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January 29, 2014  

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC)
Awards 245,366 in Arts Learning Grants

On January 28, 2014, MRAC awarded 245,366 to 26 organizations in the first round of its FY 2014 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 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. Please note that the core cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from the surrounding suburban Hennepin and Ramsey counties.


Dakota County


Caponi Art Park                              10,000


Funding for the 2014 Family Fun Tuesdays program of 13 weekly performances for children to be held June through August 2014 at Caponi Art Park and Learning Center.


The Vecchione/Erdahl Duo                                   9,100


Funding for a series of five one-hour programs exploring music and music literature at seven metro area senior residences from mid-February through August of 2014.




20% Theatre Company                              10,000


Funding to develop the Company's Apprentice Program, which provides professional theatre opportunities for high school and college students who will work on two productions during 2014.


Hennepin Health Foundation                                10,000


Funding for the second initiative of Hennepin County Medical Center's ArtCare program, during which an artist will conduct mini-residencies in various visual art forms for adult and pediatric patients, for 36 weeks beginning in February 2014.


Kulture Klub Collaborative                                   10,000


Funding for a series of printmaking workshops taught by professional artists for youth experiencing homelessness. The three-month project is a collaboration with Leg Up Studios and will begin in April 2014.


Leonardo's Basement                                 10,000


Funding for "Studio Design Arts," a creative collaboration between Leonardo's Basement and Ramsey Middle School in Minneapolis from March through December 2014, during which all 400 students will explore architecture by designing and building sculptures that place artistic design within engineering, science, and technology classes.


Marcy Puppet Dragons Residency                                  7,760

Funding for a puppetry storytelling residency for 3rd and 4th grade students at Marcy Open School in Minneapolis. The seven-week residency will explore the ancient and modern Chinese culture's connections to Dragons.


Phyllis Wheatley Community Center                              10,000


Funding for "Our Stories," a ten-week arts project beginning in February 2014 using shadow puppets and music to tell culturally-based stories and folk tales in performances for the community. This project will engage 30 youth, ages 5 to 13, who are enrolled in the Dream, Explore, Connect After-School program at Phyllis Wheatley Community Center.


Seward Child Care Center                         5,450


Funding for an Artist in Residence Program and Social Justice Storytime project designed to address issues of diversity in early childhood. The two projects work in tandem by coordinating weekly arts activities for children enrolled in Seward Child Care Center, held on-site, with larger public events held in a local community center during 2014.


She Rock She Rock                         10,000


Funding for Girls Rock 'n' Roll Retreat, a five day musical experience for girls ages 8 to 16 to learn how to play rock instruments, read music, and other related skills. The project includes two weeklong sessions at Main Street School of Performing Arts in Hopkins.


West Bank School of Music                                   10,000


Funding for a series of after-school music classes for elementary school students at Seward Montessori and Dowling Urban Environmental schools in Minneapolis during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Students will write songs, build instruments, rehearse as a group, and perform concerts for classmates, families, and friends.


Young Dance, Inc.                           10,000


Funding for All Abilities Dancing, a program to engage dancers with and without disabilities in quality dance experiences that emphasize ability and redefine dance. Activities will occur at various locations during 2014.


St. Paul


Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education                           9,928


Funding for local and visiting national jazz artists to work with students in 15 metro area schools to inspire them to learn about, appreciate, and understand jazz, and to encourage student musicians to develop and improve their skills as they become performing jazz artists themselves. The project will run from February through December of 2014.


Deborah Elias Danza Espaņola                             10,000


Funding for residencies in flamenco dance, music, and culture at seven Twin Cities area elementary and junior high schools from February through May of 2014. Each residency will culminate in a community celebration to share students' accomplishments with other students, parents, and community members.


Friends of Artaria String Quartet                         9,560


Funding for master classes for advanced string players ages 12 to 18 during 2014 to prepare students for local and national chamber music competitions.


Indonesian Performing Arts Association of MN d.b.a Sumunar       4,080


Funding for a residency in March 2014 at the DaVinci Academy of Arts and Science in Blaine. Students in grades 4 to 8 will learn to play Indonesian gamelan music and perform traditional dances.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                                 9,500


Funding for music workshops that will provide seniors residing at Sholom Homes in St. Paul with participatory opportunities to sing and play instruments. The workshops will begin in February 2014 and extend through January 2015.


Veterans in the Arts                                    9,988


Funding for a series of classes for veterans during 2014. The nine-week classes include printmaking at Highpoint Center for Printmaking, a painting class at Minneapolis College of Art & Design, and two clay classes at Northern Clay Center.


Walker West Music Academy                               10,000


Funding for the 2014 Summer Music Enrichment Program, a three-week music day camp providing 35 students ages 5 to 12 the opportunity to experience instrumental and vocal music for the first time. The camp will be held July 7 - 24, 2014 and culminate in a free public performance.


Young Artists Initiative                              10,000


Funding for the 2014 Summer Theater Experience, a six-week educational theater program directed toward east metro youth and culminating in five public performances of Cinderella at the Wellstone Center on Saint Paul's West Side.


Suburban Hennepin County


Blossoms of the Orient Dance Theater                          10,000

Funding for a yearlong program of teaching authentic Hmong dances to children. The training will culminate in a dance recital in June and several performances in November and December 2014.


Harmony Theatre Company and School                                   10,000


Funding for a series of acting and filmmaking workshops for youth and their adult mentors, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters. The series will run from March through December of 2014.


Inverted Arts                                    10,000


Funding for an Art Exploration Program in partnership with Hope Academy in South Minneapolis from June 9 - July 3, 2014, during which 65 middle school students and 10 high school students will choose and learn one of five artistic disciplines taught by professional artist mentors.


Studio 206                             10,000


Funding for Train at 206/Physical Theatre Summer Intensive, a series of workshops in physical approaches to performance creation. The Summer Intensive will run from June 9 - 27, 2014 at Studio 206 in the Ivy Building in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.


Suburban Ramsey County


Lakeshore Players                           10,000


Funding for Lakeshore Players 2014 Summer Youth Programs consisting of two age-appropriate theater camps. Children ages 8 to 12 will produce four performances of the musical Sleeping Beauty, Kids, and teens will produce six performances of an adaptation of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.


Washington County


Valley Friendship Club                               10,000


Funding for "The Art of Me," a theatrical experience that will challenge participants with disabilities to showcase material created in a six-week program through short vignettes, performances of poetry, songs and dances, and visual arts backdrops. The project will take place in Stillwater from April through August of 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 801 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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