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May 27, 2015   

For Immediate Release
Raeisha Williams  
(651) 645-0402

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC)
Awards 247,759 in Arts Learning Grants

On May 26, 2015, MRAC awarded 250,877 to 26 organizations in the second round of its FY 2015 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


Drama Interaction                            8,348


Funding for a series of three performance arts classes for adults with special needs. The project will begin in June 2015, and is a partnership with Chrestomathy, Inc., which provides specialized adult day programs.


International Friendship Through the Performing Arts                    9,218

Funding for residencies during the 2015-2016 school year by Chinese musician and educator Gao Hong at Yinghua Academy in Minneapolis, Randolph Elementary School in St. Paul, and Farmington Elementary School.


OboeBass! The Vecchione/Erdahl Duo                          9,000


Funding for a series of seven monthly one-hour "Pages of Music" education programs at five senior residences from June 2015 through February 2016.


Rosemount Area Arts Council                             10,000


Funding for a theater school for seniors, offering 100 hours of classes between September 2015 and May 2016. The school will culminate in the production of a play at The Steeple Center in Rosemount, and in the formation of an ongoing senior theater company.




Copper Street Brass Quintet                                 10,000


Funding for residencies focusing on musicianship essentials with the Burnsville Junior High and High School bands to enhance the schools' music instruction during the 2015-16 school year.


Phyllis Wheatley Community Center                              10,000


Funding for "World Explorers," an eight-week summer program where youth ages 5 through 13 will learn about world cultures through indigenous visual and performing arts. The project will be held at Heritage Park in Minneapolis during the summer of 2015.


Plymouth Christian Youth Center                                    10,000


Funding for residencies conducted by the Capri Theater at the PYC Arts & Tech High School in north Minneapolis during the 2015-2016 school year.


Weavers Guild of Minnesota                                10,000


Funding for 16 weeks of participatory fiber arts learning activities for beginners through advanced learners during the fall of 2015 at the Textile Center in Minneapolis.


St. Paul


Arts Us                                  10,000


Funding for Summer Camp Teranga for youth in kindergarten through 8th grade to explore and create through the arts. The camp will be held during the summer of 2015 at Dunning Recreation Center in St. Paul.


CAAM Chinese Dance Theater                              10,000


Funding for specialized training, including solo and small group choreography and educational programming, that will allow CAAM Chinese Dance Theater to expand its offerings. The training program will occur between June 2015 and February 2016.


Deborah Elias Danza Espanola                             10,000


Funding for residencies in flamenco dance, music, and culture at six schools from September 2015 to March 2016. Each residency will culminate in a community celebration.


East Side Arts Council                                10,000


Funding for artist residencies at three elementary schools on the east side of St. Paul during the 2015-2016 school year.


Hamilton Ink Spot                           10,000


Funding for The Hamilton Ink Spot Internship Program for artists ages 18 to 26 to learn design, printmaking, and exhibition skills from master printers. The program will run for one year, with two six-month cycles, starting in January and July of 2016.


In Progress                           10,000


Funding for Digital Journeys, a comprehensive digital arts learning program for newly developing artists. The program focuses on small group mentorship, individualized coaching and goal planning with youth ages 13-20, and will take place at the In Progress main studio in St. Paul.


Keane Sense of Rhythm                              10,000


Funding for Tap with Class tap dance classes for students in 1st through 4th grades at two 2015 summer school venues in St. Paul. Students will perform at an assembly to culminate the experience.


Macgowan Productions                             10,000


Funding for a Screenwriting and Media Production Workshop for the 8th grade students at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus (LMAP) School in St. Paul. The workshop will begin in the spring of 2016, and will allow the students to present their work in the first annual LMAP Film Festival.


Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater                                  10,000

Funding for Chinese dance instruction for adults and students in kindergarten through 12th grades from June through October of 2015. Classes will be held at the University of St. Thomas, and will include various community performances.


Oratorio Society of Minnesota                             10,000


Funding for eight workshop sessions during the Oratorio Society's Summer Chorus. The workshops will be held during July 2015 and are open to all community singers, and will culminate in a performance of Great Opera Choruses.


Saint Paul Ballet                              10,000


Funding for the Everybody Dance Summer Program of 12 weeks of introductory summer dance classes for children ages 4 through 12 and teens ages 13 through 18. The program will run from June through August of 2015.


Teatro del Pueblo                           10,000


Funding for New Encounters providing emerging Latino artists and community members the opportunity to engage in the performing arts through a series of workshops on scene work, voice, movement, and basic technical tools of the theater trade. The project will run from August 2015 to May 2016.


Walker West Music Academy                              10,000


Funding for the 2015 Summer Music Enrichment Program, a three-week music day camp during July of 2015 at Walker West's music center in St. Paul. The camp provides students ages 5 to 12 the opportunity to experience instrumental and vocal music for the first time.


Suburban Hennepin County


Blossoms of the Orient Dance Theater                          10,000

Funding for a year-long dance program for children during 2015 and 2016 focusing on Hmong dances from Southern China, Laos, and Thailand at the Brady Education Center at the University of St. Thomas. The program includes performances at various locations.


Maple Grove Arts Center                           10,000


Funding for The Extremely Serious Comedy Workshop for youth and older adults led by comedian Scott Hansen, from mid July through mid September of 2015.


Suburban Ramsey County


Rosetown Playhouse                                  10,000


Funding for DanceTogether, a four-week project bringing together high school students of Karen, African American, and other ethnicities to build community and leadership by dancing together. The project will occur in July 2015, and will culminate with a free pubic performance.


Women's Writing Program                                  10,000

Funding to engage women, in short-term incarceration at the Ramsey County Correctional Facility during 2015 and 2016, to learn creative writing skills for self-expression and building self-confidence, and to publish works in professionally produced poetry chapbooks cataloged in The Saint Paul Public Library collection.


Washington County


FamilyMeans                                    4,311


Funding for the Teen Center Zine Project during summer 2015. Youth ages 13 through 18 will create a graphic zine responding to a theme of their choice.


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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