46 grants given for Minnesota history projects

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  • December 20, 2011 - 6:26 PM

State history got a shot in the arm Tuesday when the Minnesota Historical Society awarded 48 grants to 46 recipients throughout the state.

The money comes from taxpayers via the 2008 Legacy Amendment, which sets aside funds for arts and culture, as well as environmental programs.

The grant amounts in this round are for $7,000 or less.

One grant in Hennepin County will pay $5,625 to the website Twin Cities Daily Planet for researching Twin Cities theaters in the 1960s and 1970s. Daily Planet freelancer Sheila Regan, who applied for the grant, said she would use the money to launch an ongoing project to locate archives, conduct interviews, unearth archival information and digitize information of what she called a key time period in the creation of the modern theater scene here.

"Part of my goal is just to find out what's out there," Regan said. "Where information is located, whether it's in libraries or in people's basements." She'll look at the history of such bigger theaters as Children's Theatre and the Guthrie, as well as smaller groups such as Heart of the Beast, she said.

Regan, a graduate of Macalester College, has an MFA in acting from Indiana University. She does some performing in the Twin Cities, in addition to her freelance writing. She will make her findings available via the Daily Planet's website.

Other winners of the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants are spread throughout the state. Grant winners will use money to:

* fix a falling facade at the Lanesboro Arts Center in Fillmore County

* buy microfilm for the Freeborn County Historical Society

* videotape oral histories of Twin Cities dancers and dance groups

* conduct a photographic history of Minnesota railroads for a book

* assemble an exhibit of ghost towns of Mower County

The nonprofit Historical Society received a 2011 legislative appropriation to award a total of $10.5 million in Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants during the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years. Grants are available  in three tiers: Small or Structured Grants of $7,000 or less, Mid-Size Grants between $7,001 and $50,000, and Large Grants of more than $50,001. For more information on the Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grants program, including application deadlines, visit For more information about other Legacy-funded projects, please visit

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