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 $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.