Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants of $178,725 were Awarded to 23 Area Arts Organizations and Community Groups

The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is pleased to announce that Arts and Cultural Heritage grants of $178,725 were awarded to twenty-three arts organizations and community groups in the region with funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The organizations are listed alphabetically by county, with a brief description of their artistic activities and events, noted Brenda Byron, Executive Director.

The purpose of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program is to provide funding for arts organizations directly engaged in the creation of art, the production of artistic performances, or the sponsorship of quality arts activities in their local communities. The grants are for arts activities in all artistic disciplines which include instrumental and vocal music concerts, theater and dance performances, exhibitions, festivals, public art, and classes for youth and adults are being funded.

Twelve Blue Earth County organizations received arts grants totaling $96,350.

City Center Partnership, Mankato – $8,000. They will sponsor the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour consisting of 31 juried outdoor sculptures in downtown Mankato and North Mankato, May 2022 to April 2023. Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota – $13,000. They will provide summer 2022 dance programs including modern/contemporary, pre-pointe, ballet, boys hip hop, boys tap/jazz, beach party, themed camps, improv, and technique classes. They will also offer free summer camps for children to try dance. Good Thunder Reading Series – $8,000. They will bring in six to eight authors for the 40th Good Thunder Reading Series during the 2022-2023 season. Funds will be used for Métis author, Toni Jensen, March 20-24, 2023. Her book is “Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land.” Mankato Area Community Band – $4,400. They will present free outdoor concerts in the summer of 2022. Five concerts will be at Sibley Park, Mankato in June and July; and one patriotic concert will be at Lincoln Park, Mankato on June 28. Mankato Area Public Schools – StoryArk – $6,000. The school will partner with StoryArk to host an online Storytelling Camp in the summer of 2022. At the end of camp, there will be a Red Carpet Celebration to feature the works created by high school students from Mankato Area Public Schools, St. Peter, and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton school districts. Mankato Ballet Company – $13,000. They will present “Swan Lake” in March 2022 by students in the performing company, held at the Mankato West High School Auditorium; and “Beauty” in May 2022 by all students, held at the St. Peter High School’s Performing Arts Center by all students. They will also add more virtual options with monthly livestreamed performances through Facebook. Mankato Community Education, Pottery Studio – $6,000. They will enhance the Pottery Studio by replacing two pottery wheels. They will also expand their ACCESS program for youth and adults with disabilities to have year-round programming with an Art Sampler Series of classes. Mankato School of Music – $8,000. They will implement five new programs for their students in 2022 including group classes for string and band students at Mankato East and West High Schools; adult string group instruction classes; Fiddlesticks Classes to teach Celtic, old-time, and bluegrass fiddling; a preschool and school age Music Therapy Class; and an older adult Music Therapy Class at the VINE Community Center. Mankato Symphony Orchestra – $8,000. They will present their season premiere Symphonic Series Concert, October 9, 2022, in the Ted Paul Theatre at Minnesota State University, Mankato as part of their 2022/23 season. Mankato Youth Place – $5,950. They will offer 30-minute art classes to its members in kindergarten through 5th grade four days a week in the spring of 2022. Minnesota State University, Mankato, Music Performance Series – $8,000. They will sponsor six music performances by Minnesota artists as part of their 2022 Performance Series. They will also include two outreach activities for the community. Old Town Mankato Day of the Dead Festival – $8,000. They will host the A Día De Los Muertos and Halloween festival outdoors on North Riverfront Drive in Mankato, October 29, 2022. There will be traditional Latino Day of the Dead activities, a vendor market, and ethnic dance and music performances.

Two Brown County organizations received arts grants totaling $21,000.

New Ulm Suzuki School of Music – $8,000. They will sponsor their annual Summer Pops Camp in June and conduct their season of rehearsals and concerts in 2022. The Grand Center for Arts and Culture, New Ulm – $13,000. They will continue their 2022 performing arts series which features many Minnesota artists presenting a variety of music genres each weekend, and display art exhibitions in their 4 Pillars Gallery. They will also provide alternative experience formats including online gallery tours and outdoor performances.

One Martin County organization received an arts grant for $6,000.

4Unity, Cornstalk Festival, Dunnell – $6,000. They will host two music festivals in the summer of 2022, June 25-26 and August 26-28. The festivals will include performances and children’s theater activities.

Four Nicollet County organizations received arts grants totaling $30,000.

Govenaires Drum & Bugle Corps – $8,000. They will perform in several Drum and Bugle Corps competitions throughout Minnesota and the Midwest, perform in several parades, and host the Drum Corps Expo, August 2022. Minnesota Original Music Festival – $8,000. They will present free concerts and educational workshops hosted by Minnesota artists in St. Peter, July 19-24, 2022. Events include the 72 Hour Band Challenge, singer/songwriter showcases, and music jams. Workshops will be held by professional musicians with topics including music composition, songwriting, improvisation, the use of technology, and accessing resources available to Minnesota artists. Minnesota “Over-60” Band – $8,000. They will perform in many parades and concerts in Minnesota during the summer of 2022. Rock Bend Folk Festival, St. Peter – $6,000. They will sponsor the 31st annual two-day festival featuring local and regional Minnesota folk musicians on two stages and local artists displaying their work at Minnesota Square Park in St. Peter; September 10-11, 2022.

Two Sibley County organizations received arts grants totaling $12,375.

Green Isle Community School – $4,375. They will sponsor an Artist in Residency where students interview an elder from the community and work with local artists to create a play and music based on the elder’s life. A public performance of the work will be held May 26, 2022. T-Bird Community Arts, Gibbon – $8,000. They will sponsor an Art Camp for grades 3-8, including painting and set design, vocal performance, acting, dance/choreography, and costume design, June 13-24, 2022, and a summer musical performance of “The Sound of Music”, August 4-7, 2022.

Two Watonwan County organizations received arts grants totaling $13,000.

Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce – $6,000. They will sponsor the annual Watona Park Blues Festival during Madelia Park Days; July 9, 2022, featuring musicians from Minnesota and Nashville, Tennessee. Uniting Cultures Multicultural Fiesta, St. James – $7,000. They will host the free, outdoor fiesta September 17, 2022, including international food, vendors, children’s activities, community information tables, and ethnic music and dance performances.

The next Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant deadline is August 1, 2022. Small Arts Project Grants are available and the next deadlines are June 1 and July 1, 2022. Organizations can apply once per year for a grant. Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council has an online grant process. If you have questions please contact the PLRAC office in Waseca, 1-800–298-1254 or [email protected].

Annually, the arts council awards more than 200 grants to Artists, Non-profit Arts Organizations, Community Groups, and for Youth Scholarships, and in FY 2022 we have awarded over $570,000. A monthly newsletter and calendar of arts events in the 9-county area is posted on our website

The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is committed to supporting and expanding the arts in the nine-county area; knowing that the Arts improve the quality of life in our region. We serve a nine-county area including Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties.