Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants of $197,925 were Awarded to 26 Area Arts Organizations, Community Groups, and Schools

    September 13th, 2023

    The Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council is pleased to announce that Arts and Cultural Heritage grants of $197,925 were awarded to twenty-six 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 and dance performances, exhibitions, literary readings, festivals, and classes for youth and adults.

    Eleven Blue Earth County organizations received arts grants:

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    Good Thunder Reading Series – $9,000. They will present their 2023-24 season of visiting literary artists and events. Funds will be used to pay the honoraria for two artists, Edurado C. Corral in February and Ngozi Ukazu in March. Mankato and North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s – $9,000. They will sponsor the Singing Hills Chorus, a singing group made up of people with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias and their care partners. They facilitate two chorus sessions and concerts, one in the fall and one in the spring. They also offer free monthly Summer SingAlongs. Funds will be used for artist fees, salaries, rental fees, and publicity. Mankato Area Youth Choirs – $6,000. The choirs, consisting of students in grades 1-12, will hold weekly rehearsals and present two concerts in the fall and spring of 2023-24. Funds will be used to pay stipends to the directors and accompanist. Mankato Area Youth Symphony Orchestra – $6,500. They will present multiple concerts during the year with many opportunities for students to participate. Funds will be used for the 2024 Summer Session and will include scholarships, director salaries, venue rentals, and music. Mankato Makerspace – $9,000. They will sponsor the “Makerspace Artists of Tomorrow” project, which is a program of weekly youth art classes for students in grades 6-12, September 2023 through June 2024. Funds will be used for artist stipends, salaries, supplies, and facility costs. Merely Players Community Theatre – $9,000. They will present their 2023-2024 season of plays in Mankato, including: “Junie B. in Jingle Bells, Batman Smells!”, “Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None”, and “Aristocats” held at Lincoln Community Center and “9 to 5 the Musical” at the Pond on Madison. Funds will be used for artist fees, publicity, and expendable supplies. Minnesota Valley Chorale – $9,000. They will perform four concerts in Mankato for the 2023-2024 season; two winter concerts in November and two spring concerts in April. Funds will be used for artist fees, membership scholarships, salaries, supplies, and venue rental. Musicorum, Mankato – $9,000. They will present their choral season in Mankato with a holiday concert in December 2023 and a spring concert in April 2024. Funds will be used for the director’s salary, instrumentalist stipends, publicity, venue rental, and to purchase music scores. Prairie Winds Middle School Orchestra, Mankato – $4,000. They will sponsor an artist residency with Mary Carlson Zuehlke and Liz Draper to work with beginning orchestra students, September 2023 through March 2024. Funds will be used for artist fees. ProMusica Minnesota – $9,000. They will host their series of three chamber music concerts in New Ulm. “Heart Throbs” on October 15, 2023; “1930s Russia & America” on February 11, 2024; and “Cello Portraits” on April 7, 2024. Funds will be used for artist fees. St. Clair Public School, Instrumental Music – $6,000. They will provide an artist residency with percussion specialist, Michelle Roche. She will work with the 5th and 6th grade general music students and the 7th-12th grade concert band students. Funds will be used for artist fees and supplies.

    Other Arts and Cultural Heritage grantees in the region include: Brown County – $21,000: New Ulm Figure Skating Club $8,000, Springfield Community Theatre $4,000, and State Street Theater Company, New Ulm $9,000. Faribault County – $9,000: Blue Earth Valley Concert Association $9,000. LeSueur County – $6,000: Tri-City United Community Education $6,000. Martin County – $18,000: Fairmont Opera House $9,000 and Martin Co. Preservation, Assoc. (Red Rock Center for the Arts) $9,000. Nicollet County – $21,300: Arts Center of Saint Peter $9,000, Lafayette Band $3,300, and South Central Service Cooperative $9,000. Sibley County – $15,000: La Grande Bande, Gaylord $9,000 and Minnesota New Country School, Henderson $6,000. Waseca County – $22,125: Project G.E.M. $9,000, Waseca Arts Council $9,000, and Waseca-Le Sueur Regional Library System $4,125.

    The next Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant deadline is January 1, 2024. Small Arts Project Grants and School Art Project Grants are available and the next deadline is October 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 2023 we awarded over $460,000. 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, Le Sueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan Counties.

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