-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

FY 2017 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 2, 2016 8
Total dollars awarded November 2, 2016 $ 75,658

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Emily Gastineau, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gastineau will organize a live interview marathon at a Twin Cities venue, at which dance artists will interview each other and discuss current issues affecting contemporary performance practice. An accompanying publication will be available as hard copy and electronically.
Marylee Hardenbergh, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hardenbergh will create four live dance performances using body camera footage combined with outside-eye video. The work will be shot on the banks of the Mississippi River and result in a dance film that will be shown at the A-Mill in Minneapolis.
Jennifer J. Ilse, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ilse will develop and implement a community engagement project to create a new dance and theater performance about the loss of one’s parents. Three to five public movement workshops will be held in collaboration with the South Minneapolis Coalition for Grief Support.
Paula L. Mann, Northfield $  10,000
Mann will create Invisible an evening length movement/theater/media work that explores the narratives of women navigating the aging process. Invisible will premiere as part of the Women of Substance series in September of 2017.
Kaleena Miller, Minneapolis $  9,658
Miller will create and perform "Shift," a group tap dance work that will premiere a different musical soundtrack every night. It will run June 22-25, 2017, at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis.
Ashwini Ramaswamy, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ramaswamy will create "Fugitive Sense," a new ensemble performance piece inspired by the work of Vladimir Nabokov. Set to an original score, the piece will explore the deep recesses of cultural memory that exist within us all. The work will be presented at Red Eye Theater in Minneapolis.
Sally A. Rousse, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rousse will curate and produce an aesthetically challenging performance that includes her own choreography, at a major performance venue in the Twin Cities.
Sachiko “La Chayí”, Minneapolis $  6,000
La Chayí will increase her improvisation skills through rehearsals with a singer and guitarist. She will present three flamenco performances with live music at Reverie in Minneapolis.

Media Arts

Number of grants awarded January 4, 2017 13
Total dollars awarded January 4, 2017 $128,985

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Sarah Abdel-Jelil Northfield $  10,000
Abdel-Jelil will combine dance with time-lapse photography. Her piece will culminate in a community dance time-lapse shoot that will be open to public participation.
Trevor J. Adams, Minneapolis $  10,000
Adams will create a digital online archive of his experimental films and share his work through a Minnesota based screening tour that includes a hands-on workshop.
Mark R. Brown, Minneapolis $  10,000
Brown will complete production and postproduction on a 20-minute short documentary about Duluth musician and disability rights advocate Gaelynn Lea.
Alberto Justiniano, Saint Louis Park $  10,000
Justiniano will create The Cup, a short film about an immigrant man obsessed with the World Cup who realizes that life choices don't always turn out the way we want. The film will premiere at El Centro, a Minneapolis agency that serves new immigrants.
David S. Kang, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kang will research and work on the preproduction phase of the upcoming documentary film, Special Guerrilla Unit, about Hmong veterans who fought a "secret war" for the CIA during the Vietnam War.
Christopher A. Lange, Saint Paul $  9,150
Lange will complete a twenty-minute documentary film, Plaza Maplewood, about a discount movie theater and the people that work there. A public screening will take place at the Woodbury 10 Theatre and at the Cinema Lounge.
John W. Marks, Minneapolis $  10,000
Marks will create Watercourse, a multimedia work for 16mm film projections and sound that draws inspiration from the movement of the Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis.
Joshua D. McGarvey, Minneapolis $  10,000
McGarvey will complete Gallant Little Michael, a short film that layers poetic explorations of history and folklore to visualize the human condition from the perspective of an anthropomorphized pony. The film will be screened at Cellular Cinema in Minneapolis.
Kathy McTavish, Duluth $  10,000
McTavish will create a Web based, interactive, cross platform, new media work called net.flux ::: the art of the fugue, presenting it online and in a multichannel gallery installation.
Benjamin J. Moren, Eden Prairie $  10,000
Moren will develop a large scale, interactive, mixed media sculpture of an ice that uses custom software and video projections to take a critical look at our relationship to climate change. The sculpture will be exhibited at the 2017 Northern Spark Festival in Minneapolis and Saint Paul.
Chris Newberry, Minneapolis $  9,975
Newberry will edit his documentary that chronicles the circumstances and impact of the Jacob Wetterling case, a decades old child abduction crime. A rough cut screening is planned.
Kevin G. Obsatz, Minneapolis $  9,860
Obsatz will create and post a new Powderhorn in Motion video online each week for a full year. He'll offer a workshop on observational short documentary filmmaking once every three months.
Brendan J. Stermer, Montevideo $  10,000
Stermer will produce Interesting People Reading Poetry, a podcast that will feature regional artists and local celebrities reading and discussing their favorite poems. A live broadcast is planned for the final episode in the Twin Cities.


Number of grants awarded November 2, 2016 and May 3, 2017 24
Total dollars awarded November 2, 2016 and May 3, 2017 $ 230,833

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Christopher G. Atzinger, Dundas $  10,000
Atzinger will record a full-length CD featuring solo piano compositions by the American composer John Knowles Paine (1839-1906). Public concerts will be presented in Northfield and Owatonna.
Zachary J. Baltich, Minneapolis $  10,000
Baltich will compose and record Cavernous, a series of four compositions for a mixture of percussion, clarinet, guitar, and banjo. The pieces will be recorded in four caves around the state. Live performances will occur in the cities and towns near the recording sites: Lanesboro, Harmony, Silver Bay, and Ely.
Colleen M. Bertsch, Minneapolis $  10,000
Bertsch will create new arrangements of traditional Romanian colinde (carols) and present a public performance in Saint Paul of this repertoire with Orkestar Bez Ime. The performance will be recorded and released on CD.
Greg Byers, Saint Paul $  10,000
Byers will compose a multisensory, hour-long work for chamber ensemble that will be performed alongside a synergetic tasting menu at a venue in the Twin Cities. Following the performance, recipes, scores, and a video recording will be posted online.
Jonathan M. Campbell, Morris $  10,000
Campbell will compose ten original pieces for jazz quintet to be recorded on his first album as band leader. The quintet will present master classes and performances of the compositions in Alexandria and Minneapolis.
Paul G. Fonfara, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fonfara will write and record an album of original songs and compositions based on the work of Minnesota Book Award winners. He will then perform a concert at which the authors read selections from their work.
Nicholas J. Gaudette, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gaudette will premiere a multidisciplinary work at the 2017 Hear, Here! Live Music and Movement Festival. The twenty-minute work will consist of three movements with driving percussive rhythms and minimalistic melodic lines.
Sarah M. Greer, Minneapolis $  10,000
Greer will write, record, and produce a jazz CD to enhance her solo music career. To assist her, she will consult marketing and public relation experts to develop a promotional strategy. A CD release event will take place at Jazz Central Studios in Minneapolis.
Nathan E. Hanson, Saint Paul $  7,500
Hanson will create and develop an evening length program of music for solo saxophone. He will present this work in at least five locations around the state of Minnesota.
Sahar Hassan, Saint Paul $  9,750
Hassan will produce a recording of vocal chamber music from the cabaret, salon, and parlor repertoire to make her work available to a wider range of audiences in Minnesota. A live performance of the new work will take place in Saint Paul.
Greg Herriges, Saint Paul $  9,000
Herriges will arrange, record, and release a new CD, Holiday Music for the World, featuring celebration music from many different cultural traditions, faiths, and seasons. A live performance will take place in the Twin Cities.
Maud N. Hixson, Mendota Heights $  10,000
Hixson will develop her performance skills with a large jazz ensemble by performing eight new commissioned vocal arrangements with the Wolverines Big Band, at a venue in the Twin Cities.
Joe Horton, Minneapolis $  10,000
Horton will write and record his debut solo album, Cairo A.D. (working title). The album will be presented in two ways: a live performance at a Twin Cities venue and at a listening party at Bellows Studio in Saint Paul.
Nicholas Jaffe, Saint Paul $  10,000
Jaffe will develop and curate Linesmasher, a bimonthly performance series for musicians, poets, and emcees to bring together performers and audiences from different communities, genres, styles, and cultures at Reverie Café and Bar in Minneapolis.
Julie A. Johnson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Johnson will compose music for Crocus Hill: A Ghost Story, a hybrid reading and concert of a story by Twin Cities writer, Cheri Johnson. The music will be performed by Julie Johnson and Zeitgeist New Music Ensemble at three separate performances in the Twin Cities.
Jeffrey C. Lambert, Saint Louis Park $  10,000
Lambert will record the complete solo guitar works of 19th century classical guitar composer, Giulio Regondi, on a period instrument and hold a public CD release concert at the Baroque Room in Saint Paul.
Andrea E. Leap, Minneapolis $  8,932
Leap will develop new Baroque music skills and artistic partnerships, with Paul Boehnke, harpsichordist, and Julie Johnson, flutist and composer. Concerts will be performed at venues in Golden Valley, Minneapolis, New Ulm, and Saint Paul.
Laura A. MacKenzie, Northfield $  9,950
MacKenzie will research, arrange, and score the repertoire for a ten piece, cross genre ensemble that combines Celtic instrumentation with horn and rhythm sections. A public concert will be given in Saint Paul.
Matthew McCright, Minneapolis $  9,000
McCright will commission a new solo work for piano, by Reinaldo Moya, that uses the diverse musical styles of Latin America and references the immigrant experience. A public symposium and concert will take place at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
Yumiko Oshima-Ryan, North Mankato $  8,401
Oshima-Ryan will record and produce Left, and Alone, a CD of solo piano works for left hand. She will introduce new left hand repertoire to students and teachers in Minnesota by presenting at the Minnesota Music Teachers Association's conference and at Sundin Hall in Saint Paul.
Pooja Pavan, Minneapolis $  10,000
Pavan will work with an experienced filmmaker to produce two music videos of her original Sufi music. She will hold a public screening of the videos, along with a short concert at Normandale Community College in Bloomington.
Catherine Ramirez, Northfield $  10,000
Ramirez will perform and record a program of solo flute works that explores depression in a new way. There will be two public performances in Northfield.
Wilhelmina W. Smith, Saint Paul $  10,000
Smith will record three solo cello pieces by Kaija Saariaho to complete a CD of unaccompanied cello works by living Finnish composers. A public performance of all the works will take place in early 2017.
Alison Young, Saint Paul $  8,300
Young will complete a recording and recital project that presents Argentinean music she has arranged and edited for flute and piano.


Number of grants awarded January 4, 2017 19
Total dollars awarded January 4, 2017 $ 187,322

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Christopher J. Atkins, Minneapolis$  10,000
Atkins will purchase new equipment to create a sustainable and self-sufficient home studio that maximizes time and materials. In January 2018, he will host a public critique of his work at Kolman & Pryor Gallery in Minneapolis.
Douglas Beasley, Saint Paul$  8,972
Beasley will develop and print a new portfolio of images from an ongoing body of work concerning the human intersection with the natural world. An exhibition at a Twin Cities gallery is planned along with a weekend photo workshop for students and artists who want to transcend technique and use photography for creative and individual expression.
Susan N. Boecher, Minneapolis $  10,000
Boecher will place her cancer into a creative context to create a body of work that presents the physical and emotional transitions of cancer that is honest, confrontational, and expressive. A public exhibition at Augsburg College in Minneapolis and at the Masonic Cancer Center at the University of Minnesota are planned.
Eric W. Carroll, Minneapolis $  10,000
Carroll will use imagery created from an archive of decaying astronomical photographs and learn the photogravure process in order to produce a print portfolio for his project Standard Stars. He will give talks about the technique at regional colleges or universities, host a workshop at Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis, and share the work with those interested in astronomy at a local "star viewing party."
Claudia M. Danielson, Saint Paul $  10,000
Danielson will create a limited edition of handmade artist books that address the way we engage with our natural resources. An exhibition and roundtable discussion is planned for the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis.
Selma Fernandez-Richter, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fernandez-Richter will continue photographing and researching her project about recurrent pregnancy loss. She will offer a photography workshop for a Latino youth group at Centro Tyrone Guzman, in Minneapolis, as part of the project.
Bernice Ficek-Swenson, Golden Valley $  10,000
Ficek-Swenson will create an artist book based on her photographs of stones from the headwaters of the Mississippi River, Lake Superior, and other historic locations. The project will culminate in a presentation about the book at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis.
David S. Goldes, Minneapolis $  10,000
Goldes will make photographs of drawings while they are subjected to high voltage electricity in order to challenge expectations. He will present a two session workshop for a mix of high school aged science and art students in the Twin Cities.
Ethan A. Jones, Minneapolis $  10,000
Jones will continue his project, Chimera, photographs of contemporary Minnesota and its inhabitants that use Jonathan Carver's search for the Northwest Passage as inspiration. He will present the new work at two open studio events.
Peter A. Latner, Minneapolis $  8,650
Latner will produce two handmade photography books of his longstanding project, The Great Plains. He will also conduct darkroom workshops for photographers about the making of silver gelatin prints at a Twin Cities based photography center.
Jes Lee, Minneapolis $  10,000
Lee will create a new body of work in photogravure for exhibition during Art Attack in Minneapolis. The artist will also host a public panel discussion about the photogravure process at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
John M. Matsunaga, Minneapolis $  9,700
Matsunaga will exhibit Nidoto Nai Yoni, a photographic series that documents the physical remnants of the ten American concentration camps that were used to incarcerate Japanese Americans during World War II. A public exhibition is planned for the Twin Cities along with an artist talk as part of the Fort Snelling Conversations lecture series sponsored by the Minnesota Historical Society.
Paula M. McCartney, Minneapolis $  10,000
McCartney will create a handmade, quarterly, photobook series, printed and bound in her studio that will result in 72 completed books. She will organize a photobook salon at Soo Visual Art Center in Minneapolis that will also include other local photobook makers.
Meg Ojala, Dundas $  10,000
Ojala will explore bogs and fens, experiment with new techniques in order to make large-scale immersive works, and complete a new body of photographs for an exhibit that will include a public program at the Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis.
Andy Richter, Minneapolis $  10,000
Richter will create a new body of work that examines contemporary yoga practice. He will have a solo exhibition of the work at a local yoga studio in Minneapolis.
Jon A. Solinger, Pelican Rapids $  10,000
Solinger will exhibit prints and give an artist talk at three regional libraries about his Working Land project, which depicts rural workers and workplaces in his Otter Tail County neighborhood. He will also research cultural venues around the state to bring his work to a statewide audience in the future.
Carrie Elizabeth Thompson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Thompson will complete her project, From This Day Forward, about creating a family. She will make five handmade artist books that will be an integral part of the exhibition, which is planned for the Twin Cities.
Inna I. Valin, Saint Paul $  10,000
Valin will complete her documentary series, Bellwether, which explores the human condition and culture within the archetype of the "unnoticed" person. A public exhibition and artist talk are planned for the Twin Cities.
Michelle W. Wingard, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wingard will print and frame photographs from The Shape of Memory, a body of work about a farm field in Belgium where her grandfather's plane crashed during World War II. A portion of the work will be exhibited at a World War II air show in greater Minnesota and a pop-up exhibition in Minneapolis.


Number of grants awarded November 2, 2016 10
Total dollars awarded November 2, 2016 $ 96,865

Grantee, City Grant Amount
James J. Cihlar, Saint Paul $  10,000
Cihlar will study ekphrastic and persona poetry to generate new work, which will be shared at readings and events in the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota.
Roy G. Guzmán, Minneapolis $  10,000
Guzmán will complete his first poetry manuscript, Catracho, which looks to his Honduran heritage to examine issues of immigration, queerness, and trauma. The project will culminate in five readings and a writing workshop.
Margaret M. Hasse, Saint Paul $  8,565
Hasse will share her latest book, Between Us, with older audiences likely to appreciate her strong and tender poems about aging. She will offer workshops to inspire senior citizens to read and write poetry.
Raymond V. Moniz, Jr., Minneapolis $  10,000
Moniz will work with an editor to prepare his first poetry manuscript for submission and will travel to local Minnesota communities for public readings.
Jude Nutter, Saint Paul $  10,000
Nutter will spend four months focusing on the technical and aesthetic challenges of crafting a book length narrative poem. She will do public readings from the new work at locations around the state.
Sagirah Z. Shahid, Minneapolis $  9,800
Shahid will complete Bean Pie, her first collection of poetry. She will also host a panel discussion and a performance featuring local African American Muslim women who are practicing artists.
Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis $  10,000
Shin will complete the manuscript for a fourth book of poetry with images, and purchase projection equipment to create innovative readings and events.
Elizabeth R. Tannen, Minneapolis $  8,500
Tannen will deepen her poetry while working toward publication of a chapbook and completion of her first full-length collection. She will hold a reading open to the public in Minneapolis.
Michael P. Torres, Mankato $  10,000
Torres will work with an editor to revise his first book of poems, Against the Closed Ear of Sky. He will host a poetry workshop for homeless youth at the 410 Project and give a reading in Mankato.
Morgan G. Willow, Minneapolis $  10,000
Willow will complete her fourth poetry collection, develop a marketing plan, and give readings throughout the state to expand her audience and share her work with the Minnesota public.


Number of grants awarded November 2, 2016 32
Total dollars awarded November 2, 2016 $ 291,854

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Andy Bennett, Duluth $  10,000
Bennett will complete his manuscript about his father's experiences during the Vietnam War, how those experiences shaped the author's childhood, and the closure achieved by visiting Vietnam with his father in 2016. A reading is being planned for Duluth and Minneapolis.
Ryan J. Berg, Minneapolis $  8,440
Berg will travel to ten cities in Minnesota to promote his book, No House to Call My Home, a personal account of his time working with LGBTQ homeless youth in New York City. He will also teach writing workshops for youth.
Cheryl E. Blackford, White Bear Lake $  9,900
Blackford will write a middle grade novel about Mary Anning, a 19th century English paleontologist. She will also make several author visits to schools in the Twin Cities.
Victoria A. Blanco, Minneapolis $  10,000
Blanco will revise her essay collection about a Rarámuri community in Chihuahua City, Mexico. She will also hold a workshop to help writers explore the creative possibilities of bilingual writing.
Steve Brezenoff, Minneapolis $  9,000
Brezenoff will complete and revise the first two titles of a series of middle grade novels. He will host a reading at Addendum Books in Saint Paul that will feature his work and that of other middle grade writers.
Judy Budreau, Duluth $  8,700
Budreau will complete her manuscript, The Order of Love, a novel exploring assumptions of blame, and the reverberations for one girl and her family. She will lead a half-day writing workshop at Duluth Art Institute’s Lincoln Park Education Center.
Karlyn K. Coleman, Minneapolis $  4,255
Coleman will complete her first novel, Air, which captures the complex role that economics, race, and geography play in the saving of lives through the transplant process. A reading for a high school driver’s education class and a writing workshop for senior citizens will be held in Princeton.
Jonathan Damery, Minneapolis $  10,000
Damery will complete Plainlands, a nonfiction book that explores the cultural history of the tallgrass prairie. He will host readings and wildflower walks at Minnesota natural areas featured in the book.
Dana M. D’Amico, Minneapolis $  10,000
D’Amico will write a collection of lyric essays about science in Minnesota. She will work with the Minneapolis Department of Health to host a public reading, discussion panel, and writing workshop.
Anne-Marie Erickson, Grand Rapids $  10,000
Erickson will produce six new essays about her husband's decline into dementia, bringing her memoir close to completion. She'll give readings in Bemidji, Benson, and Grand Rapids.
Amy L. Fladeboe, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fladeboe will revise her novel, Boys Not Yet Men, and host a literary event that features her work and the work of other Minnesota writers who cross borders through art.
Angela F. Foster, Pine City $  8,000
Foster will complete her memoir Falling Away. Events will include a public reading, as well as a memoir writing workshop in Pine City.
Shannon E. Gibney, Minneapolis $  8,704
Gibney will complete her essay collection, American Perversions: Class, Caste, And Race in the Academy. She will also organize a public panel, reading, and workshop comprised of women of color academics in Minnesota.
Molly B. Griffin, Minneapolis $  6,700
Griffin will complete Either/Or, a new young adult novel exploring themes of sexuality, race, and identity policing. She will host a reading in collaboration with the Queer Voices Reading Series at the Loft in Minneapolis and Addendum Books in Saint Paul.
Marcus H. Kessler, Saint Paul $  10,000
Kessler will complete a memoir about moving from Chicago to a farm in rural Minnesota with his twelve siblings. He will host a reading on the frontier's legacy in Saint Paul.
Sophia E. Kim, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kim will complete a revision of her first novel about a young Korean American woman who returns to Seoul, Korea. She will give a reading from her manuscript and lead a storytelling workshop in Saint Paul.
Chrissy Kolaya, Morris $  10,000
Kolaya will complete her second novel, The Second Voyage of Audley Worthington. She will host a reading, book talk, and other events in greater Minnesota.
Ed Bok Lee, Minneapolis $  10,000
Lee will complete his first novella. He will also give three readings from this work in progress throughout the year.
Rachel A. Moritz, Minneapolis $  8,640
Moritz will complete research and writing toward a new book of lyric prose, Light Machine. In late 2017, she will host a reading and discussion on lyric prose and other hybrid forms.
Margie Newman, Saint Paul $  10,000
Newman will work with an editor to finish the second draft of her memoir to prepare it for publication. She will lead a writing session for elders, and will do a public reading with other Minnesota writers.
Nicole A. Nfonoyim-Hara, Rochester $  9,345
Nfonoyim-Hara will complete a first draft collection of eight short stories that grapple with migration, inherited identities, and acts of mythmaking. She will present a public reading of her new work and host a panel discussion in Rochester on these themes.
Angela Pelster-Wiebe, Saint Paul $  10,000
Pelster-Wiebe will complete her nonfiction manuscript City Symphony. She will have a public reading as well as a workshop on using special collections resources in creative writing projects.
Matt Ryan, Saint Paul $  10,000
Ryan will complete his new literary crime novel, Mean Darlene. He will hold two public readings in greater Minnesota.
Ashley Shelby, Hopkins $  4,486
Shelby will present her debut novel, South Pole Station, in five communities across the state, at bookstore and library readings. She will also lead a workshop on publishing for aspiring writers.
Danielle Sosin, Duluth $  10,000
Sosin will finish a novel in progress about an elderly couple living in southeast Minnesota that explores themes of perception, independence, and interdependence. She will also lead two creative writing workshops at the Duluth Public Library.
Kate St Vincent Vogl, Plymouth $  6,834
Vogl will work with an editor to prepare her first novel, The Narrows, for submission. She will also organize a multigenre reading in the Twin Cities and provide two writing workshops in greater Minnesota.
Mary C. Stein, Minneapolis $  9,980
Stein will complete a first draft of her novel, Wonderland Babies. Upon completion, she will host an LGBTQ themed reading in Minneapolis and offer two writing workshops.
Jordan K. Thomas, Minneapolis $  10,000
Thomas will revise his first book, This Skin is Forever, an exploration of blackness and faith in the wake of the very public killings of black people in recent years. He will facilitate a panel of black writers who will read from their work and talk about their experience of living in the Twin Cities.
Andrea Uptmor, Minneapolis $  10,000
Uptmor will complete a draft of her novel which explores the relationship that emerges between a small town schoolteacher and the squatter who illegally occupies her neighbors' home. A reading and writing workshop for former female offenders will be offered through Volunteers of America Residential Reentry Center.
Diane E. Wilson, Franconia $  8,870
Wilson will complete a draft of her novel, The Seedkeeper, which tells the story of a displaced Dakota woman, a threatened family farm, and our fragile seeds. She will host a reading of her work and that of other emerging Native writers in the Twin Cities.
Kao K. Yang, Saint Paul $  10,000
Yang will work on her third memoir Return of the Refugee, an exploration of motherhood in times of war and its aftermath. At the end of 2017, she will host a community event on Hmong motherhood where she will read from the manuscript and facilitate a conversation about women and war.
Heather L. Zenzen, Inver Grove Heights $  10,000
Zenzen will complete her young adult novel, Sam & Haley, and improve her speaking skills. Events will include two writing workshops about craft, one for youth and one for adults.


Number of grants awarded November 2, 2016 13
Total dollars awarded November 2, 2016 $ 125,990

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Felice C. Amato, Minnetonka $$  9,900
Amato will create and perform in Wayward and Back: Tales Told with Puppets that will use folklore, mythology, and popular culture to explore its themes. Performances will take place in the Twin Cities.
Eva L. Barr, Wykoff $  9,070
Barr will adapt Packinghouse Daughter, by Cheri Register, about meatpacking, labor, and class in Albert Lea during the 1950s. She will interview community members and present a staged reading with area high school students in Albert Lea.
Marisa R. Carr, Minneapolis $  10,000
Carr will develop and present a workshop performance of her new one-woman play about Molly Spotted Elk, a Penobscot actor, singer, and dancer who lived and worked in the early twentieth century.
Lisa E. Channer, Minneapolis $  10,000
Channer will complete her new performance Rant, about her eccentric father and the thin line between genius and madness. She will perform it for Minnesota audiences at the Tech Box Theatre in Minneapolis.
Sun Mee Chomet, Saint Paul $  10,000
Chomet will transform her award winning one-woman play, How to Be a Korean Woman, into a professional film. The film will premiere in Saint Paul in the fall of 2017.
Jay O. Eisenbeg, Minneapolis $  7,600
Eisenberg will develop Big Old Rock, a one person show about the geology of Minnesota and the topography of transgender bodies, that draw from the performer's life and interviews with transgender adults and youth. Two performances will take place in the Twin Cities.
Brianne A. Hill, Saint Paul $  10,000
Hill will further develop and produce, White Skin, Black Masks, which explores African culture as a commodity. The work will be performed at Intermedia Arts and will be followed by a community discussion.
Katie Kaufmann, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kaufmann will premiere Keeper of the Light, inspired by the life of Ida Lewis, the first female lighthouse keeper in the United States. The work will have six public performances in the Twin Cities.
Taous C. Khazem, Minneapolis $  10,000
Khazem will create a new play using movement, music, and text. Based on three Berber/North African folktales, the play will challenge a singular view of the Middle East. There will be three performances in the Twin Cities.
DJ Mendel, Minneapolis $  10,000
Mendel will develop a theatrical duet with performance artist Candy Simmons that is based on letters from his sister and "found" social media posts. Three workshop performances will be held in Minneapolis.
Aaron M. Preusse, Saint Paul $  9,720
Preusse will rent a studio space to teach stage combat in multiple weapon styles. He will offer public workshops in Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Mankato, and the Twin Cities.
Scotty Reynolds, Minneapolis $  9,700
Reynolds will do field research and public workshops, in Babbitt and Silver Bay, that explore the economic and ecological history of Minnesota’s Iron Range and North Shore to prepare a new “Picnic Operetta.”
Max Wojtanowicz, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wojtanowicz will workshop Delgadina, a new musical based on a Chilean folktale, and present three public readings of the complete musical at a Twin Cities venue.

Visual Arts

Number of grants awarded January 4, 2017 72
Total dollars awarded January 4, 2017 $ 693,329

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Maria R. Adams, Minneapolis $  10,000
Adams will create a series of carefully orchestrated, patterned acrylic paintings exploring themes of domesticity, decoration, and interiority. This new work will be displayed at the Fairview Ridges Hospital.
Betsy Alwin, Mound $  8,420
Alwin will create an outdoor sculpture that explores the relationship between strength and beauty that incorporates reinforced cast concrete with surface lacework ceramics. The sculpture will be temporarily installed in three public locations around Minnesota.
Marion P. Angelica, Minneapolis $  10,000
Angelica will create illuminated porcelain sculptures that will be exhibited at the Homewood and Tres Leches galleries and in 3 weekend pop-up exhibitions along walking/biking trails in the Twin Cities and Duluth.
Karlyn Atkinson Berg, Bovey $  10,000
Berg will produce a hand cut collage series of eight paintings and one diptych using the genre of magical realism as a unifying theme. A collage workshop and gallery show are planned for several greater Minnesota locations.
Alyssa E. Baguss, Anoka $  10,000
Baguss will create and exhibit a new body of work at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, around the theme of landscape, exploring how satellite imagery influences the relationship people have with their natural environment.
Rachel B. Breen, Minneapolis $  10,000
Breen will create a series of temporary art installations in eight to ten public locations. While on site, she will sew clothing typically worn by garment workers in Bangladesh that is embellished with information about garment factories. She will also interact with the public about fair and safe working conditions for these garment workers, who make much of the clothing we wear.
Jim Brenner, Minneapolis $  10,000
Brenner will design and create prototypes for new sculptural work that exists at the intersection of science and art to serve as a catalyst for discussion about hydrodynamics. The work will be displayed and discussed at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization Learning Center in Minneapolis.
Blayze J. Buseth, Fergus Falls $  9,921
Buseth will create five narrative legacy vessels for specific individuals. Their personal narratives will be depicted by relief carving on porcelain urn forms. These vessels will be displayed at the Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls.
Morgan E. Clifford, Stillwater $  10,000
Clifford will create textiles for a well used public corridor in need of animation. Her piece will be a multipaneled, color gradation that will be installed at the Hennepin County Medical Center.
Kari CL Weber, New London $  10,000
CL Weber will create a series of landscape paintings that call attention to Minnesota's rural communities and agricultural spaces. The work will be exhibited at the Great River Gallery in Little Falls, Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls, and at the Studio Hop that takes place in Willmar, Spicer, and New London.
Elizabeth M. Coleman, Minneapolis $  10,000
Coleman will create and exhibit illuminated windows, lights, and sculptures composed of translucent porcelain and glass. A presentation for the Minnesota Women Ceramic Artists organization is planned.
JM Culver, Minneapolis $  10,000
Culver will create six portrait and six narrative paintings based on community members' collective storytelling for a solo exhibition. An open studio event will give a preview of artwork followed by a solo exhibition at the Ditch Gallery in Minneapolis.
Pete Driessen, Minneapolis $  10,000
Driessen will create a life scale participatory boat sculpture reflecting Minnesota lake culture at Northern Pacific Railway Yard in Brainerd.
Aaron J. Dysart, Minneapolis $  10,000
Dysart will create Latitude, an installation that uses computer controlled theatrical floodlights to represent the movement of carbon between the atmosphere and ecosystems at different latitudes. The work will be displayed at Franconia Sculpture Park's Casket Arts Gallery in Minneapolis.
Monica L. Edwards Larson, Minneapolis $  8,305
Edwards Larson will develop a mobile letterpress printing studio called Sister Black (Bike) Press. She will host printing events and poetry readings along cycling trails, at local bike shops, bookstores, and libraries.
Shannon L. Estlund, Fridley $  10,000
Estlund will create and exhibit a group of sculptures and paintings using imagery that explores the dark woods at night, through a mix of representational and abstract imagery. There will be a corresponding artist's talk during her exhibition at the Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis.
Lou Ferreri, Saint Paul $  10,000
Ferreri will create twenty boxed sets of archival prints from original mixed media drawings that illustrate the details of daily life in Minnesota. He will also develop skills in marketing as he promotes the public presentations that are planned for educational institutions and galleries around the state.
Susan A. Foss, Sandstone $  10,000
Foss will create a new public sculpture of reinforced concrete for the Minnesota Goose Garden, located in Sandstone, that depicts the story of an Ojibwe girl and her interaction with a family of otters.
Kada C. Goalen, Saint Paul $  10,000
Goalen will paint a large, interactive mural on Charles Avenue and Dale Street in Saint Paul. The artist will host Community Paint Days and engage the community during the design phase of the project.
Regan Golden, Saint Paul $  10,000
Golden will create four large-scale collages using photographs and drawings of the native plants at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden, an urban forest that is home to 500 native plant species. The work will be shown at the University of Minnesota's Architecture and Landscape Architecture Library.
Bethany T. Grabert, Minneapolis $  10,000
Grabert will create and exhibit ten figurative ceramic sculptures featuring women's issues based on her personal experience. An exhibition and artist talk will take place in Minneapolis.
Karen Gustafson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gustafson will complete and exhibit embroidered botanical drawings that provide a contemporary perspective on De Materia Medica, an ancient pharmacological text, by Dioscorides. The work will be exhibited at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska.
Marcia Haffmans, Minneapolis $  10,000
Haffmans will create a 3-D visual artwork incorporating the handwriting of individuals incarcerated in Minnesota. She will exhibit the work and host a public lecture and discussion at Mitchell Hamline School of Law in Saint Paul. Haffmans plans to make a book of the art for the prison library.
Monica M. Haller, Minneapolis $  10,000
Haller will work on a book and exhibition about the Mississippi wetlands of the eroding and sinking Louisiana coast. She will exhibit the work in a pop-up gallery and facilitate several artist led “walking tours” of the exhibition.
Mike Helke, Stillwater $  9,500
Helke will create new work that reflects a contemporary regional understanding of utilitarian pottery. A lecture and exhibition are planned for Minneapolis.
Alison Hiltner, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hiltner will create an interactive, site specific environment at Rochester Community and Technical College Gallery, to explore the connection between people and plants to deepen the viewer's understanding of ecology.
Syed Hosain, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hosain will complete a series of eight to fifteen oil paintings depicting Muslim immigrants in their Minnesota homes. The work will be shared with the public through open studio events and an exhibition in Minneapolis.
Tim Jennen, Saint Paul $  9,520
Jennen will complete The Saga of Harvey and Shifra, a graphic novel exploring what happens when a dominant culture is disrupted by the arrival of individuals with ideas that force them to confront a larger world. Two public cartooning workshops, one for children and one for adults, along with an exhibition and panel discussion is planned.
Olli Johnson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Johnson will study the mechanics behind gear driven sculpture in order to create a series of interactive shadow boxes that combine traditional printmaking techniques and modern technology. The boxes will be exhibited in at least five Twin Cities locations that are open to the public.
Michael R. Kareken, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kareken will complete a series of drawings inspired by visits to auto salvage yards and create an artist's book that contains a large selection of the completed drawings. An exhibition and artist talk will take place at the Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis.
Tia S. Keobounpheng, Minneapolis $  10,000
Keobounpheng will develop technical metalsmithing skills and incorporate them into a new jewelry collection. Through artist talks in Duluth and Minneapolis, she will share her process as a Minnesota designer.
Keren Kroul, Plymouth $  10,000
Kroul will create and exhibit Possible Territories, intricate large-scale work that explores memory and place. Made of cut, painted, and layered paper, the work will be installed to form an immersive environment at the Gallery Saint Germain in Saint Cloud, Great River Gallery in Little Falls, and the Arts Center of Saint Peter.
Tracy Krumm, Saint Paul $  10,000
Krumm will develop a new body of work that explores the dualities of the hand and digital, the natural and synthetic. An installation and hands-on workshop is planned for two venues in Saint Paul.
Kristi S. Kuder, Saint Paul $  10,000
Kuder will create a temporary installation that will be a complete environment to inspire viewers to use their imagination by asking questions that have no wrong answers. An exhibition and artist talk at a Twin Cities venue is planned.
Paul R. Linden, Minneapolis $  10,000
Linden will study with renowned toolmakers and craftspeople to expand his skills in toolmaking, basket making, and weaving with natural materials. He will provide a hands-on demonstration and public presentation at Milan Village Arts School in Milan.
Lindsay N. Locatelli, Bloomington $  9,894
Locatelli will present a unique exhibition of sculptural jewelry, Beyond Worn, a collection that encourages the audience to engage and respond to wearable art that will explore storytelling and the senses. An interactive exhibition is planned for locations in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities.
Melissa Loop, Minneapolis $  10,000
Loop will create a nine foot by fifteen foot painting based on her photographs of Mayan Ruins. This painting will be exhibited at the Rosalux gallery along with a book she will produce of her paintings and photographs.
Amanda Lovelee, Minneapolis $  10,000
Lovelee will create a multimedia book series, The Field Guide to Care, with themes that include caring for the environment, city, neighbors, and self. A workshop and exhibition are planned for Minneapolis.
Tom Maakestad, Marine on St Croix $  10,000
Maakestad will complete twenty oil pastels of Minnesota landscapes. An ambiguous relationship with our main source of food challenges the artist to see beauty in pattern and color, while arousing conflicting emotions. An exhibition, workshop, and discussion will take place at Groveland Gallery in Minneapolis.
Andy Messerschmidt, Ely $  10,000
Messerschmidt will create a new pattern based installation in a pop-up gallery in Ely. Gallery visitors will be encouraged to collaborate and arrange their own patterned components as part of the exhibition.
Anna V. Metcalfe, Minneapolis $  10,000
Metcalfe will create Upstream, to connect people living along the Mississippi River through a bicycle powered traveling tea party. Participants will be given a story cup in exchange for a written narrative of their own memories along the river.
Megan R. Mitchell, Saint Joseph $  9,900
Mitchell will create a new body of ceramic work and prints that is rooted in an exploration of the suburban and agricultural landscape of Stearns County. An exhibition and artist talk is planned for a gallery space in Stearns County.
Dan Mondloch, Saint Cloud $  10,000
To complete his Community Plein Air project, Mondloch will paint 50 paintings in public locations and give half of them away to onlookers who have a unique connection to the place being painted.
Andrew J. Nordin, New London $  10,000
Nordin will research and create paintings at the threshold of abstraction and representation, focusing on rural Minnesota architecture. The work will be exhibited at the Gallery Saint Germain in Saint Cloud.
Kimber L. Olson, Eden Prairie $  6,266
Olson will create a series of large-scale, wool felt sculptures referencing symbiotic relationships, as part of a collaborative public exhibition at the American Association of Woodturners gallery in Saint Paul.
Erin Paradis, Minneapolis $  6,100
Paradis will create three large ceramic sculptures to be exhibited in her first solo show in Minneapolis. A hand building sculpture workshop for youth and adults will also be part of the project.
Natasha Pestich, Columbia Heights $  10,000
Pestich will complete a series of artists' publications that knit together themes of identity, society's complicated relationship to nature, and systems of power, as the conclusion of her Xylander project. She will host a public lecture at the Minneapolis School of Art and Design in Minneapolis, followed by a panel discussion with naturalists and art world professionals.
Sonja D. Peterson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Peterson will create new work addressing linked ecosystems under duress, made with the assistance of digital equipment. It will be exhibited at the Regis Center for Art in Minneapolis, and will include an artist talk, panel discussion, and public sketch session.
Connor K. Rice, Minneapolis $  7,000
Rice will create and display a series of screen prints dealing with the culture of the Black barbershops. This series will be in a group show in Minneapolis that features four artists of color from Minnesota.
Elaine B. Rutherford, Golden Valley $  9,974
Rutherford will create a series of mixed media paintings which integrate historic needlework processes into the work. An exhibit and artist talk at Rosalux Gallery in Minneapolis is planned.
Danny Saathoff, Edina $  10,000
Saathoff will fabricate and install a sculptural work at the Grand Marais Art Colony that is inspired by the brief period of time when the ice is breaking up on the surface of Lake Superior.
Jenny R. Schmid, Minneapolis $  10,000
Schmid will create a series of etchings that explore environmental issues with poetic imagery. She will also test nontoxic printmaking techniques and share her findings during an open studio event and public lecture at a Minneapolis venue.
Jennifer A. Schultz, Minneapolis $  4,934
Schultz will create new work using the format of an artist's book that responds to the landscape and history of Buffalo Lake, Minnesota. The work will be exhibited in Wright County at a location in or near Buffalo Lake. A bookmaking workshop for families and an artist talk are also planned.
Andrew B. Shea, Minneapolis $  10,000
Shea will work with two highly skilled assistants to blow four large pieces which he will cold work into sculptural vase forms. The work will be shown at his long standing, annual, open studio event.
Monica Sheets, Minneapolis $  6,000
Sheets will create a new body of text based, visual art that explores the role of the artist in participatory and collaborative processes. The work will be shown in Minneapolis, as a work in progress during the spring Art-a-Whirl and as a completed piece during the fall Open Casket studio tour.
Mary A. Simon-Casati, Minneapolis $  7,700
Simon-Casati will create a series of mixed media paintings, based on conversations with an astrophysicist about the intersection of art and physics. A solo exhibition titled, Smashing The Invisible, is scheduled for the Regis Center for Art in Minneapolis. Artist talks and a forum with the collaborating astrophysicist, Dr. Liliya Williams, are planned.
Ginny Sims, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sims will produce a new body of work inspired by her research of 18th and 19th century English pottery. To exhibit the work she will create an installation of a domestic room from that time period in a pop-up gallery in Minneapolis.
Joe Sinness, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sinness will research the history of the Twin Cities Good Time Softball League and its role in Minnesota's GLBTQ history to create new portrait drawings for exhibition in the Twin Cities.
Julie A. Sirek, Edina $  10,000
Sirek will create No Private Matter, a quipu (an Incan Empire visual display of historical events made of various types of cording.) The work will be made on-site at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and will be dedicated to the women, children, and men who will die in the United States during 2017 due to domestic violence.
Caitlin L. Skaalrud, Minneapolis $  10,000
Skaalrud will research and complete a graphic novel, Godhead, while conducting open studio hours. A gallery reception and book tour is planned for early 2018.
Jeffrey M. Stenbom, Apple Valley $  10,000
Stenbom will complete a series of eight to ten sculptures that feature the affects of war on United States military personnel. The work will be shown at Artistry in Bloomington.
Tressa Sularz, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sularz will create a new body of woven, waxed cotton work for a solo exhibition and other activities at the White Bear Center for the Arts. A video and a Web site will be produced to market the exhibition.
Sara Suppan, Minneapolis $  10,000
Suppan will produce a cohesive suite of ten to twelve paintings about solitude and home, which will be featured in her first solo exhibition in the Twin Cities.
Tara K. Sweeney, Saint Paul $  10,000
Sweeney will work collaboratively with her son and book illustrator, Nate Christopherson, to create a series of watercolor and ink drawings titled, Favorite Objects A to Zåäö, from the American Swedish Institute collection in Minneapolis. They will work on-site, during museum hours, in order to engage a new audience with art making and the museum's collection.
Sara Udvig, Saint Paul $  10,000
Udvig will increase her skill in the creation of public art by taking metal art classes and creating new work that will be on temporary display at the Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center.
Guy M. Wagner, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wagner will create short documentary films about two families, one from Ecuador and one from Somalia as they adjust to life in Minnesota. A screening in south Minneapolis is planned.
Rory E. Wakemup, Morton $  10,000
Wakemup will create alter egos with Native American youth that will combine his studio art practice with public performance and engagement. He is on a mission to wake people up to their inner ingenuousness and join him in what he calls "Funktavism," fun activism.
Samual D. Weinberg, Saint Paul $  10,000
Weinberg will complete a new body of fictional narrative paintings and will create an artist book which will chronicle the events and circumstances of his fictional characters. He will host an open studio during the Saint Paul Fall Art Crawl with a solo exhibition in the Twin Cities to follow in early 2018.
Matt Willemsen, North Mankato $  10,000
Willemsen will create and exhibit a series of abstract paintings exploring the iconic visual language of brand identities. He will exhibit at the Rural America Contemporary Art Gallery in Mankato.
Matthew J. Winkler, Rochester $  9,895
Winkler will create and exhibit a series of layered mixed media sculptures that explore the representation of place. He will discuss his work through a public talk and art making workshop at Augsburg College in Minneapolis.
Jane Wunrow, Saint Paul $  10,000
Wunrow will create a series of mixed media work inspired by dreams she has had. Through an open studio event and three exhibitions she will engage the viewer to discover their own conceptual creativity amidst life's many seasons.
Sarita Zaleha, Minneapolis $  10,000
Zaleha will develop a new body of work which will include textiles, large-scale photographs, and video documentation of temporary landscape installations. She will have a solo exhibition of this work at the Quarter Gallery on the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis.

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