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NEWS: Minnesota State Arts Board Announces

Common Loons Taking Off (2023), an acrylic on canvas painting by Duluth-based artist Karl Bardon. Bardon is 1 of 99 artists to receive grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board in a recently announced set of awards.

Blacksmithing, opera, ballet, novels, screenplays, podcasts, and more. These are just a few of the categories of art-making supported by the latest recipients of the Minnesota State Arts Board‘s Creative Individuals Grants. The public organization, which also distributes funding to the state’s 11 regional arts councils, announced 99 awards totaling $951,312 in funding.

The arts in Minnesota contribute to over $1 billion in economic impact every year. The State of Minnesota is home to over 30,000 practicing artists and more than 1,600 arts organizations. According to recent estimates, each person attending a non-profit arts event also spends an average of almost $25 at restaurants and other local businesses, contributing to an estimated $100 million in audience-spending in Minneapolis alone.

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Kai Abraham, Minneapolis $  3,300
Abraham will bring under told histories and stories of members from the Black diaspora communities to light through her podcast, Narratives from the Black Diaspora and Beyond.
Sophia D. Abrams, Minneapolis $  10,000
Abrams will write, direct, and produce Shifting Space, a narrative film about Black artists in Minnesota.
Nieya Amezquita, Minneapolis $  10,000
Amezquita will create an evening-length work exploring the complexities and nuanced experience of the family unit in the African American community.
Antonia R. Angress, Minneapolis $  10,000
Angress will complete a final revision of her second novel, House of the Monarchs.
Anthony F. Anselmo, Isle $  10,000
Anselmo will write and move toward the publication of his upcoming book, which will focus on captivating moments of life in Minnesota, and will attend local book signings and other literary events.
Alison J. Aune, Duluth $  10,000
Aune will create, exhibit, and teach about her new Minnesota-Swedish folk paintings that are rooted in the cultural traditions of her immigrant Swedish ancestors.
Alyssa E. Baguss, Minneapolis $  10,000
Baguss will create the Minnesota Artist Penny Press Machine: Community College Edition and tour it through four Minnesota community college campuses sharing contemporary art pressed on a penny with local students.
Racquel Banaszak, Minneapolis $  9,520
Banaszak will create a series of images combining beadwork, embroidery, and collage with a focus on urban Native identities. She will also purchase the tools necessary to create a publicly accessible piece about Indigenous placemaking.
Karl J. Bardon, Duluth $  10,000
Bardon’s paintings of birds inspire others to have the same fascination for not just birds, but all of nature, and in turn want to both cherish and help protect the natural world.
Julie Berg-Linville, Duluth $  10,000
Berg-Linville, a professional ceramicist, will open a community clay workshop offering daily classes in wheel throwing, hand building, and mosaics with a focus on thoughtfully engaging the public in an inclusive and creative space.
Stephani M. Booker, Minneapolis $  7,869
Booker will complete a sci-fi manuscript, Strange Inequalities, and read from it at two public events with guest writers/artists in her north Minneapolis neighborhood. The events will be video recorded and posted on YouTube.
Foxy Brass, Rochester $  7,610
Brass will develop skills in using a laser cutter/engraver to produce her own wood blanks and burn in outlines, and teach public classes on how to paint pets by patch in acrylic paints on wood burned blanks.
Kehayr M. Brown-Ransaw, Minneapolis $  10,000
Brown-Ransaw will explore the history of legal and familial documentation of BIPOC peoples and the keeping of such archives through quilting and printmaking.
Sheletta Brundidge, Cottage Grove $  10,000
Brundidge will write and share a book about a warm, lively Black family (much like her own) with kids on the autism spectrum, using literature to broaden awareness of Minnesota children of color with special needs.
Alsa Bruno, Saint Paul $  10,000
Bruno will develop, perform, and record his show Black People Win with musicians and ASL interpretation for live audiences, complete with prizes and community building.
Khadija Charif, Saint Louis Park $  9,929
Charif will expand on her solo project exhibition highlighting Muslim Somali women, as well as continue her book printing and short film projects.
Elizabeth M. Chatelain, Hibbing $  10,000
Chatelain will complete the preparation and development necessary to go into production on the feature film, LØVSET’S MANOEUVRE.
Adrean E. Clark, Saint Paul $  10,000
Clark will create Loop Fruit, a memoir of her experience growing into an ASL Deaf identity out of hearing and Deaf schools, and host a local event illuminating the complex process of putting the ASL Deaf experiences to paper.
Christopher T. Clouser, Wayzata $  10,000
Clouser will compose, record, and present a new suite of music titled Flowerchildren, inspired by the experience of LGBTQIA composers in the jazz field.
Basil K. Considine, Minneapolis $  10,000
Considine will create a high quality, low noise, staged for camera video recording of his new opera Meow and Forever, cowritten with Jodi Goble, filmed without audience at Waconia High School’s new auditorium, for a one-month free broadcast online.
Clare Cooley, Duluth $  10,000
Cooley will complete her third nonfiction book, livestream readings of her books, and create an online multimedia curriculum demonstrating how to promote one’s book using short vertical videos to help give voice to older adults in greater Minnesota.
Rachel Coyne, Lindstrom $  4,050
Coyne will create twenty pieces of art on the theme of missing and disappeared women for display at multiple venues in greater Minnesota.
Paul Dice, Northfield $  10,000
Dice will compose new musical works and revise older compositions that will be performed live in concert and recorded by Minnesota musicians for an upcoming CD and YouTube video.
Lucas A. Dietsche, Mankato $  8,600
Dietsche will research and document through photographs/poems in a book on potters graves and abandoned cemeteries in Minnesota.
Celena R. Eamiguel, Coon Rapids $  10,000
Eamiguel will begin a three-month music and social media content campaign to encourage, equip, and empower women and minorities, which will include new training, a single music video, and social content.
Carlisle Evans Peck, Minneapolis $  10,000
Evans Peck will showcase their music/theater performance, Iconoclasm, in three performances in greater Minnesota and two performances in Minneapolis.
Olivia M. Fantini, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fantini will complete a third draft of her novel, facilitate and participate in a reading of LGBTQ+ authors, and host an open mic for queer community members on National Day of Silence.
Susan A. Foss, Sandstone $  10,000
Foss will produce two life-sized sculptures of Maiingans The Younger, when he was nine years old and as an adult.
Catherine R. Friend, Red Wing $  10,000
Friend will restart her career by beginning a new memoir, then teaching two workshops for rural Minnesotans on writing memoir. Participants will join her in two public readings to engage more Minnesotans in the memoir genre.
Aaron A. Gabriel, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gabriel will master, release, and promote their theatrical concept album for an original musical celebrating genderqueer stories and characters.
Candida J. González, Minneapolis $  10,000
González will create their first solo gallery show, Blood Memory, at Public Functionary in March 2024. The show will explore connection to diasporic roots through mixed media installations.
Duane L. Goodwin, Bemidji $  10,000
Goodwin will create a series of traditional and contemporary artworks, while serving the local and Native American community through teaching art.
Carla Hall, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hall will engage four youth in a blacksmithing workshop series. Hall and the youth will develop projects based on their queer identity and experience, and will exhibit the work during Minneapolis Pride.
Lindsy Halleckson, Robbinsdale $  10,000
Halleckson will create a series of paintings incorporating natural materials based on Arctic atmosphere, wildfires, and ecological intersectionality.
Annie Hejny, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hejny will create a series of winter inspired abstract paintings to be publicly exhibited as a celebration and a call for awareness of Minnesota’s winters and waterways; community educational experiences will occur in Lanesboro.
Stephanie E. Henry, Princeton $  10,000
Henry will work with experienced musicians to produce a demo album for her original musical Willow Storm and the Lightning Bolts, gaining a strong promotional tool to reach new audiences and collaborators.
Cadex Herrera, White Bear Lake $  10,000
Herrera will interview ten individuals or families who have immigrated to the United States and made the White Bear area their home. He will paint their portraits for public display and produce video interviews for online viewing.
Ashley Hise, Duluth $  10,000
Hise will develop her craft in working with clay and light by creating four sculptures, then provide opportunities to explore this process through a class and workshop, followed by a group exhibition with the students and other invited artists.
Jade A. Hoyer, Northfield $  10,000
Hoyer will create large-scale visual art works on paper using recycled handmade paper in collaboration with Greenvale Park Elementary School students in Northfield.
Zoe A. Kaplan, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kaplan will elevate the voices of marginalized Jewish community members through engaging in meaningful research and leading workshops that aim to deepen their ceramics practice and bring art and healing to their community.
Charles G. Kapsner, Fort Ripley $  10,000
Kapsner will return to his own work after a decade on a large commission, creating a signature painting focused on his traditional roots as a studio painter, showcase the piece at two rural venues and one gallery, and engage with the local school and community.
John D. Kellen, Willmar $  10,000
Kellen will create, direct, and produce a documentary film exploring racism in rural communities.
Sophia E. Kim, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kim will write and submit two essays to literary journals for publication, complete a draft of her second novel, and hold two public readings.
Kevin L. Kling, Minneapolis $  10,000
Storyteller Kling will collaborate with famed Arctic explorer and climate activist Will Steger on a new full-length piece that combines story, live music, and video culminating in a recorded workshop excerpt to be broadcast on YouTube.
Zoë Koenig, Minneapolis $  10,000
Koenig will begin development of a new dance work, Physical Prizes, in collaboration with musician Nora Nygard, and hold a roundtable discussion, open rehearsal, and work in progress showing to engage community members in the creation process.
Sarah J. Krueger, Duluth $  10,000
Krueger will write and record an original work titled Estuary, inspired by the Saint Louis River estuary. The piece will be recorded in Duluth, feature musicians with direct ties to the region, and will be released with an online video component.
Gregory E. Lecker, Minneapolis $  10,000
Lecker, a painter, will create his first artist book, Watercycle, for distribution and sale to connect with audiences and communities beyond exhibitions and open studio events.
Rita R. LeDuc, Fountain $  8,700
LeDuc will teach painting classes, using her teaching technique and paintings to help others understand that everyday choices decide their community’s quality of life.
Kasilena Lee, Mounds View $  10,000
Lee will use media visualizers and conceptual photo shoots to express her identity as a Hmong-American woman growing up in our modern world of instantaneous media consumption through her album titled, archived.
Bronson Lemer, Saint Paul $  10,000
Lemer will revise and seek publication for his veterans’ health memoir, Improper Movement.
Jennifer Lien, Duluth $  10,000
Lien will commission three song cycles by Asian American composers set to Asian American texts. She and a Minnesota based Asian pianist will give two recitals at colleges, engaging especially with Asian American student musicians in Minnesota.
Doug Little, Minneapolis $  10,000
Little will compose new works for the group Charanga Tropical. The new repertoire will premiere at festivals and other venues in Minnesota in summer 2024. Little will also purchase video equipment to share content with audiences online.
A.P. Looze, Minneapolis $  10,000
Looze will develop skills to produce and publicly present reimagined trans flags to fly in June 2024 through a project called Freak Flags.
Amy M. Lucas-Peroceski, Chisholm $  7,672
Lucas-Peroceski will hold seven-week adult painting sessions in four locations in rural, northern Minnesota to foster confidence and enjoyment in the creative process.
Theresa H. Madaus, Minneapolis $  10,000
Madaus will collaboratively create a new dance work touching on themes of grief, geologic time, connection to place, lineage, rituals, spellcasting, and ghosts.
MALFLOR, Saint Paul $  10,000
MALFLOR will create a series of photographically based artworks exploring protection, safety, and care within the trans community.
Kathy McCurdy, Minneapolis $  3,945
McCurdy will engage senior care facility residents through movement, rhythms, music, interaction, and performance. A dance troupe of senior women will engage residents at a minimum of twelve senior care facilities, performing to original choreographies.
Benjamin T. Merritt, Minneapolis $  7,975
Merritt will complete a series of garments that reflect on chronically ill embodiment, which will be exhibited at the Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Red Wing.
Tariq A. Muata, Saint Paul $  9,962
Muata will provide creative support to individuals showing interest in film or visual media through lessons on multimedia craft that combine real world experiences with technical knowledge and skills.
Christine Novotny, Grand Marais $  10,000
Novotny will weave a new collection of dimensionally colored rya carpets, using hand dyed yarn spun from Minnesota wool fleeces.
Michael Ortega, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ortega will organize three seasonal showcases and create new audio and visual work.
Melanie M. Pankau, Minneapolis $  10,000
Pankau will create a large-scale print installation and suite of paintings based on her daily meditation and drawing practice, to be exhibited at the Rochester Art Center, and will hold a series of meditation and automatic drawing workshops.
Leyna M. Papach, Saint Paul $  10,000
Papach will record and produce an original concept album, Creet, which explores a diverse musical language based on her cumulative experience as a bicultural artist. With its release, will be a concert of pieces from the album.
Sarah Peterson, Lanesboro $  10,000
Peterson will continue developing her craft of songwriting, creating new music, and partnering with regional artists to coordinate writing and performance opportunities for songwriters in southeast Minnesota.
Nikki Pfeifer, Saint Paul $  6,059
Pfeifer will continue developing skills as a producer, musician, promoter, record label member, and community advocate.
Niphone Phommaras, Saint Paul Park $  10,000
Phommaras will create a new community appreciation for Lao traditional dance and culture through six public dances.
Ryan D. Rader, Mankato $  10,000
Rader will compose original jazz arrangements of video game music and will perform them with a six-piece jazz ensemble at five public concerts in southern Minnesota.
Aparna Ramaswamy, Minneapolis $  10,000
My project is to create high quality musical recordings of archival pieces from my repertoire, with the aim to preserve my artistic lineage and increase access to my work for diverse audiences.
Ranee A. Ramaswamy, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ramaswamy will create an immersive Bharatanatyam Abhinaya choreography set for three dancers from the East Indian community.
Vanessa Ramos, Woodbury $  10,000
Ramos will host a reading for children, share new literary work, and offer a workshop for other writers of color and indigenous writers who are interested in writing for young audiences.
Jes Reyes, Saint Paul $  10,000
Reyes will create a new body of interdisciplinary artwork, publish a companion artist book, and culminate the project with a weaving workshop.
Nina Robinson, Shoreview $  10,000
Robinson will create a new textile art installation surrounding the theme of masking in autistic women for an exhibition in December 2024 at Super Charged Printmakers.
Areca Roe, Mankato $  10,000
Roe will develop a project of three-dimensional anaglyph (red/cyan) prints that visually explore intersections of the domestic and natural worlds. She will exhibit the work, create a book, and offer a workshop about creating 3D anaglyph photographs.
Monica C. Rojas, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rojas will create engaging author visits for Hennepin County libraries, and write and revise two new picture book manuscripts.
Valerie Rose, Eagan $  9,850
Rose will engage residents in the next evolution of film by immersing them in innovative, interactive film experiences that seat them in the director’s chair to virtually direct the film via controlling how the story action unfolds.
Brett C. Ross, Ely $  9,448
Ross will document through photography the intense landscape of Ely, along with the people who build strong community in its midst, and will share those images through gallery displays and short films.
Amanda L. Sachs, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sachs and collaborator, Elena Hollenhorst, will bridge the barriers of access to high quality contemporary dance by touring their duet and offering educational workshops to communities of greater Minnesota.
Anne E. Sawyer, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sawyer will create a new picture book and school residency about pollinators.
Kayla Schiltgen, Two Harbors $  10,000
Schiltgen will complete preproduction for her new screen dance considering society’s discomfort with women who choose solitude. She will involve the Two Harbors community in this work via dance classes and creative documentation.
Felicia Schneiderhan, Duluth $  10,000
Schneiderhan will work on her novel, Winds, Light and Variable, about a family boating Minnesota’s North Shore and Isle Royale. She will teach writing workshops to older adults in Duluth and celebrate with a public reading.
Luverne G. Seifert, Saint Anthony $  10,000
Seifert will collaborate with musician Annie Enneking to adapt a new translation of Brecht’s The Mother, to address the economic disparity facing people in urban and rural Minnesota.
April L. Sellers, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sellers will engage in a one-week artist residency at Tofte Lake Center in Ely to begin developing Kiki and the Opulent Dissenters, a new dance work. The residency will be documented in a video blog and culminate in live performance.
Nicole S. Simpkins, Minneapolis $  9,085
Simpkins will present new installation work of mixed-media tapestry drawings based on local ecosystem changes, as well as public workshops to support artists in applying for residencies and other opportunities.
Jon A. Solinger, Pelican Rapids $  10,000
Solinger, a photographer, will collaborate with eight rural residents in a project about relating to the natural world through raising or foraging food, resulting in public exhibits at three locations and a permanent online exhibit.
Aaron C. Squadroni, Grand Rapids $  10,000
Squadroni will create a series of metal point drawings that express his relationship to the mining landscape of northern Minnesota. The drawings will invite people to see Minnesota’s mining landscape in a new way that is sculptural and personal.
Timothy C. Takach, Big Lake $  9,940
Takach will make a professional recording of his ballet Unfashioned Creature for use in Minnesota touring and outreach with James Sewell Ballet, and for digital distribution.
Yuko Taniguchi, Saint Paul $  9,600
Taniguchi will implement Counterspaces, a collective healing project highlighting the voices and experiences of BIPOC community members at the Robert J. Jones Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center.
Mary Therese, Bemidji $  9,791
Therese will guide area youth in painting self portraits in the shape of leaves, and incorporate them into a mural painting titled Tree of Community, to be installed on the exterior wall of the Harmony Food Coop in downtown Bemidji.
Kelly J. Tokay, White Bear Lake $  10,000
Tokay will bring the visual arts to the lowest income elementary schools in the White Bear Lake school district to increase appreciation for the creative process and art making.
Virginia R. Townsend, Richfield $  9,877
Townsend will create a series of work reimagining psychiatric wards by engaging with those who have frequented them and wish to tell their stories. Her final exhibit will be accessible both in person and online.
Lisa S. Truax, Winona $  10,000
Truax will create and exhibit ceramic sculptures based on abstractions of the local environment, incorporating local and recycled materials, with a focus on rural Minnesota.
Mar Valdecantos, Northfield $  9,400
Valdecantos will write a fiction story about the immigrant journey in the United States as a several episode podcast, to be shared with audiences as readings and listening sessions, accompanied with her One Queer Hispanic Woman Show, The Invisibles.
Nancy X. Valentine, Underwood $  10,000
Valentine will create a new series of contemporary Chinese paintings and explore ways of exhibiting her artwork through an online medium.
Saymoukda D. Vongsay, Saint Paul $  10,000
Vongsay will print 1,000 copies of her award winning play, Kung Fu Zombies vs. Cannibals. The playscript will feature illustrations and dramaturgical notes. There will be a public reading and performance event to celebrate.
Jannet L. Walsh, Murdock $  10,000
Walsh will write a new collection of nonfiction family history stories in Minnesota, arriving before the Civil War and eventually homesteading in Swift County. Stories will be used to create a manuscript ready to seek a book publisher.
Bodhi Werner, Duluth $  10,000
Werner will complete the storyboard illustrations for a TV script based on his first novel; llive stream a reading from his novels; and create a multimedia online curriculum showing how to adapt a book into a pilot episode television screenplay.
Gregory T. Wilkins, Mankato $  10,000
Wilkins will create and exhibit six mixed media works, which will be exhibited at the Grand Center for Arts and Culture in New Ulm, and will integrate social justice using visual and narrative descriptions to record identity.
JM Wilson, Saint Louis Park $  10,000
Wilson will write and direct a multicultural screenplay about William Shakespeare and the catalyst for the creation of his most famous works, titled Becoming Shakespeare.
Josh K. Winkler, Saint Peter $  9,130
Winkler will purchase materials to build a foundation for lithographic practice. He will teach a workshop focused on local flora in collaboration with a local art center. The prints will be disseminated to participants and publicly exhibited.
John Anderson