-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

FY 2018 Grantees

Artist Initiative

Project grants for artists at all stages of their careers, to support artistic development, nurture artistic creativity, and recognize the contributions individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota

Awards grouped below by discipline.


Number of grants awarded November 1, 2017 11
Total dollars awarded November 1, 2017 $ 105,255

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Olive Bieringa, Minneapolis $  10,000
Bieringa will create "Enfold," a work that will unravel the mystery of our embryological development as it relates to cellular consciousness, movement, mind, and spirit.
Susana M. di Palma, Robbinsdale $  9,500
Di Palma will create a solo flamenco theater performance exploring stories of women experiencing homelessness.
Penelope A. Freeh, Saint Paul $  7,000
Choreographer Freeh will excavate personal archives to write a series of essay blogs about past works, processes, and methodologies. She will develop a new solo based upon themes that emerge.
J-Sun, Saint Paul $  10,000
Hip-hop choreographers will explore identity, power, and community in three public panel discussions. These conversations about different hip-hop dance forms will inform Noer's choreography in a 2018 theater production.
Sharon F. Mansur, Winona $  9,280
Dance artist Mansur will create and perform in "In Between," a new dance film set in Winona. Mansur will increase her skills in this genre, making her work more accessible to a wider and more diverse audience.
Deneane Richburg, Vadnais Heights $  10,000
Choreographer Richburg will work with mentors on and off ice, conduct movement research, and create work off the ice to be translated to ice. Richburg will hold a public informal showing.
Rosy Simas, Minneapolis $  9,875
"Weave" honors the interwoven, interdependent nature of our world in an intersectional Indigenous dance project that envelops the audience in an immersive experience of story, dance, moving image, and quadrophonic sound.
Joanie Smith, Minneapolis $  9,600
Smith will choreograph "Voices" inspired by images of women's strength and power, and perform the work in Twin Cities shelters and centers for victims of physical and sexual abuse.
Deborah Thayer, Saint Paul $  10,000
Thayer will choreograph "All Hail the Queen," using somatic explorations to unearth experiences of the female voice and vagina. The piece will be presented as an evening length dance installation in Minneapolis.
Morgan Thorson, Minneapolis $  10,000
"Public Love" is a dance project investigating the personal and often private creative process. With research across disciplines, it will interrupt conventional modes of power, translation, and embodiment in dance creation.
Taja A. Will, Minneapolis $  10,000
Choreographer Will presents "Gospels of Oblivion," in fall 2018.


Number of grants awarded November 1, 2017 23
Total dollars awarded November 1, 2017 $ 229,835

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Linda N. Chatterton, Minneapolis $  10,000
Chatterton will produce a CD of works for solo flute with an emphasis on contemporary composers. She will give a public CD release concert and talk in the Twin Cities.
Mary Ellen Childs, Minneapolis $  10,000
Childs, a composer, will research and create a new multimovement musical work, "Boreal Quiet," inspired by a cold stark winter landscape.
Catherine G. Dalton, Mahtomedi $  10,000
Dalton will compose and stage "Bluets," a large scale, interdisciplinary work for dancer, projection, singers, and small chamber ensemble exploring loss, love, and friendship.
James G. Everest, Minneapolis $  10,000
Composer Everest will compose, record, and present four outdoor "sound garden" sound and performance installations inspired by the four seasons.
Helen C. Haertzen, Hopkins $  10,000
Haertzen will record a CD of American classics for violin. The recording will breathe new life into these pieces and include her transcriptions. She will enhance her artistry and share the music live with a widespread audience.
Noah C. Hoehn, Minnetonka $  10,000
Hoehn will write, record, and produce an album of new works in order to develop his music production skills and expand the business of his touring show.
Gao Hong, Northfield $  10,000
Hong will compose six new works for solo pipa altered by a looper and sound effects machine. Hong will perform them live and record them on a CD.
Linda M. Kachelmeier, Saint Paul $  10,000
Kachelmeier will collaborate through a series of workshops with Voices of Hope, a women's choir from the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee to create a new, multimovement work based on poetry submitted by choir members.
Emily J. Kastrul, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kastrul will collaborate with other musicians, filmmakers, and dancers to create and release three music videos in support her new full length album.
Christopher M. Keller, Minneapolis $  10,000
Emcee Kristoff Krane (Keller) will perform with producer and drummer Graham O'Brien and Anishinaabe singer/drummer Alvin Baker in two Minnesota parks.
Ivan Konev, Saint Paul $  9,885
Konev will professionally record and release a piano CD. He will host a concert featuring CD music at the Sundin Hall in Saint Paul.
Sarah Larsson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Larsson will research and compose new arrangements of Eastern European folk songs, gaining skills through mentorship with experienced composers and artists representing Twin Cities European immigrant communities.
Michael Maiorana, Minneapolis $  10,000
Maiorana will compose new music for four different types of ensembles across Minnesota.
Tami Morse, Saint Paul $  10,000
Morse will prepare for recording a CD of J.S. Bach's three viola da gamba sonatas and "French Overture," through lessons, rehearsals, and personal practice. Morse will market the CD through a series of eight concerts throughout Minnesota.
A Pavan, Minneapolis $  10,000
Tabla artist, composer, and teacher Pavan will create a new ensemble, Global Conversations in Minneapolis, conduct workshops and rehearsals, and hold two public performances of new compositions in an innovative format.
Peter M. Pisano, Minneapolis $  10,000
Pisano will create a folk album inspired by Saint Croix State Park and release it as a smartphone app that allows listeners to stream songs on mobile devices at locations in the park.
Karen E. Quiroz, Minneapolis $  10,000
Quiroz's project will increase the artist's audience, musical knowledge, and promotional skills through a series of highly interactive performances of Brazilian Forró ('fo-hó').
Nirmala Rajasekar, Plymouth $  10,000
Rajasekar will release her first collaborative album Maithree the Music of Friendship. She and her coartists Michelle Kinney, Pat O'Keefe, Muruga Boopathi, and Tim O'Keefe will perform a concert at the release event.
Gabriel B. Rodreick, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rodreick will compose pieces of music that express his desire to move and dance. The music will be accompanied by dance and performed live in the metro area.
Joko Sutrisno, Saint Paul $  10,000
Sutrisno will create three gamelan compositions reflecting the journey of an Indonesian immigrant to Minnesota. Three public workshops will engage community members in better understanding Indonesian music and culture.
Kelly M. Turpin, Minneapolis $  10,000
Turpin will produce a new production of Menotti's Pulitzer prize winning opera The Consul. The production will merge opera and dance to tell this politically poignant story.
Kirsten L. Whitson, Saint Paul $  9,950
Whitson will create and perform cello concerts reflecting global racial injustice and genocide with video program notes, history, personal stories about cultural loss, and audience feedback sessions.
Aby Wolf, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wolf will complete a new contemporary music work for fifteen-person chamber ensemble, integrating vocal harmonies and electronic elements with strings and mallet percussion to be shared in a public performance.


Number of grants awarded November 1, 2017 10
Total dollars awarded November 1, 2017 $ 98,893

D. Allen, Minneapolis $  10,000
D. Allen will research and draft Articulations, a poetry manuscript about Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). D. Allen will also present four public showcases of hybrid poetry by local writers.
Naomi Cohn, Saint Paul $  10,000
Cohn will work with a writing mentor to complete a collection of linked prose poems about learning braille. Public reading and poetry workshops will display new skills and build teaching and artistic reputation.
Su Hwang, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hwang will spend six months researching and writing a first rough draft of her second poetry collection, Cerigo, which explores issues of nonmotherhood. Hwang will also conduct poetry workshops and host a public reading.
Athena O. Kildegaard, Morris $  9,995
Kildegaard will commission Linda Kachelmeier to compose a song cycle using poems from her new book. Readings and performances of the book and the music will be held in Saint Paul, Bemidji, and Duluth.
Michael Kleber-Diggs, Saint Paul $  10,000
Kleber-Diggs will work with a mentor on his first book length collection of poems.
Thomas F. LaBlanc, Saint Paul $  9,700
Dakota poet LaBlanc will develop and perform a site specific poetry play at various sites around Minneapolis, revealing forgotten stories and places from an indigenous perspective.
Kate Lucas, Minneapolis $  9,498
Lucas will work with two mentor editors to finish her first book of poetry, Notes from Orbit, and improve her ability to share her work with new audiences.
Chris Martin, Minneapolis $  10,000
Martin will work with individuals on the autism spectrum to create three chapbooks of new poems, and then undertake an essay collection exploring the resonances between poetry and neurodiversity.
David Mura, Minneapolis $  10,000
Mura will research and write a multigenre book of poetry exploring race in contemporary America, including the legacy of the internment. This is a book of intersections of communities, histories, and types of writing.
Mary Austin Speaker, Minneapolis $  9,700
Speaker will work toward completing her third book of poetry, Necropastorals, and hold public readings and conversations to connect with other artists and create an audience for the book.


Number of grants awarded November 1, 2017 24
Total dollars awarded November 1, 2017 $ 229,596

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Mike Alberti, Minneapolis $  10,000
Alberti will conduct research at several sites and complete his first book, El Dorado, a historical novel set in rural Minnesota. The project will culminate with readings in the Twin Cities and three rural communities.
Ruth G. Berger, Minneapolis $  4,590
Berger will work with a mentor to finish her first memoir and submit it to literary contests and agents. She will give a reading and facilitate a memoir workshop for adults with mental illness.
Erica J. Berry, Minneapolis $  10,000
Berry will revise her essay collection, a personal and cultural exploration of fear through the lens of the wolf, and prepare a book proposal for agents. She will also organize a reading in a Minneapolis bookstore.
Eric Braun, Minneapolis $  10,000
Braun will complete a draft of a book length collection of short stories.
Emily Brisse, Chanhassen $  9,645
Brisse will complete her manuscript, Some Things Lost, an essay collection that examines the complexities and permutations of loss. She will lead a writing workshop through Minnetonka Community Education on this theme.
CJ Byrne, Minneapolis $  10,000
Byrne will complete a draft of her first novel, Great and Dangerous Substances. She will conduct a public reading, and offer a free community workshop on writing researched fiction.
Martin L. Cozza, Minneapolis $  10,000
Cozza will complete a final draft of his fantasy novel for children, Vincent's Lens, which explores a child's grappling with the meaning of mortality after his father's death.
Anika Fajardo, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fajardo will complete, edit, and polish her middle-grade novel, What If a Fish.
Lorissa Gottschalk, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gottschalk will complete her first memoir and conduct a writing workshop for people wanting to explore shame, grief, and addiction in their writing. She will also host a night of readings and remembrances.
Anne D. Guidry, Minneapolis $  10,000
Guidry will prepare her first collection of short stories for publication and offer a series of writing workshops exploring the role of place in fiction.
Jennifer K. Hildebrandt, Saint Paul $  10,000
Widow (W)rites is a grief memoir by Hildebrandt, based on two years blogging as caregiver, then widow, after losing her husband to cancer. She will host a public reading, followed by audience discussion.
Mara F. Hvistendahl, Saint Louis Park $  10,000
Hvistendahl will work on a memoir combining her personal experience with an exploration of medical decision making in the era of abundant data and genetic information. She will hold two public readings in Minnesota.
Anessa M. Ibrahim, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ibrahim will complete revisions of her first novel, Ray Charles Never Lost Anything Important, and will lead an open workshop on writing family stories in fiction.
John S. Jodzio, Minneapolis $  10,000
Jodzio will complete his novel and host four literary events for emerging writers in greater Minnesota.
Gayla S. Marty, Minneapolis $  10,000
Marty will develop a manuscript of lyric essays, Cooking in Paradise, about a year in Tunisia and its lasting impact on her life and relationship with cooking and food ways.
Harmony H. Neal, Northfield $  10,000
Neal will develop new models for storytelling that illustrate societies grounded in human flourishing, cooperation, and environmental sustainability. She will lead a Writers Resist: Women's March on Literature event.
Yvonne E. Pearson, Saint Paul $  7,994
Pearson will work with a mentor to revise her young adult verse novel and attend a literature conference to network with writers, agents, and editors in preparation for submitting the novel.
Junauda J. Petrus, Minneapolis $  8,125
Petrus will research and write her first young adult novel, Death Sentence.
Amy Rea, Eden Prairie $  9,595
Rea will complete a full draft of her novel, Epitaphs, then work on revising the novel with a professional mentor. She will give at least two readings of the work in progress to small communities in greater Minnesota.
John S. Reimringer, Saint Paul $  10,000
Reimringer will complete a draft of Cathedral Hill, a novel about a German American family in 1920s Saint Paul, and will host a public reading and discussion with other writers whose work deals with the immigrant experience.
Vincent Reusch, Moorhead $  10,000
Reusch will complete his novel, Circumnavigation, which chronicles the death of a young man to AIDS, and the impact of both his life and death on his family.
Emma Törzs, Minneapolis $  10,000
Törzs will complete her first story collection by writing two new stories, and will edit the full manuscript towards publication. She'll host a reading and workshop on walls/boundaries, a central theme of her collection.
Sarah E. Warren, Minneapolis $  9,690
Children's author Warren will write two nonfiction children's books. She will offer workshops and engage the public in practicing this exciting art form.
Stephanie E. Watson, Minneapolis $  9,957
Watson will use grant funds to promote her fifth published children's book, Best Friends in the Universe, and write three to five new picture book manuscripts.


Number of grants awarded November 1, 2017 6
Total dollars awarded November 1, 2017 $ 60,000

Seth M. Eberle, Minneapolis $  10,000
Eberle will create formal mentorships with established puppet artists to improve his current repertoire of puppet shows, finishing by staging them at Dreamland Arts and obtaining more professional documentation.
Dylan Fresco, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fresco will develop a repertoire of ten Sephardic Jewish folk songs by studying the Judeo-Spanish language with a scholar, and training in guitar and vocal performance with two expert musicians.
Paul D. Herwig, Minneapolis $  10,000
Herwig will incorporate Tagtool, a new digital design tool that creates projected animation, into his set design and performance work.
William Nour, Minneapolis $  10,000
Nour will develop his play Turbulence and present it to an audience over three weekends. He will work with community members to tell a story of anti-Arab racism in the airline industry and homophobia in the Arab community.
Aamera Siddiqui, Saint Paul $  10,000
Siddiqui will write Sharam aur Izzat, a play about a South Asian American woman struggling with depression, family secrecy, stigma, and a mental health system with limited cultural understanding.
Ricardo A. Vázquez, Minneapolis $  10,000
Vázquez will expand and perform Escuchame, which combines traditional folktales with commedia dell'arte techniques to present the history of Puerto Rico's debt crisis as a humorous and heartbreaking solo performance.

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