Gifts for Saint Paul Arts Groups

Saint Paul, and the Twin Cities area in general, really love the arts.  The arts scene right here in our neck of the woods, as it turns out, is loved by others from outside Minnesota, too!  Eight Twin Cities arts organizations will share about $5.3 million worth of grants from the New York-based Wallace Foundation.  The money is meant to grow audiences and encourage student participation. In addition, the foundation will give $1.6 million to Arts Midwest and the Minnesota Community Foundation over four years to create a learning network to available to all Twin Cities arts organizations. The total sum of $6.9 million is the largest single-year commitment Wallace has made to local arts organizations.

Six groups will receive grants of $750,000 over four years. They are MacPhail Center for Music, Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Ordway Center and the MIA. Northern Clay Center will get $500,000, and Mixed Blood Theatre won $300,000.

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, also known as the SPCO, is now in its 50th season. With its share of the grant money, it will move from a traditional model to grass-roots marketing, including face-to-face and word-of-mouth contacts. The emphasis would be on the 20- to 30-year-old age group.

The Ordway Theater is located at 345 Washington Street.  College students are the target of the Ordway's development plan, which notes that 82% of students continue to live in the Twin Cities after graduation. The Center hopes to continue those connections with graduates.

In a separate matter, the Wallace Foundation will present a $750,000 grant to Minneapolis public schools to support arts education.

Historically, the Wallace Foundation has given sizeable gifts to Twin Cities arts groups. The Walker Arts Center received $2 million in 2006 and $1.25 million in 1994.  The Children's Theatre Company, the Loft Literary Center, the Guthrie, and Mixed Blood Theater all have received Wallace money in the past.

Read the full article posted in the Pioneer Press to find out how other arts organizations are using their gifts.

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