Above: Artist Marlys Mandaville, of Minneapolis, used non-toxic, water-soluble oil paints to illustrate a portrait of her friend and former Macalester College classmate, Haley Ryan, during Art N|Motion Saturday at Art-A-Whirl in the Northrup King Building. Photo by AARON LAVINSKY • aaron.lavinsky@startribune.com

The organization that puts on the annual art bonanza Art-A-Whirl, Northeast Minneapolis Artist Association’s (NEMAA), didn’t get $80,000 worth of grant money this year.

Interim Executive Director Anna Becker learned that they did not receive the expected Minnesota State Arts Board Festival Support Grant for $60,000 earlier this fall, or smaller grants totaling up to $20,000. 

Former director Dameun Strange had been planning to resign, with an end date of November 1. But after the financial situation changed, the process was expedited. Another part-time employee was let go as well. Becker is currently the only employee.

Art-a-Whirl won’t have as much money for artist stipends or to buy materials.

“[At Art-a-Whirl], we had our Art N|Motion events where we would have artists come in for a few hours and demo their work, to show off the diversity of the artist mediums in northeast, but those programs most likely won’t happen,” said Becker. “We also offered material stipends to artists doing demos in their studios.”

Still, not that much of the event will be affected.

“As far as studios being open and publication happening and website, those will all be remaining in place," said Becker.

Despite the financial changes, things aren’t all bad, Becker suggested.

“Right now we are in a pretty good place,” she said. “We secured a loan from PROPEL for non-profits, and received anonymous donation for $10K.”

The organization may raise membership dues for next year, which are currently at $35/year for post-secondary degree students or emerging artists, $75/year for artists, and $220/year for businesses, and free for high school students.

Becker said the board will stay the same, and that a lot of members have been stepping forward since learning of the financial changes. A community meeting to discuss the financial changes was held on Oct. 24.

NEMAA has a $250,000 annual operating budget for FY 2019. A 501c3 non-profit was founded in 1995. It currently has approxiamately 1,000 members.

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