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September 24, 2014

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 677,560 in
Arts Activities Support Grants to 69 Organizations

On September 23, 2014, MRAC awarded a total of 677,560 to 69 organizations and/or projects in the first round of the FY 2015 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 youth theater program with an original script and musical score, a Somali art exhibit, a Chinese New Year celebration, a teen neighborhood-inspired film project, several community music and/or art festivals, many dance and theater performances, a variety of musical concerts and more.


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


Carver County


Watertown-Mayer Community Education                         $10,000


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 2015.


Dakota County


Caponi Art Park                                 $9,850


Funding for their 2015 Summer Performance Series featuring two contrasting but complementary artists or performing groups at each of the six events. The free performance series will be held at Caponi Art Park from June through August 2015.


Chamber Music Lakeville                             $9,690

Funding for four Coffee Concerts of chamber music featuring The Musical Offering, Artaria String Quartet, Wilder Octet and the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet. Performances will take place at the Lakeville Area Arts Center between January and May 2015.


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


Funding for the 21st 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 2015.


Exultate                                  $10,000


Funding for three performances of Mozart's Requiem featuring a festival choir and expanded orchestra with 30 additional musicians. Performances will take place at one Maple Grove and two Minneapolis venues in March 2015.


Rosemount Area Arts Council                                  $10,000


Funding for the second annual ArtBlast, a free weeklong community celebration of the arts featuring approximately 40 events. Activities will take place at various venues in Rosemount in June 2015.


Youth Dance Ensemble                                $8,960


Funding for an eight-week after-school Modern Dance Project for underserved 7th to 9th grade youth from Burnsville. The project will culminate in a community dance concert at Burnsville High School's Mraz Center in March 2015.




20% Theatre Company                                $10,000


Funding for the second annual Q-STAGE: New Works Series, a showcase supporting experimental new work by LGBTQ artists. Performances will take place at Intermedia Arts in April and May 2015.


Ananya Dance Theatre                                 $10,000


Funding for an evening-length performance reflecting and honoring the age-old work of women who cultivate, nurture, and protect land and agriculture as a sustainable food system. Performances will take place at the O'Shaugnessy Auditorium in September 2015.


Ascension Place, Inc.                         $8,000


Funding for community arts experiences and an artists-in-residence program to foster healing, generate creativity, and build community among women in crisis in Ascension Place's transitional living program. Activities will take place between October 2014 and September 2015.


Breanna's Gift                                    $10,000


Funding for their 2014-2015 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 2015.


Community Involvement Programs                                    $10,000


Funding to collaborate with Upstream Arts on its Art of Working program. Art of Working uses performing arts practices to develop social and communication skills for individuals who have struggled with obtaining or maintaining paid employment as a result of the unique challenges associated with their disabilities.


Ethnic Dance Theatre                                   $10,000


Funding to produce Mountain Memories, a series of performances showcasing dances and music from mountain cultures worldwide, including new works from Uzbekistan, Algeria, Ecuador and Serbia. Performances will take place at the E.M. Pearson Theatre at Concordia University in April 2015.


Girl Friday Productions                                $10,000


Funding to produce The Matchmaker, the rarely staged 1955 comedy by Thornton Wilder. Performances will take place at the new Andy Boss Thrust Stage at Park Square Theatre in July 2015.


Global Site Performance                               $10,000


Funding to produce the 19th 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 2015 at the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis.


Heritage Park Neighborhood Association                           $10,000


Funding for Teens in Action, a film-media project engaging youth in the creation of mini-films to raise awareness for a neighborhood issue they are passionate about. These mini-films will collectively create a documentary and track the journey the youth take to ignite meaningful change in their neighborhood with a public screening in May 2015.


Jazz at Studio Z                                   $10,000


Funding for Jazz at Studio Z, a monthly series of jazz workshops, student performances, and professional concerts featuring local musicians at Studio Z in downtown St. Paul between November 2014 and June 2015.


JazzMN, Inc.                            $10,000


Funding to present two concerts featuring JazzMN's professional jazz orchestra performing with guest artists, tenor saxophonists Pete Christlieb and Bob Mintzer. The concerts will be held at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center in March and April 2015.


Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                            $7,500

Funding for the 2014 Winter Showcase, a performance of completed work developed between October and December 2014 by Les Jolies students. The public performance will be held at Cooper High School in December 2014.


Linden Hills Chamber Orchestra                             $10,000


Funding for seven free public performances of four distinct symphony orchestra programs designed to bring artistically challenging and appealing music to a diverse audience. Performances will take place between November 2014 and June 2015.


Mad King Thomas                             $10,000


Funding to mark the company's 10th Anniversary by re-envisioning old works with new dancers and commissioning new dances from the choreographer's mentors to explore gender, influence, and the performer/choreographer relationship. Performances will take place in June 2015.


Midtown Global Music Festival                                $10,000


Funding for the 2015 Midtown Global Music Festival, featuring a lineup of global entertainment including live music, ethnic dance and drumming, and spoken word performance. The festival will take place in July 2015 at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.


Minneapolis Pops Orchestra Association                            $10,000


Funding to perform six free concerts for seniors in July 2015. Four coffee concerts will be held at the Nicollet Island Pavilion in Minneapolis with listeners bused in from senior care facilities in the Twin Cities. Two community concerts will be held in Elliot Park and at Cerenity Senior Care-Humboldt in St. Paul.


Minneapolis Thanksgiving Celebration Pow-Wow                                    $8,800

Funding for the 2014 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 2014 Thanksgiving weekend.


Minnesota Guitar Society                             $10,000


Funding to support concerts, workshops and masterclasses by regional and international guitarists, including eight concerts at Sundin Music Hall and an additional four outreach concerts presented with partner organizations in the metro area.


Off-Leash Area                                  $10,000


Funding to produce and present The Hive, an original dance, theater, and video installation to take place over four weeks in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. The project will culminate with the Main Event at The Lab Theater in June 2015.


Open Eye Figure Theatre                             $10,000


Funding to present the 13th annual Driveway Tour, which will bring puppet theater to more than 100 communities in the Twin Cities area during summer 2015.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                           $10,000


Funding for Camp Capri, a five-week arts experience in theater, music, dance, visual arts, poetry and spoken word for 24 middle school youth at the Capri Theater in North Minneapolis.


Poetry for People                              $10,000

Funding to create an original piece of public art in partnership with City of Lakes Community Land Trust, visual artist Witt Siasoco, poets, and homeowners who have purchased previously foreclosed homes. The project will culminate in handmade "realty" signs and takeaway broadsides with poems for the public.


Red Eye Collaboration                                  $10,000


Funding for NEW WORKS 4 WEEKS 2015, 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 2014.


Rosy Simas Dance Projects                           $10,000

Funding to create Skin(s), a contemporary dance project featuring Indigenous/Native artists that includes performances, workshops, panel discussion and audience talk-back sessions. Performances will premiere in the Right Here series at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in November 2014.


Savage Umbrella                               $10,000


Funding to produce and stage These Are the Men, a re-imagining of the Oedipus mythology examining the love, hope and beauty hidden in the darkness of one of ancient Greece's greatest tragedies. Performances will take place at the Southern Theater in March and April 2015.]


Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum                                $10,000


Funding to present an exhibit of traditional Somali artworks at 10 locations, targeting segments of the Somali community that lack access to studying traditional Somali arts and culture.


Theatre Forever                                $10,000


Funding to develop and present the Nature Crown, a celebratory theatrical event exploring origin, innocence, community and personal, global and universal change. Performances will take place in the Guthrie Theater's Dowling Studio in March and April 2015.


Theatre Unbound                             $9,320


Funding to produce Shakespeare's Hamlet, with a cast of seven women playing all of the roles. Performances will take place at the JSB Tekbox at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in May 2015.


Toneworks Community Foundation                                   $10,000

Funding for Learning Through Music, a group music therapy program for children enrolled in 26 Early Childhood Special Education classrooms at Armatage Elementary, Bryn Mawr Elementary, and Hmong International Academy. The program will include a workshop for ECSE teachers in winter 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 2015.


Twin Cities Women's Choir                          $10,000


Funding for a collaborative choral concert with Saakumu, a professional dance troupe from Ghana, West Africa,  The concert will take place at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul in February 2015.


Walking Shadow Theatre Company                                   $10,000


Funding to present Samuel D. Hunter's play The Whale. Performances will take place at Mixed Blood Theatre in November and December 2014.


Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre                          $8,440


Funding to stage a concert of traditional and contemporary flamenco dance featuring four international guest artists and the Zorongo company. The project, which also includes 12 guest artist-led flamenco workshops, will conclude with performances at the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts in June 2015.


St. Paul


Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                                 $10,000


Funding for the 2016 Saint Paul Almanac, an annual publishing of amateur and professional literary artists. The 2016 Saint Paul Almanac will be released in September 2015 with a book release party at the Northern Warehouse in Lowertown St. Paul.


ArtStart                                  $10,000


Funding to expand its 2014-2015 ScrapMobile Community Workshops, a portable artful reuse program that serves adults with developmental disabilities, by collaborating with three organizations in Ramsey and Dakota counties. Activities will take place between October 2014 and May 2015.


CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                                 $10,000


Funding for their 2015 Annual Production, a two-part, 90-minute program celebrating the Chinese New Year and featuring traditional and updated Chinese dance styles, traditional Chinese theater and Chinese operatic stories. The production will take place at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in January and February 2015.


Center for Irish Music                                  $10,000


Funding for the 2015 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 2015.


ComMUSICation                                $10,000

Funding for Winter Wonderland, an intensive nine-week choral program for 40 students in grades 3 to 6 who live in the St. Paul Promise Neighborhood. Activities will take place in fall and winter 2014 at St. Paul City School.


Hmong Arts Enrichment Program Committee                               $10,000

Funding for traditional Hmong dance, embroidery and art classes at the Hmong Village complex in St. Paul during the summer of 2015.


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


Funding for Fidgety Fairy Tales: The Mental Health Musical, a 40-minute performance using familiar fairy tales to illustrate symptoms of common mental health disorders in children. Ten performances will take place in the metro area in April 2015.


Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company                                  $10,000


Funding for the regional premiere of Stars of David, a new musical in which 30 of the most accomplished Jewish Americans talk about their heritage, personal experiences, and the role cultural identity has played in their lives. Twelve performances will take place at the Hillcrest Recreation Center in St. Paul in February and March 2015.


Minnesota Music Coalition                           $10,000


Funding for the 4th annual Minnesota Music Summit, a free festival for artists, fans and those working in the music industry, featuring workshops, mentoring sessions, a national keynote speaker and concerts showcasing top artists and emerging bands. Activities will take place at McNally Smith College of Music, Amsterdam Bar & Hall, and Summit Brewing in April 2015.


One Voice Mixed Chorus                              $10,000


Funding for Eat, Drink & Be Married, a celebration of civil rights for LGBT individuals in Minnesota featuring choral music, stories, multi-media projection, a lobby display of LGBT history, and the premiere of a commission by Minnesota composer Christopher Aspaas, featuring guest artist Michael Gruber. Performances will take place at Hopkins High School in January 2015.


Rhythmically Speaking                                 $10,000


Funding for their seventh annual showcase featuring dances created by five to nine local emerging and established Twin Cities jazz and rhythm-driven choreographers. The showcase will be held at a venue to-be-determined in August 2015.


Selby Ave JazzFest                             $10,000


Funding for the 14th 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 2015.


Skylark Opera                                    $10,000


Funding for the eighth annual Summer Opera Festival featuring four performances each of La Rondine by Giacomo Puccini and Putting it Together by Stephen Sondheim. The festival will take place at the E. M. Pearson Theatre at Concordia University in June 2015.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                         $10,000


Funding for Songs of Hope 2015, an international concert project comprised of fifty youth aged 9-16 and fifteen older performers aged 17-25 from the Twin Cities and countries worldwide. Concerts will be held in the metro area between June and August 2015.


Teatro del Pueblo                             $10,000


Funding for the 14th annual Political Theater Series, four Latino-inspired one-act productions that interweave traditional Latin American social/political theatrical expression with the acculturation of language, culture and reconciliation. Performances will be produced in Spanish as well as Spanglish at Intermedia Arts in February 2015.


Suburban Hennepin County


ArtSage                                   $10,000


Funding for Art for Life: Six Artists/Six Sites/Six Weeks, a senior artist residency program at six St. Paul area housing complexes that are home to diverse elders, including those with disability and memory loss. Activities will take place between April and October 2015.


Blossoms of the Orient Dance Theater                               $10,000

Funding for a year-long dance class with Ya-jin Zhang that will culminate with several performances in the Twin Cities.


Cross Community Players                            $10,000


Funding for seven performances of Anything Goes at Osseo Senior High School in July 2015.


Eclectic Edge Ensemble                                $10,000


Funding for Lost Voices in Jazz: The Choreographers of the Minnesota Jazz Dance Company, a new evening length dance concert that re-stages, remembers and honors the works of the founding artists. Three performances will take place at either the Illusion Theatre in Minneapolis or O'Shaugnessy Auditorium in St. Paul in July 2015.


NOTE-able Singers                            $10,000


Funding for their spring 2015 performances including five to six themed performances at senior living facilities and two public performances at the Bloomington Civic Center in June 2015.


Public Theater of Minnesota                                   $10,000


Funding to produce its fifth season of free outdoor theater featuring a music intensive production of Much Ado About Nothing. Three weekends of performances will take place at Silverwood Park in St. Anthony in July 2015.


Rimon: The Minnesota Jewish Arts Council                                   $8,000


Funding for the 2014-2015 Artist Salon Series, a four-event series engaging artists from different disciplines in dialogue with local audiences. The series will take place at various venues between October 2014 and April 2015.


Sabes JCC Performing Arts Department                            $10,000

Funding for the sixth annual Twin Cities Jewish Humor Festival at the Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park and the St. Paul Jewish Community Center in January and February 2015.


Twin Cities Jewish Chorale                          $10,000


Funding for their 2014-15 Season including two full-length concerts and three outreach events. Concerts will take place at Mt. Zion Temple in St. Paul in February 2015 and Sabes Jewish Community Center in St. Louis Park in June 2015.


Suburban Ramsey County


Dark & Stormy Productions                         $10,000


Funding for the regional premiere of Harold Pinter's play, THE HOTHOUSE at a nontraditional theater space in December 2014 and January 2015.


Lakeshore Players                             $10,000


Funding for 16 performances of Rodgers & Hammerstein's State Fair at the Lakeshore Players Theatre in downtown White Bear Lake in April and May 2015.


Washington County


East Metro Symphony Orchestra                            $10,000


Funding for three concerts in their 2015 season including a December concert with dance students from Woodbury Dance Center, a March concert of traditional and classical Irish music with students from the Center for Irish Music, and a May concert featuring Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade.


Square Lake Film & Music Festival                          $9,000


Funding for the 2015 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 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 2014, MRAC received 814 applications and awarded 452 grants totaling 3,175,634 to arts organizations and/or projects including a 220,000 grant to VSA Minnesota for its re-granting 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 340 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 38 grants totaling 182,586 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 23 arts management training sessions and 30 grant application workshops. 


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