-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

FY 2019 Grantees

Artist Initiative

Project grants are 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: 8
Total dollars awarded: $ 79,674

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Lisa L. Berman, Saint Paul $  10,000
Berman will utilize breakin' movement to choreograph for a short experimental film, in collaboration with filmmaker Maria Juranic. A public screening and talk back will be held at 3irdspace in Minneapolis.
Sam Johnson, Minneapolis $  9,820
"Research Council" is a serial performance series about meetings, knowledge transfer, and the value of not knowing.
Laura M. Levinson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Movement artist Levinson presents "Dumpster Fire," a performance held at Franconia Sculpture Park. Featuring new works by six queer/trans artists, "Dumpster Fire" celebrates catharsis and self liberation within community.
Sharon M. Picasso, Minneapolis $  9,994
Picasso will collaborate with sound Artists Beatrix*JAR and visual artist Jesse Mathew Peterson to develop a movement work using the concept of efracted light and video.
Ranee A. Ramaswamy, Minneapolis $  10,000
Choreographer Ramaswamy will work with filmmaker Caitlin Hammel to make "Lineage," a video installation about her art form, Bharatanatyam, and the work she has done with her daughters since immigrating to Minnesota in 1978.
April L. Sellers, Minneapolis $  10,000
The April Sellers Dance Collective will engage with audiences about their creative process through live performance and a video blog while in residence at Tofte Lake Center in Ely.
Marciano Silva dos Santos, Shoreview $  9,955
Silva dos Santos creates "Brazil." Through unique dance fusion choreography, and with recordings of elders speaking memories, "Brazil" explores influences of Afro/Brazilian history and diaspora that shape his work.
Arwen P. Wilder, Minneapolis $  9,905
Wilder will collaborate with Kristin Van Loon, Heidi Eckwall, and Ryan Fontaine to build "Jealousy," a performance, artist talk, and zine with sculpture, lighting, and dance made specifically in Hair + Nails Gallery.

Media Arts

Number of grants awarded: 16
Total dollars awarded: $159,978

Grantee, City Grant Amount
David Ash, Saint Anthony $  10,000
Ash will write, direct, and produce the twenty-minute pilot episode of a series based on his award winning feature film, Twin Cities. A public screening will take place at the historic Heights Theater in Columbia Heights.
Alec M. Fischer, Minneapolis $  10,000
Fischer will complete postproduction of GenerationQ, a documentary series exploring the lives of emerging queer Minnesotan changemakers. The finished series will be released online and shown in Minneapolis.
Rebecca Heidenberg, Minneapolis $  10,000
Heidenberg will make a rough cut for an experimental short film that deals with migration through a historical narrative about Walter Benjamin, a personal story that includes the oral histories of other Minnesota residents.
Keith Hopkins, Duluth $  10,000
Hopkins will complete a feature film, The Halfway House, which will explore Saint Louis County ghost stories and folklore with the help of local historians and paranormal experts.
Joe Horton, Minneapolis $  10,000
Vessel is a projection installation combining photography, film, and digital compositing to evoke a mystical futurism. Vessel will be presented gallery style with sound design adding sonic texture to the viewing space.
Rini Y. Keagy, Saint Paul $  10,000
Utilizing disparate source materials, Keagy will create a formally diverse series of short videos towards an ongoing project on migration and the Guatemalan Civil War. Interactive screenings will be held in the Twin Cities.
Teresa L. Konechne, Minneapolis $  10,000
Konechne will create film vignettes of farmers, especially elders, speaking about farming and traditions we have lost. These will be part of story circles in rural areas to host dialogues and transfer knowledge.
Jennifer A. Kramer, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kramer adapts a one-woman play, The Runaway Nun, to the screen as part of a series based on the lives of women behind famous husbands. The premiere will be held in collaboration with the Minnesota Women's Press.
Sarah Moua, Saint Paul $  10,000
Moua will produce and edit a twenty-minute short film called Kav Tsij Uv about a woman in her twenties who is trying to find her identity as a single Hmong American woman while healing from her relationship with her parents.
Riley L. Nelsen, Baxter $  9,983
Nelsen will share the video Bird House Legend, a documentary on the life and craft of Dick Bellefeille who in the Anishinaabe tradition has crafted over 25,000 original birdhouses with birch bark and barnwood.
Andrew T. Peterson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Peterson will direct Breathe, a five-minute short film exploring family dynamics, and publicly screen the finished film at Trylon Microcinema in Minneapolis.
Maribeth Romslo, Edina $  10,000
Romslo will produce a conceptual dance film depicting a woman's experience in a Frankfurt kitchen. She will screen the film in the Twin Cities followed by a discussion about the multidimensional lives of women.
Tom Schroeder, Saint Paul $  10,000
Schroeder loved the sixteen-millimeter educational films that he watched in classrooms as a child in the 1970's. The Birth Order Experiment is a tribute to the genre as eccentric, auteur folk art, using a blend of live action and animation.
Ariel Tilson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Tilson completes her first independent film, Indigenous Roots (w.t). More than two years in the making, this film shares the creation and impact of the Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center in east Saint Paul.
Jessica L. Woken, Cannon Falls $  10,000
Woken will create an animated series pilot. The title character, Le Mieux is a cat who wants to understand how his art fits into the world. The show will incorporate concepts like art, culture, and self-discovery.
Touchaing Yang, Shoreview $  9,995
Yang will complete the script and direct In Between, a short film about a young Hmong man named Jason, who tries to avoid his father's traditional funeral as much as possible.


Number of grants awarded: 22
Total dollars awarded: $ 213,735

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Krissy Bergmark, Minneapolis $  9,520
Bergmark will release an album that showcases the tabla in a modern acoustic instrumental setting, featuring tabla solo and voice, and tabla with combinations of berimbau, violin, vibraphone, bass, and banjo.
Mark A. Bilyeu, Minneapolis $  9,545
Pianist Bilyeu will curate, perform, and record a cycle of twenty-four songs by twenty-four American composers that will mirror Schubert's major song cycle Winterreise.
Jeffrey E. Brooks, Minneapolis $  10,000
Brooks will compose a work for choir and harmonicas with texts by Minnesota teens on the topic of despair. The texts are interspersed with ancient poems of lamentation. The piece will be titled De Profundis.
Gregory Brosofske, Minneapolis $  10,000
Brosofske will create an interactive electronic music piece for choreographer Carl Flink. Titled In This House, this piece will examine the complex nature of the private lives that take place behind the walls of a home.
Craig B. Carnahan, St Louis Park $  10,000
Carnahan will collaborate with Minnesota poet Julia Klatt Singer to compose a multimovement choral work for the Borealis Chorale (Grand Marais) that celebrates the beauty and drama of life on the North Shore.
John P. Croarkin, Saint Paul $  9,750
Croarkin will form a five member group to perform his original compositions for two Pifano's and three percussionists. The group will give two public performances, and two performances followed by a workshop and Q and A.
Paul K. Dice, Northfield $  10,000
Dice will compose his first concerto for jinghu (high-pitched Chinese violin) and Chinese traditional instruments orchestra and have it performed in Minnesota and China.
Rolf C. Erdahl, Apple Valley $  8,120
Erdahl will record his bass transcriptions of Edvard Grieg's works for cello and piano, based on his doctoral dissertation and performing editions. A CD release party will be held at Norway House in Minneapolis.
Michael M. Flora, Minneapolis $  8,325
Sound Objects is a two-day program exploring sound and composition in contemporary electronic music through concert and workshop.
Jerry Kosak, Saint Paul $  10,000
Jerry Kosak will perform his original music for acoustic guitar. Concerts will present his wide ranging explorations into solo guitar and guitar and bass, with bassist Gary Raynor.
Andrea E. Leap, Minneapolis $  10,000
Leap, soprano, will present a concert of eighteeth century music, including rarely heard compositions by female composers. Performances will be given in four Minnesota communities and followed by artist talk backs.
Matthew McCright, Minneapolis $  9,475
McCright will commission and record a new work for piano by composer Andrea Mazzariello. The premier will take place in a public concert at Studio Z in Saint Paul.
Scott L. Miller, Otsego $  10,000
Miller will develop ecosystemic music for Kyma and electromagnetically prepared piano with pianist Taavi Kerikmäe. A public demo and concert at Studio Z in Saint Paul will be filmed for documentation and distribution.
Crystal J. Myslajek, Minneapolis $  10,000
Myslajek will compose and perform a new music work for piano, voice, bass, drums, synthesizer, and tape looping, inspired by, and integrating, field recordings from the Phillips neighborhood in south Minneapolis.
Natalie Nowytski, Minneapolis $  10,000
With a chamber ensemble of local artists, Nowytski will workshop, refine, record, and perform her compositions from East of the Sun, an interdisciplinary theatrical piece to be fully staged in the future.
Rachel Ries, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ries will write, arrange, rehearse, and direct new contemporary choral works for Kith + Kin Chorus, a 60-person uncommon indie rock and roll community choir, to be shared at a public performance.
JC Sanford, Northfield $  10,000
Sanford will record a new CD recording with his quartet and present two concerts in Minneapolis and Northfield.
SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE, Minneapolis $  10,000
SEE MORE PERSPECTIVE will produce a series of music videos promoting progressive sexual politics through songs about consent and healthy sexuality to create platforms for discourse about patriarchy, sex, and rape culture.
Wilhelmina W. Smith, Saint Paul $  10,000
Smith will record solo cello pieces by Poul Ruders and Per Nørgård in a CD of unaccompanied cello works by living Danish composers. A public performance of all works will take place in Duluth in the spring of 2019.
Momoko Tanno, White Bear Lake $  10,000
Tanno will commission songs and adapt them into the Japanese story of Hebionna (Snake Woman) for two voices, piano, cello, and a dancer, and perform in a reading performance in the spring of 2019.
Steve H. Tibbetts, Mendota Heights $  9,000
Tibbetts will remaster and transfer nine of his albums from analog tape to high resolution digital media. Large and small-scale concerts as well as panel discussions or open Q and A on media preservation will follow.
Janika L. Vandervelde, Saint Paul $  10,000
Vandervelde will engage in a nine-month residency with Zeitgeist's Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd, culminating in The Gates of Horn and Ivory, an electro-acoustic piece exploring the nature of dream reality.


Number of grants awarded: 17
Total dollars awarded: $ 168,172

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Melissa A. Borman, Minneapolis $  10,000
Borman will create a book based on her project, A Piece of Dust in the Great Sea of Matter which critically engages conventional aesthetic associations between the human figure and nature.
Mara Duvra, Minneapolis $  10,000
Duvra will continue working on a photographic series entitled Tending: A Meditation on Interiority and Blackness/ on Black Female Subjectivity as it Relates to Stillness and Tenderness.
Tia-Simone Gardner, Minneapolis $  9,500
This project is an experimental site based work that looks at the relationship between Blackness and the river. The work brings together geography, architecture, and feminist practice of rethinking racialized place.
Mike Hazard, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hazard will photograph a year in the life of Peace House, a homeless shelter in Minneapolis. In addition to exhibitions in the Franklin Library and Peace House, the artist will create his first Web site.
John M. Matsunaga, Minneapolis $  10,000
Matsunaga will produce and exhibit Kazoku no tame ni, a photobook that addresses his family's incarceration during World War II and the intergenerational impact that this has had on Japanese American families.
Nikki J. McComb, Minneapolis $  8,855
We can create visible evidence based change using art as a catalyst for all persons affected by person to person gun crimes involving unlawful firearms, as well as address the issues that lead to crimes involving guns.
Frank J. Meuschke, Minnetrista $  9,967
Meuschke will create new photographic works depicting his experience of the land and research at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve and exhibit these prints at the Waseca Art Center in Waseca, Minnesota.
N Musinguzi, Minneapolis $  9,850
Musinguzi will continue to develop her new photographic series, The Letter Formally Known As Q which explores the themes of race, gender, sexuality, and citizenship.
Barbra K. Nei, Minneapolis $  10,000
Nei will produce and present the second installment of her ongoing photographic project Similitudes; The Girls from Group K, about international adoption, in an exhibition and talk at the Concordia University Gallery.
Blake A. Nellis, Minneapolis $  10,000
Nellis will curate, photograph, and publish an art photo book featuring Skin.Rock.Bone, photographs, artist testimonials, and poetry/prose focusing on elements of body image, self-love, nature, and the somatic experience.
Areca Roe, Minneapolis $  10,000
Roe will complete two photographic series exploring aspects of climate change and exhibit the work at Rosalux Gallery and The Grand in New Ulm.
Christopher M. Selleck, Robbinsdale $  10,000
Selleck will complete his project Body Building. Using photography, sculpture, and polymer photogravure, Selleck will examine the intersection of weight lifting, masculinity, sexuality, and identity.
Andrea R. Shaker, Minneapolis $  10,000
Shaker will prepare for exhibition a new series of photographs and moving images exploring themes of home, homeland, and intergenerational memory.
Xavier Tavera, Minneapolis $  10,000
Tavera will publish Veterano@s, a photography book of Mexican American War Veterans in Minnesota. The book will be released in a public event.
Keith M. Taylor, Minneapolis $  10,000
Taylor will travel to different topographical areas of Minnesota to complete the project Otherworld and produce a set of handmade prints. These will be presented at Century College in White Bear Lake, Minnesota
Carrie Thompson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Thompson will create a book of her exhibition. She will have an open studio event and give others a place to speak about miscarriage. She will meet with publishers to talk about the best way to publish the work.
Michelle W. Wingard, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wingard will explore a new direction in her work about her grandfather's WWII plane crash. She will create a large-scale photo installation, time-lapse videos, and memorial tiles with a pop-up exhibition and critique event.


Number of grants awarded: 9
Total dollars awarded: $ 83,880

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Theodosia Henney, Minneapolis $  10,000
Henney will spend six months researching and writing a hybrid manuscript on death, gender, and honeybees. Henney will also facilitate a workshop and reading series themed around environmental justice.
Preeti Kaur, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rajpal will draft and edit her poetry work in progress, O, How We Escaped. She will hold a series of generative poetry workshops on the broad theme of human rights in Minneapolis.
Janna M. Knittel, Minneapolis $  7,350
Knittel will complete her first book of poetry, Real Work. She will hold readings of the work in progress at Saint Cloud State University and the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.
Ed Bok Lee, Saint Paul $  10,000
Lee will give three public readings and focused, thematic talks from his third book of poetry, Mitochondrial Night (2019), at libraries in Elbow Lake, Saint Paul, and Minneapolis. Lee will also complete twelve new poems.
Timothy Otte, Minneapolis $  10,000
Otte will complete a final draft of a full-length poetry collection with editorial guidance from a mentor and perform public readings in three Minnesota cities. His work focuses on climate change and landscapes.
Sun Yung Shin, Minneapolis $  10,000
Shin will complete Utopias of Descent, a hybrid manuscript exploring the evolutionary "science" of race, gender, and reproduction. A public performance will be copresented with a scientist and held at a science venue.
Su Smallen, Roseville $  10,000
Smallen will commission three dance films inspired by her new book of poems inspired by dance and visual art. The films will be shown with poetry readings and audience/artist conversations in Morris, Duluth, and Minneapolis.
Michael P. Torres, Mankato $  9,980
Torres will write the first draft of a memoir in essay, host writing workshops for incarcerated juveniles, and host a public reading and a discussion focused on exploring identity in creative nonfiction.
Chaun Webster, Minneapolis $  6,550
Gentrified Memory will be a series of readings and writing workshops meant to engage and interrogate the uneven landscapes of memory in north Minneapolis.


Number of grants awarded: 37
Total dollars awarded: $ 363,907

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Kendra L. Atleework, Minneapolis $  10,000
Atleework will work on her nonfiction book exploring themes of home and stewardship. She will offer a Minneapolis reading with Friends of the Mississippi River and a writing workshop at Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center.
Maya Beck, Minneapolis $  10,000
Beck will write and revise a body of speculative short stories as preparation for publication. She will also host three events that engage geeks of color in examining their subcultures.
Essence Bonitaz, Maplewood $  10,000
Bonitaz will rewrite the manuscript for, Ajha's Web, the first novel in a series about a woman whose advice rules the lives of unsuspecting loved ones that divulge their deepest secrets on her anonymous advice blog.
Rachel V. Castro, Minneapolis $  10,000
Castro will write the second draft of her essay collection which explores her first generation American upbringing and performative whiteness. She will also teach nonfiction workshops and host a public reading.
Kristin N. Collier, Minneapolis $  10,000
Collier will finish her nonfiction book about debt, family, and forgiveness. Additionally, she'll lead workshops in which participants develop techniques for telling stories about family, love, grief, and home.
Josh Cook, Saint Paul $  9,525
Cook will revise his short story collection, A Hug for My Amygdala, and will create three public events themed around mental health, which will be a collaboration between musicians and writers.
Venus DeMars, Minneapolis $  10,000
De Mars, trans front person of glam punk/trans band ATPH, shares memoir reflections of an era wholly accepting of trans phobic violence and discrimination while navigating marriage, a band, and her public gender transition.
E.A. Farro, Saint Paul $  10,000
Farro will use grant funds to complete her first book. Science Love Letters takes the reader on a complex and unique journey through what it means to be a scientist in research, politics, and motherhood.
Carson D. Faust, Mankato $  10,000
Faust, an emerging Native American writer, will write a series of stories centering on queer and Native characters, work with a mentor, and give a reading in Mankato with other writers from underrepresented groups.
Holly J. Gross, Andover $  9,500
Gross will have a fully revised manuscript of her memoir, Where Presidents Lived, ready for traditional publication as well as the knowledge and information to successfully begin the query and publishing process.
Elizabeth M. Horneber, Mankato $  10,000
Horneber will work with a mentor on the revision of her first book length collection of essays. A panel reading and discussion about the intersections of the personal and the public will be held in Mankato.
Rebecca Kanner, Saint Paul $  9,920
Kanner will complete her essay collection dealing with mental health issues and the stigma surrounding them. Along with other Twin Cities writers, she will hold a panel on writing about mental health.
Brian J. Malloy, Minneapolis $  10,000
Malloy will complete a draft of his first Minnesota historical fiction collection, and perform a public reading and facilitate a community discussion of his short story Boundary Waters at Ely Folk School.
Michele Micklewright, Brooklyn Park $  10,000
Micklewright will facilitate a memoir writing workshop for residents of Saint Therese apartments in Brooklyn Park and a northeast Minneapolis senior housing facility. Participants will deepen skills in reflecting upon/writing memories.
Saara Myrene Raappana, Marshall $  10,000
Raappana will study a fiction curriculum and work with a mentor to write/revise eight stories that represent rurality and femininity as complex and diverse. She'll host a workshop and reading in southwest Minnesota and a reading in the Twin Cities.
Sheila M. O'Connor, Edina $  10,000
O'Connor will promote her forthcoming novel, Reconstructing V, to new audiences. Focusing on little known Minnesota history of incarcerated girls, O'Connor will market and present to readers throughout the state.
Nneka Onwuzurike, Minneapolis $  10,000
Onwuzurike will continue work with a mentor to complete a draft of her first book length project, a collection of personal essays focused on the displacement of children of immigrants.
Lara Palmqvist, Faribault $  10,000
Palmqvist will complete a story collection by writing two new stories, and will work with a mentor to revise the full manuscript. She'll host two open mic readings as well as two craft workshops on the theme of excavation.
Kasey M. Payette, Saint Paul $  9,963
Payette will complete a draft of her first novel and host writing workshops on navigating the complexities of a religious upbringing.
Thomas D. Peacock, Duluth $  6,009
Peacock will write The Wolf's Trail, a work of fiction about the Ojibwe relationship with wolves, and do writing for publication workshops in Minnesota's tribal communities using excerpts of the manuscript as examples.
Roseanne G. Pereira, Minneapolis $  10,000
Thinking about how all ghost stories are love stories, Pereira will facilitate writing workshops open to the public that incorporate guided meditation and writing prompts geared towards addressing what we cherish.
Vanessa Ramos, Woodbury $  10,000
Ramos will complete new work for young readers. She will facilitate an OwnVoices panel and offer a workshop for other writers of color and indigenous writers who are interested in writing for young audiences.
Glenda E. Reed, Minneapolis $  10,000
Reed will incorporate research into her memoir, host a reading and panel discussion of feminist Minnesota authors, and conduct writing workshops with underresourced teen girls.
Lynette E. Reini-Grandell, Minneapolis $  9,900
Reini-Grandell will complete a book length memoir draft reflecting on her 35-year transgender marriage, give public readings, and participate in panel discussions about negotiating a loving, changing relationship.
Erin Kate Ryan, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ryan will complete her short story collection, Parade Of Horribles, which explores a continuum of human experience through characters who exist at the edge of humanity, and will host an interactive fiction event.
Kathryn D. Savage, Minneapolis $  9,850
Savage will complete the first 75 pages of her lyric novel that is concerned with the ways loss imbeds itself in the body and will lead a workshop at Shakopee Correctional Facility on this theme.
Felicia Schneiderhan, Duluth $  10,000
Schneiderhan will work with a mentor to rewrite a novel about the devastating affects of addiction and the hope of recovery. She will teach creative writing workshops for people in the early stages of recovery.
Erin D. Sharkey, Minneapolis $  9,290
Sharkey will use funds to complete a collection of prose poems, Urban Farmers Almanac. Events will include a public reading in Saint Paul and a workshop at the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Lino Lakes.
Mihret M. Sibhat, Minneapolis $  10,000
Sibhat will complete a revision of her first novel, The History of a Difficult Child, a humorous take on the tempestuous childhood of a queer woman in Ethiopia. She will also organize a bilingual writing workshop.
Pamela J. Smith, Saint Paul $  10,000
Smith will complete Edgewalker, a memoir for anyone directly or indirectly touched by cancer. She will hold readings at Gilda's Club in Minnetonka and the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance in Minneapolis.
Sarah L. Stonich, Minneapolis $  10,000
Stonich will introduce her novel Laurentian Divide, a sequel to Vacationland, at rural libraries in conversational programs with area writers and audiences on the quiet activism of literature in an era of loud headlines.
Kristin A. Tipping, Minneapolis $  9,950
Tipping is a queer Minneapolis based comic creator. She will complete her graphic novel Evil Witch Allie and the Book of Secrets and finalize the script to its sequel.
Mimi Van Ausdall, Minneapolis $  10,000
Van Ausdall will complete a manuscript of her first novel Across the Fence, Gather the Sky. A public reading will be held in Minneapolis.
Diane E. Wilson, Shafer $  10,000
As a Dakota writer developing a new body of work focused on recovering an indigenous relationship with the land, this grant will help me develop a collection of essays and improve my marketing and social media skills.
S.A. Wolter, Eden Prairie $  10,000
Wolter will revise and prepare for submission to agents and publishers her novel, All That Lies Beneath, set in northwestern North Dakota amidst the oil exploration, and coordinate a public reading with several Minnesota writers.
Allison Wyss, Minneapolis $  10,000
Wyss will complete revision of her first novel, Ghost Arm, and will lead a Strange Bodies in Art and Writing tour at the MIA.
Kao K. Yang, Saint Paul $  10,000
As one of a few Hmong writers in the state, I want to do my part in contributing to more diverse children's books for our young readers.


Number of grants awarded: 8
Total dollars awarded: $ 80,000

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Rachel Austin, Minneapolis $ 10,000
Austin will create and present a solo work about caring for an ill parent. Engaging caregivers in its development, she will create a handbook documenting the needs of the community to be presented to relevant organizations.
Antonio Duke, Minneapolis $  10,000
Duke will write and perform Missing Mississippi Moons, a solo performance piece about the migration of his ancestors from Greenville, Mississippi to Chicago from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Aaron A. Gabriel, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gabriel will acquire technology and training to embolden his work with theater artists and musicians. He will learn leading edge techniques in sound design, mixing, and electronic music to create innovative new compositions.
Christopher E. Griffith, Minneapolis $  10,000
Griffith will explore new ground in his work as a puppetry artist by weaving traditional Cherokee tales and research with personal narrative and family history into three storytelling performances for family audiences.
Matt Guidry, Minneapolis $  10,000
Guidry will write and perform a work in progress version of Over the Edge about his experience of raising a child with significant disabilities, exposing audiences to new narratives about the disability community.
Wendy K. Knox, Minneapolis $  10,000
Theater director Knox will create a multiplatform work sample to promote her directing and teaching artist work, available in print, DVD/digital format, and online.
Luverne G. Seifert, St Anthony $  10,000
Seifert and a team of theater artists will join with residents of Grand Rapids, Minnesota, to create and perform The Ruby Slippers Project, an original work about the effects of a high-profile theft from the Judy Garland Museum.
Elle Thoni, Minneapolis $  10,000
Thoni will expand her playwriting practice into public space through the research and development of Queen B, a new play set in community gardens that invites audiences into a resilient future inspired by honeybees.

Visual Arts

Number of grants awarded: 73
Total dollars awarded: $ 720,721

Grantee, City Grant Amount
Hend A. Al-Mansour, Saint Paul $  10,000
Al-Mansour will expand her artistic growth by learning to make motion graphic videos based on drawings, and integrate that with three-dimensional installation. She will exhibit her work and lead a workshop and a lecture in Saint Paul.
Katayoun Amjadi, Minneapolis $  10,000
Naming is the first act of calling into being. The Names We Change is a series of video interviews investigating myriad immigrant diaspora responses to identity transformation in the way first names are kept or changed.
Krista J. Anderson-Larson, Saint Paul $  10,000
Anderson-Larson will create an immersive installation of found object sculptures featuring architectural and furniture fixtures of homes, bringing a heightened public awareness of, and exploring, female sexuality.
Teresa Audet, Minneapolis $  10,000
Audet will take workshops at local craft schools to build handcraft skills to create high quality artwork that combines elements of woodworking and basketry. Audet will show this work at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
Alyssa E. Baguss, Anoka $  10,000
Baguss will create a new body of work to be exhibited at the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization around themes of the river and how technology influences the relationship people have with the natural environment.
Julie R. Benda, Minneapolis $  10,000
Benda will develop and exhibit new work combining sculptural wood carving, print, and narrative.
Martha Bird, Minneapolis $  10,000
Bird will create fiber sculptures and give a reclaiming basketry lecture to explore the body's experience of trauma/healing. An exhibit and lecture will be held at Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls, and Plymouth Church in Minneapolis.
Rachel B. Breen, Minneapolis $  10,000
Breen will create an installation with jeans to encourage reflection about the people who sew our clothes and overconsumption. She will also develop a mending clinic to facilitate public engagement on this subject.
Sayge M. Carroll, Minneapolis $  10,000
Carroll will create a mural or sculpture in three cities or towns in Minnesota with local artists.
Nicolas D. Darcourt, Minnetonka $  10,000
Darcourt will create a body of ceramic sculptural work which expresses the accumulation of cultural iconography, using plaster molds. This work will be exhibited at the Carnegie Art Center in Mankato, in the fall of 2019.
Emily Donovan, Saint Paul $  8,925
Donovan will create a series of batik paintings using natural dyes, to explore the journey of birds in Minnesota. She will exhibit at her studio in the Northrup King Building during Art Attack 2019 and at a nature center.
Pete Driessen, Minneapolis $  10,000
Driessen will create a large-scale, abstract roundhouse sculpture reflecting the historical 1875 architecture at the Northern Pacific Rail Yard in Brainerd, Minnesota. A youth workshop, opening, and exhibit will be held on-site.
Aaron J. Dysart, Minneapolis $  10,000
Dysart will research fountains as a way to interpret natural processes. This research will culminate with a temporary installation at Silverwood Park in Saint Anthony, Minnesota.
Shannon L. Estlund, Fridley $  10,000
Estlund will create a series of paintings exploring hidden patterns and relationships in Minnesota forests, and will hold a public exhibition and talk.
Erik A. Farseth, Saint Paul $  10,000
Farseth will create original collage animations, sound collages, and zines to be shared with the community at a multimedia pop-up museum at a local gallery/theater space, and compiled as artist books.
Susan E. Feigenbaum, Eden Prairie $  10,000
Feigenbaum will create abstract ceramic wall sculptures depicting Minnesota birds in their habitats. She will present an exhibit, artist talk, and intergenerational clay workshop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum.
Toni N. Gallo, Minneapolis $  10,000
Gallo will create paintings exploring consciousness and offer meditation sessions as an exhibition in Minneapolis, connecting audience to art by sharing personal practice methods and creating unique space for discourse.
AK Garski, Minneapolis $  10,000
Garski will create a new series of paintings and explore the use of mirror as an installation material. The artist will lead a community engagement workshop at Gallery Three in August 2019.
Susanna C. Gaunt, Duluth $  10,000
Gaunt will develop sculptural skills to produce interactive, natural history inspired works, including a series of portable suitcase dioramas. Finished pieces will be shared in both exhibition and workshop settings.
Josette A. Ghiseline, Saint Paul $  10,000
Ghiseline will create an installation about microplastic in the Mississippi River and the emerging bioplastic alternatives. She will build a large-scale sculptural artwork based on river boats made from homegrown biomaterials.
Amanda M. Hamilton, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hamilton will integrate printmaking into her practice by using her abstract paintings as plates from which to print. She will exhibit the work in a Minnesota venue and host a workshop in her Northeast Arts District studio.
Marina E. Harkness, Minneapolis $  9,300
M. S. Harkness will complete Desperate Pleasures, a 150-page autobiographical graphic novel and host a weekly open studio night at Boneshaker Books.
Alison Hiltner, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hiltner will create an interactive environment at the Weisman Art Museum, exploring our reliance on interconnected biological systems that will be informed by her time at the University of Minnesota's School of Medicine.
Jess Hirsch, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hirsch will create an installation called Land (e)Scape, a sense based experience to explore the importance of winter and death through the seasonal cycles of the prairie.
Sarah J. Holden, Minneapolis $  9,998
Holden will create an updated portfolio with new children's book illustrations and work toward securing agent representation. Her work will be displayed at the Northeast Public Library in Minneapolis.
Jena T. Holliday, Brooklyn Park $  7,700
Holliday will create a new work of illustrations to share in an artist book at various readings and events in Minneapolis, highlighting minority youth that are bringing positive change to their communities
Syed Hosain, Minneapolis $  10,000
Hosain will create new body of work exploring his role as witness and surveyor of contemporary life which encompasses social realism and reportage of key sociopolitical moments of today.
Emily C. Johnson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Metalsmith Johnson will develop wax carving skills to further her artistic skill set and create a new body of sculptural, wearable work. She will do a public demonstration and exhibition to share these skills with Minnesota audiences.
Vesna K. Kittelson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Kittelson will produce a catalog with images and essays to accompany the transition of her career artwork to the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis. It will be publicly presented at a reception in the museum.
Keren Kroul, Plymouth $  10,000
Kroul will create new large-scale watercolor on paper works. Upon completion, an exhibit and artist talk will take place at Bemidji State University, Bemidji; and Great River Arts, Little Falls.
Tracy Krumm, Saint Paul $  10,000
Krumm will create an installation of handmade interdependent objects that map autobiographical experience. An exhibit, lecture, and workshop will be at the MacRostie Art Center in Grand Rapids, Minnesota.
Kristi S. Kuder, Battle Lake $  9,900
Kuder will produce an installation of new work combining wire felting with paper pulp techniques and provide construction and deconstruction experiences informed by nature's cycle of breaking down and building up through time.
Janet M. Lobberecht, Minneapolis $  10,000
Lobberecht's work explores the entangled and complex relationship between ecological systems and human made systems. She works primarily in drawing and painting.
Mike Marks, Minneapolis $  10,000
Marks will develop new artwork to be exhibited at Form+Content Gallery that examines the trajectory of land use in Minnesota and our calamitous relationship with nature.
Catherine F. Meier, Duluth $  10,000
Meier will develop new animation and projection techniques creating an experimental installation with an artist talk at the Free Range Film Barn in Wrenshall, Minnesota; and an artist talk in Finland, Minnesota.
Kelley A. Meister, Minneapolis $  10,000
RadMaps uses citizen science style data collection, mapping, public events, online data visualization, and creative thinking to address radioactive contamination in our environment through artist led workshops in Minnesota.
Andy Messerschmidt, Ely $  10,000
Messerschmidt will hold an exhibition of recent landscape paintings in a pop-up gallery in Ely, showcasing work from his Agroccult series, an ongoing exploration of collected cultural ideologies regarding land rights.
Ernest L. Miller, Minneapolis $  10,000
Miller will build a kiln and create a body of work responding to the new firing environment. An exhibition of finished work and artist talk will be held at a regional art gallery.
Kelli J. Nelson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Nelson will create and exhibit a series of oil paintings inspired by Minnesota's natural areas. The artist's blend of abstraction and landscape will reveal an intimate experience with the state's rural destinations.
Jennifer A. Nevitt, Minneapolis $  10,000
Nevitt will create twelve traveling paintings, a painting that opens and closes like a traveling alarm clock, to interact with and gift viewers in public and common spaces.
Kimber L. Olson, Eden Prairie $  10,000
To support the expansion of her ecology focused practice into the public art realm, Olson will create and present Reed, Root and Rhizome, a large-scale wool and steel sculpture that depicts a wetland buffer zone.
Dougie Padilla, Minneapolis $  10,000
Padilla will produce a ten-year retrospective exhibit and catalog of his work reflecting his life as a Minnesotan with Norge/Mex/Cowboy roots. This will archive and market his 40-year career as an artist/activist in Minnesota.
Jasmine N. Peck, Minneapolis $  10,000
Peck will produce a new body of work to be shown as a solo exhibition at Hair and Nails Gallery in September 2019. The work will be a continuation of Peck's investigation of the human body through sculptural means.
Lois K. Peterson, Dakota $  10,000
Peterson will present a new body of large-format drawings at the Carnegie Art Center in Mankato. She will also host a panel with other speakers outside the arts touching on themes of spirituality and philosophy.
Sonja D. Peterson, Minneapolis $  10,000
Peterson will create a new body of work to be presented to the public in a committed, upcoming, 2019 solo exhibition.
Nell Pierce, Minneapolis $  10,000
Pierce will create Q'llage, a series of collages connecting Queer expressions of gender, family, and love with the resilience of natural ecosystems. The final exhibit will be at the Public Functionary in Minneapolis.
Emmett Ramstad, Minneapolis $  10,000
Ramstad will create new participatory sculptures from household objects with original sound design that will be accessible to audience members of all ages and abilities for a solo exhibition at The Soap Factory in 2019.
Mary F. Reichert, Grand Marais $  9,745
Reichert will create three felt rug making events in Grand Marais, Duluth, and Grand Rapids. Participants will learn the art of Kyrgyz rug making as they felt a rug together. These will be gifted to the community when done.
Connor K. Rice, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rice will be a featured artist in and produce, a collaborative two-part art series featuring artists from a diverse range of backgrounds working in multiple mediums. The series of shows will bridge gaps within the Minnesots art scene.
David T. Rogers, Mankato $  10,000
Rogers will create a series of large text based, mixed media compositions for a solo exhibition. An accompanying artist talk will inform the audience how dyslexia has played a notable role in shaping his art process.
Megan Rye, Minneapolis $  10,000
Rye was a foundling. In Korea, she was left on the steps of a police station with a note, "Please take care of this baby." In Foundling, Adoption file images inspire a series of paintings, revealing the fragile migration to home.
Cecilia M. Schiller, Saint Paul $  10,000
Schiller will implement a development and marketing strategy for the production and sale of a line of automata (interactive mechanical artwork) to be laser cut and sold as kits, plans, and assembled and signed artworks.
Rebecca Silus, Minneapolis $  10,000
Silus will complete the drawings for her graphic novel based on a historic 1921 diary that takes place in Minnesota. It will explore the state's built and cultural landscape between 1921 and the present.
Nicole S. Simpkins, Minneapolis $  10,000
Simpkins will create new installation work of mixed media drawings exploring resonance between ecosystems and human communities.
MR. Smith, Eagan $  10,000
Smith will stage an exhibition honoring the state of Minnesota, the City of Saint Paul, and the Rondo community that influenced the birth and leadership of the Civil Rights Movement.
Rose J. Smith, Eagan $  10,000
In 1968, Smith decided to artistically follow the journey of a lost tribe, African Americans. Her forty-two year journey leads to an exhibition about the Rondo neighborhood at the Weisman Art Museum in the summer of 2019.
Frederick D. Somers, Northfield $  10,000
Oil and pastel artist Somers will show new art and a retrospective of a 50-year career at the American Swedish Institute in 2020. A catalog will be available and the public will be invited to paint out, open studio, and conversation with the artist events.
Sam Spiczka, Sauk Rapids $  10,000
Sculptor Spiczka will create a new series of large-scale steel sculptures inspired by the human hand in response to an accident which resulted in him cutting off the ends of all four fingers on his left hand.
Tom Stewart, Mahtomedi $  10,000
Stewart is painting plein air at four historic sites along the Mississippi River. An exhibit at the White Bear Center for the Arts will compare the current view with paintings from the 1800s. A discussion will follow.
Niccu Z. Tafarrodi, Plymouth $  10,000
Taffordi will reach new audiences for her diorama works depicting scenes of her childhood in Iran, opening the door to conversations with Minnesotans about Persian culture and her experiences as an immigrant.
Amy T. Toscani, Minneapolis $  10,000
Toscani will exhibit at the Rural America Contemporary Art Gallery in January 2020. She will use this grant for research and development in order to produce a new body of work.
Solomon J. Trimble, Duluth $  9,974
Trimble will write and direct a film with a local Indigenous cast and crew, highlighting traditional scary stories set in the modern day. An artist panel will follow the screening at Zeitgeist Theater in Duluth.
Lisa S. Truax, Winona $  10,000
Truax will create and exhibit ceramic sculptures based on abstractions of the local environment and incorporating local and recycled materials. She will also hold a workshop and open studio in Pickwick, Minnesota.
Moira I. Villiard, Duluth $  10,000
Villiard will create a series of portraits and digital posters exploring our relationship to human rights on a global and individual scale.
Megan E. Vossler, Minneapolis $  6,620
Vossler will complete a large-scale watercolor and gouache installation. An exhibition and artist led conversation will take place in a Twin Cities gallery at the end of the grant year.
Michon J. Weeks, Northfield $  10,000
Weeks will create paintings and drawings about eighteen choir members at her rural church, exploring the politics of representation among a sometimes unseen group of people. Work will exhibit at the Rochester Art Center.
Michael D. Welton, Minneapolis $  10,000
Building upon his past work on vintage signs around the Twin Cities area, Mike Welton will develop new paintings exploring the historical and personal relationship between Minnesotans and their regional vintage signage.
Gwen Westerman, Good Thunder $  10,000
Westerman will complete a series of quilts, based on a Plains Indian tradition of honoring the mothers of warriors. These quilts will portray the experiences of mothers across time and cultures in Minnesota.
Nate White, Minneapolis $  9,215
Concepts of ritual and ceremony will be explored by White in a solo show at the Anoka County Library. It will feature bowls inspired by historical Scandinavian design combined with forms of personal, innovative artistic style.
Jody L. Williams, Minneapolis $  10,000
Williams will produce new work with books and boxes focusing on specific Minnesota locations, which will be presented in a two-person show at Raymond Avenue Gallery, and in a pop-up show at Groveland Gallery.
Josh K. Winkler, Mankato $  9,384
Winkler will exhibit panoramic woodcut prints on Japanese folding screens at the Carnegie Art Center. The screens will create a space within the gallery for viewers to reflect on environmental subjects.
Andrew P. Wykes, Northfield $  10,000
Wykes will create large-scale paintings of landscapes in urban and rural parts of southern Minnesota.
Cameron A. Zebrun, Minneapolis $  9,960
Zebrun will create a new body of sculpture and photography inspired by the environment of the North Shore of Lake Superior for an exhibition at the Hopkins Center for the Arts.

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