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June 25, 2014

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 697,732 in
Arts Activities Support Grants to 73 Organizations

On June 24, 2014, MRAC awarded a total of 697,732 to 73 organizations/projects in the second 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 Halloween puppet extravaganza, the writing and production of a play about social issues for Hmong teens, and an Arab film festival, as well as a variety of theater perfomances, dance and music series, artist studio crawls, workshops and more.


The following is a complete list of grantees sorted by county of affiliation that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites. Please note that the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.

Anoka County


Bridgeview Center                          $10,000


Funding for Sketch First, a series of free visual art classes for adults living with serious and persistent mental illness. The series will culminate in an exhibit displayed in Anoka County.


Mama Mosaic Theater                                $10,000


Funding for Mama Mosaic's Conservatory, an intensive theater training program using the arts to cultivate artistic depth and excellence in young women of color. The Conservatory will culminate in a public performance in August 2014.


Dakota County


Allegro Choral Academy                           $10,000


Funding for the Allegro Choral Academy Bel Canto and Prima Voce programs of vocal music instruction to students in grades 4 to 8 along with two performance opportunities. The activities will take place between September 2014 and May 2015.


Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community Wacipi Committee       $10,000


Funding for the 15th Annual Traditional Wacipi, a three-day Native American celebration and social gathering. Activities will take place at St. Peter's Church in Mendota in September 2014.




Alzheimer's Poetry Project                                  $8,170


Funding for a series of collaborative poetry and storytelling workshops for low-income elders in memory care, assisted living, and adult day centers in the Twin Cities. The project will culminate in a storytelling exposition and the distribution of chapbooks of participant-poets' original work in summer 2015.


ARENA Dances                                 $10,000


Funding for the Twin Cities premiere of The Main Street Project, a new work bringing together dance, music, photography, and video to examine how technology affects our personal connections and definitions of main street. Performances will take place at the Southern Theater in October 2014.


Art ASAP, Inc.                                   $10,000

Funding for The Bus Stops Here, a series of free art classes for kids from Hopkins' Renaissance Court and Raspberry Ridge housing units, conducted in a converted bus mobile studio. The summer 2014 program will culminate in an exhibition of student portfolios.


Bakken Trio                         $10,000


Funding for John's Book of Alleged Dances, a collaboration between the Bakken Trio and Black Label Movement based on John Adams' composition of the same title. Premiere performances will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts and Southern Theater in February and March 2015.


Barebones Productions                             $10,000


Funding to stage the 21st Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a free outdoor pageant and performance that will take place at Hidden Falls Regional Park in St. Paul in October 2014.


Black Storytellers Alliance                                   $10,000


Funding for Signifyin' and Testifyin', a three-day, family-friendly festival featuring master storytellers from across the county. The festival will take place at metro area locations in September 2014.


Classical Actors Ensemble                                   $10,000


Funding to present John Webster's 1613 tragedy, The Duchess of Malfi, in repertory with an original pronunciation production of Shakespeare's 1601 comedy, Twelfth Night. Performances will take place in fall 2014.


Contemporary Dance Arts, Inc.                            $10,000


Funding to create and present Tableau Vivant, a new evening-length dance concert featuring iconic female dancers and company members. Performances will take place at The Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in April 2015.


Copper Street Brass Quintet                                 $10,000


Funding to support four unique concert programs for The Copper Street Brass Quintet's Twin Cities Concert Series. Performances will take place at metro area venues between September 2014 and June 2015.


Creatives for Causes dba Art Buddies                            $10,000


Funding for the Art Buddies program pairing 40 creative mentors one-on-one with 40 low-income students ages 8 to 11 in the Community Education After-School program at Bancroft Elementary School in Minneapolis during the 2014-2015 school year.


Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts                            $10,000


Funding for The Hot Glass Mobility Project, an educational outreach series of glass art demonstrations and teaching opportunities designed to provide access to a broader audience. The Mobile Project will visit publicly accessible sites in the metro area in summer and fall 2014.


Frank Theatre                                  $10,000


Funding for the area premiere of George Brant's play GROUNDED. Performances will take place at The Playwrights' Center in fall 2014.


Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)                             $10,000


Funding to present the Fall 2014 Concert Series of four chamber concerts featuring internationally renowned artists from India and one community festival of Indian classical music. The concerts and festival will be held between September and November 2014.


Japan America Society of Minnesota                               $3,700


Funding to present bon odori, a traditional Japanese folk dance to be performed during Como Park's Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival in August 2014.


Kenwood Symphony Orchestra                           $10,000


Funding for four distinct symphony programs designed to bring concerts of classical music to diverse audiences. Performances will take place at metro area assisted-living facilities, churches, and outdoor venues between August 2014 and May 2015.


Kulture Klub Collaborative                                   $10,000


Funding to work in residence with hip hop artist Kristoff Krane in a series of workshops that build community and creative skills through music, writing, performance, and food. The residency will culminate in a final performance in June 2015.


Lao Arts Outreach Organization                          $10,000


Funding for the Lao Minnesotan Writers Summit, which supports the emerging generation of Lao Minnesotan writers through nine monthly trainings and three days of intensive workshops with national award-winning artists. The Summit will take place in April 2015.


Loring Greenway Association                              $3,300


Funding for Youth Music on the Green, a series of nine concerts featuring student musicians on the Loring Greenway in downtown Minneapolis. Concerts will be held every Thursday afternoon during July and August 2014.


Lyndale Neighborhood Association                                $10,000


Funding for the Hosmer World Music Program, a partnership between Lyndale Neighborhood Association, the Hosmer Library and KFAI Radio to present culturally diverse music performances. Performances will take place at the Hosmer Library and Painter Park in Minneapolis between July 2014 and June 2015.


Metropolitan Boys Choir                           $10,000


Funding for the 2014-2015 season of weekly rehearsals, instruction, and performance opportunities for young men ages 5 to 17.


Metropolitan Symphony Orchestral Association                                 $10,000


Funding for six concerts as part of its 2014-2015 season, featuring a range of classical repertoire. The free, family-friendly performances will take place at metro area locations beginning in October 2014.


Minneapolis Guitar Quartet Association                                   $10,000


Funding to present the world premieres of new works by Minnesota composers Ben Abrahamson, Maja Radovanlija and David Crittenden, with flamenco dancer Colette Illarde. The project will include a master class at Walker West Music Academy and two educational performances at White Bear Center for the Arts, with a final concert at Sundin Music Hall in February 2015.


Nimbus Theatre                              $8,600


Funding to present the world premiere of a new translation of August Strindberg's landmark work, Ghost Sonata. Performances will take place at the Nimbus Theatre in Northeast Minneapolis in November 2014.


Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association                         $10,000


Funding for the Powderhorn Arts Festival, a two-day public event featuring juried art by local and national artists, performances and art-making. The festival will take place in Powderhorn Park in August 2015.


Rain Taxi Inc.                                   $8,800


Funding for the 14th annual Twin Cities Book Festival, a free one-day public literary event, featuring readings, panel discussions, book signings, writing workshops, book art demonstrations, storytelling, and other activities for all ages. The festival will take place in the Historic Progress Center and Fine Arts Building at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds in October 2014.


Singers in Accord                           $10,000


Funding for three presentations of A Grateful Gathering, a choral concert featuring six area conductors, at metro area venues in November 2014.


Soo Visual Arts Center                               $10,000


Funding for the 11th annual Untitled exhibition series, featuring guest curators and a selection of local artists. The exhibition will be held at the Soo Visual Arts Center between November 2014 and January 2015.


Southside Family Nurturing Center                                $6,996


Funding for Arts in Action, a free community-based arts program offered to center families in partnership with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and Open Eye Figure Theatre. The project will include classroom activities, workshops and performances beginning in September 2014.


St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church                          $10,000


Funding for Green Pathway to Phillips, a program incorporating public art with greening and urban agriculture. Artists will teach mural arts, photography and creative writing to 30 youth, who will then work with 50 others to create visual and literary arts that reflect a renewed vision of the community.


Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater                                  $10,000


Funding for the creation and presentation of a new stage work, Matinee, based on an adaptation of the short story by Robert Coover. The project will feature two free community workshops at Open Book and for Veterans in the Arts, as well as a work-in-progress showing at Lyric Lab Theater. Final performances will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts' TEKBOX Theater in May 2015.


Take-Up Productions                                 $10,000


Funding for the fall season of classic, cutting edge foreign and art house films, including 1980s Woody Allen films, French Horror, and a Czech film series that focuses on Václav Havel. Films will be shown at the Trylon microcinema in fall 2014.


Twin Cities String Academy                                 $3,800


Funding for Summer Strings, a weeklong Suzuki learning experience for young, under-served musicians ages 4 to 14. The program will conclude with a public concert in August 2014.


Upstream Arts, Inc.                                    $10,000


Funding for The Art of Working, an interactive arts program for adults with disabilities that uses theater, dance, music and poetry to nurture communication skills essential for obtaining employment. The program will take place over 12 weeks at each of six different Midwest Special Services locations.


Weavers Guild of Minnesota                                $10,000


Funding to support 18 weeks of educational programming with a full curriculum of fiber arts instruction for all age groups and skill levels from January to May 2015.


Wonderlust Productions                          $10,000

Funding for the first phase of a community-professional theater collaboration using workshops and discussions with members of the adoption community to build a script about the experience of adoption that can be performed by professional actors and community members together.


Young Dance, Inc.                            $10,000


Funding for Stories, a series of residencies for Young Dance youth investigating narrative in dance with professional artists. The season will culminate in performances at the Illusion Theater in April and May 2015.


St. Paul


Ballet Minnesota                             $8,000


Funding to present a 90-minute, free admission contemporary ballet dance event featuring two original story ballets: The Song of Hiawatha and Black Dog Café. Performances will take place at the Union Depot in downtown St. Paul in October 2014.


Bedlam Theatre                               $10,000


Funding for the second annual Big Lowdown, a site-specific walking theater production, in partnership with PlaceBase Productions, which will turn the streets of Lowertown Saint Paul into a stage, providing free theater during summer 2014.


Center for Hmong Arts and Talent                                  $10,000


Funding for a theatrical collaboration with Mu Performing Arts to write and perform a play about social issues for Hmong teens. The activities will take place between July and December 2014 and culminate in performances at Mounds Theatre in St. Paul.


Dangerous Productions                             $10,000


Funding for FRANKENSTEIN, an original adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel drawing correlations between her story and the experiences of modern American combat veterans. Performances will take place as a part of the Twin Cities Horror Festival at the Southern Theater in October and November 2014.


Flying Forms                                   $10,000


Funding for its 2014-2015 Concert Series of four baroque chamber music concerts including a free one-hour lunchtime concert on the Friday before the full

performance. Concerts will take place at The Baroque Room in St. Paul between December 2014 and May 2015.


Green T Productions                                  $10,000


Funding to produce an original drama entitled Prince Rama's Journey, based on stories from the Hindu epic, The Ramayana, in collaboration with the dancers and gamelan musicians of Sumunar Indonesian Music & Dance. Performances will take place at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in fall 2014.


HealthEast Care System                             $10,000


Funding for Dancing with Parkinson's, a series of four, six-week sessions of one hour dance classes that serve up to 25 persons living with Parkinson's Disease and their families per class. Activities will take place at the Jewish Community Center of the Greater St. Paul Area from August 2014 to April 2015.


In Progress                           $10,000


Funding for Studio 213, a digital arts mentorship program bringing newly developing youth artists together with those who are further along in their development from July 2014 to April 2015.


Lyra Baroque Orchestra                            $10,000


Funding for the 2014-2015 30th Anniversary Season of five concerts at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul. Concerts will take place between October 2014 and May 2015.


Minnesota Literacy Council                                  $10,000


Funding to establish a creative writing workshop and mentorship program for adult basic education learner-authors to accompany the annual publication of Journeys: An Anthology of Adult Student Writing. The project will pair learner-authors with qualified mentors, host workshops and training, and publish their work in feature pieces within the "Journeys" anthology. Activities will take place between September 2014 and May 2015.


Mizna                         $10,000


Funding for the 9th Arab Film Festival, a four-day festival featuring 25 to 30 films by Arab and Arab-American emerging, independent, and established filmmakers. The event will take place at the Heights Theater in November 2014.


Oratorio Society of Minnesota                             $10,000


Funding for three concerts in the 2014-2015 35th Anniversary season. Concerts will take place between November 2014 and May 2015.


People Incorporated                                  $10,000


Funding for the 2014 Artability Show & Sale, a two-day art exhibit showcasing artists with mental illnesses from the Twin Cities. The exhibit is free to the public and will be held at The Great Hall in St. Paul in October 2014.


Saint Paul Art Collective                            $10,000


Funding for the St. Paul Art Crawl, a self-guided walking tour of artists' studios and galleries located around downtown St. Paul, in October 2014.


Sample Night Live!                          $10,000


Funding for three months of Sample Night Live!, a monthly evening of performances previewing upcoming and ongoing Twin Cities arts events at the History Theatre in downtown St. Paul from November 2014 to January 2015.


The Peoples Cook                           $10,000


Funding for Keeb Kwm/Stories of Our Life, a live performance with Hmong elders using story circles, video, and food to create a talk story dinner circle that will invite audience members to play, eat and listen. Workshops will take place at the Hmong Elder Center in St. Paul and culminate in performances around the community.


Walker West Music Academy                              $10,000


Funding for the 2014 Jazz Workshop Series consisting of two, two-weeklong workshops for students of jazz in grades 6 through 12, a free open jazz jam session, and a two-day guest residency with international jazz artist and Beyonce saxophonist, Tia Fuller. The series will be held at Walker West Music Academy in August 2014.


Women's Initiative for Self-Empowerment                              $10,000


Funding for the GGAL Summer Arts Program, a seven-week arts program that introduces four different disciplines of visual and performing arts to 25 high school-aged immigrant and refugee girls. Activities will take place at Canvas Teen Art Center in St. Paul between June and August 2014.


Zeitgeist                                $10,000


Funding for the 2013-2014 Eric Stokes Song Contest and the Playing it Close to Home concert at Studio Z in St. Paul and Roseville High School in February 2015.


Suburban Hennepin County


Alive & Kickin                                  $10,000


Funding for 20 on-site musical performances at nursing homes, community centers, hospitals and churches in the metro area and one two-hour performance at the Bloomington Theatre and Art Center. The activities will take place in July 2014 and June 2015.


Great Northern Union Chorus                              $9,874


Funding for Real Men Sing, a one-day workshop and performance celebrating the young male voice at Benson Great Hall at Bethel University in September 2014.


Katha Dance Theatre                                  $9,926


Funding for Rubaiyat, an original thematic dance performance featuring Indo-Persian music composed by Maryam Yusefzadeh. Performances will take place at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in November 2014.


Partnership Resources, Inc.                                 $6,566


Funding for My Choice, My Art, Me!, a five month series of art classes and field trips for 18 individuals with developmental disabilities. Three classes of six clients each will occur once a week from July through mid-November 2014 and culminate in an exhibition at PRI's newest site in Minneapolis.


Wayzata Symphony Orchestra                             $10,000


Funding for the 2013-2014 season of four free concerts of orchestral works and collaborations with other local arts organizations and performers that are designed to involve and engage all ages. The concerts will take place at Wayzata Community Church between October 2014 and May 2015.


Yellow Tree Theatre                                  $10,000


Funding for 22 performances of the Rainmaker at Yellow Tree Theatre in September and October 2014.


Suburban Ramsey County


Brownbody                          $10,000

Funding for Quiet As It's Kept, an original evening-length multidisciplinary performance, which fuses theater, modern dance, figure skating, and a live sound scape. Performances will take place at the Highland Ice Arena in St. Paul in January 2015.


Contempo Physical Dance                         $10,000


Funding to produce and premiere a new full-length work choreographed by Marciano Silva dos Santos with a focus on dancer contributions and reflection throughout the creative process. Performances will take place in May 2015.


Motionpoems, Inc.                          $10,000


Funding for the second year of Arrivals and Departures, a multidisciplinary event that hosts a nationwide poetry contest, turns winning poems into short films, hangs screens on the St. Paul Union Depot's facade, and projects the films for three nights. The films will be projected during the Saint Paul Art Crawl in October 2015.


Roseville String Ensemble                                    $10,000


Funding to commission and perform an arrangement for string orchestra of Mark Orton's score for the movie Sweet Land. The performance will take place at Sundin Music Hall in April 2015.


Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center                                   $10,000


Funding for The Joyful Dance V, an annual dance concert celebrating the Chinese New Year at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in February 2015.


Youth in Jazz, Inc.                            $10,000


Funding for Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands serving over 140 students in grades 6 through 12 with seven different jazz groups, which rehearse weekly between September 2014 and May 2015. Each group will perform one or more concerts, and four of the groups will record a CD in a professional studio.


Washington County


ArtReach St. Croix                           $10,000


Funding for Warren MacKenzie's Influence in the St. Croix, an exhibition featuring pottery by Warren MacKenzie and other St. Croix Valley potters who were students, mentees and colleagues of the potter. The exhibition will be enhanced by events including a panel discussion, a screening of the new documentary "Warren MacKenzie: A Potter's Hands," and a studio demo, and on view in Stillwater from mid-October to mid-November 2014.


St. Croix Valley Chamber Chorale                                   $10,000


Funding for So Much to Sing About, the 40th Anniversary season of three choral concerts to be held at the Washington County Historic Courthouse and Trinity Lutheran Church between December 2014 and April 2015.



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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