On Feb. 18, 2020, the East Central Regional Arts Council Board of Directors, at their meeting in Hinckley, allocated almost $15,000 in grants to artists, an art organization and schools. 

These grants are for the creation and production of arts activities that will benefit residents in the Minnesota counties of Pine, Isanti, Chisago, Kanabec and Mille Lacs. Next grant deadlines are on April 1 for late summer or fall projects.

Mid-Career Artist Grant Program

This grant is supported by The McKnight Foundation. The funding provides financial support to artists committed to personal artistic growth. Applications are encouraged from artists in all artistic disciplines. Mid-career artists are recognized by their peers and arts professionals, have produced an independent body of work and have a record of commissions, projects or exhibitions.  

The next grant deadline will be April 1, 2020. For details on this grant go to:  https://www.ecrac.org/grants/individual/ecrac-mid-career-artist-grant.

Cindy Fuerstenberg, of Pine City, received a grant of $2,500.  During this project, she will work with her mentor Deborah Foutch, a Minneapolis-based fiber artist, to continue her study of mixed media and fiber arts. The mentorship will allow the artist to develop a body of work integrating weaving and fiber techniques with those of mixed media onto canvas using natural materials and processes focusing on fiber to create texture. The project will culminate in the creation of three to four larger art pieces.

Robert DesJarlait, of Onamia, received a grant of $1,254. During this project, the artist will focus on the creation of new work as well as the matting and framing of his art to complete a series of work that will be on exhibition at the American Indian Community Housing Organization Galleries in Duluth from June 1 to Aug. 28, 2020. The artist will complete eight additional paintings for the exhibition as well as mat and frame the completed series of art depicting scenes that provide a glimpse into the life of the Ojibwe people. This exhibition will inform and educate observers about an indigenous population that lives among them.

Small/Art Project Grant Program

This grant category provides support to organizations for a wide variety of arts projects involving the creation, sponsorship, publication, performance and/or exhibition of art. Arts producing activities or services for artists or arts organizations should result from the project. These funds are made possible by an appropriation of the Minnesota State Legislature from its general fund. 

There are two more application deadlines this year for the program, April 1 and Oct. 1, 2020. For grant details go to:  https://www.ecrac.org/grants/organization/small-art-project-grant.

Franconia Sculpture Park, of Shafer, received a grant in the amount of $5,000 for Film @ Franconia. During this project, the Park will launch a summer film series featuring free, outdoor films on Saturday evenings highlighting the best in art cinema. This series will provide an opportunity for audiences to expand their knowledge and understanding of diverse global perspectives and new ideas that visitors might not otherwise have access to. Films will begin at 9 p.m. at the Franconia Amphitheatre, 29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer. 

Braham Area Schools received a grant of $3,259 to host a residency with instrumentalist Todd Green from Oct. 6-12, 2020. During this residency Todd Green will provide two 50-minute lecture demonstrations to elementary students as well as residents of the Elmhurst Commons Assisted Living facility in Braham. He will then provide a more advanced lecture demonstration to the High School students. This residency will also include time for the artist to work with the Senior High band students to provide them with a master class of hands-on demonstrations, as well as the opportunity to perform improvisations together. This residency concludes with a public concert on Oct. 10 at 6 p.m. featuring original music.   

Art In Our Schools Grant Program

The purpose of this grant is to enhance the existing arts curriculum in educational facilities throughout the region. This program supplements the existing school arts curriculum with such programs as artistic residencies, arts-related field trips or special arts events or projects. Grants of up to $3,000 are available. This program is made possible with funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature from its general fund. 

There are two more application deadlines this year for the program, April 1 and Oct. 1. To learn more about this grant program go to:  https://www.ecrac.org/grants/organization/art-our-schools-grant.

Onamia Community Education will receive a grant of $2,740 for a student residency. During this project, the school will host a residency with native artist Charmaine Xianna Shivers, and focus on creating PowWow Regalia as a mode of cultural expression combining traditional and modern Native dress while also embodying personal and cultural identities. Students in grades 4-12 will be invited to participate in two 3-day workshops. These core groups of students will create 10 Jingle Dresses, 10 Fancy Shawls, and 15 Grass Dance Regalia for children 2 to 8 years old. The completed regalia will be on display at the “Kids Create Regalia” booth during the Mille Lacs Band’s Annual Pow Wow on Aug. 22, 2020. The regalia will be available to children to borrow for the day.

For more information on the East Central Regional Arts Council mission and programming visit www.ecrac.org or call 320-591-7031.

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