The Community Creativity Cohort is a capacity building program designed to support organizations that make art and culture central to problem solving and strengthening their community. One unique part of the program is its approach to distributing funding requests through the cohort’s Capacity Building Fund (CBF).
Members of the Community Creativity Cohort take turns serving on a CBF advisory group that reviews and approves funding requests from other organizations in the cohort. In keeping with our belief that the cohort members themselves are best positioned to know what they need to grow and sustain their organization, advisory group members discuss which of the major desired outcomes (more, better, better together) it would achieve; any resources, suggestions, questions, or concerns they may have; and whether the project reflects an equitable distribution of the fund.
To date, the CBF has supported all 20 of the project proposals reviewed by the advisory group, totaling over $275,000 in additional capacity building support.
Funded Capacity Building Fund projects include:
Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio, Inc. (CLUES) – $25,000
Saint Paul, MN
CLUES adapts to our new COVID-19 reality, plans for adaptations post-COVID, and develops mentorships and partnerships with peer organizations to foster both short- and long-term sustainability. New partnerships will include emerging Latino Arts Centers around the country, local BIPOC-led arts centers, new funders, and others.
Cheyenne River Youth Project – $25,000
Eagle Butte, SD
The Cheyenne River Youth Project will work with Pyatt Studios to design a new arts and cultural facility for our Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Lakota Youth Arts and Culture Institute (LYACI) The LYACI is a hub for learning and expression for Lakota youth ages 4-18 on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.
African Economic Development Solutions – $10,000
Saint Paul, MN
AEDS is requesting $10,000.00 to build fundraising capacity. This fund will help AEDS to pay for fundraising consultant that has been working in building infrastructure for AEDS.
Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area – $25,000
Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri Rivera Area is going virtual in the era of Covid 19 with a state of the art multi media design lab enabling to stay connected to our Club Kids. Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area is collaborating with all who want to join us in the creation of a community mural depicting 100 years race relation healing in our state.
The Cultural Center in New York Mills – $1,675
New York Mills, MN
The Cultural Center in New York Mills is partnering with Niijii Radio / White Earth, to host an event celebrating the cultures that shaped the history of this area, Anishinaabe and Finnish. We have found that few people (especially children) in New York Mills are familiar with Native history. There is a lot of pride in the Finnish history and stories of early settlers but the connection between the two cultures has not been explored or celebrated. Each culture created this area to be what it is today. Celebrating Cultures is designed to raise awareness, teach, and in this time of social isolation, bring people together in a safe and thoughtful way. When we actively listen, we learn about another Culture’s history, beliefs, language and traditions, and we all benefit as empathy and connections are built.
The Arts Center – $941
Staff members will visit like-minded organizations in North Dakota.
Juxtaposition Arts – $25,000
As planned at the end of 2019, Juxtaposition Arts has entered a strategic planning process. Key staff and board members will engage with consultants from Imagine Deliver to develop a new organizational strategic plan for 2021-2026. The new strategic plan will be implemented using change enablement and adoption practices and the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) model to ensure we can quickly and successfully execute our strategies.
Region Five Development Commission – $25,000
As R5DC works to make a regional small business accelerator a reality, our small 8-person team seeks to expand our knowledge around equitable and inclusive practices as it pertains to the accelerator, as well as to our individual areas of expertise.
Pangea World Theater – $20,000
This grant will significantly invest in Pangea World Theater’s organizational capacity as we navigate the new landscape drastically changed by COVID-19, and as we continue to reach towards the organizational milestone of securing our own performance space. This investment supports the continued relationship between two key sources of support as we implement our new strategic plan, Organizational Development Consultant Kiyoko McCrae and the firm Creation in Common who has been integral as we develop strategies around capital campaign.
Afro American Development Organization (AADA) – $20,740
To transform our capacity, AADA proposes to launch a fund development and communications campaign in partnership with a trusted consulting team. Our approach will braid traditional fund development approaches and communication strategies with the lived experiences of AADA’s team and the population we serve. These efforts will result in an innovative communication campaign that increases our funding base AND works to uproot systems and belief patterns that perpetuate discrimination against the New American community.
Pillsbury House + Theatre – $8,750
Pillsbury House + Theatre will engage a gender equity/inclusivity trainer, Native American artist Oogie Pushetonequa, an artist to help design and build an altar (to be engaged after the learning sessions) and the MN Humanities Center’s Learning from Place Bdote Tour. We will engage in group learning to help us create new connections to one another, to leverage the positive aspect of polarities in our organization and our community, and to increase our equity and inclusion acumen. We will engage a consultant/trainer to design and deliver a gender equity/inclusivity training to all staff, we will send staff to one of three public offerings of the MN Humanities Center’s Learning From Place: Bdote Tour, we will work with a Native American artist that has ties to PHT to craft a land acknowledgement that holds PHT and our community accountable to take action, we will engage an artist to create a lobby altar/installation that honors geographical and organizational ancestors, and
we will engage in monthly peer led sessions around critical organizational issues.
African Economic Development Solutions – $15,000
Saint Paul, MN
AEDS will work with Alicia Phillips of Redwood Philanthropic Advisors to help with fundraising capacity building. The consultant will provide fundraising planning, cultivation planning and implementation, Little Africa fundraising strategy, major gift solicitation, volunteer leadership recruitment, guidance on prospect research, assistance with developing and cultivating of corporate and foundation partnerships, and training of volunteers. They expect to increase their fundraising capacity as a result of this engagement.
#fundraising #individualgiving #coaching
The Anderson Center – $2,500
Red Wing, MN
The Anderson Center will hire Rachel Engh (who has worked with Metris Arts) to develop an assessment framework for the aspects of their programming that serve Red Wing and the surrounding community. Outside expertise will move the organization much further and faster towards the goal of being able to provide meaningful quantitative and qualitative data to staff, board, and funders, thus enabling better community-focused decision-making. The expectation is that, once the framework is developed, the Anderson Center will be able to hire members of the local community as independent reviewers to assess progress towards a new strategic plan. They seek to know to what extent the Center is successful in contributing to a vibrant Red Wing.
#evaluation #impact #vibrantcommunity
ANEW BAM – $9,000
Starting in February, ANEW BAM will work with Christine Schwitzer, the former Development Director of Youth Link, to work on fundraising capacity building, supporting sustainability for their arts and culture residences. She will provide fundraising coaching, lead the development of a fundraising plan and strategies to cultivate institutional giving prospects, and develop a pre-plan for capital building campaign for an arts and culture center on the Eastside of Saint Paul.
#fundraising #educationalresidencies #capitalcampaign
Asian Economic Development Association – $25,000
Saint Paul, MN
AEDA will work with the consultants is to develop and pilot revenue earning strategies – marketing strategies that will increase earnings for their two main creative placemaking initiatives, the annual Little Mekong Night Market summer street festival and the XIAART gallery. This sustainability capacity is needed in order to safeguard these initiatives as a permanent, ongoing placemaking programs that continue to have significant economic and cultural impact in the Little Mekong District and the adjoining Frogtown and Rondo neighborhoods.
#marketing #creativeplacemaking #artistsupport #artistsofcolor #revenuegeneration
Higher Works Collaborative – $15,000
St Cloud, MN
With strategic and intentional invitations, Higher Works Collective will bring community members to round table discussions held throughout the community (6 in community, plus 3 in schools) with the goal of creating a public art piece(s) that gives African Americans a destination, a sense of place with meaning. Although Butler Park was dedicated over two years, many people don’t know about this space or the history of African Americans in St Cloud. Transportation, childcare, food, and interpreters will be provided to help eliminate barriers to participation. An artist and documentarian will also be present at each community roundtable to help the next phase of the project. After the roundtables are completed, they will host a celebration bringing together participants and other community members to share what we’ve learned. It’s important to do this in Butler Park to create connection. The next phase will be to obtain funding from the local arts board to bring the information learned forward into a public art piece installed at Butler Park.
#creativeplacemaking #publicart #senseofbelonging #communityengagement
MacRostie Art Center – $10,500
Joint project with MacRostie Art Center, Lanesboro Arts, and New York Mills Regional Cultural Center
Grand Rapids, MN
As a continuation of the working group Prioritizing for Arts Centers, MacRostie Art Center, Lanesboro Arts, and New York Mills Regional Cultural Center will design a series of retreats hosted by each participant organization that rotate between the organizations’ communities. Each retreat would have three components: 1) Connect: Visiting each others’ spaces and communities; 2) Equip and Learn: A learning session presented on a topic of mutual interest related to organizational development; and 3) Center and Show Up: Dedicated time to work on challenging projects or tasks away from the distractions of the workplace. The most important components of this project are dedicated time and space. By traveling to be together and/or hosting our colleagues, they hope to learn from and be inspired by the day-to-day operations of other organizations doing similar work, exploring ways to conduct community engagement, tools for creating systems, and organizational development. “We already know that the only thing standing in our way for a whole range of efforts – finishing our “true program costs” calculator, setting up a schedule of community meetings, writing an employee manual, and countless others – is time.” Dedicated time to work on implementation, individually but supported by the group, is a key part of this project.
#artcenters #peerlearning #retreats
The SEAD Project – $18,000
SEAD will work collaboratively with two consultants to guide leadership and staff on Fund Development and Strategic Planning during the spring and summer seasons. Their hope is to help re-energize, rethink our work that will lead them towards community, financial, and creative sustainability. SEAD will work with two consultants, a fund development expert and a strategic design expert. Both are from POCI led organizations and have a track record of working with POCI led organizations. Consultants include Creation In Common, led by Carlo Cuesta and Anne Preston who are fund development professionals and Imagine Deliver, led by Kate Khaled who is a strategic planning and program design facilitator. The process would involve community supporters, SEAD past participants, staff, leadership. SEAD is happy to welcome any cohort members who are looking for similar consultants to share resources, tools, and coordinate any trainings together.
#fundraising #strategicplanning #sustainability
Wakpa Ipaksan Dakota Language Program, Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe – $10,666
Joint project with the Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area – Wagner Unit
We want to reconnect ourselves with the Horse Nation using a cultural approach to multi generational healing at a three-day healing retreat at the end of February. We hope to get back on our feet and reconnect to cultural practices of healing. We hope to learn and heal from Horse Nation. We will do this gathering 4 times. We hope to find a model for this experience and have it inform cultural horse work on the Flandreau Santee Sioux and Yankton Sioux Reservations. This is a joint project with the Boys & Girls Club of the Missouri River Area, and will include these people: Perry Little – Cultural Horse Therapist Yankton Sioux Tribe; Claude Two Elks – Spiritual Advisor/Counselor Rosebud Sioux Tribe; Doug Widow – CCDC II / Equine Therapist Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. It will take place at Horse Power’s therapeutic riding facility in Sioux Falls, SD.
#youthprograms #Siouxculture #healing
The Welcome Center – $7,568
The Welcome Center has set up a partnership with Project FINE, an organization with a similar mission and vision as the Welcome Center. Project FINE will provide coaching and technical assistance that will help the Welcome Center build a very strong brand and increase their impact in Austin Community. This will include help the Welcome Center: refine their organizational structure to increase efficiency; meet all 27 Charities Review Council Accountability Standards and renew this certification; set up a procedural manual and key policies around their activities; and develop new programs that will promote diversity and inclusion in Austin community.
#mentorship #operatingpolicies #programdevelopment #inclusion