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November 27, 2013

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 424,212
to Support Organizational Development and Capital Projects for 48  Arts Organizations and Programs

On November 26, 2013, MRAC awarded 216,830 to 24 organizations in its FY  2014 Organizational Development grant program and 207,382 to 24 organizations in its FY 2014 Capital 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. The Capital grant program offers grants of up to 10,000 for arts organizations to purchase equipment and related supplies and services, or to make capital improvements. Awarded projects must advance the organization's mission, have the potential for long-term impact, and show evidence of thorough planning. Funded organizations must be located in the 7-county metropolitan area and have annual expenses less than 400,000.

The following are lists of the FY 2014 Organizational Development and Capital grantees divided by grant program and sorted by county of affiliation that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites. Please note that groups located in Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from suburban Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

FY 2014 Organizational Development Grants  

Dakota County


Minnesota Theater Alliance                                  9,360


Funding to create ArtsMarket, an online system for the performing arts community to list and browse materials available for reuse, such as sets, props, costumes, lighting, facilities, etc. The program will reduce costs to artists by leveraging existing resources, reduce the environmental impact of waste and disposal, and improve partnerships among arts organizations.




20% Theatre Company                              10,000


Funding to support a part-time position to record and preserve institutional memory by organizing and cataloging company records for donors, artists, staff, and board members.


Ananya Dance Theatre                               10,000


Funding to create the ADT Channel, an online communication and broadcast platform housing printed text, website, Vimeo, and YouTube content in order to articulate technique, illustrate process, and reference a performative archive.


Frank Theatre                                  9,900


Funding to hire a consultant to conduct an audience assessment and update the demographic description of Frank Theatre's constituency in order to help guide future marketing and programming activities.


Jawaahir Dance Company                          10,000


Funding to engage a development consultant to seek grant support, create a grant prospect calendar, and increase individual donations by 25%.


JazzMN, Inc.                          8,000


Funding to hire a part-time administrative coordinator to assist in fund development, concert/box office management, and educational outreach programming.


Metropolitan Boys Choir                           10,000


Funding to hire a part-time fundraising and development coordinator to increase individual donations, manage a donor database, and pursue grant funding.


Minneapolis Guitar Quartet Association                                   9,720


Funding to hire a marketing and media specialist to oversee the development of new communication materials including new photos, re-edited video clips, and an improved website.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                                    10,000


Funding to create and begin implementation of a strategic marketing plan that will generate more ticket sales for productions and motivate ticket buyers to become annual fund donors.


Speaking of Home a.k.a. Public Interest, Inc.                                10,000


Funding for a two-phase evaluative impact study of the public art project, Speaking of Home--St. Paul.


Upstream Arts, Inc.                                    5,200


Funding to organize program curriculum into a database in order to increase efficiencies in tailoring activities to varying ages and abilities, and to improve the capacity to share best program practices.


Young Dance, Inc.                            8,040


Funding to redesign the Young Dance website and create a strategy to refine brand standards across the organization.


St. Paul


East Side Arts Council                                5,000


Funding to work with a development consultant on a comprehensive individual donor campaign.


Ensemble 61                                    10,000


Funding to re-envision the business model, strategic plan, and program innovation at a critical time in organizational leadership transition.


Mizna                         10,000


Funding to help achieve financial sustainability goals as outlined in a 2012 commissioned report. Project goals include achieving six months of cash reserves, 50% of annual income from non-grant sources, and further deepening audience relationships.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                                  10,000


Funding to hire a part-time program assistant to help take advantage of new opportunities for robust program growth.


Zeitgeist                                9,200


Funding to evaluate current educational program offerings for K-12 students and adults, identify gaps and needs, and develop new educational offerings.


Suburban Hennepin County


ArtSage                                  10,000


Funding to create SageConnect, a interactive, searchable online database of artists who are trained to work with older adults and organizations that serve senior populations.


Katha Dance Theatre                                  4,560


Funding to develop a new website with improved functionality and design, provide staff training to update the website on an ongoing basis, and purchase an iPad and Square to accept credit cards and debit payments.


Mentoring Peace Through Art                              10,000


Funding to engage legal counsel to help create protections for creative and intellectual property rights encompassing both the mural as a finished art product and the process by which the public art is created.


St. Louis Park Friends of the Arts                                   10,000


Funding to hire a part-time executive director to further professionalize the organization at a strategic time in leadership succession.


Suburban Ramsey County


Hot Summer Jazz Festival                         10,000


Funding to create a resource development plan that will help support a major expansion of the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and the continued production of Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival in St. Paul.


Lyra Baroque Orchestra                            9,690


Funding for revitalization of the organization's online presence, including a new website and interactive mobile platforms.


Rosetown Playhouse                                  8,160


Funding to hire two contract employees and one consultant to create cloud-based management systems for physical assets and production processes.



FY 2014 Capital Grants


Carver County


Chaska Valley Family Theatre                              10,000


Funding to purchase eight wireless transmitter/receivers as part of an audio accessibility improvement project to increase quality, reliability, and accessibility of CVFT live theater performances.


Dakota County


Caponi Art Park                               10,000


Funding to install an open-sided shelter that will provide a protected space for tour groups, hands-on art activities, and small scale performances.


Rosemount Area Arts Council                             8,600


Funding to purchase a portable sound system and LCD projector in order to offer more robust programming.




Bedlam Theatre                               10,000


Funding to purchase mobile lighting infrastructure and instruments to expand the ability to support community projects throughout the Twin Cities metro.


Copper Street Brass Quintet                                 10,000


Funding to purchase a 15-passenger van to transport musicians and instruments, and tow an equipment trailer.


Kulture Klub Collaborative                                   10,000


Funding to renovate a community space with professional sound and lighting equipment and flexible seating in order to support creative performance projects by youth experiencing homelessness.


Nimbus Theatre                              10,000


Funding to purchase two video projectors to expand the theater's rental offerings for hosting multi-media work, and meetings.


Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association                                   5,900


Funding for equipment and marketing software to support organizational growth.


Open Eye Figure Theatre                           10,000


Funding to improve the theater's sound system, entry signage, and other audience accommodations.


Rain Taxi Inc.                                   9,600


Funding to replace desktop and laptop computers, and purchase a new lectern and public performance equipment to better serve the Twin Cities Book Festival and ongoing reading series.


Rosy Simas Dance Projects                                   4,000

Funding to purchase a video projector and a hard projector carrying case in order to support ongoing work with dance and film integration, and ensure the highest artistic standard during an upcoming international tour.


St. Stephen's Human Services                               9,551


Funding to purchase portable and flexible theater sound and lighting equipment for shows that occur in a variety of community spaces.


Weavers Guild of Minnesota                                10,000


Funding to acquire weaving equipment, spinning equipment, and library reference materials to advance a growing education program.


West Bank School of Music                                  10,000


Funding to improve the appearance, energy efficiency, and weather proofing of the organization's building with new vinyl siding and aluminum window wrapping.


St. Paul


Minnesota Brass, Inc.                                 10,000


Funding to replace band uniforms that have been used for more than a decade, as the group begins their 69th competitive marching season.


Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company                              10,000


Funding to purchase new theater seats as part of a five-year strategic plan to improve the theater-going experience.


Walker West Music Academy                              10,000


Funding to purchase and install acoustical paneling throughout a newly acquired facility to enhance the acoustics for music education and performances.


Suburban Hennepin County


Continental Ballet Company                                 6,500


Funding to purchase a portable dance floor, ballet barres, and storage cart for off-site programs and resident company classes at the Bloomington Theatre and Arts Center.


Cross Community Players                                    3,652


Funding to purchase wireless microphones and accessories in order to achieve precise vocal and instrumental balance in artistic productions.


Inverted Arts                                    9,980


Funding to purchase broadcast-quality video equipment in an effort to maximize student participation in multiple artistic disciplines and project-based learning environments.


Yellow Tree Theatre                                  9,707


Funding to overhaul the theater's sound system and hire a sound technician to install and train staff on new equipment to achieve higher production values and technical efficiencies.


Suburban Ramsey County


Lakeshore Players                          7,792


Funding to purchase new lighting equipment and replace a 20-year-old light board.


Roseville String Ensemble                                    2,100


Funding to purchase a case for a digital harpsichord, a portable sound system, and an expanded music portfolio in order to broaden concert offerings to schools, nursing homes, and community partners.


Washington County


Masquers Theatre Company                                 10,000


Funding to purchase theatrical lighting equipment that is both adaptable and portable in order to accommodate a variety of performance venues.


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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