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September 30, 2013

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 669,752 in Arts Activities Support Grants to 68 Organizations

On September 24, 2013, MRAC awarded a total of 669,752 to 68 organizations/projects in the first round of the FY 2014 Arts Activities Support grant program. The organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and a community connection. This round's funded projects include: a video documentary project about the journeys of several families from Somalia to Minnesota, an annual picnic operetta, free drop-in art classes, a multi-disciplinary performance festival of new works, and a concert series for senior citizens, as well as dance showcases, cultural festivals, theater performances, youth arts experiences, concerts and more. 


The following is a complete list of grantees that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites.

Anoka County


Musikgarten of Anoka                                $10,000


Funding for the winter, spring and summer sessions of classes in music and movement for children and families in Anoka County. The sessions include a new inter-generational music class at The Farmstead, an African music class, and a class for youth with special needs.


Dakota County


Caponi Art Park                               $10,000


Funding for the 2014 Summer Performance Series featuring Theatre Pro Rata, Minnesota Sinfonia, Jawaahir Dance Company, the Dakota Valley Summer Pops Orchestra and Chorus, Joe Chvala and the Flying Foot Forum and Zeitgeist. The free performance series will be held at Caponi Art Park from June through August 2014.


Chameleon Theatre Circle                                    $10,000


Funding to mount a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in the style of kabuki theater in collaboration with Green T Productions. Performances will take place at at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center in June 2014.


Dakota Center for the Arts dba Eagan Art Festival                              $10,000


Funding for the 20th annual Eagan Art Festival, a free two-day outdoor festival featuring a broad range of entertainment and arts activities for all ages. The festival will take place at the Eagan Community Center in June 2014.




20% Theatre Company                              $10,000


Funding for The Naked I: Three, a company- and community-created production that will feature over 50 local LGBTQ artists and allies. Performances will take place at Intermedia Arts in February 2014.


AdopSource                          $6,000


Funding for the Minnesota Transracial Film Festival 2013, featuring four short films, one feature length film, and a panel discussion showcasing adoptee films and filmmakers. The festival will take place at the Parkway Theater in November 2013.


Ananya Dance Theatre                               $10,000


Funding to create and produce Neel: Blutopia of Interrupted Dreams, an evening-length work reflecting stories of women's lives cut short by random acts of violence. Performances will take place at The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in September 2014.


Ascension Place, Inc.                                  $8,000


Funding for the Discovering Art and Community Program, providing quality arts experiences to more than 50 women working through mental health or chemical health crises. The program includes five artist-in-residence workshops led by local artists, as well as weekly art activities that will culminate in an annual art show in August 2014.


Breanna's Gift                                  $10,000


Funding for the 2013-2014 arts program that introduces children with cancer and other serious illnesses to the magical world of the arts at four Twin Cities health related facilities.


Cleveland Neighborhood Association                            $10,000


Funding for Live On the Drive, a free concert series held on Victory Memorial Drive in North Minneapolis featuring high-caliber musicians and celebrating the diverse talents of the community. The series will consist of three concerts held on the second Thursday of June, July, and August 2014.


Global Site Performance                           $7,880


Funding to produce the 18th annual Solstice River event, a site-specific performance honoring the Mississippi River on the longest day of the year. The performance will take place in June 2014 at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.


Khadra Project                                $10,000


Funding for a series of art workshops using community-based arts curriculum and human rights and Art of Hosting methodologies to support the reintegration of young girls and women in East African and Somali communities who have been sexually-abused and trafficked. Activities will be take place between October and December 2013.


Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                                   $10,000

Funding for the 2013 Winter Showcase, a performance of completed work developed between October and December 2013 by Les Jolies students. A final public performance will be held at Cooper High School in December 2013.


Mad Munchkin Productions                                 $10,000


Funding to create and present Tracing Fault Lines, a collaboratively-created work incorporating puppetry, movement and music that explores the physical and social impact of natural and man-made disasters. Performances will take place at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre's Avalon Theater in May 2014.


Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association                                 $10,000


Funding to perform six free concerts for seniors during July 2014. Four coffee concerts will be held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis, with listeners bused in from senior care facilities throughout the Twin Cities. Additional concerts will be held in Elliot Park, across the street from the Augustana Home for Seniors, and Cerenity Senior Care-Humboldt in St. Paul.


Minneapolis Thanksgiving Celebration Pow-Wow                             $10,000

Funding for the 2013 Thanksgiving Celebration Pow-Wow, a three-day community event dedicated to preserving and celebrating Dakota, Ojibwe, and Ho-Chunk traditional dance and drumming. The event will be held at the Minneapolis American Indian Center during the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend.


Minnesota Guitar Society                          $10,000


Funding to support concerts, workshops and master classes by regional and international guitarists. The program includes eight concerts at Sundin Music Hall at Hamline University as part of its main series, with an additional five outreach concerts presented with partner organizations in communities in the metro area.


Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra                               $10,000


Funding to conduct a free children and families concert featuring the works of four composers. The concert will take place in November 2013.


Mixed Precipitation                                    $10,000


Funding to present the 6th annual picnic operetta, a harvest season tradition combining classical music, horticulture, food, and storytelling in metro area community gardens and urban farms. Performances will take place in August and September 2014.


Morgan Thorson & Company                               $10,000

Funding to create The Other Thing, a full-evening ensemble dance that explores the human need to connect to others and the artistic desire to connect with audiences using one-on-one conversations and solo dances as direct, personal communication. Performances will take place in Bedlam Theater's new St. Paul venue in April 2014.


Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association                                   $10,000


Funding for the 19th annual Art-A-Whirl, an open studio and gallery tour held in various locations in Northeast Minneapolis, which provides the public with an opportunity to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with artists, attend demonstrations and workshops, and purchase original artwork. Art-A-Whirl will take place in May 2014.


Off-Leash Area                                 $10,000


Funding for the remount of Maggie's Brain, an original dance and theater production that addresses the stigma of mental illness, presented in partnership with the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Performances will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in January 2014.


Open Eye Figure Theatre                           $10,000


Funding to present the 12th annual Driveway Tour: Theatre in Your Neighborhood, offering original puppet theater to more than 100 communities in the Twin Cities area during summer 2014.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                                    $10,000


Funding for the 2014 Camp Capri, a five-week summer arts camp for North Minneapolis youth ages 10 to 15 years, with leadership from Greta Oglesby, T. Mychael Rambo, and Dennis Spears. Activities will take place at the Capri Theater in July and August 2014.


Public Domain Productions                                 $10,000

Funding to produce a biographical puppetry performance about the legendary seed mosaicist, Owatonna-artist Lillian Colton, who revolutionized "crop art" during 40 years at the Minnesota State Fair. Three performances will be staged daily in the Agriculture-Horticulture Building during the 2014 Minnesota State Fair.


Red Eye Collaboration                               $10,000


Funding for NEW WORKS 4 WEEKS 2014, a multidisciplinary performance festival that serves as the culmination of Red Eye's artist development programs, which provide space and technical support for the creation of new work. The project will begin in winter 2013.


Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                            $10,000


Funding for a series of exhibitions of traditional Somali artworks in six locations, targeting segments of the Somali community that lack access to studying traditional Somali arts and culture. The exhibitions will be held between November 2013 and March 2014.


St. Stephen's Human Services                               $10,000


Funding to bring the stories of homelessness to life through its premiere production, There's No Place Like Home. Performances will take place at St. Stephen's Human Services and other locations beginning in November 2013.


Theatre Unbound                            $10,000


Funding to produce SILKWORMS, a world premiere play devised by 2012 Ivey Award Emerging Artist Isabel Nelson, inspired by stories of rebellions in the convents of 17th century Italy. Performances will take place at the Woman's Club of Minneapolis in April and May 2014.


Twin Cities Carifest                                    $10,000


Funding for Carifest, a family-friendly festival featuring Caribbean music, storytelling, dance, cuisine, and a Carnival-style parade that will take place in Minneapolis in July 2014.


Twin Cities Jazz Workshop                                  $10,000


Funding for the Twin Cities Jazz Workshop, a summer experience offering professional Jazz music instruction to local students with a culminating local performance opportunity at the Dakota Jazz Club. The project will begin in summer 2014.


Workhaus Collective                                  $10,000


Funding to produce and present award-winning and member playwright, Jeannine Coulombe's new play, Homegrown. Performances will take place at the Waring Jones Theater at the Playwrights' Center in April and May 2014.


Scott County


South Metro Chorale                                  $10,000


Funding for a two concert music series titled Haydn: The Creation, to be performed at Glendale United Methodist Church in Savage and St. Richard's Catholic Church in Richfield in May 2014.


St. Paul


Amherst H. Wilder Foundation                           $10,000


Funding for the FY14 Wilder Adult Day Health Band and Choir season, which provides music programming and performance opportunities for older adults, including those with Alzheimer's and physical disabilities. Activities will take place between October 2013 and September 2014.


Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                             $10,000


Funding for the 2015 Saint Paul Almanac, an annual publishing of amateur and professional literary artists. The 2015 Saint Paul Almanac will be released in September 2014.


ArtStart                                 $10,000


Funding for the 2013-2014 ScrapMobile program, including the expansion to organizations who serve adults with developmental disabilities including Lifeworks Services Inc., Highland Friendship Club, and Legacy Endeavors. Activities will take place between October 2013 and May 2014.


Bach Society of Minnesota                                    $10,000


Funding for three concerts in their 2013-2014 season, featuring Baroque, Jazz, solo harpsichord and rarely heard choral works. Performances will take place at various metro area venues between December 2013 and March 2014.


Center for Irish Music                               $10,000


Funding for the 2014 Minnesota Irish Music Weekend, an Irish music festival that pairs internationally-renowned traditional Irish musicians with students of all ages for a weekend of Irish music instruction and live performances. The event will take place at the Celtic Junction in St. Paul in June 2014.


East Side Arts Council                                $10,000


Funding for Artmobile, a mobile art project offering seven weeks of free drop-in art classes. Artmobile will be held at public spaces around the east side of St. Paul in the summer of 2014.


Ensemble 61                                    $10,000


Funding for The French Connection, a music concert featuring work by late-20th century French composers, paired with work by early-21st century American composers who they inspired, including a world premiere by Ensemble 61 Co-Founder Kirsten Broberg. The concert will take place at Aria in downtown Minneapolis in February 2014.


Hot Summer Jazz Festival                         $10,000


Funding for the Hot Summer Jazz Festival, a three-day Jazz festival featuring local and world-renowned Jazz artists. The festival will take place at 27 venues in downtown St. Paul including the newly opened Union Depot in June 2014.


Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health                         $10,000


Funding for Return of Fidgety Fairy Tales: The Sixth Mental Health Musical, a 40-minute performance using familiar fairy tales to illustrate symptoms of children's common mental health disorders. Ten performances will take place in the metro area in April 2014.


Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company                              $10,000


Funding for the regional premiere of The History of Invulnerability by David Bar Katz. Performances will take place at the Hillcrest Recreation Center in St. Paul in April and May 2014.


Minnesota Music Coalition                                   $9,340


Funding for the third annual MN Music Summit, a free festival that includes workshops, mentoring sessions, networking opportunities and concerts showcasing the state's best artists along with young bands from the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota. Activities will take place at McNally Smith College of Music, Amsterdam Bar & Hall and Summit Brewing in April 2014.


Nautilus Music-Theater                             $10,000


Funding for five monthly ROUGH CUTS presentations of works-in-progress, dialogues between artists and audience members, and explorations of the creative process including one special performance as a part of the St. Paul Art Crawl.


One Voice Mixed Chorus                           $10,000


Funding for Winter Lights, Pathways Home, a non-traditional holiday concert

exploring images of "light" and "home" from diverse cultural traditions. The concert will take place at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis in December 2013.


Pan Asian Arts Alliance                             $10,000


Funding for the Pan Asian Arts Series including Bamboo on University, a mixture of Pan Asian performing arts activities along the University Transit site, and Festival/Asian Style, an arts and dance showcase at the Landmark Center in St. Paul. Activities will take place between October 2013 and June 2014.


Rhythmically Speaking                              $10,000


Funding for the sixth 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 a venue to-be-determined in August 2014.


Saint Paul Civic Symphony                                    $10,000


Funding for Mexico and Beyond through Music, Stories and Dance, featuring a free orchestral performance of "Peter and the Wolf" narrated in Spanish with dance performances by Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli and Los Alegres Bailadores. The performance will be held at Paul and Sheila Wellstone Elementary in February 2014.


Selby Ave JazzFest                           $10,000


Funding for the 13th annual Selby Avenue Jazz Festival featuring local and national Jazz artists with a wide array of musical styles. The festival will take place at the intersection of Selby and Milton Avenues in St. Paul in September 2014.


Skylark Opera                                  $10,000


Funding for their seventh annual Summer Opera Festival featuring four performances each of Candide and Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill. The festival will take place at E. M. Pearson Theatre at Concordia University in June 2014.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                                  $10,000


Funding for Songs of Hope 2014, an international concert project featuring 45 children and young adults ages 9 to 16 from the Twin Cities and countries worldwide. Concerts will be held in the metro area between June and August 2014.


Twin Cities Women's Choir                                 $10,000


Funding for Love is..., a choral concert in collaboration with Monroe Crossing at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights in February 2014.


Young Artists Initiative                              $10,000


Funding for the 2013 Winter Theater Experience, a six-week audition-based theater program for youth that will culminate in eight public performances of Oliver! Performances will take place at the Wellstone Center on St. Paul's west side in March 2014.


Suburban Hennepin County


Blossoms of the Orient Dance Theater                          $10,000

Funding for nine months of dance classes with Ya-jin Zhang that will culminate in a dance recital in June 2014.


Eclectic Edge Ensemble                             $10,000


Funding to present four performances of On The Cusp Of A Dream, a musically-inspired theatrical dance piece. Performances will take place at The Southern Theater in February 2014.


Harmony Theatre Company and School                                    $10,000


Funding for The Children's Republic, an original play based on the life and work of Doctor Korczak and his orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto. Performances will take place at the St. Paul Jewish Community Center and Nasha Shkola in Minnetonka in April 2014.


Inverted Arts                                    $8,532


Funding for From Mogadishu to Mary's Place, a video documentary project about the journeys of several families from Somalia to Minneapolis. The documentary process will involve Somali youth (ages 15 to 18) from the men's group at Mary's Place and culminate with a showing at Mary's Place in January 2014.


Iny Asian Dance Theater                            $10,000


Funding for Dance Around Us, a series of Hmong dance performances and workshops. Activities will take place between October 2013 and June 2014.


Public Theater of Minnesota                                $10,000


Funding for nine free performances of Shakespeare's Macbeth as part of St. Louis Park's Live in the Park performance and concert series. Performances will take place at the Veterans Amphitheater in St. Louis Park in July 2014.


Theatre Or at the Sabes JCC                                   $10,000

Funding for the fifth annual Minneapolis Jewish Humor Festival at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park in January 2014.


Twin Cities Jewish Chorale                                  $10,000


Funding for their 2013-2014 season, featuring three outreach events and two major concerts, including the Minnesota premiere of "Die Naye Hagode," performed with the St. Paul Jewish Community Center Symphony. Concerts will take place between February and June 2014.


Suburban Ramsey County


Lakeshore Players                          $10,000


Funding for the 10th Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival of new works. Performances will take place at Century College in White Bear Lake in June 2014.


Minhua Chorus                                $10,000


Funding to produce Charm of the Silk Road, a concert presenting original Chinese ethnic music and dances that highlight the cultural and historical significance of the Silk Road. The concert will take place at Benson Great Hall at Bethel University in April 2014.


Ramsey County Leaders Council                         $10,000

Funding for Emma's Place Urban 4-H Youth Lead Performing Arts Club, a bimonthly arts experience for 30 youth from Emma's Place housing. Activities will include performing arts workshops and field trips occurring between October 2013 and September 2014.


White Bear Center for the Arts                            $10,000


Funding for Imagine Arts, an eight week multidisciplinary arts program for youth ages 6 to 8 and 9 to 12. Classes will take place at the White Bear Center for the Arts between June and August 2014.


Washington County


Merrill Community Arts Center                          $10,000


Funding for a Youth Performance Series that will produce three live theater opportunities for under-served youth in preschool through high school in the southeast metro. Activities will take place between December 2013 and July 2014 in Woodbury.


Square Lake Film & Music Festival                                 $10,000


Funding for the 12th annual Square Lake Film & Music Festival, a daylong outdoor celebration of Minnesota-made music and film held on a scenic 25-acre hobby farm near Stillwater. The festival will take place in August 2014.


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 2013, MRAC received 802 applications and awarded 434 grants totaling $2,979,141 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 376 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 38 grants totaling $180,225 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 16 arts management training sessions and 30 grant application workshops. 

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