The Saint Paul City Council approved the 2022 Round 2 Cultural Sales Tax Revitalization (STAR) Grant Program awards on January 25, 2023. These grants, totaling over $950,000, will support programming, capital improvements and organizational development activities for 41 local non-profit arts and cultural organizations. These programs and activities will take place from January 15, 2023 through early 2024.

Congratulations to all the recipients of the 2022 Round 2 Cultural STAR awards!

Actors Theater of Minnesota
Increasing Patron Access to Performances

Over the past 24 months, the Actors Theater (AT) has made upgrades to the Cabaret space to improve the usability of the space by students and artists. AT now plans to turn to improving patron access by expanding guest capacity. The organization seeks a STAR Grant to support moving the bar in the cabaret to an obstructed view area and using the old bar space to increase patron capacity.

American Composers Forum
Immigration, Identity, and The Arts

In 2022-2023, ACF will host a series of music and cultural events throughout Saint Paul to examine the theme of "Immigration, Identity, and the Arts." In partnership with East Side Freedom Library, we will invite local organizations and the community at large to join us to amplify the voices, stories, and music of immigrant artists wrestling with these concepts.

Asian Media Access
Inter-Generational Story Telling

Working with a group of Asian American artists and Asian seniors to create a series of Asian children's books - Stop Doing It, to inspire Asian Americans and children to understand the consequence of SILENCE and NOT DOING. Estimated about 30 drawings/3 children's books will be created and exhibited at the Landmark Center to integrate the best parts of Asian cultures to fight racism in Saint Paul.

Ballet Co. Laboratory
The Wild Rumpus (part of BCL's Emerging Choreographer Program)

Ballet Co.Laboratory (BCL) respectfully requests a grant of $14,020 to help support the creation/presentation of "The Wild Rumpus". This ballet will be created by Hannah MacKenzie-Margulies, BCL's 2023 Emerging Choreographer. The full-length story ballet, created for young audiences, will be performed by BCL's upper-level pre-professional students on March 11-12, 2023 at Park Square Theatre. 

Center for Hmong Arts and Talent
Fresh Traditions Fashion Show

Fresh Traditions is a fashion show that seeks to empower Hmong artists and entrepreneurs and strives to celebrate Hmong heritage and culture. The show will occur in downtown Saint Paul in September 2023. Cultural STAR funding will allow us to provide free tickets to youth, other communities and to amplify the social justice values that we strive to achieve through the work of artists and art.

Center for Irish Music
Accessible Entryway

The Center for Irish Music seeks funding to build an ADA compliant exterior door with a ramp and signage to its newly-expanded space at the Celtic Junction. Cultural STAR funds enable CIM to build this accessible entryway, increasing accessibility to the diverse Saint Paul Irish community including students with mobility challenges and families with small children.

Chinese American Association of Minnesota Chinese Dance Theater
Engaging Young Audiences with Chinese Legends

Continuing to manage the effects of COVID, work to bridge cultural gaps, increase racial equity and encourage access, CAAM Chinese Dance Theater will create an original live performance and interactive program at Landmark Center and Saint Paul based on a Chinese legend (Long Haired Lady) to serve young audiences through their schools and other programs during Asian Heritage Month and after.

COLLIDE Theatrical Dance Company
Free Saint Paul performances of "Our Stories: Chapter 2"

This grant will help us to present free performances of "Our Stories: Chapter 2", our show promoting understanding of non-binary and LGBTQIA+ experiences, to two Saint Paul audiences in the spring of 2023: St. Paul Conservatory students to be followed by a master class taught by COLLIDE artists, as well as public audiences at the Landmark Center. Each show includes an audience/artist Q&A session.

Consortium Carissimi
Madrigals of Northern Italy

Consortium Carisimmi will perform madrigals of Northern Italy in October 2023 in downtown Saint Paul at the Landmark Center. A significant goal of this project is to premiere lost music never before performed for modern audiences. Cultural STAR funding will make this opportunity possible for both musicians and audiences and will enable payment of market level stipends to the musicians.

European Christmas Market
European Christmas Market

The European Christmas Market is a traditional outdoor market featuring 60 wooden kiosks with local artists and makers. The Market stage showcases local musicians and community dance groups during 40 program slots. We would use the funds to enhance our entertainment with a covered stage, 20 more performers, art demonstrations and new educational kids activities around sustainability.

Exposed Brick Theatre
World Premiere of Muyehpen

Our project is the world premiere of Muyehpen by Ehkudah Zar. Based on a Karen folk story that has been passed down for generations about a woman with supernatural powers who sacrificed for her people, Muyehpen performs May 18 - 28, 2023 at The Historic Mounds Theater. Our goal is to present quality theater that explores a folk story that is deeply important to Saint Paul's Karen community.

FilmNorth Forum

FilmNorth requests funds to support its 2023 FilmNorth Forum, an annual gathering of media artists and media arts organizations in the Upper Midwest around important and timely topics and trends in the film industry. This 3-day event will take place in September 2023 in Saint Paul. Funds from Cultural STAR will be dedicated to a special panel at Twin Cities Public Television.

Flying Foot Forum
Celebration in Saint Paul: Flying Foot Forum's 30th Anniversary Production

Flying Foot Forum will produce its 30th Anniversary concert for a diverse audience of approx. 2,400 youth and adults at Park Square Theatre from April 13 to April 23, 2023, in downtown Saint Paul. We will present 8+ performances over 2 weeks featuring collaborations with three other exciting & diverse Twin Cities-based dance & music companies. STAR funding will support the employment of 30+ artists.

Forecast Public Art
Cultural District Mural Project

As part of the Cultural Destination Area work of PED and Mayor Carter, Forecast Public Art has been invited to thoughtfully and equitably facilitate 7 new permanent murals in the downtown Cultural District, completed by fall 2023. Each muralist/mural team will be chosen through a facilitated selection process representing each of the 7 areas that the city has defined as cultural destination areas.

Frogtown Tuned-In
Saint Paul Creates - weekly radio program and podcast

Funding from Cultural Star would allow WFNU to develop, produce and promote a 30-min weekly radio show and podcast called Saint Paul Creates. This show would amplify the talents and accomplishments of Saint Paul artists, authors, musicians and creatives. Every week WFNU would invite a local artist on-air to promote their work or performances. This radio program would also be podcasted.

Hmong Cultural Center of Minnesota
2023 MN Qeej and Hmong Arts Festival

Hmong Cultural Center will host the second MN Qeej and Hmong Arts Festival at Landmark Center on May 21, 2023, involving a Sunday of comprehensive daylong programming to educate Hmong & non-Hmong about the Qeej instrument and other Hmong art forms including traditional musical instruments and dance.

In Progress
The Collective

THE COLLECTIVE is a digital arts project that provides mentorship, access and presentation opportunities to developing artists that face barriers to participation due to cultural, social and economic barriers. Activities take place in the North End neighborhood, with exhibitions extending to City Hall. Funding will directly support mentorship, participant goal planning, exhibit prep, and access.

Minnesota Opera

The first fully-orchestrated production of the mariachi opera Cruzar will be performed on Nov. 4, 9, 11 and 12, 2023 at the Ordway, and is a direct response to the reception of Ãpera Afuera by the Saint Paul Latinx community and its overwhelmingly positive response to representation on a major stage. STAR funding makes such program diversity possible and confirms community need.

Nautilus Music-Theater
ROUGH CUTS program

Nautilus Music-Theater is requesting support to help reinstate our ROUGH CUTS program, on hiatus since January 2019 due to the pandemic. ROUGH CUTS is a monthly works-in-progress program, supporting the creative process of writers, composers and performers through public readings of new opera and musical theater. Eight performances will be held during 2023 in Lowertown Saint Paul.

Pablo Diego Perez Riesco (Kalaka)
476 Robert Street Mural

We are planning on creating a mural on the side of the building at 476 Robert Street. This mural will be a collaborative effort between artists Daniela Bianchini and Pablo Diego Perez Riesco (aka Kalaka) who are aiming at bringing more color and representation of all the wonderful components and people that make up the Cultural District to Downtown Saint Paul.

Penumbra Theatre

To develop Penumbra's new curriculum, PRIDE (Positive Racial Identity Development & Empowerment) for Saint Paul youth and their families. PRIDE engages concepts/experiences of race, identity and civic engagement through theatre craft. We will study model programs while conducting focus groups and workshops with local students, families, educators, child behavior specialists and artists.

Planting People Growing Justice Leadership Institute
Rondo: History & Values Anthology

PPGJLI's project, the publication of a Rondo: History & Values Anthology, will occur in Saint Paul throughout 2023. The goal is to use art to facilitate community building and cultural preservation (Rondo community values & history). The impact of funding would inspire Black literary artists to use the arts as a strategic tool for social change advocacy and community engagement.

PRIME Productions

PRIME intends to co-produce THE REVOLUTIONISTS by Lauren Gunderson with Park Square Theatre in Saint Paul spring of 2023. Our goal is to show mature women in fully drawn roles producing change and, by collaborating with Park Square, to expand our audience. STAR funds will support our ability to realize this vision to the professional level of our past four productions & fund the actors & stage manager.

Rice Park Association
Summer Nights in Rice

Rice Park Association and Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project propose a second year of the summer evening music series, "Summer Nights in Rice," which was made possible through STAR funds in 2022. The series features a variety of music performances on select evenings in Rice Park, with the goal of drawing visitors to downtown Saint Paul to enjoy the newly revitalized Rice Park and its amenities.

Saint Paul Art Collective
Strategic Planning

Gathering stakeholder input for for SPAC's Strategic Planning process via a survey, targeted interviews and workshops. Most activities will occur in Lowertown. The Cultural STAR funding will be utilized to hire paid facilitator(s) to the gathering of input. Outputs of the project include a strategic plan as well as a high level timeline for implementation of prioritized initiatives.

Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation
Bringing Us All Together

The Saint Paul Winter Carnival has a tremendous opportunity to bring the community together through Rondo Night as part of the line-up for 2023. We are requesting $15,000 to pay for artists, performers, and educational experiences. The purpose of the project is to celebrate the diversity and vibrancy of the Rondo community of Saint Paul as we come together at the Coolest Celebration on Earth!

Selby Ave JazzFest
2023 Selby Ave JazzFest

The 2023 Selby Ave JazzFest is a FREE, all-day community celebration featuring great live jazz, food, kid's activities, artist demos and more. The event will be held September 9, 2023 at Selby/Milton in Saint Paul. The goals of the event are to provide arts access to a regionally underserved market, positively reposition Selby and get folks from all walks of life to be of one community. The Cultural STAR funds will be used fo artist, contractor, rental and security expenses.

#TrueStory: Musical theater with South Asian survivors of gender-based violence

SEWA-AIFW is seeking Cultural STAR support for harvesting and creatively presenting stories of victim-survivors of domestic violence. We will use Saint Paul locations to meet and exchange stories of abuse and healing to create a musical play from these stories. This will be staged at Park Square Theatre Company and Landmark Center, drawing audiences from 3000+ families that SEWA serves. 

Sounds of Hope, Ltd.
Songs of Hope on Harriet Island

Joined by The Eddies, an unincorporated folk music group, fifty or more singers from fifteen countries will perform an evening concert on Harriet Island around July 14 or 15, 2023. The project will give the two singing groups a chance to share audiences, fueling interest in the music of both of them while drawing a diverse audience to an under-utilized city performance space.

Strawberry Blonde Productions, LLC d/b/a Opera Reading Project
An Invitation to Opera Concert Series

Opera Reading Project (ORP) plans our 1st public concert series in the Spring/Fall of 2023, at two venues in the Saint Paul Cultural District: Nautilus Music Theatre in Lowertown and a courtroom at Landmark Center. We designed these concerts to invite audiences into the process of learning and experiencing opera as a way to expand how we connect with our community. STAR will provide concert funding.

TaikoArts Midwest
Studio Renovation

TaikoArts Midwest is applying for fund to renovate a recently purchased building to be our forever home. We have a signed purchase agreement and will close on a property June 17, 2022. We are applying for funds to renovate the building at 449 Front Ave N so it can serve more than our needs as an accessible drumming studio, but also for community gatherings, events, and host youth activities.

Ten Thousand Things Theater
Free Community Performance Series in Saint Paul

Ten Thousand Things (TTT) will increase arts access by presenting 12 free theater shows in 2023 in partnership with: Catholic Charities Opportunity Center; Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Arts; Episcopal Homes senior facilities (Kings Crossing, Carty Heights, and The Garden); Ramsey County Corrections; Interact Center for the Arts; Metropolitan State University; and Dellwood Gardens.

The Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
2023 Minnesota Book Awards

Minnesota Book Awards connects thousands of readers and writers in MN through the stories of their neighbors. The program, in its 35th year, identifies and celebrates the best books by Minnesota writers over the past year through a judging process, awards ceremony, and events showcasing finalists and winners. Cultural STAR funding would support expenses for the awards ceremony and panel discussions.

The Great Northern Winter Festival
Our Common Home

Our Common Home is a large-scale, multi-part digital presentation that investigates humanity's impact on the environment. The Great Northern (TGN) will install interactive digital LED monoliths at three sites in downtown Saint Paul for the length of the 2023 festival (Jan 25 - Feb 5). Support from Cultural STAR would support artist and equipment fees.

The Saint Paul Conservatory of Music
The SPCM MetroNOME Music Series

SPCM seeks Cultural STAR funding to help us launch our new MetroNOME Music Series, a free monthly concert series in Lowertown featuring performances by SPCM faculty. These happy hour concerts will be accessible, informal events where newcomers, including families, can experience a variety of musical genres in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Saint Paul Festival Association
To help off-set significant increases in police costs for arts and cultural organizations producing a festival

STAR funds are being sought to fund a pilot project to help off-set significant increases in police costs for arts and cultural organizations producing festivals in Saint Paul.

Theater Mu
30th Anniversary - AAPI Generations Conference

To celebrate Theater Mu's 30th Anniversary, we will present the AAPI GENERATIONS CONFERENCE to connect and honor Asian American theater elders with voices of the future. The 3-day celebration of Asian American art and history will feature new play readings in the NEW EYES FESTIVAL, community based workshops and panel discussions, and a live music party to uplift local Asian American communities.

TU Dance
3 Women Dance Project at The O'Shaughnessy

TU Dance requests support for the creation and premiere of a full-evening dance performance created by three acclaimed black female choreographers (Stephanie Batten Bland, Alanna Morris, and Yusha-Marie Sorzano) at The O'Shaughnessy, May 12-14, 2023.

Twin Cities Metro IBA
Lowertown Sounds

"Lowertown Sounds" is back for its fourth year. The series takes place from June-August on select Thursdays and serves as a music, food/beverage and artisan showcase, as well as celebration of the beautiful and historic Mears Park. The grant is used to fund the band budget/sound production that brings people together to enjoy local talents, discover new music, and celebrate community.

Urban Boatbuilders, Inc.
Apprenticeship Program Graduation and Boat Launch Ceremony

The apprenticeship program provides creative, paid work experience for underserved Saint Paul youth at its' University Avenue workshop. The crafting of wooden boats provides a creative opportunity to learn technical, social-emotional, and career-readiness skills. The program culminates with a public boat launch at Como Lake every summer where youth are recognized and celebrated in the community.

Salon at Studio Z

Zeitgeist requests support for Salon at Studio Z (SSZ), a monthly music event that showcases new music performers and creators in the Twin Cities and welcomes audiences and artists back to live performing at Studio Z. Nine events will take place at Studio Z from March through December 2023. Support from STAR will support personnel and facilities costs.

Last Edited: February 1, 2023