Recent Arts Learning Grant Awards

FY 2017 Arts Learning Round 2

On April 25, 2017, MRAC awarded $216,696 to 23 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY 2017 Arts Learning grant program. The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of and/or through the arts for children, youth, and adults by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts learning programming will take place; note that Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin and Suburban Ramsey counties.


20% Theatre Company $10,000.00
Funding to further develop 20% Theatre’s Apprentice Program. Ten high school or college students will serve as apprentices for 20% Theatre’s two fall 2017 productions.

Black Table Arts $10,000.00
Funding for the Black Lines Matter, a program for black writers to study poetic craft through protest poetry and create and share new work. Activities will take place at The Loft Literary Center every other Saturday from April 2017 through April 2018.

COLLIDE Theatrical $10,000.00
Funding to support a Musical Theater Jazz Dance class that will be held bi-weekly for forty-eight weeks beginning in June 2017 at The Ritz Theater. This class will be free for all COLLIDE Company Members and Apprentices and will feature five master instructors.

Friends of the Minnesota Orchestra $9,966.00
Funding for Kinder Konzerts on the Road, a music residency project to support and enhance literacy for young learners. Activities will take place during the 2017-18 school year in St Paul’s Linwood Monroe Arts Plus school and Minneapolis’ Citiview Community School with – pre-K, Kindergarten and First grade students.

Heart of Dance $10,000.00
Funding for Dancing Classrooms, a program that provides 20 ballroom dance lessons (twice weekly for 10 weeks) to fifth-grade students. Activities will take place at Linwood Monroe, Friendship Academy of the Arts, LoveWorks Academy, and Stonebridge World School in the Fall of 2017.

Heritage Park Neighborhood Association $10,000.00
Funding for “Built to Stilt”, a two week youth summer program to be held in July 2017 in the Heritage Park Neighborhood of Minneapolis. The “Built to Stilt” program will provide 40 students, ages 5 – 12, with the opportunity to work with two local artists on stilt building, costume making, and stilt performance, culminating in two youth showcases at a neighborhood festival and the State Fair.

Highland Friendship Club $10,000.00
Funding for ten clay-making classes for low-income adults with disabilities. Classes will take place at Northern Clay Center from September 2017 through February 2018.

JLR Foundation $10,000.00
Funding for music and multi-media arts production and recording education for youth, ages 10 through 18. The free, 11-week, after-school sessions will take place at the Powderhorn Park Community Center from June 2017 through April 2018.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance $10,000.00
Funding for the Summer Workshop which will offer current, past, and potential new students to study and learn ballet through an intensive workshop. Activities will take place from July to September 2017.

Little Earth Residents Association $8,000.00
Funding for a series of arts and activism workshops for Native teens to empower them to express their voice and concerns. Activities will take place on-site at Little Earth and at the artists’ studios over the summer of 2017, culminating in a community feast and showcase of students’ work.

Minneapolis Music Company $9,730.00
Funding for artist residencies to six Twin Cities public schools in underserved communities. Activities will include acting, contemporary dance/movement, and beatboxing/spoken word workshops and will take place weekly over three months in the 2017-2018 school year.

Platinum Theater $10,000.00
Funding for On Camera Acting for Seniors, a program providing 24 senior students with professional on camera instruction. Activities will take place at The Sabes JCC from July through August 2017.

Twin Cities Media Alliance $9,900.00 /
Funding for a series of trainings to support the artistic growth of contributors to the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Writers, photographers, videographers and audio storytellers will gain a deeper understanding of their discipline, have access to cross-disciplinary training, and create quality content that will amplify and connect marginalized voices. Activities will take place at Twin Cities Media Alliance from May 2017 through May 2018.

St. Paul

Deborah Elias Danza Espanola $10,000.00
Funding for a partnership with five collaborating St. Paul schools to conduct arts learning residencies sharing flamenco dance, music, and culture with approximately 615 students from September 2017 through March 2018. Each residency will culminate in a community celebration where students will share what they have learned with other students, their families, and the general public.

East Side Arts Council $8,000.00
Funding for Creative Connections for Seniors, a series of poetry and visual arts classes at Arlington Hills Community Center and bilingual storytelling classes (English and Spanish) at Labor Plaza senior high rise. Activities will take place from May 2017 through March 2018 and will culminate in showcases for their families and community.

In Progress $10,000.00
Funding for Digital Journeys, an arts learning program for newly developing artists of color from low income households, focusing on small group mentorship, individualized coaching and goal planning with youth ages 12-22. Activities will focus on advancing artistic skill in electronic music, digital photography and/or video and will take place in St. Paul in late 2017 through early 2018.

Minnesota Productions, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding for Storytelling for Seniors, featuring two 4-week storytelling classes with rehearsal/filming sessions. Activities will take place at The Wilder Foundation from July through August 2017.

Suburban Hennepin County

Minnesota Brass, Inc. $6,075.00
Funding for instrumental music education at Brooklyn Center Secondary school. Activities will take place during the 2018 school year.

Partnership Resources, Inc. $6,256.00
Funding for a collaboration with Upstream Arts to bring The Art of Working, a 10-week residency designed to develop skills through the arts that will help 11 adults with developmental disabilities to achieve workplace success and job retention. Activities will take place at the Hopkins Pavilion during the summer of 2017.

Suburban Ramsey County

City of Maplewood $10,000.00
Funding for a mentorship for five teenage videographers to learn documentary filmmaking skills as they document two events for the City of Maplewood. Activities will take place in Maplewood during the Summer of 2017.

Rosetown Playhouse $10,000.00
Funding for This is Important, a 5-week summer enrichment theatre arts program for 7th and 8th graders in the Roseville school district. Activities will take place in June and July of 2017.

Washington County

FamilyMeans $8,769.00
Funding for elementary-school aged youth in Landfall and Cimarron to stage a theater production for themselves, their peers and community members. Activities will take place from December 2017 through March 2018.

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding for a The Boom Site, a youth literary journal for students to collaborate with language arts teachers and published authors to produce a writer’s manual, participate in a two week writing intensive, and develop content for an online resource page on creative writing. Activities will take place in Stillwater in the Summer of 2017.


FY 2017 Arts Learning Round 1

On January 24, 2017, MRAC awarded $257,648 to 26 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2017 Arts Learning grant program. The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of and/or through the arts for children, youth, and adults by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment.

Dakota County

OboeBass! The Vecchione/Erdahl Duo $10,000.00
Funding for Pages of Music, a series of seven monthly one-hour education programs to five senior residences throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Activities will occur between January 2017 and February 2018.


Autism Society of Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding for Art on the Spectrum, a program that integrates arts-learning and arts-making with social skills for youth with autism or similar disabilities. Activities will occur at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in the Summer of 2017.

Contempo Physical Dance $10,000.00
Funding for a two-week Afro-Brazilian contemporary dance residency at North Community High School in Minneapolis for students in grades 9-12. Activities will occur from February through March 2017.

Copper Street Brass Quintet $10,000.00
Funding for Chamber Music Skills Camp, a program offering in-depth instruction using chamber music as the medium. Activities will occur in 6 middle school band classes in the Minneapolis Public School District from February through May 2017.

GLITCH $10,000.00
Funding for the Immersion Program, a 2-week educational course where introductory level artists from the Twin Cities metro learn multidisciplinary skills used in the emerging digital games medium. Activities will occur in the summer of 2017 and winter of 2018.

Inverted Arts $10,000.00
Funding for an Art Exploration Program for 85 middle and high school students in partnership with Hope Academy in South Minneapolis during the summer of 2017 in which students choose one of five artistic disciplines taught by professional Artist Mentors.

Kairos Alive! $10,000.00
Funding for Como Lo Se/How I Know, a Latino/Anglo and Intra-Latino cultural exchange, based in Kairos’ participatory dance/music/story/theater approach, that explores how different cultures value and celebrate elders in community life. Activities will take place at the Centro Tyrone Guzman Community Center in Minneapolis in the Spring of 2017.

Minneapolis American Indian Center $8,840.00
Funding for a series of Arts Learning projects to teach and preserve traditional Porcupine Quillwork. Elders will teach participants about working with porcupine quills, including the process of sorting, dying, creating designs, and completing pieces of artwork, unique to Native culture. Activities will occur at the Two Rivers Gallery from May through August 2017.

Minneapolis Community Education $9,445.00
Funding for The Wellstone Identity Mural project, which will create a mural to celebrate and amplify the diverse voices of the immigrant student body at Wellstone International High School. Activities will occur between February and June of 2017.

Minneapolis Television Network $10,000.00
Funding to support a media-arts workshop for East-African young women to take place in early 2017 at MTN’s Northeast Minneapolis facility.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop $10,000.00
Funding for Contemporary Puppetry Workshops, a series of monthly workshops offered to people of color and Native communities interested in exploring contemporary puppet theater. Activities will take place at various locations throughout the Twin Cities from February through September 2017.

Patrick’s Cabaret $10,000.00
Funding for a partnership with MN Q Youth to produce a three-month long storytelling residency for a group of 20 LGBTQ youth in summer 2017. Two-hour workshops at Quatrefoil Library will be led by expert teaching artists twice per month to guide participants in the creation and performance of their own stories and will culminate in a public performance with a facilitated audience discussion.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding for Girls Rock n Roll Retreat (GRRR), a five-day music program for girls, gender non-conforming and trans youth. Activities will be held over four separate week-long sessions in July at locations in St. Paul and Eden Prairie.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum $10,000.00
Funding for classes in the arts of traditional Somali dance, targeted to Somali-American youth, and nomadic finger-weaving, which offers open enrollment for both Somali and non-Somali participants. Classes will take place at various locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis from March through October 2017.

Technical Tools of the Trade $10,000.00
Funding for 9 months of educational opportunities for technical skills and design in the performing arts from February to October 2017. Programming engages learners from school age through adult, and encompasses skill levels from beginner to professional.

The DIAL Group $10,000.00
Funding for In Focus: Digital Media Arts & Youth Leadership Program, which provides at-risk, under-served youth of color in North Minneapolis with after-school media arts programing. Activities will take place January through May of 2017.

Wavelets Creative $10,000.00
Funding for a series of free, outdoor community Art + Nature workshops culminating in a multi-disciplinary site-specific performance installation at the Nokomis Naturescape in Lake Nokomis Park, Minneapolis. Workshops will run from June through September 2017.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding for All Abilities Dancing, programming that engages youth with and without disabilities in quality dance experiences that emphasize ability and redefine dance for our community. Activities will occur from April through October 2017 at Dowling School, Bridgeview School, Roosevelt High School, and Hennepin County Home School.

Saint Paul

Alternative Motion Project $10,000.00
Funding for a six-day dance education residency at Como Park Elementary School in St. Paul in February of 2017. Students will also attend a performance by Alternative Motion Project at The Lab Theater in Minneapolis.

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac $9,500.00
Funding for the 2017 Saint Paul Almanac Community Editor Apprenticeship Project. Twenty diverse community editors will participate in an intensive twelve-class apprenticeship with the Saint Paul Almanac from March through May 2017.

ArtStart $10,000.00
Funding to implement “Artistry Takes Flight”, a five-day arts residency that integrates learning in the visual arts with learning about the impact of climate change on migratory birds of the Mississippi River flyway. Activities will occur in 4 St. Paul schools in the spring of 2017.

Midwest Special Services, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding for twenty adaptive writing classes for individuals with disabilities. Activities will take place at The Show Gallery Lowertown in St. Paul in the summer and fall of 2017.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to bring four (4) ten-week introductory creative writing classes to state prisons in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area. Classes will culminate with in-facility readings.

Mizna $10,000.00
Funding for Mizna Pages, a curriculum for Twin Cities high school students based on Mizna’s Arab American literary journal. The program will provide original journals and study guides to students for the 2017 school year.

Suburban Ramsey County

Balkanicus Institute for Balkan Art Culture and History $9,863.00
Funding for Balkan folk dance classes for beginners and advanced participants. Activities will take place at Tapestry Folkdance Center and Roseville Lutheran Church from September to October, 2017.

Lakeshore Players $10,000.00
Funding for an in-school Teaching Artist Residency Partnership with Matoska IB Elementary School in White Bear Lake. Students will create and perform in three musical productions beginning in January 2017 and running through May 2017.