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June 17, 2015 

For Immediate Release
Raeisha Williams 
(651) 523-6384
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) Awards
$713,425 in Arts Activities Support Grants to 74 Organizations
On June 15, 2015, MRAC awarded a total of $713,425 to 74 organizations/projects in the second round of the FY 2015 Arts Activities Support grant program. The organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and community connections. The funded projects include a two-day community pow-wow, 22nd Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a free outdoor Jazz music concert & art festival, live symphony orchestra,  and a family-friendly African Storytelling Festival that will feature master storytellers from across the counties.  

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 referred to as suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.  


Carver County


Chaske Cikala Wacipi (Little Dance in Chaska)     $6,450.00
Funding for The Little Dance in Chaska, a two-day community pow-wow engaging drummers, dancers and over 750 community members at Lion's Park in Chaska in August 2015.


Hennepin County


Young Dance, Inc.     $10,000.00
Funding for Uncharted, a season investigating fundamental questions to push the boundaries of the art and practice of dance. The season includes residencies with guest artists Emily Johnson, BodyCartography Project, Pramila Vasudevan and Heidi Eckwall, and will culminate in performances at the Lab Theater in May 2016.


ARENA Dances     $10,000.00                                     
Funding to present the third in a series of concerts celebrating the company's landmark 20th Anniversary Season, featuring two works from the repertory and a reprise of a new work. Performances will take place at The Southern Theater over three weeks in April 2016.


Art Shanty Projects       $10,000.00
Funding to curate and present the 2016 Art Shanty Projects, a free four-week interactive exhibit of performance and visual art on frozen White Bear Lake. The exhibit will be on display in February 2016.


BareBones Productions     $10,000.00
Funding to stage the 22nd 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 2015.


Black Storytellers Alliance     $10,000.00
Funding for Signifying and Testifying, a three-day, family-friendly festival featuring master storytellers from across the county. The festival will take place at Metroarea locations in September 2015.


Calhoun Area Residents Action Group (CARAG)  $10,000.00
Funding to engage residents of Minneapolis' CARAG neighborhood through the creation and installation of a multi-panel, mosaic mural at Bryant Square Park. Artist Sharra Frank will lead workshops to design and create the mosaic panels in a partnership between the Calhoun Area Residents Action Group and the Southwest Senior Center.


Classical Actors Ensemble      $10,000.00
Funding to produce Christopher Marlowe's 1592 tragedy, Doctor Faustus, in repertory with William Shakespeare's 1616 comedy, The Tempest. Performances will take place in fall 2015.


Contemporary Dance Arts, Inc.     $10,000.00
Funding to create and perform HANDS, featuring the company and guest dancer Judith Howard, with original music by Scott Kilian and text by David Greenspan. The performance will premiere at The Cowles Center in March 2016.


Creatives for Causes- "Art Buddies"    $10,000.00
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 2015-2016 school year.


Fortune's Fool       $10,000.00
Funding to produce the North American premiere of Why We Laugh: A Terezin Cabaret, a play by Kira Obolensky, adapted from a cabaret written by Jewish prisoners during World War II. Performances will take place at Open Eye Figure Theater in September 2015.


Freedom Jazz Festival, Inc      $8,000.00
Funding for the Freedom Jazz Festival, a free outdoor Jazz music concert and art festival, to be held in Minneapolis in August 2015.


Gazillion Strong       $10,000.00
Funding for Through Our Eyes, a video production and distribution program for marginalized teens who attend Avalon Charter School in St. Paul. Activities will take place between September and December 2015, and culminate in a screening of completed works.


Green T Productions      $10,000.00
Funding to remount the company's original adaptation of the play Tales of Rashomon, featuring improved production values to reach a broader audience. Performances will take place in March 2016.


Hennepin Health Foundation     $6,600.00
Funding for a six-month arts activities program for pediatric patients and their families at Hennepin County Medical Center to introduce creative expression and optimize healing.


Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)   $10,000.00
Funding to present the Fall 2015 Concert Series, a 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 August and November 2015.


Inverted Arts       $10,000.00
Funding to create a 10-12 minute documentary film exploring the nature of diversity through the eyes of three disadvantaged male youth in collaboration with three professional film-makers.


Jawaahir Dance Company      $10,000.00
Funding to present Sing To Me A Little, an Arab dance/music collaboration with the Georges Lammam Ensemble, vocalist Ghada Derbas, and multi-instrumentalist Michael Ibrahim. Performances will take place at the Ritz Theater in November 2015.


Kairos Alive!        $10,000.00
Funding for Wings of Hope, a new work created with war veterans, their families, and caregivers, incorporating their stories and inviting them to perform. The piece will be performed at Como Park in St. Paul during a commemoration for the victims of the bombing of Nagasaki, and at additional venues in the Twin Cities in summer 2015.


Kenwood Symphony Orchestra     $10,000.00
Funding for four live symphony orchestra programs, including a soloist competition, designed to bring concerts of classical music to a diverse audience. Performances will take place at Metro Area venues and assisted-living facilities between August 2015 and May 2016.


Kevin Kling & Co.       $10,000.00
Funding to create and present Ghosts, an evening of stories and music drawing from themes of ghosts and hauntings from around the globe. Performances will take place at Open Eye Figure Theater in October 2015.


Kulture Klub Collaborative     $10,000.00
Funding to provide teens experiencing homelessness with the opportunity to work in residence with filmmaker Melissa Koch in a series of workshops to create activist videos and posters. The residency will build upon participation in an interactive workshop with the Guerrilla Girls at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.


Lyndale Neighborhood Association    $10,000.00
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 other outdoor locations in Minneapolis between July 2015 and June 2016.


Madame of the Arts       $10,000.00
Funding for four community-building series that provide opportunities for GLBTQA individuals to celebrate queer artists and develop their own artistic skills. Activities will include dance classes, film screenings, trans-specific music events, and craft making classes between June 2015 and March 2016.


Magic Lantern Puppet Theater     $9,800.00
Funding for Three Tales, One World, a presentation of three new puppet shows by artists Julie Boada, Gustavo Boada, and Anne Sawyer-Aitch, based on stories from Myanmar, Somalia, and Mexico. The works will be shown at the Somali Museum of Minnesota, Metro Deaf School, Roseville after school programs, and the Avalon Theater in March 2016.


Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra    $10,000.00
Funding for the 2015 Fall Concert, featuring a public concert titled, The Wind and the Water, and a free concert with hands-on arts activities for children and families. Performances will take place in November 2015.


MPLS (imPulse)       $10,000.00
Funding to present three, ninety-minute thematic choral programs in diverse, non-traditional performing venues. Performances will take place at Intermedia Arts, the Como Planetarium and Flat Earth Brewing Company between October 2015 and April 2016.


Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association   $10,000.00
Funding for the 21st annual Art-A-Whirl, an open studio and gallery tour held in various locations throughout Northeast Minneapolis, providing the public with an opportunity to tour private artist studios and galleries, connect with artists, attend demonstrations and workshops, and purchase original artwork. Art-A-Whirl will take place in May 2016.


Off-Leash Area       $10,000.00
Funding to support the 6th iteration of The Neighborhood Garage Tour, a grass-roots, community building arts program bringing original interdisciplinary performance work directly into neighborhoods. Performances will take place at four metro area residential garages in September and October 2015.


Rain Taxi Inc.       $10,000.00
Funding for the 15th 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.


Red Bird Theater       $10,000.00
Funding to produce Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Buried Child, as well as seven master classes and workshops. Performances will take place at The Southern Theater in May and June 216.


Right Here Commissions      $9,860.00
Funding for the 2nd Annual Right Here Showcase, a mini-festival of mid-career, Minnesota-based performing artists who create original contemporary performance work. Performances will take place in the JSB Tekbox in March 2016.


Sandbox Theater       $10,000.00
Funding to create The Little Pilot, a new play based on the life and works of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The ensemble devised work, combining aerial arts and original visual art with collaborative theater, will premiere at the Southern Theater in September 2015.


Soo Visual Arts Center      $10,000.00
Funding for the 12th 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 April and May 2016.


Southside Family Nurturing Center    $10,000.00
Funding for Arts in Action, a free community-based arts program offered to center families in partnership with Open Eye Figure Theater. The ten-month program includes monthly arts activities, five performances at family events, workshops, and a private performance at Open Eye's historic jewel box theater.


St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church    $10,000.00
Funding for My Beautiful Community, a program designed to engage 100 Minneapolis Phillips community residents in learning and practicing mosaics, photography and creative writing. Participants will create ten art installations, including a photography show, a literary magazine, and mosaic murals.


SunsetGun Productions      $10,000.00
Funding for the final development phase and public performance of BLUEPRINT, an interdisciplinary one-woman play that follows a modern-day American woman as she explores what it means to be a woman today. The work will premiere at Red Eye Theater in November 2015.


Take-Up Productions      $10,000.00
Funding for a fall and winter film series of classic, cutting, edge, foreign and art house films at Trylon Microcinema. The series will feature 50-75 films show between September 2015 and February 2016.


Theatre Novi Most       $10,000.00
Funding to produce The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, and directed by Vladimir Rovinsky. Performances will take place at The Southern Theater in March 2016.


Theatre Pro Rata       $10,000.00
Funding to produce A Lie of the Mind, by Sam Shepard at Nimbus Theater in Minneapolis, and The Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Francis Beaumont at Dreamland Arts in St. Paul during its 2015-16 season. Each production will include offerings from Pro Rata's Play Reading Series.


TigerLion Arts       $10,000.00
Funding for six performances of Nature, an outdoor walking play about the lives of Emerson and Thoreau. Performances will take place in Minneapolis's Washburn Fair Oaks Park in July 2015.


Twin Cities Polish Festival     $10,000.00
Funding for the Twin Cities Polish Festival, a celebration of Minnesota's Polish heritage, traditions, and culture. The festival will take place along Riverplace and St. Anthony Main in Northeast Minneapolis


We Win Institute, Inc.      $10,000.00
Funding for a series of workshops for youth that will include instruction in African dance, hip hop, storytelling and drumming. The workshops will culminate in a Kwanzaa Celebration event at the Capri Theater in December 2015.


Whitman Electric       $10,000.00
Funding to present a puppetry-poetry performance, Ode to Walt Whitman, accompanied by an interactive visual art exhibit and post-show discussions at Intermedia Arts in the fall of 2015.


Wonderlust Productions      $10,000.00
Funding to produce a new play about the Adoption community with a mixture of professional performers and adoption community members sharing the stage. Performances will take place in February 2016. 


Ramsey County


Advocating Change Together     $8,500.00
Funding to create a new singing group open to all people with developmental disabilities and their allies. Activities will include nine monthly rehearsals and three public performances.


Flying Forms        $10,000.00
Funding for its 2015 - 2016 Concert Series of four baroque chamber music concerts including three free one-hour lunchtime concerts on the Friday before the full performance. Concerts will take place at The Baroque Room in St. Paul between October 2015 and May 2016.


Glorious Revolution Baroque     $6,440.00
Funding to present a concert of madrigals by Italian Mannerist composers. Concerts will take place at The Baroque Room in St. Paul and Open Book in Minneapolis in April 2016.


In Progress        $10,000.00
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 August 2015 to April 2016.


Lyra Baroque Orchestra      $10,000.00
Funding for the 2015 - 2016 Season of five concerts at Sundin Music Hall in St. Paul. Concerts will take place between September 2015 and April 2016.


Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute    $7,870.00
Funding for a series of 15 free creative writing workshops led by a local Twin Cities author, writer or educator. Workshops will take place at the Mid-Continent Oceanographic Institute in St. Paul between October 2015 and the summer months of 2016. 


Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater    $10,000.00
Funding for 70-year Peace Celebration, the 23rd installment in the Rainbow Series of Chinese Dances featuring a three-part dance drama using the music, Yellow River Piano Concerto, a piano concerto based on the well-known Yellow River Cantata by Xian Xinghai. Performances will take place at the Brady Educational Center at the University of St. Thomas in January 2016.


Mizna         $10,000.00
Funding for the publication of the literary journal, Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America. The journal will explore the theme of Intersectionality. The Place Where Different Forms of Oppression Meet and will include a public reading held in December 2015.


Musical Offering       $10,000.00
Funding for a "Schubertiade" style concert of Scandinavian music that looks at the internal influences of Scandinavian folk music and the external influence of European masters. The concert will take place at the American Swedish Institute in October 2015.


Oratorio Society of Minnesota     $10,000.00
Funding for Voices of Light, a multimedia fusion of the silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc and composer Richard Einhorn's 1994 oratorio Voices of Light. Performances will take place at the Cathedral of Saint Paul and Grace Church in Eden Prairie in April 2016.


Saint Paul Ballet       $10,000.00
Funding for Clara's Dream, a 65-minute adaptation of the classic Nutcracker ballet featuring 10 professionals of the Saint Paul Ballet Company along with 75-90 students of the Saint Paul Ballet School ranging in age from 7-60. Five performances will take place at Macalester College Theater in St. Paul in December 2015.


The Baroque Room       $10,000.00
Funding for The Saint Paul Classical Music Crawl featuring groups in the Saint Paul classical music scene with live performances throughout the 2015 Saint Paul Art Crawl weekend in art studios and other Art Crawl venues. Activities will take place in October 2015.


Walker West Music Academy     $10,000.00
Funding for 8 O'Clock Jump, a new 10-show jazz series featuring national and Twin Cities based jazz groups. The series will take place at Walker West's new performance hall from September 2015 to September 2016.


Zeitgeist        $10,000.00
Funding for the 2015 - 2016 Eric Stokes Song Contest and the Playing it Close to Home concert. The program will be presented at Studio Z in St. Paul and Inver Hills Community College in February 2016.


Suburban Hennepin County


Yellow Tree Theater      $10,000.00
Funding for 22 performances of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning play Clybourne Park. Performances will take place at Yellow Tree Theater in Osseo in February and March 2016.


Alive & Kickin       $10,000.00
Funding for on-site musical performances at nursing homes, community centers, hospitals and churches in the metro area and one two-hour performance at the Bloomington Theater and Arts Center. The activities will take place in July 2015 and June 2016.


Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs     $10,000.00
Funding for two special concert series to celebrate their 35th Anniversary Season, Music for Life. Bloomington - Everybody Sings Festival will take place at St. Michael's Lutheran Church In October 2015 and the grand finale performance featuring a newly commissioned work by Timothy Takach will take place at Orchestra Hall in May 2016.


Apollo Male Chorus       $10,000.00
Funding to host the Northstar Male Choral Festival, a free choral festival for high school, college and post-collegiate male singers to participate in vocal workshops, private voice lessons, and a public concert of the combined choruses. The festival will take place at Jehovah Lutheran Church in St. Paul in November 2015.


Great Northern Union Chorus     $10,000.00
Funding for Real Men Sing, a one-day workshop and performance celebrating the young male voice at Benson Great Hall at Bethel University in October 2015.


Katha Dance Theater      $6,000.00
Funding for Pourush - The Masculine, a dance performance blending traditional Kathak dance of North India with Chau, a form of tribal dance from Eastern India. Performances will take place at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in St. Paul in October 2015.


Partnership Resources, Inc.     $9,830.00
Funding for Clay Works 3D, five, eight-week-long classes at Northern Clay Center for up to 40 adults with disabilities. Activities will take place between October 2015 and March 2016.


Reach for Resources      $6,075.00
Funding for Art Abilities, a six-session series of workshops that offers youth and adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to explore a variety of art media. Workshops will be held at the Eisenhower Community Center in Hopkins in October 2015.


Threads Dance Project      $10,000.00
Funding for Warriors of Light, an evening-length dance work inspired by Paulo Coelho's novella "Warrior of Light: A Manual" and featuring original music from composer Sanford Moore. Performances will take place at The Cowles Center for Dance in November 2015.


Wayzata Symphony Orchestra     $10,000.00
Funding for the 2015 - 2016 season of four free concerts of orchestral works that will include a multimedia work with the composer in residence, a program of New Orleans jazz arrangements for orchestra and soloists and a family concert that combines film music with an orchestral masterpiece. The concerts will take place at Wayzata Community Church between October 2015 and May 2016.


Suburban Ramsey County


Minhua Chorus       $10,000.00
Funding for the Chinese Knot, a full-length concert featuring songs and dances from major Chinese ethnic groups. Performances will take place at the O'Shaughnessy Auditorium of St. Catherine University in December 2015.


Twin Cities Chinese Dance Center    $10,000.00
Funding for The Joyful Dance VI, an annual dance concert celebrating the Chinese New Year at O'Shaughnessy Auditorium in January 2016.


Youth in Jazz, Inc.       $10,000.00
Funding for Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands serving over 160 students in grades 6 through 12 with eight different jazz groups that rehearse weekly between September 2015 and May 2016.  Each group will perform one or more concerts, and four of the groups will record a CD in a professional studio.


Washington County


St. Croix Valley Chamber Chorale    $10,000.00
Funding for Hope Renewed, Darkness Destroyed, and Unity Created Through Music, the 2015 - 2016 season of three choral concerts to be held at the Washington County Historic Courthouse and Trinity Lutheran Church between December 2015 and April 2016.


Wildwood Artist Series      $8,000.00
Funding for the 2015 - 2016 Wildwood Artist series featuring Cirque Zuma Zuma, Pat Donohue and the Prairie All Stars, and The New Standards at the Chautauqua Fine Arts Center in Mahtomedi.

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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