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March 27, 2013

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards $317,438
in Community Arts Grants to 66 Organizations
On March 26, 2013, MRAC awarded $317,438 to 66 organizations/projects in the second round of its FY 2013 Community Arts grant program. The organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and a connection to a community. This round's funded projects include: an Alzheimer's poetry project, a theater residency for young adults with disabilities, internationally-themed summer arts festivals, concerts in the park series, and many other theater, art, and music events/projects around the 7-county metro area.  

The Community Arts grant program utilizes a block grant system to ensure funds are distributed broadly in the seven counties in MRAC's service area. The following is a list of this round's grant recipients sorted by the county of activity that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites when available. Please note that the core cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from the surrounding suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.  

Anoka County


Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts                        $5,000

Funding for Art at Rice Creek, a free arts festival on the banks of Rice Creek and the Mississippi River in Anoka County. The daylong festival will feature visual, literary, and performance art experiences and will take place in September 2013.


Blaine Parks and Recreation                    $3,000

Funding for the sixth annual Blaine World Fest Celebration, a public event exploring the cultural arts and ethnicities that currently exist in the city. The event will take place in September 2013.


Fridley Community Theatre                     $5,000

Funding to produce and stage the organization's fourth summer musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Performances will take place in July 2013 at the Fridley High School auditorium.


Mississippi Valley Orchestra                   $5,000

Funding for the second annual children's concert featuring music from Disney's Fantasia and narration by Anton Jones. The concert will take place at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights in June 2013.


Carver County


Edge of the Big Woods Art Wander                    $5,000

Funding for the Edge of the Big Woods Art Wander, a self-guided arts tour featuring 40 artists and 18 working studios. The Art Wander will take place throughout western Carver County in September 2013.


Nordic Heritage Club                     $5,000

Funding for the fifth annual Nordic Music Festival modeled after a traditional Nordic fiddler's festival. The event will take place at Lake Minnewashta Regional Park in September 2013.


Watertown-Mayer Community Education                     $5,000

Funding for a six- to eight-week Youth Summer Theater program featuring an original script and musical score. The program will take place at the Watertown-Mayer Performing Arts Center and will culminate with three public performances in July 2013.


Dakota County


Dakota Valley Symphony               $4,860

Funding for a Young Artists Concert, featuring a world premiere by Victor Zupanc and Kevin Kling. The concerts will take place at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center in April 2013.


Eagan Parks and Recreation                     $5,000

Funding for Art... Be A Part! Inspire, yearlong arts programing for all ages featuring Sampler Saturdays, adult and teen open studios, and the annual Harvest of Art exhibit and open house. The activities will take place from April 2013 through March 2014.


Minnesota Brass, Inc.                     $5,000

Funding for Sounds of Minnesota, a drum and bugle competition featuring seven drum corps from throughout the Midwest. The event will take place at South St. Paul High School in August 2013.


Youth in Jazz, Inc.                $5,000

Funding for yearlong programming in Jazz for middle and high school-aged youth that includes instruction, rehearsals, recording and performance. Activities will take place between April 2013 and June 2014.


Hennepin County


Aldrich Arts Collaborative                       $5,000

Funding for the Garden Mural Project, a series of classes that will culminate in the creation and installation of an environmentally-themed mural on the outside of the Aldrich Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.


Alzheimer's Poetry Project                      $4,900

Funding for a series of poetry sessions serving people living with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia. Activities will take place at various assisted living and adult day care centers and culminate in a public performance of newly created poems at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts in December 2013.


Balkanicus Ensemble                     $4,600

Funding for Balkanicus, a free public concert featuring contemporary Balkan chamber music. The concert will take place at the University of Minnesota Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall in April 2013.


Box Wine Theatre               $5,000

Funding to produce A Modest Proposal, an original play by Adam Sharp inspired by the Jonathan Swift essay of the same name. Performances will take place at the Bryant Lake Bowl in November 2013.


Byzantine Choral Festival             $2,850

Funding for the Fourth Annual Byzantine Choral Festival, featuring a workshop and public concert. The concert of diverse ethnic choral traditions will take place at St. Constantine Ukrainian Catholic Church in October 2013.


Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis               $5,000

Funding for three concerts serving three different audiences. Concerts will take place at Wayzata Community Church, the Hispanic South Minneapolis Aurora Charter School, and the Lake Harriet Band Shell between May and July 2013.


Diverse Emerging Music Organization (DEMO)                       $5,000

Funding to present 100 showcases featuring emerging, independent musicians representing a variety of genres. The showcases will take place at Wild Tymes in St. Paul and Acadia Café in Minneapolis in spring and summer 2013.


Fools Productions              $5,000

Funding to present the 2013 edition of Cirque de la Loon, a live performance of circus arts culminating from the Circus Apprenticeship Program. Performances will take place in July 2013.


Freedom Jazz Festival, Inc.                       $5,000

Funding for the annual Freedom Jazz Festival featuring a variety of musicians and jazz styles, history, performances, visual arts and exhibits. The daylong festival will take place in August 2013 at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park in Minneapolis.


Freshwater Theatre                       $4,600

Funding to produce two shows: The Beacon of Belle Island, an ensemble-created work directed by Jamil Jude; and the second annual Freshwater Fringe Consolation Encore, providing increased exposure to a show originally a part of the Minnesota Fringe Festival. Performances will take place in repertory at Nimbus Theater in November 2013.


Grassroots Culture             $5,000

Funding to create and produce 16 show segments for a weekly bluegrass music radio program featuring Phil Nusbaum, Lyle Lofgren, and Adam Granger. Segments will be aired on eight Bluegrass Review shows in July and August 2013.


Hope Community, Inc.                   $5,000

Funding for The Power of Vision, a neighborhood mural program that will engage approximately 50 youth in developing arts and leadership skills. The project will take place between April and September 2013 and culminate in a public mural and community unveiling ceremony.


Loring Greenway Association                  $5,000

Funding for 16 concerts featuring students from local music programs to be performed on the Loring Greenway in summer 2013.


Mad Munchkin Productions                     $5,000

Funding to create and perform The Spooky Spectacular and Harvest Hullabaloo, an original puppet show to be performed in metro area neighborhoods in October 2013.


Madame of the Arts                        $5,000

Funding for three small-scale community-building arts series for the LGBTQA community. Activities will take place at Madame of the Arts in Minneapolis between April and December 2013.


Maggie Bergeron and Company               $5,000

Funding for Leaver's Ball, a dance and music project inspired by the high school prom. Performances will take place at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis in July 2013.


Minnesota Community SINGS                   $5,000

Funding to lead six community sings in Minneapolis Parks between April and September 2013.


New Franklin Cultural Center d.b.a. Franklin Art Works                  $4,850

Funding to present a solo exhibition of works by Nigerian-born, New York-based artist Njideka Akunyili. The exhibition exploring the artist's conflicting personal and cultural affiliations to the country of her birth and her new home in the U.S., will be held between May and August 2013.


Off-Leash Area                     $5,000

Funding to remount Psst!, an original performance of dance with masks at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in June 2013.


Photography at the Center             $5,000

Funding for a photography program for Native American high school students. Students will partner with mentors to study the history of Native American portraits and learn the technical and artistic skills necessary to create their own photographs. The program will take place in spring 2013.


Poetry for People                $5,000

Funding for the Powderhorn Poetry Picnic, a free neighborhood event bringing together people, food, and performance in a moving feast inspired by poetry. The picnic will take place in June 2013 at Powderhorn Park.


Rhythmically Speaking                  $5,000

Funding for the fifth annual showcase featuring dances created by five to nine emerging and established Twin Cities Jazz and rhythm-driven choreographers. The showcase will be held at The Southern Theater in August 2013.


SunsetGun Productions                 $5,000

Funding to develop and produce BLUEPRINT, a play about a woman as she presents a how-to-guide on what it means to be a woman today. Performances will take place at Red Eye Theater in July 2013.


The Ancia Saxophone Quartet                  $5,000

Funding to perform two concerts featuring new and traditional works for saxophone quartet. The concerts will take place at the Weisman Art Museum and at Studio Z in May 2013.


The Dream Songs Project              $5,000

Funding to commission and perform a new work for classical voice and guitar by Minnesota composer Katherine Bergman. The piece will be included in three concerts and two outreach premiere performances for seniors and high school youth in December 2013 and January 2014.


The Eclectic Ensemble                   $4,685

Funding for Music of the Sun performances of improvisational ambient music in metro area public spaces between May and September 2013. 


The West Bank Business Association                $5,000

Funding for the fourth annual West Bank Music Festival, a daylong event celebrating the diverse music and cultural traditions of Minneapolis' West Bank community. The festival will take place in August 2013.


Trú Rúts Endeavors                       $4,300

Funding to support the workshop and development series of Sha Cage's N.I.G.G.E.R. Project, which brings quality arts to low income communities and sparks dialogue around issues of race. The program will culminate in a performance at the Capri Theater in May 2013.


Twin Cities World Refugee Day               $5,000

Funding for Twin Cities Refugee Day, a cultural festival featuring more than 50 local organizations serving refugees. The festival will take place in June 2013 at Minnehaha Falls Park in Minneapolis.


Ramsey County


Adieu Summer Concert                 $5,000

Funding for the seventh annual Adieu Summer Concert, a multicultural family event featuring the Jazz ensemble Ticket to Brasil. The event will take place at Como Pavilion in September 2013.


Ensemble 61                        $5,000

Funding for Sounds From Scandinavia, a contemporary music event featuring music from five Nordic countries. The concert will take place in the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Music Room in the Hamm Building in St. Paul in June 2013.


Los Alegres Bailadores                 $4,700

Funding for a two-week intensive Mexican Folkloric Dance Workshop primarily led by Maestro Tizoc Fuentes Yaco. Workshops will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church and the Wellstone Center on St. Paul's West Side in July 2013.


Nightpath Theatre Company                     $5,000

Funding for six to nine performances of Our Town. Performances will take place at multiple venues in the metro area in May and June 2013.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                      $5,000

Funding for Songs of Hope 2013, an international concert project featuring youth between 9- and 16-years-old from countries around the world along with youth from the Twin Cities. Twenty concerts will be held throughout the metro area in July 2013.


St. Paul Art Collective                     $5,000

Funding for the St. Paul Art Crawl, a self-guided walking tour of artists' studios and galleries located around downtown St. Paul, in October 2013.


The PuppetTellers              $5,000

Funding for 14 free performances of the original puppet play: A Night on Bear Island. Performances will take place at libraries in Dakota, Scott and Carver Counties between June and September 2013.


Twin Cities Labor Chorus             $3,500

Funding for 9 to 12 choral performances in the metro area between April and December 2013.


Young Artists Initiative                  $5,000

Funding for the 2013 Summer Theatre Experience, a six-week arts enrichment program culminating in public performances of Dreams of a Cobbler's Son. Performances will take place at the Wellstone Center on St. Paul's West Side in August 2013.


Suburban Hennepin County


4 Community Theatre                    $5,000

Funding for six performances of the musical Camelot at Orono High School Auditorium in July 2013.


Discovery Arts Council                  $3,600

Funding for the annual Orono International Festival celebrating the diversity and culture that exists within the six communities of the Orono School District. The festival will take place in October 2013.


Friends of the Hopkins Center for the Arts                  $5,000

Funding for five street performances and the use of technology to enhance a self-guided tour of public art on Hopkins Artstreet. Activities will take place in summer and fall 2013.


Partners in Praise Girls Choir                 $3,993

Funding for PIPFEST, a choral festival hosting six to seven youth choirs. The festival will take place at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights in May 2013.


Plymouth Concert Band                 $5,000

Funding for their 2013 - 2014 concert season featuring four concerts of traditional band repertoire and several summer concerts with marches and lighter, popular tunes. Concerts will take place between November 2013 and June 2014.


The Park Theater Company                      $5,000

Funding for six performances of The Illusionist: Shakespeare Reveals All, an original play by St. Louis Park playwright Jerry Wilson. Performances will take place at the Hopkins Center for the Arts' Studio Theater in September 2013.


Theatre Or                $5,000

Funding for Whatever You Do, Don't See This Play, an original play written in collaboration with 20 west-metro youth. Performances will take place at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in May and June 2013.


Westonka Community Education and Services                        $3,000

Funding for a Music in the Park series of five to six free concerts on Thursday evenings in Mound during summer 2013.


Suburban Ramsey County


Mounds View Community Theatre                     $5,000

Funding for the full-book version of the musical Les Miserables. Performances will take place at Irondale High School in July 2013.


Northwest Youth & Family Services                   $5,000

Funding for a seven-week summer camp serving approximately 110 youth and culminating in a camper-created public performance. The camp will take place at manufactured-home communities in Shoreview, Mounds View and New Brighton in Summer 2013.


Roseville Parks and Recreation               $5,000

Funding for the Live at the Rog performance series of family-friendly events held on summer evenings and featuring "signature events" based on a monthly theme. The series will be held at the Roseville Central Park Frank Rog Amphitheater in summer 2013.


Washington County


Forest Lake Park Board                $5,000

Funding for Arts in the Park, a series of free weekly summertime performances and exhibits at Lakeside Park and Gazebo in Forest Lake.


Masquers Theatre Company                     $5,000

Funding for 11 performances and a free preview performance of Annie at Forest Lake High School Auditorium in July 2013.


Music Saint Croix                $5,000

Funding for their 2013 - 2014 concert series of three chamber music concerts to be presented at the Washington County Historic Courthouse and Trinity Lutheran Church in Stillwater.


Valley Friendship Club                  $5,000

Funding for a four-week theater and artist residency with Upstream Arts for young adults with disabilities. Activities will take place for two hours a day/two days a week and will culminate in a performance in August 2013.


Walking Together               $5,000

Funding for Walking Together, a concert of newly composed music created through a collaboration of musicians and readers exploring migration, immigration and ethnicity. The concert will take place at White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church in February 2014.


Washington County 4-H Federation                    $5,000

Funding for County Arts-In, a four-day intensive performing arts camp for youth ages 13 to 19. The camp will take place at the Washington County Fairgrounds in July and culminate with performances at the Washington County Fair and the Minnesota State Fair in August 2013.


About the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council


The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) serves nonprofit arts groups in the seven-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties) metropolitan area of Minnesota with annualized operating expenses less than  400,000. In FY 2012, MRAC received 840 applications and awarded 419 grants totaling  2,738,936 to arts organizations and/or projects including a grant to VSA Minnesota for its regranting program, the ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations. These grants were funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State's general fund, and by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. MRAC also received 366 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 32 grants totaling  155,900 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 32 arts management training sessions and 26 grant application workshops.

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