Recent Organizational Development Grant Awards

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.


FY 2017 Organizational Development Grant Awards


Ananya Dance Theatre  $9,400
Funding to engage an independent dance curator and producer as consultant to develop strategies and a network of relationships that build visibility, understanding, and advocacy for its work.

ARENA DANCES, Inc.  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time managing director to facilitate ARENA’s strategic plan.

Art Shanty Projects  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time Community Outreach Director responsible for building and sustaining relationships in the Twin Cities.

Copper Street Brass Quintet  $10,000
Funding to recruit and train four board members using their Board Development Plan.

courageous heARTS  $10,000
Funding to undertake a comprehensive strategic planning process that engages stakeholders within the organizational community.

Frank Theatre  $10,000
Funding to hire a consultant who can assist the organization in launching a comprehensive strategic planning initiative that will help envision the organizational structure as it relates to mission.

Full Circle Theater Company  $10,000
Funding to engage a Management Consultant and hire a part time General Manager to manage company systems in the areas of marketing/promotion, financial record keeping, and individual donor accounts.

Green T Productions  $10,000
Funding to support a new part-time 8-month Arts Administrator position to strengthen organizational capacity.

Heart of Dance  $10,000
Funding to work with a consultant to develop a comprehensive individual fundraising plan, create a donor database and materials, and create a marketing and fundraising promotional video.

Hopewell Music Cooperative North  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time Development and Outreach Coordinator to spearhead fundraising and community outreach initiatives.

Iraqi & American Reconciliation Project  $10,000
Funding to work with a consultant to develop a comprehensive fundraising strategy as part of a capacity building initiative.

JLR Foundation  $10,000
Funding to hire an arts consultant to help build organizational capacity and develop a sustaining fundraising roadmap to support program growth.

Kulture Klub Collaborative  $10,000
Funding to hire a development professional to assist in broadening its base of support.

Metropolitan Boys Choir  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time Program Manager to help build its organizational capacity.

Motionpoems, Inc.  $10,000
Funding to work with development experts to revise, stabilize, and systematize fundraising efforts for the organization.

Rain Taxi Inc.  $10,000
Funding to “Contact Everyone We Know” through updating and redeveloping the organization’s existing database to encourage past supporters and institutional partners to re-engage with the organization.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum  $10,000
Funding to hire a management consultant to evaluate its fundraising program and train staff in order to build fundraising capacity.

The Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts  $10,000
Funding to expand marketing capability to develop new participants, volunteers and donors.  A part-time staff person will be hired to lead the organization in management needs.

Theatre Unbound  $9,625
Funding to work with communications firm Ainsley Shea to build and diversify their audiences.

Wonderlust Productions  $10,000
Funding to increase organizational leadership capacity to build organizational infrastructure, cultivate individual donors, and build key partnerships.

Young Dance, Inc.  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time Executive Director position.

Scott County

Savage Arts Council  $9,180
Funding to hire a marketing consultant to create an overall marketing plan for the immediate future and for long-range planning and associated materials and templates.

St. Paul

Center for Irish Music  $10,000
Funding to create a part-time salaried Managing Director position which will allow new curriculum, performance partnerships, and other outreach efforts across the Twin Cities.

Lyra Baroque Orchestra  $10,000
Funding to hire a communications manager to execute the first phase of a new communications plan.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop  $10,000
Funding to hire an experienced development consultant to develop and help launch an individual donor campaign.

Musical Offering  $10,000
Funding to augment the role of Executive Director to meet the needs of their expanded season and broadening audiences.

Nautilus Music-Theater  $10,000
Funding for a research and evaluation project involving over 2,000 artists with whom they have worked.

Young Artists Initiative  $10,000
Funding to hire a consultant to work with the board to develop existing and new resources to support programs and operations.

Suburban Hennepin County

Giving Voice Initiative  $10,000
Funding to hire a part-time Operations Coordinator to manage administrative and finance activities and carry out day-to-day operations in the areas of marketing, communications, and development.

Suburban Ramsey County

Brownbody  $8,750
Funding to formalize the Executive Director role by transitioning the volunteer Artistic Director to a paid Brownbody employee.

Contempo Physical Dance  $10,000
Funding to work with a fundraising specialist to develop a multi-year sustainability plan.

Great Northern Union Chorus  $10,000
Funding to hire SMCpros to help develop a robust social media strategy with the specific goal of developing their young audiences.