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Minneapolis Institute of Art gets big grant to study empathy



In theory, art can build empathy. The Minneapolis Institute of Art just nabbed a big grant to explore how and why.

The museum announced Wednesday that it had received a $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a Center for Empathy and the Visual Arts. That center will work with researchers, scholars and artists, among others, to research ways the visual arts can foster empathy and compassion, according to a press release.

"Thanks to the Mellon Foundation, we’re proud to take the lead with partners across the country, in studying how to spark and nurture empathy through the visual arts," said Kaywin Feldman, the museum's director, "so that Mia and all art museums can contribute even more toward building a just and harmonious society.”

The project will span five years, the museum said.

On Wednesday, the Minneapolis Institute of Art also announced another grant -- $520,000 from the Ford Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation for the museum's work around inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. 

(Photo above: “I Am Somali" at the Minneapolis Institute of Art)

Father John Misty announced as 2018 Rock the Garden headliner


Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, at Hall's Island in 2015. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune

Josh Tillman, aka Father John Misty, at Hall's Island in 2015. / Aaron Lavinsky, Star Tribune


After changing weekends for Bon Iver last July, Walker Art Center’s Rock the Garden music fest is returning to mid-June in 2018 but sticking with another headliner cemented in co-host 89.3 the Current’s playlist, Father John Misty.

Los Angeles singer/songwriter Josh Tillman -- as known for wittily pressing people’s buttons as he is for always missing his shirts’ top few buttons – was announced as the RTG headliner Wednesday morning as tickets for the June 16 event were about to go on sale.

Walker and Minnesota Public Radio members get the first shot at tickets starting Wednesday at 10 a.m. via Prices are $69 for general-admission or $300 for VIP. The pre-sale option only lasts through Friday at 5 p.m. More tickets will go on sale in the spring.

Tillman, 36, has been ubiquitous on the Twin Cities’ outdoor concert calendar. He played a sold-out show this past summer outside the Surly brewery and made prior appearances at the Basilica Block Party, Festival Palomino and a 2015 twofer on Hall’s Island with Alabama Shakes. Although he only just put out his third Father John Misty album in April, the largely balladic “Pure Comedy,” he is reportedly almost done with another record that could likely be due out around the time RTG rolls around.

Both nonprofit organizations, the Walker and MPR put on Rock the Garden as a fundraiser and membership driver. The one-day music bash returned to the hillside outside the Walker last summer after the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden's makeover. A second stage of local bands was added inside the garden, which is planned again for 2018.  

Here's a new FJM video that just came out.

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