo fabric arts. Classes are free of charge, taught by bilingual and multicultural artists, and held exclusively at ADA accessible locations in St. Paul between March – November 2020. 

El Arco Iris                $10,000.00
Funding for an 8-week program offering 30-35 youth an opportunity to learn about the traditional Afro-Puerto Rican folkloric rhythms, songs and dance through art, dancing and music classes. Activities take place from April and May 2020 at the Dunning Recreation Center in St. Paul and will culminate with a family potluck and showcase.

Minnesota Jazz Education             $9,622.00
Funding for Experience Jazz, a 16-weeks music making lab engaging up to 30 middle and high school students. Sessions will take place from February to June 2020 at the High School for Recording Arts in Saint Paul and culminate in a performance.

Pan Asian Arts Alliance                 $10,000.00
Funding for A Place to Call Home, a series of 5-10 minute issue-based animated short films. This project will empower 20 Hmong youth between 14-17 years old, by using traditional and digital animation to tell personal stories and to voice their concerns in the Hmong Community. 

Shakespearean Youth Theatre                 $10,000.00
Funding for a 6-week intensive theatre program, from June 9th – July, 19th 2020 for students 13-19, culminating in a production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Vandalia Tower. Students will gain skills in acting, movement, text analysis, and storytelling while creating community and developing confidence, critical thinking, and teamwork skills.

Young Artists Initiative                 $10,000.00
Funding for an 8-week, 5-day/week summer theater camp producing Freaky Friday, the Musical, with rehearsals on St. Paul’s East Side and performances on St. Paul’s West Side. Thirty youth will learn and develop skills in singing, acting, and choreography, along with teamwork and leadership, culminating in five public performances at the Wellstone Center Theater in August 2020.

Young Dance, Inc.                $10,000.00
Funding for All Abilities Dancing programming, for our classes, community partnerships and staff training, in St. Paul and Minneapolis, February – December 2020.

Washington County

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

FamilyMeans                        $10,000.00
Funding for the FamilyMeans Collaborative Youth Theater Project to engage 30 3rd through 6th grade youth living in the Cimarron and Landfall mobile home communities to perform two musical theater performances, one in each community. The project will begin in at the end of January 2020, and conclude with the performances in May 2020.

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