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November 26, 2014

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 423,359
to Support Organizational Development and Capital Projects for 47  Arts Organizations and Programs

On November 25, 2014, MRAC awarded $218,424 to 22 organizations in its FY 2015 Organizational Development grant program and $204,935 to 25 organizations in its FY 2015 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.


The following lists of the FY 2015 Organizational Development and Capital grantees are sorted by county of affiliation and include award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites. Groups located in Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.


Organizational Development Grants


Anoka County


Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts                             $9,244


Funding to hire a part-time education coordinator to manage the many aspects of art classes offered at the center annually.


Dakota County


Exultate                                  $10,000


Funding for a consultant-led process to prepare the organization for a new management structure.




20% Theatre Company                                $10,000


Funding to create a part-time grants and fundraising coordinator position.


Ananya Dance Theatre                                 $10,000


Funding to work with a development consultant who will help lead a direct mail campaign.


Copper Street Brass Quintet                                    $10,000


Funding to develop a sustainable individual giving strategy including training for staff and board on fundraising best practices.


Hopewell North Music Cooperative                                    $10,000


Funding to further develop and implement a fundraising plan with the assistance of a fundraising consultant.


Kairos Alive!                           $10,000


Funding for a new website that interfaces with contemporary technology platforms, has more relevant content, and can be easily updated by staff.


Open Eye Figure Theatre                             $9,720


Funding to upgrade the databases used for tracking tickets sales, donations, grants, volunteers, tours, and events.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                           $10,000


Funding to create and implement an enhanced brand identity for the Capri Theater.


Soo Visual Arts Center                                  $10,000


Funding to plan and implement a fundraising and membership strategy and expand staff capacity to include a fundraising position.


VSA Minnesota                                  $10,000


Funding for a grant writer to identify and secure corporate and foundation support in order to restore an arts education coordinator position.


Walking Shadow Theatre Company                                   $10,000


Funding to create a development and outreach coordinator staff position.


St. Paul


Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac                                 $10,000


Funding to develop a sustainable funding stream through partnerships and sponsorships with local businesses.


Minnesota Theater Alliance                         $10,000


Funding to add a part-time administrative assistant position to take over administrative tasks currently done by staff, and to promote the membership services manager to a program director position.


One Voice Mixed Chorus                              $10,000


Funding to implement a website redesign in order to provide improved service to ticket buyers, donors, singers, and new audiences.


Saint Paul City Ballet                                    $9,460


Funding to hire a consultant to facilitate and support a strategic planning process.


Walker West Music Academy                                  $10,000


Funding to support the expansion of fundraising capacity for long-term sustainability.


Suburban Hennepin County


Rain Taxi Inc.                         $10,000


Funding to develop a new strategic plan that will provide the foundation for greater sustainability and strategic action for the future.


Yellow Tree Theatre                         $10,000


Funding to work with a communications specialist to create a strategic marketing and audience development plan.


Suburban Ramsey County


Brownbody                            $10,000

Funding to hire a consultant to grow an individual donor program, create a grants calendar, and train organizational leadership in fund development skills.


Motionpoems, Inc.                             $10,000


Funding to hire a communications consultant to better expand and engage audience networks.


Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center                          $10,000


Funding to establish a management archive that is accessible to dance instructors, staff, board members, and community stakeholders.



Capital Grants


Carver County


River City Theatre Company                                   $8,242


Funding to purchase wireless headset microphones.


Dakota County


International Friendship Through the Performing Arts              $4,664

Funding to purchase new computers and software that will replace outdated equipment.


Rosemount Area Arts Council                                  $9,790


Funding to install a track curtain system for the Steeple Center stage in order to expand programming for smaller acts and individual speakers, and for use as a backdrop for small art exhibits.




Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts                                  $10,000


Funding to purchase and repair studio and administrative office equipment in order to meet the demands of new programming.


Les Jolies Petites School of Dance                            $10,000

Funding to install proper flooring and add a second restroom to the facility.


Metropolitan Boys Choir                              $9,999


Funding to purchase a computer, printer, projector, and portable piano to enhance programming.


Minnesota Community Sings                                   $5,740


Funding to purchase 400 copies of RISE UP SINGING songbooks for community sings and a songbook lending system.


Nimbus Theatre                                $10,000


Funding to replace the theater's lighting dimming system.


Off-Leash Area                                  $5,000


Funding to replace lighting and sound equipment for the Neighborhood Garage Tour program.


Patrick's Cabaret                               $7,250


Funding to purchase new technical equipment for the theater and computers for the office.


Red Eye Collaboration                                  $10,000


Funding to upgrade the theater's lighting system to make it more user-friendly and increase creative possibilities for lighting design.


She Rock She Rock                            $10,000


Funding to purchase mobile recording equipment for a rock 'n' roll camp for teenage girls.


Take-Up Productions                                    $10,000


Funding to purchase and install Digital Cinema Package (DCP) projection equipment as part of an industry-wide transition to the DCP format.


Weavers Guild of Minnesota                                    $10,000


Funding to replace damaged and inadequate looms in order to support quality educational programming and expand artist-designed class projects.


St. Paul


Central Conference and Performance Center dba VocalPoint    $1,860


Funding to purchase choir risers to increase the safety, accessibility, and creative staging of annual choral concerts.


In Progress                            $10,000


Funding to purchase a professional DSLR camera, camera accessories, digital animation tools, and a multi-media computer and software for use by photo and video artists.


Minnesota Brass, Inc.                                    $10,000


Funding to replace a decade-old equipment trailer used to transport band instruments to local and regional competitions.


Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater                         $8,220

Funding to purchase 80 sets of "fusion" Chinese Han ethnic costumes to be used in annual concerts, outreach performances, and other community events.


Nautilus Music-Theater                                $10,000


Funding to complete the renovation of a new space in Lowertown, St. Paul, including floor refinishing, a bathroom installation, signage, and the purchase of woodworking tools.


Sounds of Hope, Ltd.                         $3,650


Funding to replace aging equipment to support the continued growth of the organization's touring program.


Suburban Hennepin County


Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs                               $6,350


Funding to purchase new choral risers that are safe and stable for rehearsals and performances.


Public Theater of Minnesota                                   $10,000


Funding to purchase 36 theatrical light fixtures, 2 lighting towers, and related hardware for outdoor performances at Silverwood Park.


Upper Midwest Flute Association, Inc.                                $9,120


Funding to purchase a contrabass flute in order to expand performance capability to include orchestral and contemporary flute music.


Suburban Ramsey County


Contempo Physical Dance                            $5,050


Funding to purchase a Marley dance floor for touring.


Lakeshore Players                             $10,000


Funding to purchase new computers and hire a computer consultant to network the new hardware.



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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