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NEWS: Metropolitan Regional Arts Council Announces Arts Impact for Groups Recipients

On March 28, 2023, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council voted to award $1,076,356 in funding for 109 groups and organizations. These grant awards, offered through MRAC’s Arts Impact for Groups grant program for fiscal year 2023, provide up to $10,000 in funding to help groups create and sustain Minnesotans’ access to the arts. In line with MRAC’s mission, recipients’ primary addresses must also be located in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, or Washington county.

This program supports the production of artistic projects, and/or projects that strengthen the organizational capacity and operations of groups providing access to the arts.

Arts Impact for Groups Grantees

Anoka County

Hmong Outreach Network

Funding will be used for Hmong an educational program detailing the fall of Laos and our exodus to Thai refugee camps. We draw on community of artists, folk singers, historians, academics, and elders.

Carver County

Drama Interaction

Funding for Drama Interaction to introduce dance and movement as creative expression to students 18 mo.-4 years old with Down Syndrome along with their parents or caregiver at Gigi’s Playhouse.

Dakota County

Chin-ye Ya-mni (Three Brothers)

Funding to initialize a project making arts accessible to disabled, marginalized, and otherwise underprivileged Minnesotans via digital art technology, physical access, training, and inspiration.

Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community



Funding for our 26th Annual Traditional Wacipi, a three-day Native American artistic, cultural celebration, and social gathering. Activities will take place in Mendota, Minnesota in September 2023.

Sea Others Foundation

Sea Others Grow: Interview and get 10 artists together, record songs with singers, and make a free CD to give away at a concert event that we host with the community and online and record for YouTube.


Funding to hire 10 artist for our 2024 Showcase titled S T O R Y T E L L E R S. In this production we will explore work created by STRONGmovement over the past 7 years and create a new work.

Hennepin County


Funding for hiring part-time staff to establish administrative structure, build organizational capacity, and support the expansion of regular classes and programming in Haitian dance and music.

African Global Roots

Funding for AGR programming will provide increased access to the arts and a way for small businesses and individuals in the community to increase their capacity through networking and education.

Ananta: Works by Aparna Ramaswamy and Musical Ensemble

Funding to create high-quality musical recordings of archival pieces from our repertoire, with the aim to preserve our artistic lineage and increase access to our work for diverse audiences.

April Sellers Dance Collective

Funds to staff engagement activities to sustain ASDC’s creative audience connections between shows.


Funding to support new dance teacher training through Moving Practice and then apply their gained knowledge in the classroom through DanceON.

Art Buddies

Funding to provide free meaningful art education and creative mentoring for scholars grades 2-5 at Elizabeth Hall Elementary School. To help children build a foundation of creative confidence.

Art to Change the World

Funding for the ACW BIPOC/LGBTQIA2 empowerment project supports new young diverse ACW leaders as they learn to design and implement their own positive art-based social justice events.

Asian Dance Network

Funding for “Colors of the Fabric,” – an interdisciplinary dance drama to support a platform through Asian Indian, Chinese, Hmong, and Thai traditional dances, to showcase rich cultural fusion arts.

Autism SIBS Universe

Funding to provide arts workshops led by Divergent* teachers in ASU community spaces in Plymouth. *people who identify as Black, Indigenous, BIPOC, disabled persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA2+

Average Mohamed

Funding for a Muppet show called Kaftan Show for Somali audiences in the Twin Cities. The scripts involve making real life Muppets that look like the characters being described.

Black, Bold & Brilliant

Funding to support BBB summer arts, culture and leadership programming for our second annual internship for Black youth.

Center for Community Services

Funding to provide transportation, improve facilities, and contract artists for 25 rehearsals and a concert “The Sunset Red” in Nov. 2023 at the CCS auditorium for the Twin Cities Chinese community.

Centro Tyrone Guzman

Funding to help support a “Dia de los Muertos” community altar and celebration, including engaging low-income Latine elders in a series of workshops to create artistic material for the altar.

Chinese American Chamber of Commerce – MN

Funding for “Between the Water and Cloud,” – Chinese Arts Showcase strives through expanding learning opportunities with Chinese Classic Dances & Poetry, along with an outdoor place-based performance.

Chinese American Cultural and Friendship Association

Funding to bring Chinese culture and art to selected Heritage Days. We will invite Minnesota ethnic groups to be guests performers and exhibitors; Chinese, Hmong and Vietnamese,Thai.

Creatives After Curfew

Funding for Creatives After Curfew 12-month Curfew Skill Share sessions for artists and the community.

Dance TV

Funding for organizational capacity/operations activities for the group Dance TV: paying staff salary, marketing materials, website expenses, & social media development & promotional activities.

Dark Muse Performing Arts

Funding to develop a consistent and cohesive brand presence for Dark Muse Performing Arts and for a pilot of our Drag Tea Time free community events and beginner drag workshop series.


Funding to support the DJ-U program “Open Decks”.

Emerging Curators Institute

Funding to build capacity as we shift from 3 person co-directorship to a singular program director. Increase hours for our Program Director, Communications Manager and hire a contracted accountant.

Eye of the Heart Center for the Contemplative Arts

Funding to facilitate 15 Latina women on two guided pilgrimages to sacred sites, followed by collective reflection and art-making. This is a pilot model for cultural healing through the arts.

Fireweed Community Woodshop

Funding for Fireweed’s Executive Director & Pollinator role, in order to strengthen Fireweed’s organizational capacity and operations as Fireweed provides access to education in the art of woodcraft


Funding to research, develop, create/compose Folktopia’s new opera, Pool Party.


Funding to support three months of FreeWriters classes for Hennepin County Jail inmates — who otherwise lack arts access programming of any kind — and the emotional healing that comes with it.

Great Northern Union Chorus

Funding for our 2nd “ChoirsAlive!” festival will provide access for a community of choirs to come together to lift voices in celebration of their identities, artistic visions and common purpose.

Green Card Voices

Funding for a series of 6 events, which will promote newly published AFGHAN YOUTH VOICES book, pay for Dari and Pashto language support staff, speaking stipends & transportation for Afghan authors.

Hiddo Soor



Funding for our Somali Cultural Festival will go towards the production of the festival which may include Somali artists, performers and dancers as well as staff to coordinate the event and supplies.

Hope Community, Inc.

Funding for Hope Community’s Transformational Creative Strategies Training (TRCSTR), a 5-month, cohort-based arts program that prepares community artists to lead effective public arts engagement.

Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)

Funding to offer two workshops covering six classical forms from both, Carnatic (South Indian) and Hindustani (North Indian), classical music of India.

Intro to Success

Funding to execute ITS EDU: Realizing Big Ideas, a 4-week program that supports BIPOC multidisciplinary artists in creating assets that position them to take their concepts from ideation to execution.

Kulture Klub Collaborative



Funding for KKC to host a creative arts prom for youth who are experiencing homelessness.

Language Attitude

Funding to deliver a 9-day experience for educators in Minnesota, which will culminate in creating and sharing a community exhibit of artwork.

Les Jolies Petites School of Dance

Funding for Les Jolies Petites School of Dance 2023 Summer Intensive Workshop.

Lightning Rod

Funding to build our second core artist ensemble with an emphasis on a wider group of artists connecting and creating a queer, trans centered artist network.

Maia Maiden Productions

Funding to develop new workshop curriculum.

Memorialize The Movement

Funding for Memorialize the Movement’s 3rd Annual Justice for George Exhibition and Conference to uplift the community and highlight BIPOC artists, conservationists, and archivists.

Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra

Funding for America’s first LGBTQ orchestra to perform one free (pay-what-you-can) orchestral music concert in May 2024.

Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop

Funding to teach four in-person creative writing workshops across four Metro-Area prisons. Course offerings will be designed in collaboration with student-led Writers Collectives at each facility.

New Arab American Theater Works

We are requesting funding to support office and performance space in 2023. Up until this point, we have operated out of our own homes and rented spaces across the Twin Cities.

Our Streets Minneapolis

Funding to host a community stage at two Open Streets Minneapolis events in 2023. Artists and performers will apply to perform on fully-equipped open-air community stages for thousands of attendees.

Pan Asian Arts Alliance

Funding for “Gen-K, Take Two” Show that features local K-Pop artists and costume/makeup artists, as well as a dance cover competition and other interactive elements around Kpop music and dances.

Placebo Records

Funding to create and promote a collaborative album of MN pop artists that will connect them more closely to the Minnesota pop artist community, the music industry, and their audiences.

Poetry for People

Poetry for People will host two live events and an art sharing with Sharon Bridgforth that use poetry and creative prompts to support parents to creatively connect with themselves and each other.

Praxis Photo Arts Center

PPAC seeks funding to improve, repair, and replace inadequate, and inoperable lighting in the PPL. The upgrades will create a safe, well-lit, code compliant lighting system for our renovated space.

Public Functionary

Funding for the annual PF Studios exhibition, including a guest curator to curate a thematic exhibition highlighting the developing practices of emerging artists in the PF Studios program.

Purple Playground

Funding for Purple Playground Academy of Prince Beats Summer program, which brings teens together to learn how to write lyrics and use “beats” and musical instruments to create original songs.

Rosy Simas Danse

Funding to support Native/BIPOC dance, multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary artists in residence — year round — by expanding space for ongoing activity, gatherings, meetings, classes.

Sanguine Arts

Funding to support a community aid and resource exchange seminar series for BIPOC artists.


Funding to convene story circles with members of SEWA’s South Asian Queer League and to commission Desi queer artist Ameet Kamath to develop a piece of musical theater.

Siengkane Lao MN

Funding to support SKLM dance group to perform Lao traditional dances. There will be a total of 10 events in one year from June 2023 to May 2024.

Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum

Funding for weekly traditional Somali dance classes for Somali youth and the greater MN public.

Soomaal House of Art

Funding to support art programs and create artistic opportunities for local emerging and established artists.

Spice Arts / Really Spicy Opera



Funding for equipment/services reducing access barriers facing artists w/ disabilities, decreased vision or hearing, or limited finances, enabling them to more fully engage and thrive writing opera.

SuperCharged Printmakers

Funding for Tuition of an eight week Analog Black and White Photography and Darkroom Process Class with the assembly of a Mobile Darkroom for students in the fall of 2023.

Telling Queer History

Funding to hold 4 quarterly storytelling events that center the history of the Twin Cities’ LGBTQ+ community.

Thai Cultural Council of Minnesota (St Louis Park)

Funding for the fourth annual MinnesoThai festival will be used to facilitate education, understanding, and community through the shared experience of Southeast Asian cuisine, music, art, and dance.

The Park Place

Funding for art stipend position to plan, prep, and execute art programming focused on empowerment and development of cultural identity.

The Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts



Funding for “Youth Artists Impacting Their Community” will use artist/mentors to train youth in murals, poetry and photography. The artists will engage the Phillips community to create public art.

Twin Cities Community Arts dba All City Music

Funding for Northside United Band practices and performance opportunities during the ’22-’23 academic school year for under-served students in the urban core of Minneapolis.

Twin Cities Jazz Workshop

Funding to offer weekly instruction on Latin music percussion to Twin Cities’ area youth. Would take place at CO-MOTION, a community center collective located in the Hamline Midway area of St. Paul.

United Artist Collaborative

Funding to promote, connect and gather individual artists and arts organizations through a public event . The event will feature original arts programming and networking opportunities.

Virginia Twins

Funding to tour our work of theater Beach Play and companion workshop to rural venues throughout Minnesota.

Vivid Black Paint

Funding is for space & lessons for Circus Club, an expanded Apprenticeship opportunity for niche careers in circus arts, more painting opportunities for community, & art resources for BIPOC creatives.

Winter Count Productions

Funding to create a highly accessible, culturally restorative song and story space for American Indian people in urban communities.

zAmya Theater Project

Funding to strengthen the capacity of the zAmya Theater Troupe through dedicated time and support for project development. Monthly practice sessions, skill building, and a transportation stipend.

Ramsey County

(Neo)Muralismos de México

Funding for NMM communications and marketing activities, including — community survey to improve branding and purpose; videos of artists’ work; website, social media, and email listserv development.

African Economic Development Solutions (AEDS)

Funding to build AEDS’ website will increase our marketing, outreach, and community engagement capacity.

Alliance of Chinese Culture & Arts USA

Funding to cover the pre-concert programs, audio system, cultural exhibition&booths, decoration items, promotional materials, educational lecture by traditional instrument musician(s), and so on.

Alliance of Minnesota Chinese Organizations

Funding to provide for dragon dancers from Minnesota and China to perform at a Minnesota Timberwolves game as part of 2024 Lunar New Year. It will also provide for decorations and a reception.


Funding to produce a music score, and record nine songs for the musical, Aspara highlighting the ancient/traditional story and a modern interpretation for the community in Minnesota and beyond.

BRKFST Dance Company

Funding for “Foot/work” is an investment in the health and longevity of Minnesota dancers and choreographers – installing a sprung dance floor and providing a safe rehearsal space for diverse bodies.


Funding for Capital Campaign Planning and Design.

CAAM Chinese Dance Theater

The Heart of Dance, The Soul of China


Funding for a collaboration between CAAM CDT and Asian artists, exploring rich cultural traditions in context of the American experience resulting in a joint performance for all their communities.


Funding for ComMUSICation’s high-quality music summer programs, including enrichment classes in partnership with summer schools and a program to support the growth of school-year participants.

Contempo Physical Dance

Funding to develop and implement Contempo Physical Dance’s trainee and mentorship program for BIPOC dancers.

Dance Projects by ME

Funding for Dance Projects by ME’s operations and organizational capacity, by supporting administrative salaries, website, brand development and marketing.

Dance With Purpose Dance Company

Funding for production and expansion Dance with Purpose Spring and Fall Dance Showcase.

East Side Arts Council

Funding to increase our personnel by hiring a BIPOC and/or LBGTQIA2+ Program Assistant to build more capacity to bring free and accessible arts opportunities to the people on the East Side.

Exposed Brick Theatre

Funding for the Learning to UnLearn Artist Series, a series of classes that create learning opportunities for BIPOC and underserved theater artists to decenter whiteness while developing their craft.

Funny Asian Women Kollaborative (F.A.W.K)

Funding for the creation of the FAWK Podcast.

Grace Minnesota dba Don’t You Feel It Too?

Funding to create a book “15 Years of Public Dance and Embodied Liberation” to claim and share 15 years of Don’t You Feel It Too? liberatory dance practice, research, and knowledge.

Hmong Museum

Funding for the documentation and sharing of traditional Hmong hemp weaving.

In Black Ink

Funding to offer three workshops in collecting, preserving, and creatively presenting personal history archives as a way to pass cultural knowledge to the next generation.

In Progress

Funding for the upgrade of a post-production facility used by media artists that participate in our Saint Paul based programs. Funding will be used to purchase a computer, monitor, software and tools.

Million Artist Movement

Funding for Power Tree Quilting community art making sessions, which create opportunities for communities to share stories, uplift narratives, honor loved ones, process grief and imagine liberation.

Mixed Precipitation

Funding for Groundwater Arts training opportunities for Mixed Precipitation core artists and staff. Training and project incubation period for future productions.

More Than a Single Story

Funding to produce eight public conversations between Elders and emerging arts leaders, leaning on our past to amplify momentum for the future for Black and Asian American artists and culture bearers.


Funding to develop New Dawn Theater’s ‘A Breath for George’ from film into a multimedia touring production through extended research, creative workshops, additional interviews and tour coordination.

Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute

Funding for arts-based community development that fosters literacy and diversity in children’s books through the intersection of arts, culture, and social change.

Polyrhythmmic Arts Inc.

Funding to host a series of workshops to teach youth (ages 12-18) and adults (18+) the core principles of songwriting. The prompt for each workshop will relate to a mental health theme.

Shakespearean Youth Theatre

Funding to provide rehearsal and workshop space for rehearsals and classes for LGBTQIA+ actors ages 12 – 19.

Sonder Space

Funding for Sonder Sounds will provide musical artists a living wage rate for their work and uplift their music to others that may not have known about otherwise.

The Urban Village

Seeking funding to strengthen The Urban Village Artist Collective, by growing our capacity of artists and the mediums of art they facilitate for continuing generations of Karen and Karenni youth.

Theatre 55

Funding for Theatre 55’s production of A Chorus Line, performed by artists 55+, focusing on celebrating female, LGBTQ, and BIPOC representation.


Funding to hire a part-time managing director to map out and implement Toot’s transition to a new programming model.

Twin Cities Iranian Culture Collective

Funding for a Persian dance program that will establish both a dance performance group, and dance classes open to everyone.

Twin Cities Stepper Association

Funding to fully realize this second edition of Music and Movement Festival. To be presented in Western Sculpture Park in the Frogtown neighborhood of St. Paul on Saturday, August 12th 2023.

Yan Pang Create

Funding for Yan Pang Create to build their organization website.

Scott County

APIA MN Film Collective

Funding to provide staff members a small stipend to increase their capacity to build the organization and sustain our artist collective.

BANS Productions

Funding for “HOLA MN” expenses, the artists, equipment, crew members, etc. for the creation of short cinematic videos/REELS to show Latinx Artists and entrepreneurs from all over Minnesota.

Washington County

Jardindor Inc.

Funding to create the JDO MN Nonprofit Advertising Project (MINAP), a project to engage Latinx & other MN underserved artists in the creation of advertising & promotional media for MN nonprofits.

Lao Culture Dance and Fashion Show, LLC

Funding for traditioanal Classical dance, Fashion for Boun Pravade Performing team to lead parade-progression for Cultural, Heritage Annual Social Festival at Temple, but not religious socialization.

No Limit Girls (NLG)

Funding for a weekly youth group for BIPOC girls that is centered in creative self expression and positive relationship building to raise accountability and a sense of belonging.

Twin Cities Arts Reader