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December 18, 2013

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 297,288 in Community Arts Grants to 62 Organizations

On December 17, 2013, MRAC awarded 297,288 to 62 organizations/projects in the first round of its FY 2014 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 artist studio crawl in Anoka County, a summer youth theater program in Carver County, a Bluegrass/Americana festival in Dakota County, a juried art competition in Scott County, several concerts Washington County and many other theater, art, and music events 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 of 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 cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from the surrounding suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties. 


Anoka County


Fridley City Band                            $2,890


Funding for seven free concerts for senior citizens in the Anoka County area. The concert series will take place at senior housing facilities during 2014.


North Artists Studio Crawl                                   $2,238


Funding for the 14th annual North Artists' Studio Crawl, an annual tour of artist studios in the north suburban communities of East Bethel, Ham Lake, Blaine, Coon Rapids, Ramsey, Andover, and Anoka in April 2014.


Northeast Orchestra                                   $5,000


Funding for three free concerts featuring a performance by a professional instrumental soloist. Each soloist will also provide an educational event for the members of the orchestra. The concerts will be held at the Church of St. William in Fridley in February, May, and November 2014.


Carver County


ISD 108 Community Education                            $5,000

Funding for a Music in the Park series of eight performances on Thursday evenings in Norwood Young America during summer 2014.


ISD 110 Community Education                            $3,000


Funding for two, weeklong theater workshops for children in grades 2 to 8 in collaboration with Prairie Fire Children's Theatre Company. The workshops will culminate in two performances each of Pinocchio and Tom Sawyer at the Waconia High School auditorium in June and July 2014.


ISD 112 Community Education                            $5,000


Funding for Hooked on Books... and the Arts, too!, a one-day literary and performing arts event featuring author Jerry Pallotta at Chanhassen High School in February 2014.


River City Theatre Company                                 $5,000


Funding for six performances of Cinderella at the Watertown-Mayer Performing Arts Center in September 2014.


Watertown-Mayer Community Education                                 $5,000


Funding for a seven-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 2014.


Dakota County


Chamber Music Lakeville                          $5,000


Funding for three Coffee Concert Recitals featuring The Chestnut Brass Company, The Bakken Trio, and Maria Jette with OboeBass! - The Vecchione/Erdahl Duo. The concerts will take place at the Lakeville Area Arts Center between February and May 2014.


Dakota Valley Symphony                           $5,000


Funding for the Three Choirs Festival, a family-friendly concert featuring The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace with the choirs from Lakeville South High School and Lakeville North High School at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center in February 2014.


Eagan Men's Chorus                                   $4,370


Funding for 20 concerts at assisted living and senior housing facilities in Dakota County between January and December 2014.


Rosemount Area Arts Council                             $5,000


Funding for the fifth annual Rosemount Bluegrass/Americana Festival, a free 4-evening celebration of traditional American string-band, square dance, blues, and rock 'n' roll music. Activities will take place at Rosemount's Central Park in July 2014.


Velvet Tones                                    $5,000


Funding for nine vocal performances between January and June 2014 for audiences with limited arts access in the greater metropolitan area.




Carnaval Brasileiro                                    $5,000


Funding for a weekend celebration of Brazilian music, dance, cuisine, and culture, featuring more than 100 musicians, dancers, and artists from the Twin Cities as well as special guest Brazilian performers, at the Fine Line Music Cafe in March 2014.


Crossroads Panorama                               $5,000


Funding for the Youth Writers Storytellers Workshop, a four-week workshop for at-risk teens to explore their writing skills and create their own short story books. The program will take place at the Sabathani Community Center in March 2014.


EDIT                           $5,000


Funding for the 2014 PhotoVoice program, a partnership with Emerge providing 25 youth who have experienced homelessness the opportunity to learn about a community issue of their choosing, develop photography skills, and curate a photography gallery to raise community awareness about the chosen social issue. The program will culminate in a public showing of completed works in May 2014.


Edvard Grieg Society                                  $5,000


Funding to present a concert featuring internationally renowned Norwegian Trumpeter, Tine Thing Helseth at the Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church in Minneapolis in spring 2014.


Ethnic Dance Theatre                                 $5,000


Funding to produce Reminiscing: A Look Back Over 40 Years, a concert demonstrating choreographies from each of the four decades that the Ethnic Dance Theatre has been a performing arts organization. Performances will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in June 2014.


Fortune's Fool                                 $5,000

Funding to produce Stop Kiss, an award-winning play by Diana Son that explores themes of violence against both women and the LGBT community, at Nimbus Theater in January and February 2014.


Freshwater Theatre                                   $5,000


Funding to present a world premiere historical drama titled Mrs. Charles, alongside a new short form festival "Archival Revival." Both projects will run in repertory and illustrate the years 1875 to 1925 in Minnesota History. Performances will take place at Nimbus Theater in May 2014.


Leonardo's Basement                                $5,000


Funding for Digital Art for Everyone, a series of ten classes that will teach 80 participants of all ages technical and creative skills to produce visual art, design art, and photography through the use of CAD design software, a laser engraver, a 3D printer, and high resolution printers, between February and May 2014.


Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra                                    $5,000


Funding for three distinct symphony orchestra programs resulting in five free, live performances at several venues including churches, the Walker Place Assisted Living Facility, and outdoor sites between February and May 2014.


Magic Lantern Puppet Theater                             $5,000

Funding for eight performances of a color shadow puppet/marionette show, "Nalah Visits Mad Mouse City" with puppet-making workshops and a free book for all children in attendance at social service organizations including The Family Partnership and St. Joseph's Home for Children.


Midtown Global Music Festival                           $5,000


Funding for the 2014 Midtown Global Music Festival, featuring a lineup of global entertainment including live music, ethnic dance and drumming, and spoken word performance at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis in July 2014.


OUT Twin Cities Film Festival                             $5,000


Funding for the 2014 Out Twin Cities Film Festival, a safe and supportive event for artists and audiences to view and discuss GLBTQ inspired films and the ideas presented in them, at the St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis in June 2014.


Patrick's Cabaret                             $3,300


Funding for Scrawlex, a series of six open-stage nights for artists working in any genre, at Patrick's Cabaret between January and June 2014.


Prairie Fire Lady Choir                             $5,000


Funding for the Prairie Fire Lady Choir Songwriting Project, a series of workshops with Aby Wolf, at which choir members will learn the songwriting process of arranging an original piece of a cappella music for performance. The workshops will culminate in 60 minutes of new material to be performed for the public in April 2014.


Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council                             $5,000


Funding for a two-event Artist Salon Series engaging artists from different disciplines in dialogue with local audiences at Minneapolis venues in March and April 2014.


Savage Umbrella                              $5,000


Funding for RAPTURE, a new work developed by the company about the sudden disappearance of the world's artists to take place at Nimbus Theater in March 2014.


She Rock She Rock                          $5,000


Funding for Ladies Rock Camp, a three-day music camp for women ages 19 and older. Activities will take place at Lake Harriet House of Music and culminate in a public performance at Bunkers Music Bar and Grill in April 2014.


South Sixteenth Hijinks                             $5,000


Funding for the annual Powderhorn Artsled Rally, a free winter celebration with sled-making workshops and sled art at Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis in January 2014.


Story Arts of Minnesota                             $4,000


Funding for StoryFest, a storytelling festival featuring workshops and storyteller showcases, a facilitated Open Mic, and an evening Story Slam. The festival will be held at City of Lakes Waldorf School in April 2014.


Teatro del Pueblo                           $5,000


Funding for three performances of Teatro Malayerba's La Razón Blindada featuring actors from Ecuador and performed in Spanish at the University of Minnesota's Stoll Thrust Theatre in March 2014.


The Ledge Gallery                           $4,490


Funding for the Minneapolis Art Lending Library, a program that allows patrons to browse a collection of artworks and select one to borrow for two months, to display and enjoy in their homes. The Library will gather every two months between January 2014 and January 2015.


Twin Cities Polish Festival                                   $5,000


Funding for the Twin Cities Polish Festival, a celebration of Minnesota's Polish heritage, traditions, and culture. The festival will take place along Riverplace and St. Anthony Main in Northeast Minneapolis in August 2014.


Walking Shadow Theatre Company                                $5,000


Funding to produce and present the regional premiere of Peter Oswald's new adaptation of Mary Stuart by Friedrich Schiller. Performances will take place at the Red Eye Theater in February 2014.


Scott County


Savage Arts Council                                    $5,000


Funding for the eighth annual Juried Art Competition and Show, a visual arts exhibition for both professional and amateur visual artists. The artwork will be displayed in the community of Savage in April and May 2014.


St. Paul


Adieu Summer Concert                             $5,000


Funding for the 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 2014.


Friends of Swede Hollow (FOSH)                                   $5,000


Funding for the annual Art in the Hollow, a one-day multidisciplinary outdoor arts festival in June 2014.


Hmong Cultural Center                              $5,000


Funding for the Qeej Instructional Program, offering three afternoon classes a week teaching children and youth how to play the Qeej, a bamboo wind pipe instrument played at traditional Hmong funeral ceremonies.


ICAN - Camp Masala                                    $5,000


Funding for Camp Masala 2014, a three-day South Asian heritage camp focusing on Indian emigration and the unique cultural arts that have emerged from the blending of Indian and other South Asian arts traditions with the traditions of their new countries. Activities will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in June 2014.


International Friendship Through the Performing Arts                    $5,000

Funding to present Spirit of Nature, a music ensemble comprised of three Chinese traditional musicians presenting a concert and outreach activities for residents of The Commons on Marice in Eagan and Families with Children from Asia in May 2014.


Minnesota State Band                                 $5,000


Funding for one ceremonial and six formal concerts to be presented at a variety of metro area locations between March and August 2014.


The Gregorian Singers                               $5,000


Funding to present the first extant opera in collaboration with the Twin Cities Lute Co-op, the Early Music Department of St. Olaf College, and Dance Revels Moving History. The fully staged performance will feature vocalists, dancers, and period instruments at the newly constructed Macalester College Concert Hall in March 2014.


The New Ruckus                             $5,000


Funding for the 2014 Composer Nights program, a monthly performance series that affords composers of all aesthetics and disciplines the opportunity to present new work, gain feedback and insight, and increase their visibility. Programming will take place at Studio Z in St. Paul.


Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation                                  $5,000


Funding for Days of Old - Land of Castles, Kings and Queens, Knights, Archers and Others, a two-week summer arts program for youth living at the Liberty Plaza affordable housing development in St. Paul. The program will feature artists from Barebones Productions and culminate in a community event in August 2014.


Upper Midwest Flute Association, Inc.                          $5,000


Funding for Flute Fest, a one-day flute festival at Hamline University in April 2014.


Suburban Hennepin County


Bloomington Chorale, Inc                         $5,000


Funding for A Salute to our Veterans, a big band/choral concert featuring arrangements of patriotic music from the Civil War to the present. Performances will take place in the Schneider Theater at the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center in April 2014.


Cross Community Players                                    $5,000


Funding for seven performances of Oklahoma! at Osseo Senior High School in July 2014.


Edina Singing Seniors                                $5,000


Funding for 25 performances at senior residences, nursing homes, subsidized housing and other venues between January and December 2014.


JazzMN, Inc.                          $5,000


Funding to present two concerts completing the 2013-2014 season and featuring the jazz vocal group New York Voices and saxophonist Miguel Zenon. The concerts, which feature JazzMN's professional jazz orchestra performing with the guest artists, will be held at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center in March and April 2014.


Mentoring Peace Through Art                              $5,000


Funding for a 12,000-square-foot, anti-gang-graffiti mural to be created by community members led by artist Jimmy Longoria. The mural will be painted on a retaining wall beginning in February and ending in October 2014.


Music Association of Minnetonka                                   $5,000


Funding for four young people's concerts focused on building children's familiarity with instruments in the orchestra. The concerts will be presented at Wayzata Community Church and Minnetonka United Methodist Church in February and at Minnetonka City Hall and the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in October 2014.


Orono Community Education Early Learning Program                     $5,000


Funding for DC Barnyard Rocks, an arts project engaging 150 young children and families in learning about musical instruments, making rhythm instruments, and writing rhymes. Activities will culminate in the creation of an original children's book illustrated by a local artist and creation of a music video to be debuted at a family arts event at the Discovery Center in Maple Plain in May 2014.


Plymouth Arts Council                              $5,000


Funding for the 18th annual Primavera event, a public celebration of artists combining visual, performing, and literary arts at the Plymouth Creek Center in April 2014.


Twin Cities Youth Chorale                                    $5,000


Funding for Dreams that Children Dream, the fifth annual Children's Choral Festival featuring metro area choirs, at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove in March 2014.


Suburban Ramsey County


City of Lakes Chorus                                  $5,000


Funding to produce a barbershop concert featuring the City of Lakes Chorus and a guest young-artist group, the Love Notes quartet. The concert will be presented at the Benson Great Hall of Bethel University in April 2014.


Harmonic Relief                              $5,000


Funding for Seize the Day, a two-hour show choir performance featuring an eclectic mix of songs that examine the human experience. Performances will take place at the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre in May 2014.


Honeywell Concert Band                           $3,000

Funding for 12 concerts presented at care centers, assisted living centers, senior housing complexes, and public parks between February and November 2014.


Silverwood Park-Three Rivers Park District                           $5,000


Funding for The Silverwood Park Summer Performance Series of twelve free concerts at the Silverwood Park outdoor amphitheater between May and September 2014.


Washington County


East Metro Symphony Orchestra                        $5,000


Funding for three concerts to take place in February, March, and May 2014.


Encore Wind Ensemble                             $5,000


Funding for four free concerts, including one concert featuring local high school-aged musicians from Stillwater High School. The concerts will take place at metro area locations between February and April 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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