Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants of $156,400 were Awarded to 25 Area Arts Organizations, Community Groups, and Schools

    March 14th, 2023

    The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is pleased to announce that Arts and Cultural Heritage grants of $156,400 were awarded to twenty-five arts organizations, community groups, and schools in the region with funds from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

    The purpose of the Arts and Cultural Heritage program is to provide funding for arts organizations directly engaged in the creation of art, the production of artistic performances, or the sponsorship of quality arts activities in their local communities. The grants are for arts activities in all artistic disciplines which include instrumental and vocal music concerts; theater, dance, and figure skating performances; exhibitions; festivals; public art; artist residencies; and classes for youth and adults are being funded.

    Ten Blue Earth County organizations received arts grants totaling $65,400.

    • Carnegie Art Center, Mankato – $7,000. They will host many gallery exhibits in 2023 including a juried exhibition for regional artists to participate in. Funds will be used for the juror fee and other expenses for the juried exhibit, publicity, salaries, and a new point of sale system.
    • City Center Partnership, Mankato – $7,000. They will sponsor the CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour consisting of 32 juried outdoor sculptures in downtown Mankato and North Mankato, May 2023 to April 2024. Funds will be used to pay stipends to seven artists.
    • Dance Conservatory of Southern Minnesota – $7,000. They will provide summer 2023 dance programs including modern/contemporary, pre-pointe, ballet, boys hip hop, boys tap/jazz, beach party, themed camps, improv, and technique classes. They will also offer free summer camps for children to try dance. Funds will be used for studio rent during the summer months.
    • Mankato Area Community Band – $4,400. They will present free outdoor concerts in the summer of 2023. Five concerts will be at Sibley Park, Mankato in June and July; and one patriotic concert will be at Lincoln Park, Mankato on June 27. Funds will be used for the conductor and staff fees, musician stipends and publicity.
    • Mankato Area Public Schools – StoryArk – $5,000. They will partner with StoryArk to host a Storytelling Camp July 10-14, 2023 in Mankato. High school students from Mankato Area Public Schools, St. Peter, and Janesville-Waldorf-Pemberton school districts will participate to create original podcasts, short films, literary and visual arts. Funds will be used for artist fees and staff to implement the camp and supplies.
    • Mankato Ballet Company – $7,000. They will create and present a full, original ballet production titled “Little Mermaid” in May 2023 by all students, held at the St. Peter High School’s Performing Arts Center. Funds will be used for artist fees to create an original backdrop, costumes, sets, theater rental, and publicity.
    • Mankato Figure Skating Club – $7,000. They will present their annual ice shows, “Frozen Princess On Ice” in April of 2023 at All Seasons Arena in Mankato. Funds will be used for coaches’ stipends, ice time for rehearsals and performances, and storage.
    • Mankato School of Music – $7,000. They will provide five programs for their students in 2023 including group classes for string and band students at Mankato East and West High Schools; adult string group instruction classes; Fiddlesticks Classes to teach Celtic, old-time, and bluegrass fiddling; a preschool and school age Music Therapy Class; and an older adult Music Therapy Class at the VINE Community Center. Funds will be used for artist fees, salaries, and publicity.
    • Mankato Symphony Orchestra – $7,000. They will present their season premiere Symphonic Series Concert, “Triumph” on September 30, 2023, at the St. Peter High School’s Performing Arts Center as part of their 2023/24 season. Funds will be used for artist and conductor stipends.
    • Minnesota State University, Mankato, Music Performance Series – $7,000. They will sponsor music performances by Minnesota artists as part of their 2023 Performance Series, including Sarah Morris and the Sometimes Guys, Molly Maher, Andrea Lyn, The Cactus Blossoms, Mike Munson, and Ron Arsenault and Dave Pengra. They will also include outreach activities for the community. Funds will be used for artist fees, technician fees, and publicity.

    Other Arts and Cultural Heritage grantees in the region include:

    • Brown County – $14,000: New Ulm Suzuki School of Music $7,000 and The Grand Center for Arts and Culture, New Ulm $7,000.
    • LeSueur County – $7,000: City of New Prague $7,000.
    • Martin County – $12,000: 4-Unity, Cornstalk Festival, Dunnell $5,000 and Imagine Martin, Fairmont $7,000.
    • Nicollet County – $33,000: Govenaires Performing Arts Association $7,000, Minnesota Original Music Festival, St. Peter $7,000, Minnesota “Over-60” Band $7,000, Old Town Mankato Day of the Dead Festival $7,000, and Rock Bend Folk Festival, St. Peter $5,000.
    • Sibley County – $17,000: Gaylord Chamber of Commerce $5,000, Green Isle Community School $5,000, and T-Bird Community Arts, Gibbon $7,000.
    • Waseca County – $3,000: City of Waldorf $3,000.
    • Watonwan County – $5,000: Madelia Area Chamber of Commerce $5,000.

    The next Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant deadline is August 1, 2023. Small Arts Project Grants and School Art Project Grants are available and the next deadline is April 1, 2023. Organizations can apply once per year for a grant. Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council has an online grant process. Prairie Lakes is encouraging arts projects for cultural activities and underserved populations as identified in our Equity and Inclusion Policy. This includes: Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC), Economically Disadvantaged, Youth, Senior Citizens, People with Disabilities and LGBTQ+. If you have questions please contact the PLRAC office in Waseca, 1-800–298-1254 or

    Annually, the arts council awards more than 200 grants to Artists, Non-profit Arts Organizations, Community Groups, and for Youth Scholarships, and in FY 2022 we awarded over $590,000. A monthly newsletter and calendar of arts events in the 9-county area is posted on our website

    The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is committed to supporting and expanding the arts in the nine-county area; knowing that the Arts improve the quality of life in our region. We serve a nine-county area including Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties.