Recent Organizational Development Grant Awards

FY 2018 Organizational Development Grant Awards

On May 28, 2019 the MRAC board awarded $320,941 to 33 groups and organizations in the Organizational Development grant program.

The Organizational Development grant projects will provide arts organizations in the Twin Cities Metro area with resources and expertise to continue with strong arts engagement with their communities. These programs are intended to make structural investments in groups who are achieving both high artistic engagement with their communities and those with potential for organizational growth and advancement.

These grant programs are made possible by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund. Geographic listings represent the county where the arts organization is located; note that Minneapolis is listed separately from the Suburban Hennepin County.


20% Theatre Company $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Executive Director to support the Artistic Director & Founder in building capacity and running the organization.

Cuban American Youth Orchestra $9,500.00
Funding to support a professional grant writer to be tasked with identifying and pursuing foundation and corporate support for Twin Cities programs.

Grace Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to improve and make efficient the fundamental administrative systems that underpin the daily management of the organization.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part time Development Director in order to increase the organization’s financial sustainability.

Kulture Klub Collaborative $10,000.00
Funding to continue work with a consultant to strengthen internal evaluation, participant feedback, and organizational equity by increasing youth, artist, and participant voice in the creative planning and strategic decision-making of the organization.

Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute $10,000.00
Funding to hire a Development Manager to oversee annual fundraising, build donor base, and support the board and Executive Director in their efforts to meet revenue goals.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to streamline organizational structure and increase staff time by 10 hours/week to implement a comprehensive development plan focused on individual giving.

Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop $10,000.00
Funding for Executive Director to be paid as contracted staff for first time and funding for grant consultant to systematize grantwriting process.

Nimbus Theatre $10,000.00
Funding to hire a Front of House Manager for their venue, the Crane Theater. These funds will help expand a previously small, volunteer position into a paid management position.

Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association $10,000.00
Funding to employ the Interim Executive Director for the summer, from June to August, giving the organization time to plan for the future, seek out other funding sources, and lay the foundation for successful programming and financial stability in 2020.

Off-Leash Area $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Development Assistant to work with the organization to develop new funding streams, community partnerships, and business sponsors in support of the organization’s new programs and expanded mission.

Once Were and Again We Are dba Northern Monday Films $10,000.00
Funding to hire a contract Development Coordinator in the weeks leading up to and during the 2020 budgeting process, June through November 2019.

Red Eye Collaboration $10,000.00
Funding for a strategic and space planning initiative as the organization moves into its first full year of new leadership and searches for a permanent new home.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding to increase the Operations Manager’s weekly hours to relaunch the Youth Board and create a stronger, sustainable sponsorship funding model.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum $8,840.00
Funding to devote staff time and board capacity to a new strategic planning and documentation process, while also building internal capacity for improved financial reporting and program budgeting to support that growth.

Soo Visual Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to explore how to achieve the best position and sustain growth for the organization. Board and staff will create a roadmap for the future through a detailed strategic plan.

The DIAL Group $6,200.00
Funding to hire a consultant to create a comprehensive strategic plan, assess current and future fundraising strategies, and work with board and staff to implement the plan.

The Moving Company $10,000.00
Funding to develop infrastructure and strategies around fundraising and donor development, including implementing a donor customer relationship manager system, policies and procedures around donor records and development, and developing and implementing an actionable donor development strategic plan.

Theatre Unbound $10,000.00
Funding to create salaried positions for a Marketing Director and Social Media Director to implement recommendations from a marketing strategy plan developed with a consulting firm.

Umbrella Collective $10,000.00
Funding to strengthen organizational structure through the creation of paid leadership positions and a yearly organizational retreat.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding to increase staffing needs associated with a move to the organization’s new permanent home, opening in September 2019.

Saint Paul

Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac $10,000.00
Funding to add a half-time Management Associate position to formalize administrative support at a time of critical transition.

ArtStart $10,000.00
Funding for organizational transition planning, including outlining steps in leadership succession as the organization’s Founder/Executive Director moves toward retirement.

Bach Society of Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to hire an Operations Manager to lead all key elements of the organization’s concert productions.

Celtic Junction Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to hire a software engineer to evaluate and develop an accessible, intuitive, and responsive website.

COLLIDE Theatrical $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time contractor to grow and sustain individual donor cultivation.

East Side Arts Council $7,000.00
Funding to work with a consultant from Propel Nonprofits to assess the organization’s current budget and cashflow documents, as well as receive staff and board training in financial best practices and communication.

East Side Freedom Library $9,600.00
Funding to develop an RFP for a new integrated data management and communication system to update the current use of a donor database, email marketing system, and spreadsheets.

Exposed Brick Theatre $9,801.00
Funding to hire a consultant to work with staff to develop an individual donor plan and create the materials and infrastructure to launch an individual giving campaign.

Wonderlust Productions $10,000.00
Funding to support a new Training Labs program for workgroups in non-profits, corporations, and government agencies, widening the impact of the organization’s work and eventually yielding earned revenue to support other programs.

Suburban Hennepin County

Four Humors Theater $10,000.00
Funding for the creation of a digital and physical assets archive spanning 14 years of itinerant production history in order to prepare for focused, long-term company growth.

St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to facilitate a planning process and develop an Arts and Culture Strategic Framework in support of community priorities.

Washington County

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding to develop a culturally sensitive evaluation method that successfully captures the data needed to analyze programing and inform decisions for the organization.


FY 2018 Organizational Development Grant Awards

On November 29, 2017, MRAC awarded $293,545 to 30 organizations in its FY 2018 Organizational Development grant program. The Organizational Development grant program offers grants of up to $10,000 for projects designed to strengthen the management or administration of arts organizations. Awarded projects must advance the organization’s mission, have the potential for long-term impact, and show evidence of thorough planning.

The following list of the FY 2018 Organizational Development grantees is sorted by county of affiliation and includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees’ websites. Groups located in Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.

Dakota County

Caponi Art Park $10,000.00
Funding to work with a consultant to build organizational capacity, develop a sustainable business model and hire a new part-time staff person to help implement this work.


20% Theatre Company $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Arts Administrator to support the Executive Artistic Director with day-to-day administrative tasks.

Alive & Kickin $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Communications & Fundraising Coordinator to expand the marketing program, to improve communications, and to increase fundraising efforts.

Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to support increased hours for the managing director and to hire a volunteer coordinator.

Classical Actors Ensemble $7,920.00
Funding to work with a marketing and communications consultant to create a strategic marketing and communications plan and provide the tools and training to implement and oversee the plan.

Giving Voice Initiative $10,000.00
Funding for board development, fundraising training, and additional administrative support to implement its first comprehensive fundraising/development plan.

Grace Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to develop and implement a plan for sustainable earned income generation for the program Don’t You Feel It Too?

Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project $10,000.00
Funding for a communications project, including a new website and style guide for communications materials.

Jawaahir Dance Company $8,800.00
Funding to work with a web design team to create a new site for the company.

Kairos Alive! $10,000.00
Funding to hire marketing consultants to launch a marketing campaign and develop an online digital marketing strategy to expand online training offerings.

Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association $10,000.00
Funding to contract with a consulting firm to assess current fundraising, create a holistic development plan, and work with board and staff to implement the plan.

Patrick’s Cabaret $10,000.00
Funding to launch a new program called Ambassadors and create a Comprehensive Communications Plan to improve the timing and efficiency of the organization’s communications.

She Rock She Rock $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time Development Director to develop diverse funding streams for the organization as well as develop relationships with partner organizations, sponsors and corporate donors.

Soo Visual Arts Center $10,000.00
Funding to hire a part-time development coordinator to assist in broadening and diversifying our base of support.

The Minneapolis Art Lending Library $10,000.00
Funding to establish and formalize organizational systems for engaging donors, including implementing a database and creating tools for communications and fundraising.

Theatre Unbound $10,000.00
Funding to work with communications firm Ainsley Shea to develop materials and communications templates to increase major gifts from individuals.

Twin Cities Media Alliance $10,000.00 /
Funding to revamp the organization’s visual identity by building a brand and implementing a new website and associated materials.

VSA Minnesota $10,000.00
Funding to allow its staff and board of directors to work with an outside consultant to assist the organization in developing a strategic and succession plan for the organization.

Young Dance, Inc. $10,000.00
Funding to document classes, outreach programming and performances of Young Dance, and to update our website and printed materials to showcase the breadth of the services we provide.

Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre $8,250.00
Funding to hire design consultant to lead re-branding campaign and a web designer to create a new logo, website, and marketing materials.

Saint Paul

Center for Irish Music $10,000.00
Funding to launch a new registration and data collection system to support growth and student retention.

Lyra Baroque Orchestra $8,575.00
Funding to hire an operations manager to lead all key elements of Lyra’s concert production.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop $10,000.00
Funding to engage a development consultant to help design and implement a comprehensive individual donor development process focused on major gifts.

Minnesota Theater Alliance $10,000.00
Funding to improve membership and data management for member theaters and strengthen web resources through a new website.

The Baroque Room $10,000.00
Funding to create a Production Manager position for two years starting in January, 2018.

Wonderlust Productions $10,000.00
Funding to work with consultant Julie Sands to develop an education and institutional-capacity building program that furthers the mission and contributes to earned revenue goals.

Young Artists Initiative $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to assist the organization with leadership transition and with developing business processes.

Zeitgeist $10,000.00
Funding to create an online media library and accompanying marketing plan to connect listeners from around the world with its recorded work.

Suburban Ramsey County

Brownbody $10,000.00
Funding to work with consultant Michèle Steinwald and an administrative assistant in the implementation of its business plan.

Washington County

StoryArk $10,000.00
Funding to hire a consultant to work with staff to write and implement an overall development plan that would increase organizational capacity and sustainability.

Skip to content