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December 18, 2014

For Immediate Release
Mara Miller
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards 300,428
in Community Arts Grants to 62 Organizations

On December 16, 2014, MRAC awarded 300,428 to 62 organizations in its FY 2015 Community Arts, Round 1 grant program. 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 organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and a connection to a community.


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


Mississippi Valley Orchestra                                4,987


Funding for Exceptional Americana, a free concert showcasing the St. Paul Piano Teachers Concerto Competition winner and special guest soloist Doug Wright. The concert will take place at First Lutheran Church in Columbia Heights in February 2015.


Musikgarten of Anoka                               5,000


Funding for the 2015 Winter/Spring semester and summer session music classes in the northwestern suburbs for children birth to six-years-old and their families.


Carver County


Centre Stage Theatre and Arts                             5,000

Funding to produce the musical Annie based on the Harold Gray comic strip "Little Orphan Annie" at Central High School in Norwood Young America in August 2015.


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 Derek Anderson at Chanhassen High School in February 2015.


River City Theatre Company                              5,000


Funding for six performances of Shrek the Musical at the Watertown-Mayer Performing Arts Center in September 2015.


Velvet Tones                                    5,000


Funding for nine vocal performances for groups with limited arts access in the greater metropolitan area between January and June 2015.


Dakota County


Chameleon Theatre Circle                                    5,000


Funding for the second half of its 2014-2015 Artistic Season including Veronica's Room, Jesus Christ Superstar, Mom! a new musical, and Betty's Summer Vacation.   Performances will take place at the Ames Center in Burnsville.


Dakota Valley Symphony                         5,000


Funding for Pure Classics, a family-friendly concert featuring three selections and focused on Gabriel Faure's Requiem. The concert will take place at the Ames Center in Burnsville in February 2015.


Eagan Men's Chorus                                   4,224


Funding for 20 concerts at assisted living and senior housing facilities in Dakota County from January through December 2015.


Eagan Parks and Recreation                                 5,000


Funding for Discover-Create-Connect, a series of creative opportunities for the community including Artist Connect activities, guest artists and the 10th Annual Harvest of Art event. Activities will take place between January and December 2015.


International Festival of Burnsville                                5,000


Funding for the International Festival of Burnsville featuring an indoor art exhibit, international cultural display booths, and an outdoor festival with a parade of flags, traditional attire, ethnic foods, and family art activities. The festival will be held at Nicollet Commons Park and the Ames Center in Burnsville in July 2015.




Alternative Motion Project                                   5,000


Funding for the 4th Annual Performance, including the creation of five new dance works, a rehearsal process and audience engagement activities. Performances will take place at The LAB Theater in Minneapolis in March 2015.


Balkanicus Institiute for Balkan Art Culture and History                             4,090


Funding for Balkanicus, a free public concert featuring contemporary Balkan chamber music at the University of Minnesota Lloyd Ultan Recital Hall in April 2015.


Carnaval Brasileiro                                    5,000


Funding for a celebration of Brazilian music, dance, cuisine, and culture with more than 100 musicians, dancers, and artists from the Twin Cities as well as special guest Brazilian performers. Activities will include a family matinee Carnaval performance accompanied by dance and visual arts workshop and take place in February 2015.


Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center                                   5,000


Funding for four, quarterly Open (Hot) House events that will provide an opportunity for students to showcase their work and for community members to participate in the Center's activities during in 2015.


Chronicled Concert Collective                             5,000

Funding for a dramatic, musical and literary chronicle, in concert form, of the life and 30-year career of Belgian chansonnier, actor, director and performance artist, Jacques Brel. Performances will take place at Open Eye Theatre in Minneapolis in June 2015.


Deborah Elias Danza Española                           5,000


Funding for Damnation and Blue Song: Experimental Works between a Dancer and a Painting, a collaboration with painter Barbara Roche consisting of two performance pieces. Eight showings will be presented at Roche Studios in the Northrup King building in Minneapolis between March and May 2015.


Freshwater Theatre                         5,000


Funding to present two shows in repertory: the world premiere of If You Don't Weaken, by Jenna Zark, and a festival of short works about memory entitled The Recollection Collection. Performances will take place at Nimbus Theater in March and April 2015.


Patrick's Cabaret                             5,000


Funding for Community Space Partnerships, a new performance series organized to serve the needs of seven under-resourced verbal arts groups. The series provides a free performance platform in addition to assistance with marketing, audience outreach, event oversight and programmatic consultation. Events will take place at Patrick's Cabaret in 2015.


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 2015.


Six Families                          5,000

Funding for a season of events including four performances and eight workshops, featuring non-traditional music programming at several metro area alternative venues between January and June 2015.


Story Arts of Minnesota                            4,000


Funding for StoryFest, a storytelling festival featuring storytelling workshops and performances for adults and children, plus an evening storytelling concert. The festival will be held at City of Lakes Waldorf School in April 2015.


The DIAL Group                            5,000


Funding for the In Focus: Youth Leadership Program that will provide at-risk, under-served youth of color in North Minneapolis a high quality, out-of-school media arts program with a service-learning component focused on community engagement, information sharing, and data collection.


The Gregorian Singers                             5,000


Funding to collaborate with The Twin Cities Lute Cooperative and Dance Revels Moving History to present the early Baroque opera La Dafne, employing period instruments and dances, and starring soprano Maria Jette. The project, which includes educational workshops for students and senior citizens, will culminate in two fully-staged performances in May 2015.


The Summer Singers                                 5,000


Funding for the 20th Concert Season, including four free concerts of a cappella music. Performances include a Family Concert and a journey through a cappella music history, concluding with world premieres of the organization's first selection in a Young Composers Initiative and a commissioned work by an established Minnesota composer. Concerts will take place at metro area venues in summer 2015.


Twin Cities String Academy                                5,000


Funding for Summer Strings, a weeklong program utilizing the Suzuki learning experience for young musicians ages 4 to 14. The program will take place at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis in August 2015.


West Broadway Business and Area Coalition                           5,000


Funding for FLOW, an annual self-guided art crawl featuring more than 200 visual and performing artists on West Broadway in North Minneapolis in summer 2015.


Workhaus Collective                                  5,000


Funding to present collective member Dominic Orlando's new work, The Reagan Years, a play examining American culture's ambivalent attitude towards its youth. Performances will take place at the Playwrights' Center Waring Jones Theatre in spring 2015.


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 throughout the community of Savage in April and May 2015.


South Metro Chorale                                 5,000


Funding for a two concert series titled Music for the Soul and featuring an eighteen piece orchestra along with professional soprano and bass soloists. Performances will take place at Glendale United Methodist Church in Savage and St. Richard's Catholic Church in Richfield in May 2015.


Autism Society of Minnesota                               5,000


Funding to provide theater arts activities to children ages 3 to 5 with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. Activities will take place at Children's Theatre Company between January and December 2015.


Camp Masala                                   5,000


Funding for Camp Masala 2015, a three-day South Asian heritage camp focusing on the unique cultural elements of South India and the holiday of Onam. Activities will take place at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul in June 2015.


Chanson Voice & Music Academy                                  5,000


Funding for Lyrebird Young Women's Choir, a 16-week choir program for female high school students singing music composed by female Minnesota composers. Activities will take place between February and May 2015 and culminate in three community concerts.


East Side Arts Council                                5,000


Funding for Artmobile, a mobile art project offering five weeks of free drop-in art classes. Artmobile will be held at public spaces around the east side of St. Paul in the summer of 2015.


Friends of Swede Hollow (FOSH)                                   5,000


Funding for the annual Art in the Hollow one-day multidisciplinary outdoor arts festival in June 2015.


Hmong Cultural Center                            5,000


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


Hot Summer Jazz Festival                                    5,000


Funding for the Hot Summer Jazz Festival, a three-day jazz festival featuring local and world-renowned jazz artists. The festival will take place at 25 venues in downtown St. Paul including the newly opened St. Paul Saints Stadium and Union Depot in June 2015.


Japan America Society of Minnesota                              5,000


Funding for the world premiere of Yukionna, a new opera presented concert style, by Asako Hirabayashi. Performance will take place at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul in May 2015.


Minnesota State Band                                5,000


Funding for eight free concerts in the 2015 season featuring music by American composers including premiers by local composers. Concerts will take place throughout the metro area between March and August 2015.


MNKINO                             5,000


Funding for the second annual MNKINO Film Score Fest, an event that brings filmmakers, composers, and musicians together to create new short films with original scores that are performed live at the screening. The event will take place at the Landmark Center in St. Paul in August 2015.


Spitting Image Collective                        5,000

Funding to commission and present five new works that are specially geared toward local audiences. The concert, titled Offbeat, will be presented at Studio Z in St. Paul and Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis in May 2015.


The New Ruckus                             5,000


Funding for the 2015 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 between January and December 2015.


The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists                         5,000


Funding for the René Clausen Festival and Residency, celebrating the world-renowned composer, conductor and educator, and his meaningful impact on Minnesota's choral culture for nearly three decades. The three-day festival in February 2015 includes a free Community Sing event, educational master classes, a concert with 500 high school singers, and a Festival Finale presentation by The Singers.


Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation                                5,000


Funding for Shadows of Micronesia, a ten-day 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 2015.


Upper Midwest Flute Association, Inc.                           5,000


Funding for Flute Fest, a one-day flute festival at Hamline University in April 2015.


Young Artists Initiative                             5,000


Funding for the 2015 Winter Theater Experience, a six-week auditioned-based theater program for youth that culminates in public performances of The Snow Queen. Performances will take place at the Wellstone Center on St. Paul's West Side in March 2015.


Suburban Hennepin County


Bloomington Chorale, Inc                                    5,000


Funding for The Nature of Things, an evening-length choral concert featuring music from Haydn's The Seasons with a 13-piece pit orchestra. Performances will take place at the Schneider Theater in the Bloomington Center for the Arts in April 2015.


Edina Singing Seniors                                5,000


Funding for 25 performances at senior residences, nursing homes, subsidized housing and other venues. Performances will take place between January and December 2015.


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 2015.


Orono Community Education Early Learning Program                                5,000


Funding for My Art - My World!, a four-month study of visual arts involving 150 young children & their families. Activities will take place at the Discovery Center in Maple Plain and culminate with an art show and evening family event in May 2015.


Plymouth Concert Band                            5,000


Funding for the 2015 Winter and Spring band concerts including a special guest artist and the winner from the high school music competition. Concerts will take place at Wayzata High School Auditorium in Plymouth.


St. Anthony Civic Orchestra                                 5,000


Funding for three orchestral programs in the spring and summer of 2015, including its Spring Children's Concert, Light Classics Concert, and Summer Concert.


The Park Theater Company                                 5,000


Funding for the premier of The Forger's Apprentice, an original work by Minnesota playwrights Mark Forgy and Kevin Bowen including an Elmyr de Hory art exhibit to be held concurrently. Activities will take place at the Sabes Jewish Community Center's Theatre Or in St. Louis Park in June 2015.


Twin Cities Youth Chorale                                   5,000


Funding for Music Speaks for Me, the sixth annual Children's Choral Festival featuring metro area choirs. The festival will take place at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove in March 2015.


UROC Friends                                 2,632

Funding for UROC Arts!, an integrated arts experience for middle school and high school-aged youth with developmental differences. Activities will culminate in a variety show at the Orono High School Auditorium in April 2015.


Suburban Ramsey County


Harmonic Relief                             5,000


Funding for I've Had The Time Of My Life - Celebrating 15 Years of Harmonic Relief, a two-hour choir performance featuring an eclectic mix of songs that span Harmonic Relief's history. Performances will take place at the Maplewood Performing Arts Theatre and Lyngblomsten Senior Living Community in May 2015.


Honeywell Concert Band                          3,000

Funding for 12 concerts presented at care centers, assisted living centers, senior housing complexes, and public parks. The performances will take place between February and November 2015.


Northeast Youth & Family Services                                5,000


Funding for a three-week theater arts program for up to 12 participants of the STEP program. Activities will take place at the Discovery Center in Shorewood and culminate in a public performance in July 2015.


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 2015.


Washington County


Canvas Health                                 3,400


Funding for Jammin' Art, 23 to 26 art classes and experiences featuring six different visual and oral art mediums for individuals who live with mental illness. Activities will take place at East Suburban Resources in Stillwater between January and November 2015.


Encore Wind Ensemble                              4,095


Funding for three free concerts, including one concert featuring local high school-aged musicians from East Ridge High School. The concerts will take place at metro area locations between February and April 2015.


Merrill Community Arts Center                         5,000


Funding for a Youth Performance Series that will produce two live theater opportunities for up to 80 youth ages preschool through high school in the southeast metro community. Activities will take place between February and August 2015 in Woodbury.



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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