A newly awarded $500,000 grant will enable the Cedar Cultural Center to set up multiweek residencies for Somali artists at Augsburg College in Minneapolis, St. Cloud State University and Minnesota State University, Mankato.
The grant was one of five awarded by the Assocation of Performing Arts Presenters for its “Building Bridges: Arts, Culture and Identity” campaign to promote education and appreciation of Muslim culture. The organization awarded $1.4 million in grants for these programs to cultural institutions in Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Virginia and Pennsylvania.
The grant will help the Cedar to expand Midnimo, a program launched by the Cedar and Augsburg in 2014 that has attracted more than 12,500 people to programs featuring Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world.
“Midnimo is supporting the revival and preservation of rich Somali musical traditions while fostering social connections between generations and cultures in the heart of the largest Somali diaspora in North America,” said Adrienne Dorn, executive director of the Cedar Cultural Center.
The four-year program kicks off Monday in the Twin Cities with Waayaha Cusub, a Somali hip-hop collective founded in Kenya in 2004, followed by residencies in St. Cloud and Mankato this fall.