Organization Awards

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

Community Arts Learning Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Arts Learning funding to the following organizations on March 16, 2017:

Lake Superior Youth Chorus, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support to bring together over 100 students in grades 4-6 from around the region along for the 2018 LSYC Honor Choir. Students will join with LSYC singers and directors for a memorable day of choral music-making. After an intensive day of combined rehearsal and music learning activities, the day concludes with a concert. Valuable workshops and observation time by teachers also occur on this day.

North Shore Music Association, Grand Marais, Cook, $3,310:
Support to host the Dom Flemons “American Songster” Program, Workshop, and Concert. This includes paying for artist fees, promotional material, and event supplies.

Minnesota Discovery Center, Chisholm, St. Louis, $2,250:
Support to offer two Ojibwe arts learning projects to complement their Ojibwe exhibit. Artist Instructor Sharon Day will offer a 2-hour hand-drumming workshop open to the public. She will also speak to Native American music traditions during our public guided tour of the exhibit. Artist Instructor Leanne Johnson will offer a 1-hour workshop on beading and will also speak during our guided tour of the Ojibwe exhibit.

Arts on Superior, Inc., Two Harbors, Lake, $2,780:
Support to bring storyteller Rachel Nelson to Piedmont Elementary School for a 4th grade Story to Literacy week-long residency. In conjunction with their Traditional Stories Language Arts unit, students will practice the oral art form of storytelling.

Vermilion Community College, Ely, St. Louis, $2,940:
Support to host an arts-learning activity that increases participants’ knowledge of the life and literary works of Minnesota writer Paul Gruchow. In a public lecture/presentation in the VCC theater and through an interactive classroom activity open to the public, Louis Martinelli, writer, artist, and executive director of the Paul Gruchow Foundation, will share Gruchow’s literary work and legacy of exceptional writing about nature and place, especially the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Echoes of Peace, Duluth, St. Louis, $6,000:
Support to host The Art of Ubuntu project which will consist of a concert and art exhibit focused on the theme of kinship & community. The concert will feature regional artists including Sara Thomsen, The Echoes of Peace Choir, Kako’s Choir, and singer/storyteller/poet/dancer Regina M. Laroche. The art exhibit will feature works by various northland artists.

Northstar Foundation, Hibbing, St. Louis, $4,500:
Support to host the 23rd Annual Northstar Arts Camp in Hibbing. This is an arts-infused camp that takes advantage of the beautiful natural setting to immerse children ages 6-13 in an interaction of art, nature, and community learning. We will feature dance, music, singing, and puppetry to engage the children’s creative energy this year, and will again welcome phenologist John Latimer to lead children on a hike around the land followed by a visual arts project to integrate learning.


Art Project Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Art Project funding to the following organizations on March 16, 2017:

Duluth All Souls Night, Duluth, St. Louis,$5,000:
Support to host the 2017 All Souls Night event to be held in Duluth.

Mesabi Community Orchestra d/b/a Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to create a concert collaboration with area choirs to present a spring concert on April 28 and 29, 2018, in Virginia’s Goodman Auditorium celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. Music for orchestra and choir featured in the program will include Chichester Psalms and West Side Story Choral Suite. Also on the program will be the Overture to Candide and Candide Suite for Orchestra.

Matinee Musicale, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to present internationally renowned violinist, Erin Keefe, in a solo recital on October 17, 2017 at Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN. Ms. Keefe will be accompanied by Anna Polonsky, a concert pianist, and also Ms. Keefe’s recording partner for her recently released solo CD debut.

Arrowhead Chorale, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to pay for music, performing artists, venue costs, and marketing materials for the Holiday Jubilations & Traditions concert. This concert entails two performances featuring various choral works that celebrate the Christmas/holiday season from a variety of musical perspectives.

Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to partially offset performance fees to LSCO musicians and Shelley and Johanna Gruskin for their final summer season concert on August 3, 2017.

Northern Lights Music Festival, Aurora, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to expand its offerings to singers by offering an Opera Apprentice program, integrating vocal lessons, staging and performance of opera scenes, and opportunities to sing in the main stage chorus and in secondary (comprimario) roles.

Prøve Collective, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to compensate artists for their works and for the cost of shipment of their pieces that will be shown in the show, Relax Girl, You’re an Artist. The show is an exhibition of art by women artists from around the U.S., each of whom works as a practicing artist outside of her official employment responsibilities.

Lyric Opera of the North, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to pay artists participating in LOON’s production of Verdi’s tragic masterpiece, Rigoletto, at Marshall Performing Arts Center at UMD on June 22 and 24, 2017.

Duluth Superior Film Festival, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to pay for exhibition rights for film titles, venue rentals, marketing, and fees to performers for the 2017 Duluth Superior Film Festival.


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 d/b/a 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.


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.