The Saint Paul City Council approved nearly $1 million in Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) grants to support programming, capital improvements and organizational development activities for 49 local non-profit arts and cultural organizations. Congratulations to the 2022 Round 1 grant recipients!

Lowertown New Music Series

During May 4-6, 2023, the STAR program will help bring together Welsh composer Richard Barrett, Yugoslavian harpist Milana Zaric, NY-based Latinx Ensemble Fonema Consort, locally-based Zeitgeist Ensemble, and other local musicians for a series of concerts and workshops in Lowertown, St. Paul, intertwining improvised and composed music, and including the USA premiere of Barrett's "Natural Causes."

African Economic Development Solutions
2022 Little Africa and Parade

The Little Africa annual festival and parade advance a vibrant Little Africa cultural business district. Cultural STAR funding is important to attract other funding sources. Through its Cultural STAR funding, the City of Saint Paul has been supporting the Little Africa annual festival for many years, increasing our capacity to produce festivals and parades and leverage other funding sources.

American Craft Council
American Craft Made - Saint Paul

American Craft Council will re-launch an American Craft Made marketplace in Saint Paul, October 7-9, 2022, following a two-year hiatus. It will include in-person and online components so artists can expand sales and a wide audience can participate. Funds will help support upfront costs and staffing, which will advance the local economy and create sales opportunities for artists.

ArtStart's Studio A at the Creator's Space

In June 2020, ArtStart initiated Studio A, on-line art classes for youth and adults via Zoom. With the goal of expanding this program taught in-person and with limited space in our own building, we contracted to use classroom space at Creator's Space in Lowertown, Saint Paul. ArtStart seeks funding for start-up costs associated with developing an adult art program bringing new audiences to the city.

Facility Planning

Brownbody seeks support to strengthen the organization's ability to provide long-term affordable access to ice skating facilities for the artists and communities it serves. STAR funding will make it possible to launch a facility development feasibility survey, capital planning, partnership planning and build donor infrastructure to provide the framework for a future capital campaign.

Circus of the Star
Big Top Safety Upgrades

Circus Juventas had a safety inspection in January, and among the highest priority recommendations was replacing receptacles and wiring in the offices upstairs (fire and tripping hazard) and installing an emergency alarm system so warnings can be heard throughout the building. We have applied for an OSHA grant which requires a match and want to meet that match with funds from Cultural STAR.

City of Saint Paul - Library Department
Saint Paul Public Library Collections Materials

SPPL uses Cultural Star funds to purchase and provide patrons across the city with a wide range of cultural and art materials. SPPL purchases materials in multiple formats for all age groups including books, DVDs, CDs, databases and on-line access. The Cultural STAR funds expand the cultural reach to more authors of color, local authors, debut authors and self-published authors.

ComMUSICation's 10th Anniversary Celebration

In our 2022-23 season, ComMUSICation will celebrate 10 years of providing high quality afterschool music programs. We will celebrate this important milestone by hosting our annual showcase at the Ordway Concert Hall. Youth participants will showcase their talents and celebrate their accomplishments. Cultural STAR funds will support the commissioning and premiere of a new piece for youth choir.

Emerging Young Artists

COMPAS will curate an exhibit to showcase exceptional 2D & 3D visual art by Saint Paul and East Metro middle and high school students. The exhibit will be open to the public for 2-3 weeks in March 2023 and include events to invite a diverse audience to attend. STAR funding will underwrite staff & artists' pay to curate the show and lead workshops; space rental; marketing; and accessibility costs.

Compassionate Action for Animals
Music Stage at Twin Cities Veg Fest

Compassionate Action for Animals seeks support for a separate Music Stage at Twin Cities Veg Fest 2022. Musicians and attendees have requested a separate stage. Cultural STAR funding can make this happen, make music central to the festival experience, expand musicians' audiences, help attendees and musicians connect around shared values, and make music affordable/accessible for attendees.

Creative Enterprise Zone
2022 Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival

Chroma Zone is a summer-long celebration of public art and community that promotes, connects, and engages the people, places and economy of Saint Paul's Creative Enterprise Zone district toward these goals: creative, cultural and economic development; greater visibility, identity and connection within our community; and long-term beauty, vibrancy, walkability, well-being and belonging.

District 6 Planning Council
Marydale Festival 2022

Marydale Festival is in its sixth year. In 2021 we had fewer artist participating-when asked it was due to the uncertainty of the pandemic. The festival is held on the fourth Saturday in September and at Marydale Park (542 Maryland Avenue). An annual event such as Marydale Festival can be especially effective in a community with great social, ethnic and economic diversity.

East Side Freedom Library
Artist to Relatives: Interactive Arts in Community

East Side Freedom Library's artist group, From Race to Relatives (FR2R), will design and host indoor house parties, outdoor block parties, performance, and art maker spaces on the Greater East Side and elsewhere in the city that feature room to groove, get creative, and learn about how to support community still feeling the social and economic effects of pandemic and ESFL's housing justice efforts.

East Side Neighborhood Development Company
Solidarity Street Gallery 2022

The third annual Solidarity Street Gallery is a weekend-long cultural arts festival that brings together a diverse range of artists with community members for important exchanges about justice, equity, and resilience, with an emphasis on these concepts in the Hmong and Karen communities. This STAR grant would fund Hmong and Karenni individuals to lead the curation and staging of the festival.

Face to Face Health & Counseling Service, Inc.
Arts Programming at SafeZone

Our proposed project is Arts Programming at SafeZone, our drop-in center for youth experiencing homelessness. The intent is to provide creative, therapeutic opportunities for expression for marginalized young people, so that they can pursue their creative aspirations, despite the obstacles they face. Funding would grow our capacity to meet youth's expressed needs for more creative opportunities.

Film Score Fest
Film Score Fest 2022-23

Founded in 2014, Film Score Fest is an annual festival that randomly pairs filmmakers and composers to make short films based on a given theme, and a 16-musician orchestra performs the scores live at the screening. Participation is free and open to all. With Cultural STAR support, we will be premiering 23 new film collaborations in Mears Park in May 2023.

FilmNorth Cinema at 2441 University Avenue West

We are creating a 54-seat state of the art cinema with digital projection and sound capabilities that will be home to local and national film festivals by our BIPOC partners and in partnership with Sundance Institute. It will be the only cinema in the area. It will have a net-zero carbon impact and be a place to amplify authentic stories by and about our increasingly diverse Minnesota population.

Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies

Harmony is a before-school strings instruction program that breaks down barriers and creates an accessible entry-point for 2nd - 5th graders at Riverview West Side School of Excellence (Saint Paul). The program also provides a pathway for Harmony students and graduates to advance into GTCYS' orchestras. Funds will support group instruction, private lessons and facilities during the 2022-23 season.

Historic Saint Paul Corporation
Saint Paul Historical

The proposed project will work towards highlighting and promoting a more complete story of Saint Paul's cultural history though expanded offerings of stories and sites on the Saint Paul Historical website and mobile app. Cultural STAR funding will assist and support the expansion of partnerships needed to bring attention to local cultural legacies that reach beyond the dominant narrative.

Hot Summer Jazz Festival
Twin Cities Jazz Festival

STAR funds will be used to support the 25th annual Twin Cities Jazz Festival held in Mears Park and surrounding Lowertown venues June 23-24, 2023. The goal is to once again have a diverse thriving free civic event in St. Paul to include over 200 diverse performing jazz artists in as many downtown venues as possible.

In Black Ink
Creating an Operations Associate Position to Build Capacity

In Black Ink will strengthen capacity by creating an Operations Associate position to work closely with Executive Director Rekhet Si-Asar. As our second staff person, the Operations Associate will play a key supporting role in stabilizing and sustaining our mission to advance publishing arts opportunities for African heritage communities.

India Association of Minnesota
IndiaFest 2022

The 48th annual IndiaFest will be held  August 13, 2022 in St. Paul. 15,000 Minnesotans are expected to attend this free event showcasing the arts and cultural contributions of Asian Indians in the state. STAR funding will help leverage IndiaFest's 1:1 matching funds from potential contributors to IndiaFest, particularly corporate sponsorships and foundations.

Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)
IMSOM presents Tabla Legend Zakir Hussain

IMSOM will present a special 40th Anniversary Celebration concert featuring the Grammy-winning, world-renowned Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain and Sitar virtuoso Niladri Kumar. The concert is expected to enthrall an estimated 750 attendees and raise IMSOM's profile in the Twin Cities cultural landscape as it furthers its mission to bring people and cultures together through musical offerings.

Indigenous Roots
Culture Bearer Network

Indigenous Roots is creating a Culture Bearer Network housed out of our cultural center in East St Paul. It will respond to a need for reconnection with ancestral teachings, a need of Culture Bearers for space, funding and supportive structures and a need to connect across cultures. STAR funds could support capacity building for the network by ways of staff hours and administration cost.

Lower Phalen Creek Project
Wakan Tipi Center Fire Pit and Sweat Lodge Fencing

This project will create a fire pit & fencing for a sweat lodge at Wakan Tipi Center in Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary during 3/23-5/23. Fire is important to ceremonial gatherings and we have used fire our "Winter Storytelling Walks" in the Sanctuary. The sweat lodge fencing will provide much needed private and secured space for American Indian community members to practice culture & spirituality.

Lyra Baroque Orchestra Season Concerts

A STAR grant will provide support for musician fees, travel, and administration for 1) two Lyra Baroque Orchestra season concerts at Sundin Hall in Saint Paul ; 2) three Lyra Baroque Orchestra Family Concerts at The Baroque Room in Lowertown; and 3) three master classes at The Baroque Room in Lowertown; as well as marketing, administrative and staff time to support these programs.

Maia Maiden Productions
ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers' Evening

ROOTED: Hip Hop Choreographers' Evening, a dance presentation featuring dozens of local Hip Hop dancers and choreographers in performance at the Park Square Theatre in June 2023. The event will include guest artists, classes and a battle(competition). We seek Cultural STAR funds to cover the costs of our venue, marketing, production and fees for artists.

Midwest Special Services, Inc. (MSS)
Music Performance with COMPAS

MSS will partner with COMPAS, a community arts organization, to host music performances and workshops for adults with disabilities. Activities will be held at our Saint Paul location, and we will invite groups from all six of our locations to attend the live performances. We will hold the activities in spring of 2023. The goal is to expose participants to new music activities and experiences.

Minnesota Children's Museum
Minnesota Children's Museum Play Rocks! Block Party

Funding from Cultural STAR will help Minnesota Children's Museum host a Play Rocks! Block Party on August 14, 2022 for families in our community. Outside the museum on busy West 7th Street, families will find interactive, engaging activities and performers that foster creative thinking and playful learning.

Minnesota Museum of American Art
In Our Minds

Presented with Interact Center for the Visual and Performing Arts, an organization challenging perceptions of disability, In Our Minds features artists who approach art as a form of research, improvisation, and play, transforming everyday materials and themes into prompts for curiosity and enjoyment. Artists with disabilities are presented on their own terms, alongside peers without disabilities.

Minnesota Music Coalition
Building Organizational Capacity to Serve Musicians

Minnesota Music Coalition requests grant funds to build our organizational capacity in 2022/2023 to help MMC with long-term revenue generation, and expansion of our booking program. This initiative will expand MMC's capacity to serve musicians in Saint Paul by building financial sustainability to continue and grow programs for musicians, and by providing increased paid performance opportunities.

Publishing Mizna: Southwest Asian Literature + Art

Mizna is seeking support for the publication of two issues of our award-winning literary journal, "Mizna: Southwest Asian Literature + Art," one of which will be an already anticipated, groundbreaking Black Arab/SWANA Takeover Issue, and the other will feature a tribute to Baya, the overlooked early 20th century Algerian painter whose work was coopted by Picasso and other modernist artists.

Music Mission
Lakeside Guitar Festival

Lakeside Guitar Festival (LGF), formerly Lowertown Guitar Festival, is a two day music, arts, and community building event at the Como Lakeside Pavilion. LGF aims to create a unique, diverse, and quality festival serving Saint Paul residents, artists, and small businesses. STAR funding would allow LGF to expand its scope in outreach and support a greater number of Saint Paul artists and students.

Northern Lights MN Inc.
Northern Spark 2023 Projects

We look to grow opportunities for Northern Spark festival artists by increasing artist fees and materials stipends. Working with our community partners and Artist Council, we will return to a site on University Avenue (TBD) and to Raspberry Island for the 2023 festival. We request STAR funds to support two $10K artist projects to be presented at Northern Spark on June 10, 2023, 9 p.m. - 2 a.m.

One Voice Mixed Chorus
"Wisdom of the Earth" at Raspberry Island

One Voice proposes three days of outdoor concerts on Raspberry Island in downtown St. Paul, June 9, 10 and 11, 2023. "Wisdom of the Earth" will celebrate our unique riverfront city and the diverse voices who create here with a program that honors the earth and the contributions of LGBTQ environmentalists and water protectors.

Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
Flint Hills Family Festival

Taking place in Rice Park, in downtown Saint Paul, the Ordway's Flint Hills Family Festival is one of the nation's largest and longest running children's festivals in the country. Over the course of several days in late May and early June, audiences are wowed by free performances in dance, music and theater by performers from all over the world.

Park Square Theatre
A Midsummer Night's Dream Production & Activities

Park Square Theatre will produce A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, February 8 - March 5, 2023, for school and public audiences. Executive Director Mark Hauck-Ferraro will director the show and the cast will feature actors, ages 16-21, who will bring a youthful perspective and critical link to school groups attending the show. We request support for the production and school activities.

Ragamala Dance Company
Alarmel Valli: Reimagining 1983

To present a performance and panel discussion by iconic Bharatanatyam dancer/choreographer Alarmel Valli at the Ordway in September 2022, followed by public workshops. This project celebrates the 40th anniversary of Saint Paul's deep connection with Ms. Valli and provides artists/students/audiences a unique opportunity to experience South Indian performing arts with one of India's greatest living masters.

Rhythmically Speaking
RadioBody at Amsterdam Bar & Hall

RadioBody is an evening of dance and visual projection works set to jazz renditions of favorite tunes by beloved alt-electronic band Radiohead, played live by the Mike Lauer Quartet. Public performances meant to enliven downtown Saint Paul will be held at the Amsterdam Bar & Hall in February 2023. Cultural STAR funding will bolster our ability to compensate the artists at the center of the project.

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO)
SPCO 2022.23 Season Border CrosSing Concerts

In October 2022, the SPCO will collaborate with choir Border CrosSing to perform Latin American early music paired with works by Johann Sebastian Bach. Our goal to reach diverse audiences through community partnerships will complement Border CrosSing's mission to integrate historically segregated audiences and musicians through the performance of choral music.

Saint Paul Parks Conservancy
Just Ten Minutes to Art in Your Park

This project will produce free art programs in neighborhood parks that rarely/never host these programs. Many are located in areas of concentrated poverty; all have 30-70% residents of color. Programs include Clay City, Invention Convention, drawing and painting for beginners, and pop-up concerts. According to surveys (2019-21), residents want more drop-in programs in parks close to their homes.

Six Points Theater

GROUPTHINK, a funny, fast-paced satire on politics and business as seen through the eyes of three diverse millennials, will receive its world premiere in August 2022 in Highland Park Community Center. Our goal is to engage new BIPOC and under aged 40 audiences and reinforce our new name. STAR funding will enable this larger cast show that well represents theater's work and who we are.

Sod House Theater

Sod House Theater will create and perform TABLE, a musical dance play, to bring attention to the benefits of growing and eating locally grown produce. The performances will be performed at Frogtown Farm and occur around a long community table culminating with a meal served by local chef Lachelle Cunningham, using the local produce grown on the farm.

The Schubert Club
Sound Sculpture

To open the 140th season, Schubert Club will present Sound Sculpture, an interactive sound & light installation at Landmark Center, September 23-26, 2022. Over 4 days, it will be free for school/college groups and the public. Two performances on Sunday evening feature local artists Michelle Kinney, cello, STRONGmovement Dance & Alexei Casselle, spoken word with designer Ryan Edwards in original work.

Twin Cities PBS
Don't Believe the Hype: Next Generation (working title)

Don't Believe the Hype: Next Generation, TPT's new youth media arts and mentorship initiative, engages Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and Asian high school students in crafting their own narratives and amplifying their unique voices. Hype immerses youth in hands-on media production, extensive relationship building and career exploration, all informed by youths' desired outcomes for the program.

Victoria Theater Arts Center
2022 Frogtown Arts Festival

The Frogtown Arts Festival is free outdoor arts event  featuring local performances, an arts market and food. The goal of this festival is to celebrate and provide a platform for the talent and culture of the Frogtown and Rondo communities in Saint Paul. STAR funding would allow us to increase artist pay, provide arts workshops, host an open mic space and support livestreaming of the event.

"Singing the World Awake"

VocalEssence will present Singing the World Awake on May 12, 2023 at the Ordway Concert Hall in Saint Paul, featuring the VocalEssence Chorus, Ensemble Singers and Singers Of This Age (VESOTA) as well as guest artist Moira Smiley. The concert will explore the joy of singing through a mostly a cappella program highlighting the power of the voice and the experience of singing together.

Walker West Music Academy
Walker West performance space

Walker West will create a music performance space at 650 Marshall Avenue for its music education and performance programs during spring 2023. The space will be available for community gatherings.

West Side Community Organization
Arts for All: WSCO's Cultural Arts Markets

STAR funding will support the West Side community in engaging with art through WSCO's two cultural arts markets that will create arts access for people of all ages and backgrounds. Hosted in two Saint Paul parks, the markets will feature and amplify the art of local BIPOC artists whose work has traditionally been underrepresented.

Last Edited: December 8, 2023