Organization Awards

Listed below are the most recent awarded grants from each program. For past program recipients, please contact the office at

Two-Year Operating Support Grant Recipients

ARAC granted $88,350 in Two-Year Operating Support funding to the following organizations on January 19, 2017:

Armory Arts and Music Center, Duluth, St. Louis, $15,000:
Support to continue operations of the Music Resource Center which provide area students from 6th – 12th grade with access to a high quality, free after school music programs.

Duluth Superior Film Festival, Duluth, St. Louis, $15,000:
Support to assist in hiring of a year round staff member as well as increase year round marketing efforts.

Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork, Itasca, $15,000:
Support to hire an accounting firm to help in communicating financial information; purchasing and using data and donor management software; and consult with an insurance agent to maintain proper levels of insurance.

Lake Superior Writers, Duluth, St. Louis, $15,000:
Support to hire a part-time administrator to assist in managing activities and membership. Support will also be used to assist with rent, insurance, and the creation of new marketing materials.

Laurentian Arts and Culture Alliance dba Lyric Center for the Arts, Virginia, St. Louis, $13,350:
Support to update their website and increase advertising; increase energy efficiency with the installation of LED lighting; and install a projection screen for film showings.

Prøve Collective, Duluth, St. Louis, $15,000:
Support to update equipment, purchase design and donor software, and to support day-to-day administrative operations.



Rural and Community Art Project Grant Recipients

ARAC granted $43,910 in Rural and Community Art Project funding to the following organizations on January 19, 2017:

Aitkin Community Education, Aitkin, Aitkin, $2,450:
Support to host a weeklong series of interactive theater workshops for students Kindergarten – 12th grade taught by actors from Prairie Fire Theater productions.

Carlton County Historical Society, Cloquet, Carlton, $3,650:
Support to produce Voices from the Flames, A Readers Theater Commemorating the Fires of 1918, along with a published collection of poetry and prose telling the tale of the great fires of Carlton County.

Ely Folk School, Ely, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for lead artist Erik Simula in directing the build of a birch bark canoe during the course of the summer of 2017. Crafting sessions will be held two evenings per week at the Ely Folk School, in which volunteers will work under the artist’s direction.

Friends of B’nai Abraham, Virginia, St. Louis, $3,280:
Support will be used in partnership with The Virginia Area Historical Society to present a series of musical programs featuring Minnesota artists and an historical exhibit during the summer of 2017.

Good Harbor Hill Players, Grand Marais, Cook, $5,000:
Support to produce a community pageant celebrating the summer solstice. Community members will be invited to participate starting in May and participants will draw, paint, sculpt and construct large scale puppets, choreograph scenes, create and play the “soundtrack” and learn the art of stilt walking. All workshops will be free of charge and all will be welcomed and encouraged to participate. The show itself will take place in the commons area of North House Folk School on the harbor in Grand Marais on Saturday, June 17th, 2017.

Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships, Virginia, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to hold the 36th annual Minnesota State Old Time Fiddle Championships (MSOTFC) on August 5, 2017, at the Merritt Elementary School Auditorium in Mountain Iron, MN. The event will be open to fiddlers from the USA and Canada. This activity will be open to fiddlers, their accompanists, and other stringed instruments. There are 5 age specific categories and a non-age specific category for the non-fiddle instrumentalists.

Moose Lake School, Moose Lake, Carlton, $5,000:
Support will be use to create the Community Multimedia Mural Project. The mural would become the centerpiece at Moose Lake Community School’s new building and will consist of three fine art panels with a framework of antique tile taken from the original school.

St. Louis County, Hibbing, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for the creation of the Hill of Three Waters/Top of the World Interpretive Mural to be placed inside the Hibbing Courthouse.

The Ely Community Spring Musical, Ely, St. Louis, $4,730:
Support to produce “Pippin” as its 2017 community musical. The goal of the Ely Community Spring Musical is two-fold: to offer the community an engaging musical theater production while allowing cast members and community performers to develop their craft as singing, dancing, acting performers.

Washington Elementary, Cloquet, Carlton,$4,800:
Support to work with artist Adam Swanson to create a 13ft x 8ft mural based on the local landscape and animals of the Lake Superior Water Basin. The artist will give short presentations to students in grades K-5 who will aid in concept development and create small paintings to be used to border the main body of the mural.


Community Arts Learning Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Arts Learning funding to the following organizations on September 15th, 2016:

Aitkin High School Jazz Band, Aitkin, Aitkin, $2,560:
Support to host a jazz clinic and concert featuring trombonist Tom “Bones” Malone, an original member of the Blues Brothers as a member of the Saturday Night Live Band and a longtime trombonist with the CBS Orchestra. Area schools will be invited to participate and the clinic and prepare for a concert featuring an honor’s group and a directors group.

Duluth Children’s Museum, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support for the program Makizinikewin Ojibwe Pucker Toe Moccasin Making with local Anishinaabe artist, Sarah Howes. Howes will use part of the museum’s exhibit hall as a working studio, constructing a pair of Ojibwe pucker toe moccasins, while teaching children how to create their own moccasin “vamps” while reinforcing Ojibwemowin with participants. After being used in performance, the commissioned moccasins will be showcased as a permanent museum exhibit.

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support for the 2017 educational endeavor, “The Quartet Project,” an intensive chamber music workshop for area middle and high school string students. Students meet with coaches drawn from the professional musicians of the LSCO for two days per weeks over three weeks. The workshops will culminate in two concerts: a concert of chamber music performed by the constituent ensembles of the Quartet Project and a concert with the LSCO in which students sit side-by-side with LSCO musicians for one or two works. This year the Quartet Project will work with local fiddler and disability activist Gaelynn Lea Tressler.

The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support for an educational, community mural initiative led by the CSS Art Department students and faculty, joined by students from Harbor City International School and community members from Safe Haven Shelter and Resource Center. Participants will work collaboratively to create two murals for permanent installation at Safe Haven and HCIS and will share their arts learning experiences with family, friends, and other community members at a public, celebratory unveiling event in early April 2017.

Washington Elementary School ISD94, Cloquet, Carlton, $6,000:
Support to host an artist in residency experience with musician Ross Sutter. Sutter will work with 120 third grade students, 5 classroom teachers, a music teacher and an art teacher, to extend and enhance student’s understanding of the physics of sound as, under Sutter’s direction, students build three musical instruments—a two-hole whistle, a mouth bow, and a one-string dulcimer. With Sutter, and working collaboratively with teachers, students will engage in science of sound experiments using the instruments, learn to play the instruments and perform on the instruments in a culminating community celebration of learning performance.


Art Project Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Art Project funding to the following organizations on September 15, 2016:

Duluth All Souls Night, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for the 2016 Duluth All Souls Night celebration featuring music, visual arts, performing arts, dance, poetry, and more on November 4, 2016.

Freshwater Dance Collective, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for the 2017 Dances on the Lakewalk at Lake Place Park in Duluth July 14-15, 2017.

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for the presentation of two works for piano and orchestra: George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” in its original 1924 version for chamber orchestra, and the world premiere of Hooshyar Khayam’s “Rhapsody in Turquoise,” composed as a companion piece for the Gershwin work. World-renowned pianist Stephen Prutsman will be the soloist for both works.

Lake Superior Writers, Duluth, St. Louis, $1,200:
Support to host a program featuring four local writers reading from their first published books with a discussion on their journeys to becoming published.

Matinee Musicale, Duluth, St. Louis, $4,000:
Support for a concert recital with Jack Swanson, tenor, as well as two community outreach programs: a performance and Q&A at an area senior living facility and a master class participation from voice students from the College of St. Scholastica, the University of Minnesota Duluth and the University of Wisconsin Superior.

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for a spring performance of Borodin’s Prince Igor Overture, Respighi’s Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 1, and Beethoven’s groundbreaking Symphony No. 3, known as the Eroica symphony on April 29, 2017, in Virginia and April 30 in Chisholm.

North Shore Music Association, Grand Marais, Cook, $5,000:
Support for a performance and master class by world-renowned German pianist Andreas Klein. On Saturday, April 22, 2017, Mr. Klein will perform a themed solo concert entitled “Unleashing Musical Architecture and on Sunday, April 23, 2017, Mr. Klein will offer a piano master class.

Sacred Heart Music Center, Duluth, St. Louis, $4,200:
Support for a performance by Aaron David Miller, an internationally acclaimed organist and composer, as he accompanies a silent film on the Felgemaker organ, a centerpiece of the Sacred Heart Music Center.

Spirit Lake Poetry Series, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support for the 20th run of the Spirit Lake Poetry series from Autumn 2016 to Spring 2017. The readings will take place at Prove Art Gallery in Duluth.


Quick Start Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Quick Start funding to the following organizations in FY16:

All Black Zine, Duluth, St. Louis County: 
Support to print the zine and host a release show featuring a number of local and regional artists at the Prøve Gallery in Duluth.

Mesabi Community Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis County:
Support to host a concert with the Orchestra’s first annual concerto competition winners in Ely and Virginia.

Twin Ports Choral Project, Duluth, St. Louis County:
Support to attend the American Choral Directors Association State Conference performance in Mahtomedi.

Valley Youth Center, Duluth, St. Louis County:
Support to co-sponsor a positive Hip Hop workshop series with Save the Kids from Incarceration in Duluth.