for Our Community – Cool & Creative Grants Program

The Cool and Creative Get Together was an interactive day of connecting artists with each other and with community leaders. The goals of the day were:

  • We want more creative people to feel connected and inspired to work with each other;
  • We want to give those people more tools by helping them to develop networks, providing leadership tools; and
  • We want others to have a better understanding of the power of the arts to improve the quality of life in the region: culturally, socially, and economically.

The council awarded five grants totaling $15,000 thanks to support from collaborations with the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation, the Blandin Foundation, and the Bush Foundation. The grants were open to participants in the Cool and Creative Get Together, which aimed to better connect artists with each other and with community leaders.

The basic criteria were projects were ranked according to how they best fit the spirit and goals of the overall Cool and Creative Get Together.

In addition, projects that created a spirit of inclusiveness or bring people into the connected networks of artists and creative people were strongly encouraged and were given extra weight. We believe that many people feel that grants are often given to those people who appear to be “on the inside” and therefore are especially looking for grants that open new doors for people.

The grant selection panel has the right to award partial grants.

Award Winners:

The MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids was awarded $3,250 to support “Regional Artist
Professional Development” in conjunction with the Grand Rapids Arts and Culture
Commission, Grand Rapids Arts, and the Downtown Business Association.

The Mesabi Symphony Orchestra was awarded $2,000 to support, “MSO goes to the
Market!” which is to provide ensemble performances and an information table at farmer's
markets in Ely, Tower, and Virginia.

Two Harbors Area Arts and Events was awarded $2,750 to support the Creation of a new
arts and events nonprofit organization serving the Two Harbors Area.

The Biwabik Area Civic Association was awarded $5,000 to support the creation of
Bavarian Village Market Chalets.

Molly Olson of Ely was awarded $2,000 to support “Reflections on Water: a multimedia
dance performance” centered around the unifying theme of water. These performances,
scheduled for August 3 and 4 at 7 p.m. at the Fine Arts Theater at Vermillion Community
College will feature live music as well as photos, video, poetry, and 2D visual art.


For more information:
Drew Digby, Executive Director, Arrowhead Regional Arts Council or (218) 722-0952