Ten Black, Indigenious, Latino and Asian American-led arts organizations in the Twin Cities and Dultuth are getting grants of at least half a million dollars each. The grants were given in recognition that these organizations have not enjoyed the deep and sustained investment that many predominantly white cultural institutions have received.
Samantha HoangLong reports:
Ten Black, Indigenious, Latino and Asian American-led arts organizations in the Twin Cities and Duluth got news Tuesday of surprise grants of at least half a million dollars each.
One of the organizations awarded is Theater Mu, a company dedicated to celebrating and empowering Asian Americans through theater. Artistic Director Lily Tung Crystal says she’s grateful for the award — especially after the past year.
“It’s been a challenging time for the Asian American communities around the country with the rise in Anti-Asian violence, and we believe one reason for the violence is that Asian American stories are not told enough in the general media, like in film, television and stage, so we will continue our work in telling those stories in our theater,” said Tung Crystal. “And the funding will help us do that in that it will help us give work opportunities to our artists.”
The grants, totaling $7 million to be distributed over the next five years, were instigated by the Ford Foundation, and matched by the McKnight Foundation. McKnight Arts Program Director DeAnna Cummings says the Cultural Treasures initiative aims to honor the important work these POC organizations have done.
“Recognizing that these organizations are real treasures in our country, and that they have not received the kind of deep and sustained investment that many other predominantly white cultural institutions have received over time,” Cummings said. “These organizations are the bedrock of culture in our country, and that in fact, they should be thought of, recognized and held up as the treasures that they are.”
Other organizations awarded include Indigenious Roots, Ananya Dance Theatre, TruArt Speaks, and the Somali Museum of Minnesota.
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