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May 29, 2013 

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC)
Awards 200,144 in Arts Learning Grants

On May 28, 2013, MRAC awarded 200,144 to 22 organizations in the second round of its FY 2013 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 the arts. MRAC's goals for the Arts Learning grant program are to cultivate creativity and deepen knowledge 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. All applications go through a competitive peer review panel process. The MRAC board of directors makes the final decisions on all panel recommendations.


The following is a list of awarded projects sorted by the county of affiliation. Organization websites are included when available as a way to get more information about the groups and awarded projects. 


Dakota County


Ebenezer Ridges Campus                          $10,000


Funding to host Kairos Alive! Dance Theater for a 16-week dance, music, and storytelling residency with seniors at Arbors at Ridges Assisted Living in Burnsville.


Hennepin County


Bedlam Theatre                               $10,000


Funding for Bedlam yoU, a series of workshops and master classes with specific activities focused on Native American and East African young adults.


Creatives for Causes dba Art Buddies                              $10,000


Funding for the Art Buddies program pairing 80 creative mentors one-on-one with 80 low-income students ages 8 to 11 in the Community Education After-School program at Whittier International Elementary School in Minneapolis during fall 2013.


EDIT                           $7,200


Funding for the Awareness Through Performance program, a summer theater program for low-income youth in partnership with Urban Ventures and the Children's Theatre Company and culminating in a public performance in mid July 2013.


Indonesian Performing Arts Assoc. of MN dba Sumunar                $9,200


Funding for a 15-day arts residency teaching Javanese gamelan, traditional dance, and shadow puppetry to 7th and 8th grade students at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus School in St. Paul.


Kairos Alive!                                    $10,000


Funding to bring Dancing Heart™, a Gospel, Jazz, and Blues residency program, to the Thomas T. Feeney Manor in North Minneapolis beginning in fall 2013.


Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association                                 $10,000


Funding for the fourth season of Kids Play, a free year-round music mentoring program for high school orchestra students beginning in July 2013.


Obsidian Arts                                   $10,000


Funding for Black Art=Who, Why, When, and Where, an arts adventure project that engages participants in learning about Black art movements through workshops, studio visits, and site visits to public artworks starting in October 2013.


Photography at the Center                         $6,640


Funding for a nine-week photojournalism project led by former Star Tribune photojournalist Judy Griesedieck, for 4th grade students at Moreland Arts and Health Sciences Magnet School in St. Paul.


Phyllis Wheatley Community Center                              $9,000


Funding for the 2013 Explorers Program, providing youth ages 5 to 13 the opportunity to learn about health and wellness through art with a culminating interactive community parade and neighborhood celebration on August 6, 2013.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                                    $10,000


Funding for ArtHeals, classes in digital media and hip-hop literacy during the 2013-2014 school year at the PYC Arts and Tech High School in Minneapolis.


Upstream Arts, Inc.                                    $10,000


Funding for arts residencies in 20 Minneapolis public school special education classrooms, serving students with cognitive, developmental, emotional, behavioral and physical disabilities, during the 2013-2014 school year.


Weavers Guild of Minnesota                                $10,000


Funding for weaving, spinning, and fiber-related classes for people of all skill levels offered through the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center, the American Swedish Institute, and the Lyngblomsten senior center in fall 2013.


Ramsey County


Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                             $10,000


Funding for the Community Editor Apprenticeship Project during which 21 community editors from St. Paul will experience a 14-week apprenticeship in literary arts from October 2013 to February 2014.


Center for Hmong Arts and Talent                                  $10,000


Funding for the Art Saves Us "Making the Band" program, in which youth participants learn guitar basics, percussion, vocals, and musical collaboration with a culminating final showcase in September 2013.


In Progress                           $7,700


Funding for Digital Me, a comprehensive, after-school digital arts learning program for 5th to 8th grade students who have fallen behind in core academic areas at Farnsworth Aerospace School and The Community School of Excellence during the 2013-2014 school year.


Nautilus Music-Theater                             $10,000


Funding for the Composer-Librettist Studio, a 16-day musical theater exploration for five writers and five composers in collaboration with professional performers, beginning in late November 2013.


Suburban Hennepin County


Inverted Arts                                    $10,000


Funding for the Art Exploration Program, which engages 75 youth in grades 6 to 9 in one of five artistic disciplines at HOPE Academy in South Minneapolis. The program will culminate in a community showcase celebration on July 3, 2013.


Partnership Resources, Inc.                                 $10,000


Funding for Exploring Abstraction: A Reflective Painting Workshop for adults with cognitive or physical disabilities led by teaching artist James Holmberg at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.


Suburban Ramsey County


Contempo Physical Dance                                     $10,000


Funding for students to explore the literary works of Brazilian abolitionist Antonio de Castro Alves, attend a dance performance at the Cowles Center based on his work, and participate in pre- and post-performance activities at four St. Paul schools.


Mounds View Community Education                             $6,304


Funding for the African Music Ensemble to expand offerings to middle school students and provide a year long residency with Master Ghanaian Drummer Sowah Mensah.


Rosetown Playhouse                                  $4,100


Funding for Spontaneous Invention, an improvisational summer theater program for teens that will culminate with public performances in July and 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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