Equity Response Round 8 And Flexible Support Round 3 Grant Awards Announced
June 17, 2021
Congratulations to the 29 organizations who are recipients of the seventh round MRAC Equity Response grant awards.
On June 15, 2021, the MRAC board approved $70,950 in funding for 29 organizations in the eighth and final round of the Equity Response program and $1,585,071 in funding for 112 organizations in the third round of the Flexible Support program.
The awardees are listed below.
Note that the county designations indicate where the organization is located; Minneapolis and Saint Paul are listed separately from their counties.
The Equity Response grant program was created to serve the flexible needs of groups and organizations that are led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), People with Disabilities (PWD), and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+) individuals.
The Flexible Support grant provides up to $15,000 in funding to help groups create access to the arts and stay connected to audiences/community across the seven-county metro area. Funding can be used for organizational support or projects that bring the arts to the local communities.
EQUITY RESPONSE AWARDS
Funding for a unique arts learning project for children with special needs in the Twin Cities’ East African-American population conducted by Drama Interaction.
Art ASAP, Incorporated
Funding for Art ASAP’s 10 week arts program for kids 8-12 living in the Mt. Airy Affordable housing complex in downtown St.Paul. Classes are held in the community center and are free.
Black, Bold & Brilliant
Funding for work space and to strengthen the strategic business/marketing plan to sustain the organization’s ability to engage Black youth in cultural & artistic activities.
Funding for a mobile DJ/Music/Theater/Performance stage that can be trailered and powered to provide an accessible, safer, multi-sensory experience for local communities.
Cow Tipping Press
Funding for a Cow Tipping Intern with disabilities: a new groundbreaking role with our org in addition to our authors, fellows, speakers, teachers, and advisors with disabilities.
Growing North Minneapolis
Funding for Food for Thought: Completion will allow Growing North Minneapolis to assist in the completion of three youth driven murals and one Veggie Mobile in North Minneapolis and a celebration.
Funding to host a board retreat for our Board of Directors, collaborate with a podcast consultant to develop a creative and strategic plan, and purchase necessary podcast recording equipment.
Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
Funding for a leadership capacity building project collecting and recontextualizing the history of Lao Assistance Center arts programming between 1983-2020.
Legal Rights Center
Funding for a youth led portion of a mural project with the theme of “And Justice For All”. This mural will celebrate BIPOC and youth community members, and those the Legal Rights Center serves.
Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop
Funding for Monkeybear to purchase lighting equipment so our community can self produce small scale shows outdoors and create puppet films, for safe public presentations during the pandemic.
Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP)
Funding for BIPOC Sex Workers Story Circles, which will uplift and archive the voices and narratives of BIPOC sex workers in Minneapolis.
Funding for this project will support the strengthening and further development of Speaking Out Collective’s critical organizational infrastructure by providing stipends to the admin team.
Funding for Virginia Twins to develop/pilot a workshop for LGBTQ+ youth to explore their imagination and connect to their bodies in new and affirming ways through improvisation and physical theater.
We Win Institute, Inc.
Funding for photographer to capture Black children’s joy of reading. WE WIN When We Read gives free beautiful artistic books by Black authors and illustrators in order to foster a love of reading.
zAmya Theater Project
Funding to support development of a theatrical presentation designed to create dialogue and address racial disparities in the healthcare system.
APIA MN Film Collective
Funding to support a comedic short film about the Hmong community.
Shakopee Diversity Alliance
Funding will go towards providing healing art workshops, a community mural and to encourage digital storytelling in order to shape the narratives being shared about our communities of color.
Funding to engage a team youth of color to use their artistic skills and interests to reshape how we deliver Afrocentric Arts and Culture as a healing tool.
Black Women Speak
Black Women Speak will engage artist and teacher Kenna Cottman/Voice of Culture to offer arts-based, culturally-appropriate childcare at 10 BWS events or programs throughout the 2021-2022 year.
CAAM Chinese Dance Theater
Funding to engage in discussions regarding the affect of “Asian hate” on CAAM CDT, its community and participants and using social media and other communications to create meaningful understanding.
Face to Face Health and Counseling, Inc.
Funding for youth experiencing homelessness/housing instability to collaborate on a song and video sharing their stories and voicing their struggles surrounding social and racial justice.
Hmong Women of Minnesota with Disabilities
Funding to pay Victoria Kab Vang, our in-house storyboarder, to create a graphic novel based the screenplay that the Hmong Women of Minnesota with Disabilities writers group have just written.
Funding to support a series of 5 dinners dialogues with artists that created digital artwork around the trauma of 2020.
Minnesota Youth Collective
MinneDesk is a concert series where local Minnesota artists perform and answer questions about how electoral politics impact them, as well as their opinions on the role of art in organizing.
One Voice Mixed Chorus
One Voice Mixed Chorus requests funding to support a series of “ReMembering: Singing Water” outdoor pop-up concert viewings in the Twin Cities July 2021.
Points of Light Music
Funding to build capacity for Biracial & Rural, an arts-based community of care for folks who identify or connect with the experience of being mixed and rural by growing the advisory board membership.
Les Jolies Petites School of Dance
Funding to purchase additional personal protective equipment for students and staff as well as cleaning and disinfectant supplies to make sure our dance environment is safe for all.
Minnesota Freedom Band
Funding for purchases of percussion and other equipment to enhance safety during COVID-19 and to diversify musical programming.
Sacred Grounds Coffee House
Funding for 6 month’s lease for a person with disabilities (PWD) led Minnesota artist-based storefront in Shoreview. Funding will also help support a semester of writing workshops.
Flexible Support Awards
Suicide Survivors’ Club
Funding to present four Trauma Through Art and Narrative Workshops to support healthcare professionals and suicide loss survivors.
Afoutayi Haitan Dance, Music, and Arts Company
Funding to create a video tutorial for four traditional Haitian folkloric dances with their respective rhythms, songs, and folktales. The tutorial will be distributed virtually and in DVD format.
Bach Roots Festival
Funding to mount semi-staged productions of St. Matthew Passion by Bach, compensate four Emerging Artists who identify as BIPOC, and collaborate with two youth choirs.
Chamber Music Lakeville
Funding for the production of 4 concerts featuring a wide variety of leading Twin Cities ensembles, repertoires, and personnel in a casual, conversational, live-streamed and/or live venue format.
Eagan Men’s Chorus
Funding for artistic director and accompanist wages, renting rehearsal space, and purchasing music to prepare chorus to perform a spring post-COVID 19 concert in May 2022.
International Festival of Burnsville
Funding to offer the 2021 International Festival of Burnsville (IFB) in a virtual/remote format.
Lakeville City Ballet dba Twin Cities Ballet of Minnesota
Funding for professional dancers and staff to enable TCB to continue presenting performances and expand educational and accessibility outreach programming.
Los Alegres Bailadores
Funding for a virtual workshop for LAB’s dance instructors to learn a new repertoire of dances to develop COVID-19 safe dance curriculum for 90 students.
Twin Cities Catalyst Music, Inc
Funding for Eastside Connection – a free performance, employment, and artist development program for young people at The Treasury, an all ages (no 18+ or 21+) alcohol-free music venue in East St. Paul.
Funding to support key arts programs that promote cultural awareness and celebrate the diversity of local French-speaking cultures.
ARENA DANCES, Inc.
Funding CANDY BOX Dance Festival (CB) – a platform of performances, workshops & panels featuring dance-makers of a diverse range of identities, aesthetics and career levels within the Twin Cities.
Art to Change the World
Funding for the ACW Coaching Project for a Better World to empower the diverse and divergent thinkers and leaders of our collective future.
ASH: Sacred Arts
Funding to create a year-long, multi-layered engagement/performance initiative that invites connection, reflection, and conversation about our identities/evolving communities.
Funding for the 28th Annual Halloween Outdoor Puppet Extravaganza, a family-friendly, nighttime, spectacle performance featuring giant puppets and live music at Hidden Falls Park in St. Paul.
Black Storytellers Alliance
Funding for the Black Master Storytellers 3-day virtual experience, “Signifyin’ & Testifyin’.”
Burning Truth Project
Funding for a 75-min musical work born from the impacts of the pandemic and George Floyd’s murder, using storytelling and song to dialogue with communities about racism, equity, and racial identity.
Classical Actors Ensemble
Funding for a modern-dress production of Hamlet at the Elision Playhouse in the inner-ring suburb of Crystal.
Courage Kenny Foundation
Funding for the 2022 Art of Possibilities Art Show & Sale for artists with disabilities. The show will be in person at Courage Kenny Golden Valley and online at courageart.org in April and May 2022.
Cuban American Youth Orchestra
Funding to support a weeklong residency, bringing Cuban and Twin Cities-based young musicians together to educate, connect and inspire Minnesotan audiences.
Funding for 2021 DisabiliTease Virtual Festival in July, which will provide a platform for talented people with disabilities to perform in the areas of burlesque, cirque and drag.
Funding for All Gender/ADA bathrooms to meet basic bodily needs during crisis.
Duniya Drum and Dance
Funding to create new compositions and choreography in collaboration with local and guest artists for Winter and Summer 2022 performances in conjunction with community outreach workshops.
Funding to support creative writing classes for Hennepin County Jail inmates — who are otherwise without creative arts programming — and the much-needed emotional release that comes with it.
Green Card Voices
Funding for GCV’s first Children’s Book, created by immigrant youth attending Humboldt High School in Saint Paul.
Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)
Funding to present a virtual concert series in the Fall/Winter of 2021. The 6 concerts will present world-class artists of Indian classical music from India.
Indigenous Peoples Task Force
Funding for Indigenous Peoples Task Force (IPTF) to film 3 original plays supporting the new Native narrative, and they will be shared with Native and non-Native audiences.
Kenwood Symphony Orchestra
Funding for Kenwood Symphony Orchestra’s November 2021 and March 2022 Concerts, presented at South Minneapolis venues, including works by Asian and Black composers.
Kulture Klub Collaborative
Funding to support KKC’s online artistic activities and its youth advisors.
Funding to plan a performance-based workshop series for teachers’ professional development.
Funding for Haus of Loring to empower queer creatives through providing a safe space to celebrate all types of queer creativity.
Northern Lights MN Inc
Funding for an intergenerational art project led by International Indigenous Youth Council Twin Cities, with Northern Lights, Elder’s Lodge, and American Indian Family Center for Northern Spark 2021.
Funding to support Off-Leash Area in fulfilling its mission to create and present contemporary interdisciplinary performance work and nurture local artists through its 2021/2022 production, Minotaur.
On Stage: Creating a Community Dialogue Around Live Theater
Funding for our new online program, OnStage/Online, which is a series of online discussions based on plays that are ‘in the works’ to be produced and performed in the Twin Cities in the future.
Partnership Resources, Inc.
Funding to provide four artist residencies focused on self-expression for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities at three PRI sites, accessing puppetry, painting, mixed media, writing.
Funding for the 10th Annual Powderhorn Porchfest music festival.
Funding for a collaborative strategic planning process and production of online programming for PF Studios artists that includes digital public events to run through the Summer and Fall of 2021.
Funding for Redeemer Residences to provide a multi-disciplinary series of artist residencies that bring together elders at Redeemer with children served by Grandma’s House.
Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment
Funding to reclaim the Muslim woman’s narrative through multimedia storytelling.
Revolution Dance Works
Funding to pay a stipend to RDW’s founder/director, April Sellers, currently volunteering her work. This will make RDW more sustainable and equitable while uplifting the groups that RDW supports.
Right Here Commissions
Funding for Right Here Commissions’ mission to support Minnesota based, mid-career, performing artists who create original contemporary performance work through its Right Here Showcase program.
Funding to allow Salsa Fiesta to better engage and expand their community, secure new sponsorship and support, and invest in modern sound equipment.
Stevens Square Community Organization
Funding for art workshops and events to help the community heal from the isolating and contentious realities of 2020. All will be led by majority BIPOC teaching artists and prioritize accessibility.
Stuart Pimsler Dance and Theater
Funding for Caring for the Caregiver — Twin Cities, which will include the creation and presentation of a series of ten live & virtual workshops to help diverse healthcare workers cope with the stress of the pandemic.
Funding for extending Teaching Artist Cohort: Phase 2, organizational strategic planning and capacity assessment.
Telling Queer History
Funding to hire a part time Media Manager as an independent contractor for one year, doubling Telling Queer History’s staff.
The SEAD Project
Funding for the Southeast Asian Diaspora Project (SEAD) Planting SEADS project, which will support new ways of bringing together and honoring the complex stories of Southeast Asian diaspora communities.
The Urban Spectrum Theatre Company
Funding for work in partnership with the African American Registry to present a stage production of Foxy Brown, accompanied by online discussions of the Blacksploitation genre of the 1970’s.
Funding to implement 5 storytelling workshops for youth aged 10-14 and to develop a video library of talented local teaching artists sharing the art of storytelling and performance.
The Wildwood Theatre
Funding for Wildwood Theatre Production Season “Moving Forward”.
Twin Cities Carifest
Funding to provide a stipend for the current Director, to prepare the organization to transition leadership, as well as space rental and repair of Caribbean steel pan drums.
Twin Cities Media Alliance
Funding to support a full-time Development Associate, who will help Twin Cities Media Alliance build organizational, programming, and operational capacity.
Vivid Black Paint
Funding to better expand our program, thereby supporting more creatives of color through more access to the arts, most namely circus and paint arts for the community at large.
Voices in the Back
Funding to provide opportunities for BIPOC in the Minnesota music scene. VITB is a multimedia initiative amplifying their voice and giving them a chance for their stories to be told.
Voices of Hope Prison Choir
Funding to commission new choral works tailored to singers who are incarcerated, and to produce videos that teach these works to people inside two Minnesota correctional facilities.
We Win Institute, Inc.
Funding for the artist mentorship project UNDEFEATED, which will support a series of cultural arts workshops designed to increase arts access to youth during the pandemic.
Funding to continue programming with 5 improv shows, and to develop a touring health education show for schools.
Zenon Dance School
Funding for the expansion of Zenon Dance Zone, a program for adult dancers who are looking to deepen their dance experience through intensive training and performance opportunities.
Actors Theater of Minnesota
Funding to improve on-site experiences for artists, students and patrons by improving the venue and to make artists, and making students and patrons feel more welcomed and valued.
Arcata Press dba Saint Paul Almanac
Funding for early research and development to create Rondo Lives!, a feature-length documentary around the cultural trauma and impact of gentrification in Saint Paul’s Rondo community.
Funding for Side By Side: a collaboration with students from ACMS and WW to prepare and perform a new work by Black composer Anthony Green, and a Concert featuring Black/African-American composers.
Artist Collective for Community Collaboration (AC3)
Funding for community arts workshops for Indigenous Peoples’ Day and Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women marches.
Black Women Speak
Funding for staff leadership and organizational development consultants to work together and with BWS advisory committee to develop and implement plans for organizational stability and resilience.
Borikén Cultural Center
Funding to allow our community to participate in virtual workshops, in the safety of their homes and free of charge.
Center for Irish Music
Funding for the 14th annual Minnesota Irish Music Weekend in Saint Paul, Minnesota in June 2022.
Cerenity Senior Care- Humboldt
Funding to provide tailored, group-based art activities that will enable residents to recover from the COVID-19 tragedies, aging, social isolation, and physical and mental decline.
Chanson Voice & Music Academy
Funding to support our student, staff and teaching communities, and to help pay our rent and operating costs so that we can hold on to our essential physical teaching locations.
Funding to create and film original musical story based on Ka Vang’s Shoua and the Northern Lights Dragon.
Funding for youth poetry and painting, and video journaling, which will go deeper into the experience, exploring emotional intelligence and social development.
Dayton’s Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services
Funding to renew and grow WEQY radio as a clearinghouse of creativity and connection of, for, by residents, artists, and culture bearers in Saint Paul’s East Side.
Flip the Script Festival
Funding for Flip the Script’s 2021 LGBTQIA2S+ Film festival season.
Funding for “Live @ The Shed” 2021, which is a series of outdoor, socially distanced dance performances taking place in the parking lot of The Lab Brewery in Saint Paul in August.
Heritage Organization of Romanian Americans in Minnesota (HORA)
Funding to host a six-week Romanian Spring Art Exhibition at the Landmark Center featuring Romanian Minnesota artists, performers and artifacts from community members.
Funding for Hmong Museum to do virtual programming.
In Black Ink
Funding to work with a finance management consultant to develop and implement formalized financial management policies and procedures.
Keystone Community Services
Funding for 120 low-income youth and 24 seniors in St. Paul to work with teaching artists to gain skills in a variety of art forms, including music, visual arts and dance.
Leslie Parker Dance Project
Funding for collaborators and other expenses needed to strategize in the imagining of new futures while maintaining a sustainable foundational structure for the organization.
LIVING NATURALLY ABUNDANT
Funding for the 2nd annual Health and Wellness event called V-Fest, which provides art access to the Saint Paul community through music, art and other entertainment to promote healthy living.
Funding for touring performances of the multi-episode “Pickup Truck Opera: Vol. 1 The Odyssey” and transformative Anti-Racism training for core artists, founders, and staff.
Funding for MIXTAPE 5G: Sounding at the Speed of Movement brings the Collective together in ways that reflect the future of interaction in cypherspace.
Funding for three initiatives that will expand the scope of MSS Creative Arts’ program as it rebrands as Fresh Eye Arts.
Funding for the annual Lowertown Guitar Festival in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2021.
Once Were and Again We Are (dba Northern Monday Films)
Funding for implementation and launch of a new digital presence for our organization via web and social media.
One Dance Company
Funding to support reflection and unlearning of White Supremacy Culture in order to pursue what it means to be an anti-racist dance company.
One Voice Mixed Chorus
Funding for “Sound Mind” concerts, exploring creativity as an important outlet for LGBTQ people navigating mental health, particularly during COVID-19. Featuring music and artwork by MN LGBTQ artists.
Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute
Funding to inspire, equip and train BIPOC adult literary artists to use arts as a strategic tool for community-building and social change advocacy.
Funding to scale up the Sunny Songs participatory sing-along project with the Wilder Foundation’s aging services programs and to more fully document the Sunny Songs curriculum.
Teatro del Pueblo
Funding to produce a season of the Coco’s Barrio Podcast. Each podcast contains cultural nuances that reflect larger issues affecting Latin Americans living in the US.
The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
Funding for the 2022 Fireside Reading Series at the Hamline Midway Library in St. Paul. This longstanding series showcases diverse literary voices that connect audiences with stories and each other.
Funding for “Aspic,” a new theatrical production premiering June 2022.
Twin Cities Stepper Association
Funding to invest in office equipment, fund director stipend, and hire consultants to help establish needed systems for present and help plan for the future.
Urban Roots MN
Funding for River Stories, where Urban Roots, omg, and Great River Passage, will create a multidisciplinary project engaging St. Paul in conversation about their relationships to the natural world.
Yan Pang Create, LLC
Funding for Yan Pang Create LLC to produce an Opera performance blending Southwestern Chinese folk music with African-American contemporary music and street dance.
Young Artists Initiative
Funding for Young Artists Initiative’s 2021 Fall Theatre Experience serving East Side Saint Paul’s at-risk and underserved youth.
Young Dance, Inc.
Funding for Workroom, an initiative to provide space for BIPOC artists and artists with disabilities to develop work and support for sharing their work, connecting to the Young Dance community.
African Career, Education & Resource Inc.
Funding for a mural project, which contribute to community development.
Bloomington Symphony Orchestra
Funding for a free, outdoor concert in August, and explore recording and distributing concert videos for our community.
Blue Water Theatre Company
Funding to create and support the implementation of a three-year strategic plan needed to clarify and expand organizational mission, vision, goals, and strategies.
Center for Community Services
Funding for rehearsals involving three local dance companies, 10 master classes, and an online concert entitled “The Yellow River Enters the Seven Seas” – to be held between June 16 and Oct. 2, 2021.
Chinese American Cultural and Friendship Association
Funding for a Chinese arts performance organized by Chinese-American Culture and Friendship.
Funding for additional staff time to increase access to arts and music programming safely for children and youth with complex medical needs.
Katha Dance Theatre
Funding to more safely and effectively provide access to its creative works and dance classes to its audience of adults & students throughout the 7-county metro.
Minnesota Independence College and Community (MICC)
Funding for a collaboration with Cow Tipping Press to provide literary courses for young adults/adults on the autism spectrum; the courses will be offered in the fall of 2021/spring of 2022.
New Plays Inc
Funding to develop an original musical for adult audiences based on the true story of a group of Black professional baseball players of Minnesota who resolved to dismantle baseball’s color line.
Funding for the purchase of an Open Captioning System and Training for Mature Female Technicians to operate.
Funding for amplification equipment, administrative work and 12 concerts at senior communities.
Twin Cities Film Fest
Funding to support the salary of its Diversity and Community Relations Director, expand bandwidth for its film streaming service, program the fall film festival, and provide honoraria to artists.
Universal Dance Destiny
Funding for Universal Dance Destiny 17th Annual Showcase themed “Nature Dances”, featuring dances created by up to 15 presenters. It will be held at Cornerstone Church Theater in Crystal, August 28th.
Funding for Z-Fest’s thirteenth annual film experience, to be held March 4, 5 & 6th, and 25th of 2022, and it will promote, elevate and showcase Minnesota-produced short films.
Funding for redesigning a website, offering COVID-19 safe theatre programming this summer, and providing rental assistance for our shop/storage space.
Funding to support production of the 10th annual Twin Cities Horror Festival October 2021 with both one streamed weekend of performances online, and one live-performance weekend at the Crane Theater.
St. Croix Valley Opera
Funding for St. Croix Valley Opera to support the salary of a Communication and Outreach employee so that the organization has the capacity to achieve planned educational program expansions.
Valley Friendship Club
Funding for a month-long virtual Storytelling Camp led by staff from StoryArk to 15 VFC members to produce poems, stories, lyrics, and visual arts and share at the online StoryArk Festival.