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 September 21, 2017:

Arrowhead Chorale, Duluth, St. Louis, $3,010:
Support to be used in “Requiem Mosaic” a lecture, workshop, and concert event exploring the history and music of the Requiem, a Catholic mass for the dead.

Avalon Educational Institute, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to fund the 2017 Capoeira Batuque Batizado, a three day series of workshops on acrobatics, dance and Afro-Brazilian movement, rhythm, and music, along with a traditional dinner and culminating Capoeira performance.

CHOICE, Unlimited, Duluth, St. Louis, $3,520:
Support to host musician and filmmaker Toby Churchill, who will conduct workshops in storytelling and filmmaking. Participants will together create a film which will be shown at a public venue, available online, and submitted to local and national short-film festivals.

Duluth Children’s Museum, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to fund “Wood and Fabric: Celebration Flags, Boats, Bags, and Buttons” an interactive exhibit with artists Kirsten Aune and John Finkle, who will create two permanent displays during the course of the project. Kirsten and John will publicly construct and demonstrate their processes during scheduled museum hours and show young visitors how to create their own textile flags, sails, and/or bags with carved wooden sticks, boat forms and buttons.

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis, $2,470:
Support to fund classroom workshops in northern St. Louis County with MSO artistic director Benjamin Nilles, accompanied by an ensemble of MSO musicians, who will demonstrate their instruments by playing excerpts from Peter and the Wolf, by Sergei Prokofiev. The lesson will be interactive, and the teacher will be provided with a copy of the Academy Award Winning DVD, Peter and the Wolf, and a set of printed exercises developed by Minnesota Orchestra.

North Shore Music Association, Grand Marais, Cook, $4,500:
Support to fund the Bluegrass Masters Weekend 2017 taking place November 3-5 at Lutsen Resort in Lutsen, MN. The event will feature three days of bluegrass community jamming; a full day of banjo technique and songwriting workshops taught by our featured performer and instructor, Kristin Scott Benson; and an evening concert by our featured group, the Kristin Scott Benson Trio (Danny Roberts, mandolin, and Chris Jones, guitar and lead vocals).This banjo-focused weekend, open to all ages and musicians of all skill levels (beginner to advanced), will also offer opportunities for one-to-one banjo, guitar, mandolin, and vocal lessons arranged with the three visiting artists.

The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to help fund the Lincoln Park Mural Initiative, a collaborative effort between CSS, Lincoln Park Middle School, and the Lincoln Park Business District. Teaching Artists Jonathan Thunder and Paul LaJeunesse (assisted by Project Director Sarah Brokke Erickson) will guide LPMS students, CSS Art students, and community members through the process of creating two collaborative student- and community-championed murals.


Art Project Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Art Project funding to the following organizations on September 21, 2017:

Arrowhead Chorale, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to present Aurora Musicalis: Music of the Cosmos. It will be performed at Sacred Heart Music Center on Friday, May 4th at 7:30 PM and Sunday, May 6th at 3:00 PM. The final concert of the season will celebrate the beauty and mystery of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights) through music and art. The concert will include three versions of Northern Lights, by Harry Somers, Ola Gjeilo and Erik Esenvolds.

Citizens for Backus, International Falls, Koochiching, $5,000:
Support to produce an all-youth cast performance of “Anne of Green Gables” as the 3rd event of Borealis Bards’ 2017-2018 season. Our youth program, The Junior Bards, will offer three showings on the Backus stage in March 2018, at 900 5th Street, International Falls.

Lyric Opera of the North, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to present Bach’s oratorio, St. John Passion, as a fully staged opera, at Lincoln Park Middle School, on October 14 and 15, 2017. The piece will be sung in German, with English supertitles. Dirk Meyer will conduct. Richard Robbins will be the chorus master for the “risers” chorus, composed of singers from throughout the region.

Magic Smelt Puppet Troupe, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to create a non-motorized, outdoor parade performance on May 13, 2018, in celebration of the annual smelt run on Lake Superior. This will be a lively, site-specific spectacle, featuring masks, large puppets, and a Twin Cities brass band, the Brass Messengers.

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to present a concert entitled “The Beauty of Music” in Virginia’s Goodman Auditorium on December 3, 2017. The repertoire for this concert will focus on beautiful, lush, melodic music from the romantic and modern periods. This will be an expansion of their concert season from six concerts to seven, and from three programs to four.

North Shore Music Association, Grand Marais, Cook, $4,590:
Support to present an evening concert by 3-time-GRAMMY-nominated blues guitarist and vocalist Ruthie Foster. It will take place at the Arrowhead Center for the Arts in Grand Marais, MN on May 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm.

Wise Fool Shakespeare, Duluth, St. Louis, $5,000:
Support to present William Shakespeare’s comedy, The Merchant of Venice, at Lincoln Park Middle School. Performances will take November 3 through November 12, 2017. Rehearsals will take begin in October 2017 at Harbor City International School.


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.

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 $46,090 in Rural and Community Art Project funding to the following organizations on June 15, 2017:

Ely ArtWalk, Ely, St. Louis County, $5,000:
Support to fund an eleven-day winter art show to be held February 1-11, 2018. Area artists will display their work in the windows of Ely retail stores where people walking by on the sidewalk during the Ely Winter Festival will see them.

Ely Winter Festival, Ely, St. Louis County, $5,000:
Support to hold the Ely Winter Festival’s Snow Sculpture Symposium, the Festival’s central event, which fills Whiteside Park in downtown Ely. The 2018 EWF will take place February 1-11, 2018. Over the initial three days of the Festival, teams of 2-3 artists will work together to carve each of these blocks into a giant work of art to delight and inspire residents and visitors of all ages.

Northern Lakes Art Association, Ely, St. Louis County, $4,810:
Support to fund the “Picnic Operetta” by Mixed Precipitation which is a performance company that “creates unexpected theatrical experiences through unique partnerships and festive events that inspire social engagement.” This event is a re-imagining of classical opera, paired with a picnic tasting menu to be performed at a farm located outside of Babbitt, MN. The performance will be on Saturday, August 12 at 2:00pm.

Good Harbor Hill Players, Grand Marais, Cook County, $4,250:
Support to hold an original shadow puppet performance with live music for the occasion of the winter solstice, December 21, 2017. Members of the public will be invited to join the core artists in designing and creating the shadow puppets, as well as participating in rehearsals and performing the show.

Grace House of Itasca County, Grand Rapids, Itasca County, $5,000:
Support to host the Twin Cities community theater company zAmya Theater Project for two presentations of their 2017 production “Reality Roadshow.” The performances will take place at the Reif Performing Arts Center on September 25, 2017. An afternoon performance will be presented to students from the adjoining Grand Rapids High School, and an evening performance will be open to the general public. Current guests at Grace House will be invited to attend the evening performance with transportation.

Itasca Choral Society/Itasca Community Chorus, Grand Rapids, Itasca County, $4,300:
Support to produce the fall 2017 concert “Broadway: Past and Present!” which will take place on October 29 at the Miles Reif Performing Art Center. This will include collaboration with the Deer River High School choir.

VFW Post 1720, Grand Rapids, Itasca County, $5,000:
Support to present a series of ten high quality jazz shows at the VFW Post 1720 in downtown Grand Rapids as part of the monthly First Friday Art Walk. For this series Sam Miltich will design the performances to each have a theme or focus on a particular jazz legend, which will provide an additional point of engagement for our audience and those who want to learn more about the history and key figures in jazz while enjoying great music in a laid back setting.

Icebox Radio Theater, International Falls, Koochiching County, $5,000:
Support to help produce thirteen original hours of audio theatre to be distributed online as podcasts. These programs will be made up of one or more original plays written by and for the people of the Northland. They will be released between October, 2017 and ending in May, 2018.

Rainy Lake Community Orchestra, International Falls, Koochiching County, $5,000:
Support to fund the 2017 Summer String Program, a week-long string orchestra workshop, August 13-18 at the Community Hall in Ranier, MN, with rehearsals taking place each evening at the hall, first for the Symphonia, a younger and less-experienced group, mentored by the members of the orchestra and visiting musicians. Later the Rainy Lake Orchestra will rehearse with the resulting concert by both groups being played on Friday evening.

Lake County Developmental Achievement Center, Inc., Two Harbors, Lake County, $2,730:
Support to aid the “Art Speaks” exhibit, which will formally introduce Art Expressions to the community as part of their annual Fall Fest in October 2017. The Exhibit will feature visual and performance art created by our adult clients with developmental disabilities.


Quick Start Grant Recipients

ARAC granted Quick Start funding to the following organizations in FY17:

Bottle Cap Productions, Ely, St. Louis, $1000:
To purchase projector and screen for production of “Root Beer Lady, the Musical.”

Chisholm Public Schools, Chisholm, St. Louis, $1000:
To host “All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914” by Theater Latte Da.

Duluth Film Collective, Duluth, St. Louis, $860:
To purchase a television for screening films.

Grand Marais Art Colony, Grand Marais, Cook, $1000:
To purchase a portable air purifier with a carbon blend filter to ensure a non-toxic, high-quality work space for studio artists, students, and employees.

Knife River Recreation Council, Knife River, Lake, $1000:
To support performers at the Knife River Julebyen Festival.

Mesabi Symphony Orchestra, Virginia, St. Louis, $1000:
Support to pay soloist for February 2017 concert series.

Singing Slovenes, Duluth, St. Louis $340:
To replace and upgrade on-stage banner and signage.

University of Minnesota-Duluth, Duluth, St. Louis, $1000:
To host open-call exhibition, Ceremonial Birth, at AICHO in Duluth.