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Posts about Funding and grants

Moonshine goes to the movies

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: May 22, 2014 - 2:43 PM

Kelly Nathe, producer

Documentary-filmmakers Norah Shapiro and Kelly Nathe have won a Legacy-funded grant from the Minnesota Film & TV Board for a film on the colorful moonshine-making history of Nathe’s home turf, Stearns County. The doc will trace the Prohibition-era activities of Depression-devastated farmers who turned to hustling illegal booze as well as look at the current revival of spirits made from the “Minnesota 13” heirloom corn being used by the Eleven Wells distillery located in the old Hamm’s Brewery in St. Paul. “We just got to taste some fresh-off-the-still hooch there, and it was yummy,” said Nathe. The grant, which will amount to about $40,000 in reimbursements intended to help cover pre-production costs, is very rare and very welcome because “it’s nearly impossible to raise money for a feature documentary before you’ve begun filming,” she told I.W. “It’s also a tremendous stamp of approval that hopefully helps attract other funders.” Filmmaker Michael McIntee also won a grant from Minnesota Film & TV for his work-in-progress on the fight for marriage equality in Minnesota. 

Norah Shapiro, producer/director

Textile Center in Minneapolis hires interim director

Posted by: Mary Abbe Updated: April 30, 2014 - 2:01 PM

Textile Center image by Star Tribune staff photographer Bruce Bisping

The Textile Center of Minnesota has hired management consultant Nancy Lee as interim director, a post she is expected to retain for about six months while the organization seeks a permanent leader.

"She's a perfect fit for what we need right now," said Donna C. Peterson, president of the Textile Center's 12 member board. Peterson is a former associate vice president of government and community relations at  the University of Minnesota.

As a consultant, Lee specializes in non-profit management and the development of strategic business plans. She is a former CFO of Minnesota Goodwill and Easter Seals, and a former vice president of the Minnesota Children's Museum.

Lee began work at the Textile Center April 28th. Over the next few months she is expected to oversee the Center's ongoing operations and to assist the board in defining the organizational qualities and expertise needed to run the organization. The difficulty is striking a balance between management skills and knowledge of an artform that encompasses everything from historic rugs to contemporary art clothes.

"We're taking our time to really understand what are strengths and capacitiy are, and to define the profile of our members and potential funders" Peterson said.

The Textile Center is an umbrella organization whose members are professsional and amateur arists engaged in textile crafts ranging from weaving to lace making, batik, knitting, crochetting, custom tailoring, hand dying and doll making.

The non profit organization at 3000 University Av S. E., near the University of Minnesota's Minneapolis campus, has a staff of 14 full and part-time employees and an annual budget of about $800,000. It runs an exhibition gallery and a small shop selling handmade clothing, accessories and textile-related crafts. Its professional services include a library and facilities for dying and weaving textiles, classrooms and meeting spaces for school kids and adults.

MCC Plaza public artwork chosen

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: March 10, 2014 - 10:56 AM

 

This rendering depicts "Balancing Ground," this summer's temporary art installation for MCC Plaza.

 

Last summer, it was MIMMI, a giant inflatable sculpture that hovered over the Minneapolis Convention Center plaza like a giant mood ring, allegedly changing colors along with the emotional ebb and flow of passersby. This year's Creative City Challenge winner is "Balancing Ground," a series of wooden benches interspersed with teeter-totters and surrounded by a canopy of prisms that will cast constantly changing shadows, patterns and colors.

The interactive artwork by Amanda Lovelee, Christopher Field, Kyle Waites and Sarah West was one of several finalists the public could vote for online.The foursome will get $75,000 to build and install their project in early June. They intend it to be a "space without walls, open to all."

Begun last year as a way of attracting more people to hang out on the underused plaza and interact with both the art and each other, Creative City Challenge is now a collaboration between the the city of Minneapolis, the MCC and Northernlights.mn, which puts on the annual dusk-to-dawn Northern Spark festival.

"Balancing Ground" will be unveiled at 8:30 p.m. on June 14 as part of this summer's Northern Spark event.

Cedar, Augsburg get $200K grant to promote Somali music

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 11, 2014 - 1:49 PM

Abdulkadir Said played traditional Somali music during the grand opening of a Minneapolis Somali musuem in October. A new grant will bring more Somali musicians to town. Photo by Kyndell Harkness.

The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art has given the Cedar Cultural Center and Augsburg College $200,000 to bring internationally known Somali musicians to Minneapolis over the next two years. The grant, one of only six given nationwide, is intended to fund efforts to promote understanding of Islamic cultures through art. This one will be used not only to present concerts by Somali musicians based as far away as London and Kenya, but to connect them -- as well as local Somali musicians -- with Augsburg students and faculty.

The cultural center and Augsburg are located close to each other on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota, which has the highest concentration of Somali residents in the Twin Cities. Dubbed "Midnimo," the Somali word for unity, the goal of the Cedar's project is to not only expose students and the broader community to a traditional Somali music art form, but to have them jam together as well, said Adrienne Dorn, director of development for the Cedar. After the deadly New Year's Day fire that destroyed a nearby apartment building, the Cedar hosted a benefit concert with Somalis singing and an American jazz band playing along.

"People just loved it," Dorn said. "Somali music is traditionally heavy on vocals without a lot of instrumentation so it was great to get them together."

A bonus of the project might be helping to reunite musicians who have been dispersed by the ongoing civil war in their native land.

"Music was seen as a form of protest and often suppressed," Dorn said. "I hope we can get some old bandmates who are living far apart from each other to play together again."

Go ahead, vote on some public art

Posted by: Kristin Tillotson Updated: February 10, 2014 - 4:31 PM

MIMMI, an interactive sculpture lit from inside by LED lights that changed color, won the 2013 Creative City Challenge in the program's first year.  Photo by Renee Jones Schneider.

Remember that giant multicolored UFO-like sculpture hovering over the plaza by the Minneapolis Convention Center last summer? The city is bringing back the program that made it possible, expanding funding for the winning entry from $50,000 to $75,000. They've also added a partner, Northern Lights.mn, the force behind the annual dusk-to-dawn outdoor arts extravaganza known as Nothern Spark, at which this year's winning public artwork will make its debut (June 14).

The Creative City Challenge competition for a "temporary destination artwork" was launched last year as a way of attracting more people to hang out on the plaza, actually a green roof across the street from the Convention Center.  It is open to individuals or teams of designers, artists, architects and engineers, but at least half of the members must be based in Minnesota.

The public can vote online for one of this year's jury-selected  finalists, all of which encourage interactivity. The proposals will be presented publicly at the University of Minnesota's School of Architecture and Design, Rapson Hall at 6 p.m. tonight (Monday Feb. 10). They are:

  •          Balancing Ground by Amanda Lovelee, Christopher Field, Kyle Waites & Sarah West: A welcoming interactive space that weaves play and peacefulness together through the use of sound, light, text and group movements to create meaningful engagement and the opportunity for intimate, public conversations. The installation will consist of long rows of wood benches interrupted with a series of playground teeter-totters which will be surrounded by a large wood structure with a canopy of prisms and reflective fragments strung between rafters.
  •          Chrysalis by Wil Natzel & Jerry Natzel: An assemblage of deployable elements including a series of entry archways where the lighting reacts to people’s movements, a communal seating court and a tower pavilion through which the public will be guided. Once inside the pavilion, the public will experience an overhead explosion of baroque pattern, light and decoration, which will transform each month to display different exotic designs and configuration.
  •          SPark by Will Peterson, Bill Ferenc, Melissa Gagner & Trygve Nordberg: A colony of autonomous, self-moving “flowers” in which visitors are welcomed and encouraged to walk among to experience these human-sized components. SPark responds to visitors through movement and light, and each sculptural flower is a self-governed entity, linked to the other flowers by a wireless network. Through different interactions, visitors will be able to make SPark come to life: it can move, pulse and even breathe. 

Voting runs through Feb. 28 at http://www.startribune.com/a2560

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