Non-Ranked Nonprofit Reviews: Local Access to Art and Culture 2012

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“I believe that the arts in Minnesota are a very important part of our quality of life. …The arts help us to realize who we are, to celebrate our individuality. They are in the best way, an affirmation of ourselves.” -Governor Rudy Perpich
“I believe that the arts in Minnesota are a very important part of our quality of life. …The arts help us to realize who we are, to celebrate our individuality. They are in the best way, an affirmation of ourselves.” -Governor Rudy Perpich

This is the complete list of all non-ranked nonprofits reviewed by our experts. We do not have enough information at this time to recommend these organizations, but have provided you with the complete expert reviews to learn more.


The type of expert is indicated by one of the following colors:
F
Foundation Professionals
R
Researchers and Faculty
N
Nonprofit Senior Staff
O
Other (consultants, journalists, policy makers)

Click on an organization to see what the experts say about its impact, strengths and areas for improvement.

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Artspace (4 recommendations) I see their impact as their long term ability to create and sustain arts-related housing and work space developments, both in Minneapolis and across the nation.
Artspace

http://www.artspace.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
I see their impact as their long term ability to create and sustain arts-related housing and work space developments, both in Minneapolis and across the nation.
N
ArtSpace has the ability to directly affect communities by providing artists and arts organizations low-cost spaces to work and exist.
N
Their impact is the phenomenal development of live-work spaces for artists and their support of smaller arts organizations and projects.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength lies in their ability to partner across sectors, to finance arts related development projects. They also have an ability to integrate individual projects with large urban economic development and livability plans.
N
ArtSpace's ongoing operations have made it possible to exist in this community for many years. Their clear mission is a strength and funders appreciate the transparency with which funds are used.
N
A strong point for ArtSpace is their sharing of knowledge of real estate and development with smaller arts organizations and individual artists. Another of their strengths is their willingness to support independent projects.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by leveraging effective financing mechanisms, whether partnered or directly, to move individual artists from rental to ownership. I would also like to see them connecting opportunities to light rail and smart growth developments.
N
They could improve on marketing. Their work is still being heard by word of mouth only, and they could certainly have a greater impact within the arts community if marketed more frequently.
N
Perhaps they could strengthen ties to Twin Cities community.
CLIMB Theatre (4 recommendations) CLIMB Theatre touches a wide range of age groups, and its influence ranges from awareness to accurate information impact. The tools they use are acting, humor, and continuously updated, factual information and data.
CLIMB Theatre

http://www.climb.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CLIMB Theatre touches a wide range of age groups, and its influence ranges from awareness to accurate information impact. The tools they use are acting, humor, and continuously updated, factual information and data.
N
CLIMB services hundreds of children and adults per year, and they keep superior records of their programs, presentations, and special events.
N
They are focused on providing high-quality theatre for people with many physical and mental challenges and those who care for them. This work changes lives, it increases self-confidence and broadens understanding and empathy (note: NOT sympathy, but EMPATHY).
N
CLIMB has been providing exceptional programming to area schools for many years, on relevant social topics. Their combination of performances and in-depth classroom discussions has helped to provide students with tools on how to manage the difficult challenges they face daily. Their approach focuses on open dialogue and ways for the students to personally address challenges and topics such as bullying, substance abuse, the environment, racial differences, and many others.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their staff includes brilliant Director, Peg Wetli, who has selflessly carved this organization, trained staff, and sustained a pledge to the disabled and enabled.
N
There are few entities that work with special needs populations and few incorporate the arts as a tool for training, communication, and education. We are fortunate to have this organization in Minnesota.
N
They have long-standing visionary leadership.
N
The leadership at CLIMB is often thinking outside-of-the-box for ways to make the programming more financially accessible for the schools. This often includes finding alternate funding sources and revenue streams to help subsidize the main programming.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by broadening their board membership. They could also work to increase awareness and strengthen their results communication.
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (4 recommendations) Center for Hmong Arts and Talent has developed programming based on the needs of the Hmong community. They also provide resources to build cross cultural communication and understanding between Hmong and non-Hmong peoples. They engage in 'continuous progress programming', meaning they look at the changing needs of the community and examine their programs to ensure the alignment of programming with the identified needs.
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent

http://www.aboutchat.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent has developed programming based on the needs of the Hmong community. They also provide resources to build cross cultural communication and understanding between Hmong and non-Hmong peoples. They engage in 'continuous progress programming', meaning they look at the changing needs of the community and examine their programs to ensure the alignment of programming with the identified needs.
F
They work with young Hmong and other youth in dance, visual arts, and theater. These young people have the opportunity to both express themselves artistically, and develop necessary leadership skills. In addition, CHAT provides opportunities for adult Hmong artists to display their work, connect with community, and strengthen their skills.
N
It is the only arts organization that impacts the Hmong community through multiple forms of artistic expression. They bring the community together and they nurture and develop artists within the community.
N
This agency provides resources and technical assistance to other nonprofits looking to provide arts and enrichment programming. They are actively involved in community events, gatherings, and Saint Paul initiatives that focus on youth.

Organizational Strengths

O
This organization's strength is that the leadership works with community members, with an emphasis on youth, to continue to broaden the leadership base for the organization and the broader community. Also, shared leadership and a focus on arts and social justice are central to the organization.
F
The group has new leadership, whom I am not familiar with, but their old Executive Director left the organization in a very positive place. They are passionate about the work and are resourceful in finding opportunities to help them grow and continue to provide services for their community.
N
They have a strong commitment to, and conversation around, social-justice issues. They are also strong in their ability to attract a large number of youth who are committed to the organization, their programs, and their conversations around equity.
N
They have strong leadership and dedicated staff members. There is also strength in their willingness to contribute to collaborative efforts.

Areas for Improvement

O
This organization would do well with more support for grant writing and development.
N
They would benefit from better marketing.
MacPhail Center for Music (4 recommendations) MacPhail Center has a wide range of programs, which impact most aspects of music education in the Twin Cities.
MacPhail Center for Music
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http://www.macphail.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
MacPhail Center has a wide range of programs, which impact most aspects of music education in the Twin Cities.
N
Individuals served, quality of programming
N
I have personally witnessed the enthusiasm, vibrancy, and pride of people in adult day centers and assisted living sites who have participated in their <i>Music for Life</i> program. The program gets uninvolved, lonely, cognitively impaired, and "non-musical" people joining in the learning, sometimes performing, and the creation of music. Increased social engagement and mastery, the target goals for healthy aging identified by gerontologist and psychiatrist Gene Cohen, are consistently met in this program.
N
Their impact is the creation of satellite locations in areas outside the metro area, that provide people access to MacPhail services where they live.

Organizational Strengths

N
Based on my experience as a grant reviewer, I would say that they have an extraordinary level of data-driven management.
N
This organization has strong leadership, quality staff members, and quality programs and instructors.
N
This organization has strong leadership, quality staff members, and quality programs and instructors.
N
They have strong fundraising capabilities and broad programming for people of all ages.

Areas for Improvement

N
I think they have the opportunity to do a better job of leveraging their programming for the benefit of non-metro Minnesota.
N
Marketing the program is left entirely up to Jeanie, she needs organizational backup. Also, this program model has become proprietary to MacPhail. I would like to see it extended so that other musicians and organizations could carry out the program.
N
They should offer more financial support for those who cannot afford their services
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (4 recommendations) This organization is a Minnesota regional arts council. They are a leader in funding arts projects and establishing grant review priorities and criteria in their field. They impact a broad section of arts organizations, and are an example for other grant funders statewide.
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council

http://www.mrac.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
This organization is a Minnesota regional arts council. They are a leader in funding arts projects and establishing grant review priorities and criteria in their field. They impact a broad section of arts organizations, and are an example for other grant funders statewide.
N
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council offers numerous professional development opportunities for arts administrators. These training sessions are lead by experts in the field. These training sessions cover a wide range of skills, from finance to emotional intelligence and leadership. Further, these sessions are an important networking opportunity for participants.
N
This organization is a strong advocate and supporter of arts in the Twin Cities.
N
The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, as well as the other regional arts councils throughout Minnesota, has done an excellent job of being a point of entry for smaller arts organizations that do not have the resources or the capacity to apply to the Minnesota State Arts Board. By virtue of its regional location, Metropolitan Regional Arts Council is accessible to their constituents and provides a full range of services on a very human scale.

Organizational Strengths

F
I feel that leadership and operations are key strengths for this group.
N
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council staff members are of the highest quality. They are professional, experienced and very personable.
N
Their strengths are great leadership and staff, solid operations, and a good reputation in community. Also, they help lots of start-ups.
N
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council boasts a small, but very effective, staff that seems to bend over backwards in support of the artists and arts organizations they serve. They do an excellent job of providing mentoring and other services to make their applicants as competitive as possible.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their trainings are a great introduction to important issues in arts administration. It would be helpful if there were follow-up sessions to help implementation of information learned.
N
They could be more effective at marketing and promoting the projects they support.
Minnesota Fringe Festival (4 recommendations) Their impact is clearly seen by the large number of events that are produced each year. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is one reason Minnesota is considered to be such a strong market for individual artists. The other evidence of impact is the huge crowd it draws each year.
Minnesota Fringe Festival
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http://www.fringefestival.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact is clearly seen by the large number of events that are produced each year. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is one reason Minnesota is considered to be such a strong market for individual artists. The other evidence of impact is the huge crowd it draws each year.
N
The support that the Minnesota Fringe festival gives to new playwrights and theater artists in our community is very impressive. They organize the venues, volunteers, and publicity, allowing artists to focus on rehearsing and performing new works.
N
The Minnesota Fringe Festival not only reaches nearly 50,000 people who are attending shows, but it also gives hundreds of professional and non-professional artists the opportunity to get their work out in front of an audience. And ANYBODY can be a part of the festival! It is a lottery system to get in so literally, anyone, your mom or your boss or you, have a platform to have your voice and story heard.
N
The Fringe Festival sells more theater seats in ten days than most theater companies in town sell in a season. They are completely non-juried and offer the most affordable theater in town.

Organizational Strengths

N
The Fringe Festival is managed extremely well on a shoestring budget.
N
They have strong marketing efforts; the audience for the Fringe Festival seems to grow every year. They have improved their website to a point where audience members can research and share reviews quite easily. Their programming is also quite diverse, so that there are shows to appeal to every theatergoer. Ticket prices remain affordable.
N
Since the festival is not a competition, there is a beautiful level of camaraderie and community that you will not find in other, similar festivals. It is both the beauty and the hype of the whole event that some of what you see is going to be terrible, and some of it will blow you away. Through it all, for those two weeks, all of those participants are a community of artists.
N
The Fringe Festival is consistently on mission. They have streamlined both their staffing and their processes to make the theater experience accessible to busy patrons who have a lot of shows to choose from. The organization has done an excellent job of utilizing new technology to further their impact and mission.

Areas for Improvement

N
It is sometimes challenging to attend sold-out and high selling shows. I would like to see ways to bring these shows into a larger space to accommodate the growing crowd. The encore presentation does help address this issue. It is helpful to have shows close to each other for ease of travel, so I appreciate the Rarig space for this reason. It was great to see a Saint Paul venue last year too.
N
With the increased popularity of the Minnesota Fringe Festival on both the artist and audience side, it can at times seem like a logistical nightmare. The administrative leadership and the forethought that goes into making it all work is mind-boggling. The team does a great job and rely heavily on volunteer help during the festival. But as the festival becomes bigger more brains will be needed to keep everything smooth.
N
They have become big enough that they need to be more corporate about some things, but the organization's rigidity and adherence to their own rules takes some of the fun out of the experience of attending a show.
Minnesota Music Coalition (4 recommendations) In a very short period of time, this organization has gone from an idea to successfully delivering quality programming for popular music musicians. There is no other nonprofit organization in the state of Minnesota that is serving these musicians and providing resources to artists that are too easily dismissed as entertainers. Pairing artists from out-state and rural Minnesota with more successful pop artists has not only provided mentoring opportunities that otherwise do not exist, but also exposure for young and up-coming artists.
Minnesota Music Coalition

http://www.mnmusiccoalition.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
In a very short period of time, this organization has gone from an idea to successfully delivering quality programming for popular music musicians. There is no other nonprofit organization in the state of Minnesota that is serving these musicians and providing resources to artists that are too easily dismissed as entertainers. Pairing artists from out-state and rural Minnesota with more successful pop artists has not only provided mentoring opportunities that otherwise do not exist, but also exposure for young and up-coming artists.
O
This nonprofit is intent on building the careers of young musicians and getting them recognition outside of their original community.
N
This brand new organization is already shifting attitudes across the state about the important role of popular music in our cultural landscape.
N
Minnesota Music Coalition is a relatively young nonprofit artist -service organization with the very unique mission to support musicians working in popular music forms such as alternative, pop, rock, hip-hop, bluegrass, and Indy. To my knowledge, no other nonprofit is serving this community of artists, nor is anyone successfully bridging the gap between the "traditional" fine arts community and the pop cultural community of the Twin Cities and greater Minnesota. Their first project, the 2011 Caravan du Nord, was a statewide tour that featured 21 popular music bands and independent musicians performing in seven historic theatres throughout greater Minnesota. The project succeeded in developing new, younger audiences for the "classical" venues and in developing new audiences in geographically diverse areas for the musicians. It was an extremely compelling project.

Organizational Strengths

F
The Board of Directors is representative of the community they intend to serve. They are an extremely hard working and dedicated board, as evidenced by their growth in such a short period of time. They have received both Minnesota State Arts Board grants and business support.
O
This is a volunteer organization that is dedicated to supporting young artists. I am impressed with their understanding of marketing to audiences not traditionally interested in the arts. They have an exceptional "pipeline" into the music scene, especially in the Twin Cities
N
Their strength is their vision that artists whose primary style of performance may be hip hop, jazz, indie rock, or pop music are every bit as valuable to the cultural life of our state as those artists who may play classical music.
N
Their strength lies in their board leadership. This organization undertook a three-year planning process that involved 40+ people before registering as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The founding board was nominated by the larger working group and includes nonprofit executives, entrepreneurs, musicians, media figures, social marketing pioneers, record industry vanguards, and fine arts presenters.

Areas for Improvement

F
They would improve through diversification of artist representation in gender and ethnicity.
O
The structure of the organization is fragile, as it is so young and undeveloped. The organization needs additional help to fulfill its mission of building REAL collaborations between young musicians and some of the more traditional presenters who simply do not know about these performers, and who have almost no clue of how to market them.
N
They need to strengthen their board and institutionalize their efforts so that their success is dependent on a wider range of stakeholders.
N
This nonprofit has grown very quickly as a result of large grant awards and stellar programming. They have not caught up with their success and need to move from their management/working board model to a model with a governing board and paid full-time staff.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts (4 recommendations) The Ordway has a significant program of access for young people and under-served populations. They also offer diverse programming. They have strong educational program with a reputation as the number one cultural destination for the Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools. This is all in addition to their work producing an International Children's Festival with companies from all over the world and offering tickets at only $5 for the public.
Ordway Center for the Performing Arts
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http://www.ordway.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Ordway has a significant program of access for young people and under-served populations. They also offer diverse programming. They have strong educational program with a reputation as the number one cultural destination for the Minneapolis and Saint Paul public schools. This is all in addition to their work producing an International Children's Festival with companies from all over the world and offering tickets at only $5 for the public.
N
Their impact is their work in providing low-income populations, especially children, access to arts.
F
The Ordway is well known as a home for the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, Schubert Club and Broadway musicals and plays. But the Ordway is also working very hard to make the performing arts accessible to everyone. Their children's festival each year provides free performances and art-making opportunities for young children and their families. Tickets to the indoor events are kept at a low cost. In addition, the Ordway has hired a community liaison to build and strengthen relationships with the African American community. They present numerous works based on African American traditions and values, and they have partnerships with organizations in the community such as businesses, nonprofits, churches, and others.
R
The Ordway offers a broad range of activities for mixed populations. The best illustration is the <i>Flint Hills International Children's Festival,</i> an annual activity with broad appeal to a very diverse audience of families, making art accessible to all.

Organizational Strengths

N
The Ordway has strong operations for events and performances.
N
They are well financed, offer quality children's programs, and maintain the support of the community. In recent years, Ordway has reach outside of the Ordway Center itself, to sponsor and support community projects and programs that are having a high-impact in Saint Paul.
F
The Ordway has resources to offer the African American community, and see it as part of their mission to do so. They have strong leadership and provide great service to the community in numerous ways.
R
Their strengths are their outstanding community support, a strong community network of collaborators, the facilities, and the location.

Areas for Improvement

N
The Ordway could improve on their marketing and messaging, sometimes their messaging is very confusing to the general public.
N
I would like to see continued partnership with other organizations. Ordway Theater could be more supportive of, and collaborative with, other organizations to help create a strong community identity for the arts, that would benefit all.
F
They need to make a long-term commitment to this work in order to continue to build trust and support from the African American community.
R
Perhaps they could improve with more active outreach into schools, though they seem to be increasing in this area.
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) (4 recommendations) Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has reached out to new audiences beyond their core urban venue.
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO)

http://www.thespco.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has reached out to new audiences beyond their core urban venue.
F
They are always seeking out new performance spaces and ways of connecting with communities where they live, instead of having audiences come to them. Their pricing is designed to be attractive to younger adults and families.
N
They are having a big impact on the field of arts management.
N
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is known for their "low ticket price" policy, which has dramatically increased access to their programs. They are highly unique in the orchestra world.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a strong artistic product and strong board leadership.
F
They have strong marking strategies. They also have great prices. Club 2030 avails $10 tickets for the best available seats to SPCO concerts. A special children's price of $5 per concert is available for all concerts for children ages 6-17, with purchase of an adult ticket.
N
They are willing to take risks and try new audience development techniques.
N
They have a commitment to playing in local venues where people live, which is also a marketing strength. The orchestra also offers varied programming that appeal to a wide range of tastes.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should increase national visibility and communicate their community engagement more effectively.
F
Their arts education programming could be expanded to include more schools. Also, more education on the pieces that are being performed would be great.
N
It is possible that they take too many risks.
Upstream Arts (4 recommendations) Upstream Arts provides participatory arts activities for people with disabilities. They are very inclusive of every kind of disability. The arts activities are not patronizing or babysitting; they are actively creative and empowering.
Upstream Arts
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http://www.upstreamarts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Upstream Arts provides participatory arts activities for people with disabilities. They are very inclusive of every kind of disability. The arts activities are not patronizing or babysitting; they are actively creative and empowering.
N
The mission of Upstream Arts is to enhance the lives of adults and youth with disabilities by fostering creative communication and social independence through the power of arts education. Over the last three years, they have provided over 5,984 contact hours to over 1,400 individuals with disabilities and have trained 1,013 teachers and industry professionals.
N
They are making a huge difference for a lot of children, and there is a huge need.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their strength lies in the experience of artists delivering programming and leadership.
N
They have grown so much in a short period of time by working hard, being mission-focused, and being transparent and collaborative with the larger community. Also, they are doing a wonderful job of training and employing artists in a field that is inspiring and expanding for artists themselves.
N
Julie and Matt Guidry, founders and passionate parents, are dynamic, experienced, and passionate about this work that is close to their family and their hearts. They founded the organization when they witnessed firsthand the positive impact of the arts education on their son, Caleb. They work with highly trained and experienced artists and developed long-term partnerships with schools, school districts, and organizations to meet their mission.
N
Their leadership is strong and committed.

Areas for Improvement

O
They could improve on nonprofit operations and financial management.
N
They could share the artwork their clients do, with a wider public.
N
I would love to see them improve their office space for their staff and improve their dance and theater facilities for the young people and families they serve.
N
More resources are always needed.
Children's Theatre Company (CTC) (3 recommendations) CTC serves a large student population through school shows and provides a significant number of tickets free of charge to the community.
Children's Theatre Company (CTC)
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http://www.childrenstheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
CTC serves a large student population through school shows and provides a significant number of tickets free of charge to the community.
O
The Children's Theater has been the leader in theater for young audiences for over 45 years.
F
The organization offers world-class, professional productions. They are exposing children to high-quality art.

Organizational Strengths

N
Artistically, the organization is strong and provides a great training ground for the younger artists.
O
The staff of this company are what makes it unique. Another great feature is their work on the development of future audience members.
F
Their education programs provide access to under-served populations. The organization's fundraising is extensive, and support for new plays is also unique.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their management leadership could improve; the organization has found it difficult to retain a managing director and marketing staff.
O
While they are a leader in play development for young audiences, I believe revisiting the classics would serve to educate students just as well as 'issue plays'.
F
Turnover in the Managing Director position has limited the organization’s capacity. Also, the management infrastructure has not matched the high artistic quality of the organization.
Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts (3 recommendations) Dancers in the Twin Cities are saying, “At last, a theater that is created for dance and that will not be too costly.”
Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts

http://www.thecowlescenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Dancers in the Twin Cities are saying, “At last, a theater that is created for dance and that will not be too costly.”
N
They are one of the leaders in bringing dance education to all areas of Minnesota through free distance learning workshops and residencies. They currently offer upwards of 200 free classes to Minnesota schools. They also brought the break dance medium to a brighter light not only through their focus on educational efforts, but also in creating one of the largest outdoor hip-hop dance festival/competitions in the state.
N
The Cowles Center's distance learning, or telepresence, program is one of the most innovative, high-impact arts access programs around, maybe in the country. They seamlessly use state-of-the-art technology to connect teaching artists with students in classrooms across the state for quality, sustained art education. It is affordable, efficient, and high quality.

Organizational Strengths

O
The Cowles Center for the Performing Arts has been an excellent venue for performing artists and for bringing together more patrons of dance living in the east metro area of Saint Paul.
N
Their education program has been solid, even before opening last year, and their continued emphasis on bringing the dance community together is to be applauded.
N
This organization is just getting its feet under it, having formally opened less than a year ago (although the distance-learning program has been around for 8 - 9 years). There are growing pains, but it looks like the new team is excellent and that it is well positioned to succeed.

Areas for Improvement

O
They have had a change of leadership soon after opening the center, which always throws organizational efficiency into the wind. Also, most of their first season performing artists were from Minneapolis, so it was not really a Twin Cities-based season.
N
They have had quite a bit of leadership turnover, but we all hope this is only because they are just starting.
N
Their marketing needs to improve as building an audience will be essential to sustained success.
Franconia Sculpture Park (3 recommendations) Franconia Sculpture Park has tremendous impact in the community; it is welcoming, free and engaging. The organization has done a tremendous amount of work supporting artists by offering opportunities for artists to dream big and develop skills.
Franconia Sculpture Park

http://www.franconia.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Franconia Sculpture Park has tremendous impact in the community; it is welcoming, free and engaging. The organization has done a tremendous amount of work supporting artists by offering opportunities for artists to dream big and develop skills.
N
They offer great, free, public programming.
F
Franconia Sculpture Park has made huge strides to ensure that everyone can attend, enjoy, and experience their sculpture park.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength lies in the organization's tremendous, visionary leadership.
N
Their strength is the exciting, changing exhibits on site.
F
Marketing is a huge strength of this nonprofit, as is its leadership. Another positive is the impact of the intern artists, and their connection to youth.

Areas for Improvement

N
Franconia could improve their external communications such as their website and public relations materials.
N
They could improve by seeking out more relationships with urban arts organizations to bring their programming to the city audience.
F
Founder's syndrome could possibly be an issue.
Loft Literary Center (3 recommendations) The Loft has been able to continue to be one of the most visible arts organizations and a leader in literary arts. The literary arts are up against great odds with performing and visual arts. They also have been able to partner well with larger organizations and are advancing despite the threats that come to all nonprofits that have aged past their passionate founding leaders.
Loft Literary Center
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http://www.loft.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The Loft has been able to continue to be one of the most visible arts organizations and a leader in literary arts. The literary arts are up against great odds with performing and visual arts. They also have been able to partner well with larger organizations and are advancing despite the threats that come to all nonprofits that have aged past their passionate founding leaders.
N
They offer strong programs for writers of all ages, including online class formats for busy adults.
N
The Loft does a good job at bridging service to highly trained artists with professional ambitions and members of the public who are interested in exploring artistic creation under guidance.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong financial position and have strong connections to the for-profit world of writing and writers including advertising, publications, and academics. Lastly, they have a strong leader with a vision of how to take the organization further than its past best moments.
N
Their strengths are their excellent staff members, great design for their print materials, and their incorporation of learning technologies.
N
They have a wonderful space and excellent Executive Director.

Areas for Improvement

O
The building OPEN BOOK, which is a nonprofit itself and on which The LOFT sits as board member, is in need of clarification so that it does not damage the positives of Milkweed. It is a question of organizational structure and not a physical one. The changes to laws on nonprofit activities have created a problem, but it is solvable.
Minneapolis Institute of Art (3 recommendations) The Minneapolis Institute of Art is perhaps the only, certainly the largest, art museum in Minnesota that offers free admission to all exhibits (excluding their featured exhibit). This alone is to be commended for providing a high impact to arts access. They provide educational programs and accessibility features as well.
Minneapolis Institute of Art
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http://www.artsmia.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Minneapolis Institute of Art is perhaps the only, certainly the largest, art museum in Minnesota that offers free admission to all exhibits (excluding their featured exhibit). This alone is to be commended for providing a high impact to arts access. They provide educational programs and accessibility features as well.
O
With its free admission policy approaching its 20th anniversary, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has transformed itself into an open and welcoming museum with diverse programs and collections. Examples of its innovations are the "Foot in the Door" show, which allowed any member of the public to bring a small artwork for display, its bike nights, and many other efforts that help fill the museum with all kinds of people.
N
This organization does lots of outreach to students and gets many people in the doors.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their ability to offer free admission while still boasting an incredible collection is enough to wonder at the success of their development efforts.
O
The quality and breadth of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts collections and programs is growing. For example, after strengthening their Asian art collection they went on to hire a distinguished, contemporary curator who is broadening the scope of their work with living artists. Also, they recently hired a Director of Innovation who is bringing fresh thinking to their public engagement activities.
N
Their product is exquisite.

Areas for Improvement

O
They could do even more in cross-disciplinary work such as lectures, symposia, performing arts and other contextual programming that helps build public understanding and appreciation of art. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts could also do more with technology to allow visitors and non-visitors to engage with programs and collections.
N
They need more high-impact shows that can be marketed. Also, they need to get over their elitist image.
Native American Community Development Institute (3 recommendations) They are making a difference in people's lives. Period. One example of this is the work they are doing at All My Relations Gallery, where Native Americans can see work produced by their community, about their community. Another example is the work they are doing with public art on the American Indian Cultural Corridor to restore a sense of pride, create a sense of place, and celebrate the history and traditions of the neighborhood.
Native American Community Development Institute

http://www.nacdi.org/default/index.cfm

Evidence of Impact

F
They are making a difference in people's lives. Period. One example of this is the work they are doing at All My Relations Gallery, where Native Americans can see work produced by their community, about their community. Another example is the work they are doing with public art on the American Indian Cultural Corridor to restore a sense of pride, create a sense of place, and celebrate the history and traditions of the neighborhood.
N
During the past two years, NACDI has assumed sponsorship of All My Relations Gallery and opened it in a new location on Franklin Avenue. The impact is that it is a one of its kind gallery featuring fine arts produced by Native artists. It is the only gallery of its kind in the metro area. It also sponsored the first-ever American Indian community art fair this past summer, which was attended by nearly 7,000 people from throughout the region. It provides an amazing venue for Indian artists and Indian art lovers.
O
From their work on the American Indian Cultural Corridor to the All My Relations Gallery, the Native American Community Development Institute has been an active and energetically positive resource for change for the Native American communities in the region.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have strong leadership and staff, but perhaps more importantly, they have DEEP connections to the community. This is a community-driven, community-owned effort. Their strength comes from the community.
N
This organization is positioned as an intermediary for the Minneapolis American Indian community. Its strength, in this regard, is that it can be on the cutting edge and provide leadership on many initiatives.
O
Their strengths are vision and partnership. NACDI holds a vision of a thriving American Indian community, and they have the exquisite skill to navigate the tricky partnerships that are moving this vision toward reality, against daunting challenges. They also have an innovative and authentically asset-based approach to community development. Many organizations talk about asset-based strategy, but NACDI lives and breathes it. The way the community stepped up to support the creation of All My Relations gallery is representative of how deeply NACDI's vision resonates with others.

Areas for Improvement

F
They are still a relatively young organization, about 7 years old. They will have growing pains over time, as there are staff changes, funder fatigue, and other issues. They will need to rely on their community connections to continue to grow and develop as an organization. They also need to navigate carefully the "small-'p'" politics within the community such as in-fighting and turf.
N
It is a young organization and needs to develop a track record in the community.
O
I think they could use more support and visibility, but it seems they are doing what they can in those areas and they are always openly seeking to grow in their learning.
Penumbra Theatre (3 recommendations) Penumbra has had a major impact on African American theater development. They cultivate audiences of all colors and tell stories in a voice that speaks to all.
Penumbra Theatre
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http://www.penumbratheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Penumbra has had a major impact on African American theater development. They cultivate audiences of all colors and tell stories in a voice that speaks to all.
O
Penumbra Theater is one of the few remaining world-class theatre companies originating in African American community and focusing on black culture and interests.
N
They bring powerful stories to life and have managed to navigate some very difficult financial times. Their planned expansion happened right at the time of the economic downturn, and they appear to have survived, if not thrived, in it.

Organizational Strengths

O
Theater development and leadership are the foremost strengths of this organization.
O
Their strength is their leadership. Lou Bellamy has excelled in creating and maintaining a critical institution in hostile cultural environment. They also have a strong staff. Their dedicated staff consistently produces world-class theatre productions. The organization's operations reflect best practices in theatre and nonprofit management. Also, the organization has effectively managed solvency in a particularly cruel economic environment for black institutions.
N
They have strong leadership that empowers the various departments to actively engage in problem solving for the organization.

Areas for Improvement

O
Penumbra has a nation-wide reputation. Why not do a nation-wide tour?
O
Penumbra should network with other legacy institutions serving the black community, to maximize awareness and the sense of equity in the community. It should continue to develop community membership and financial support in conjunction with other black arts and leadership organizations.
N
They could work on raising awareness. Out-state Minnesota, which often has small minority numbers, would benefit from seeing powerful stories of the black experience told by excellent actors.
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development (3 recommendations) Their theatrical productions delve into social issues and concerns with artistry, accuracy, and excellence.
SteppingStone Theatre for Youth Development
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http://www.steppingstonetheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Their theatrical productions delve into social issues and concerns with artistry, accuracy, and excellence.
F
This organization provides acting opportunities for youth and has significant outreach to under-served populations.
O
Stepping Stone Theatre is inclusive of all communities including the Native American population. Stepping Stone includes community and youth participation in its programs and shows. The organization also hosts theatre companies from other cities in the U.S. and across the globe.

Organizational Strengths

O
They were able to garner support to obtain their own building. Once they moved into their own space, they have been able to channel that energy to positively impact the theater arts scene, specifically for children.
F
The organization's strengths are that it has stable, highly qualified staff members, an excellent facility, and a strong track record of quality performances.
O
The quality of work that is produced by Stepping Stone Theater is a reflection of their staff and the artist they work with. Stepping Stone nurtures young people who may not have access to professional theatre experiences and training.

Areas for Improvement

O
They could collaborate more with local dance and ballet organizations to add quality training and coaching of roles in plays demanding movement or dance on stage.
F
The organization could improve by deepening and broadening individual fundraising.
O
I would like to see Stepping Stone become more visible in partnerships with schools and other nonprofits in the Twin Cities area. I would like to see more community workshops.
20% Theatre Company Twin Cities (2 recommendations) The 20% Theatre Company produces new and progressive work by female, transgender, and gender-queer theatre artists, while also supporting the same gender minorities artistically behind-the-scenes. They exist to address the statistic that only 20% of professional theatre artists today are women. This theater company sells out shows again and again with funny, moving, quality works that the community is hungry for. They walk the talk of their mission from their staffing, board, actors, and behind-the-scenes staffing to serving their audiences. This is an important, current, and relevant company. They recently sold out two weekends of shows at Intermedia Arts and are remounting the same show again in June to meet the demand from the community.
20% Theatre Company Twin Cities

http://www.tctwentypercent.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The 20% Theatre Company produces new and progressive work by female, transgender, and gender-queer theatre artists, while also supporting the same gender minorities artistically behind-the-scenes. They exist to address the statistic that only 20% of professional theatre artists today are women. This theater company sells out shows again and again with funny, moving, quality works that the community is hungry for. They walk the talk of their mission from their staffing, board, actors, and behind-the-scenes staffing to serving their audiences. This is an important, current, and relevant company. They recently sold out two weekends of shows at Intermedia Arts and are remounting the same show again in June to meet the demand from the community.
F
20% Theatre Company produces sold-out shows. The organization creates work relevant to the LGBT community and nurtures LGBT artists in Twin Cities. 20% Theatre builds trust and establishes strong collaborations and partnerships with educational institutions.

Organizational Strengths

N
Claire Avitabile, Director and Founder for the company, is experienced, professional, dedicated, passionate, and a complete joy to work with as a presenter and a venue. She balances the expectations as an Executive and Artistic Director with ease and brings a joy and passion to her work that is infectious.
F
They have creative and capable staff leadership as well as strong community support through their audiences. Also, the organization receives visibility in mainstream media.

Areas for Improvement

F
They could expand their limited capacity and budget to do more work.
American Composers Forum (ACF) (2 recommendations) They are championing the creation of new music and expanding service for composers.
American Composers Forum (ACF)
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http://www.composersforum.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are championing the creation of new music and expanding service for composers.
N
ACF's nonprofit record label, INNOVA, is one of the best in the business. It is indispensable to composers and performers on the cutting edge. Also, ACF's range of composer services and education programs is unequalled.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong staff members, great board leadership, and an active membership base.
N
Their strengths are stable management, dedicated and highly knowledgeable staff members, and an outstanding website.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should work to increase the visibility of their activities. This is always a challenge for a service organization.
Arts Midwest (2 recommendations) Arts Midwest provides high-quality programs and resources to organizations, deepening the impact of those organizations throughout the region.
Arts Midwest
Silver-small

http://www.artsmidwest.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Arts Midwest provides high-quality programs and resources to organizations, deepening the impact of those organizations throughout the region.
N
Arts Midwest supports those groups that are supporting the artists and projects. This is a VERY important element since many nonprofits are under-funded and operating below ideal capacity. Any professional development, training, and other support that can be offered is of the highest value as it helps nonprofits function more efficiently.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are leadership, clarity of vision, and committed staff members.
N
This organization has strong leadership and provides innovative opportunities.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by finding ways to help nonprofits take better advantage of their programming. Since most nonprofits are strapped for time and money, it can be tough to commit any time or money to professional development.
Bemidji Symphony Orchestra (2 recommendations) The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra has an outreach program that is bringing their music into the school systems in our region.
Bemidji Symphony Orchestra

http://www.bemidjisymphony.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Bemidji Symphony Orchestra has an outreach program that is bringing their music into the school systems in our region.
O
As a result of very good long range planning this orchestra went from a typical small community orchestra to an outstanding community orchestra. It draws almost a full house (1200) at a new high school auditorium for each concert; its concert schedule is extremely creative and challenging for the musicians and audience alike. Concert themes weave the music and the community together by including familiar works and newly commissioned works. This organization has attracted the financial support it needs to maintain a first rate organization and program involving musicians of all ages.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong leadership in their Artistic Director/Conductor and a very committed board and volunteer base. The performers range in age from 8 to 80 years old.
O
The board hired a conductor who is now known nationally for her creative concerts, and her insistence on quality. This board has evolved into one that attracts members and raises funds to adequately run this fine program.

Areas for Improvement

N
Programming has been exceptional and often offers a wide range of work to appeal to the broader audience. This season seems to be a bit redundant.
O
It would be nice if they could afford to not share the director with another rural symphony orchestra.
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (2 recommendations) The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) opened its doors in October 2010 with the intention of becoming a regional center for fire arts. The impact on the community of fire artists has been to fill an underserved niche with programming, equipment, ventilation, safety training, and insurance that have served as barriers to artists wanting to pursue artforms produced by heat spark and flame. The impact on the immediate neighborhood has, through the use of empowering artistic media, allowed the organization to connect with the many facets of the community. They do this through social justice programming and public art initiatives. Ann Markusen’s study, “The Artistic Dividend” enlightened the neighborhood as to the possibility of art centers serving as economic engines that would bring development and increase safety and workability in challenged inner-city communities. The neighborhood developed the <i>38th Chicago Small Area Development Plan</i> in partnership with hundreds of residents and neighborhood organizations, which was adopted by the city of Minneapolis in 2005.The plan specifically states the desire to include a Fire Arts Center. Within 6 months of CAFAC’s opening, the intersection bloomed and is now home to several creativity-based businesses including Wing Young Huie's Gallery "The Third Place", Blue Ox Craft Coffee House, City Foods Studio (a community kitchen), and several others in development.
Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center
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http://www.cafac.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The Chicago Avenue Fire Arts Center (CAFAC) opened its doors in October 2010 with the intention of becoming a regional center for fire arts. The impact on the community of fire artists has been to fill an underserved niche with programming, equipment, ventilation, safety training, and insurance that have served as barriers to artists wanting to pursue artforms produced by heat spark and flame. The impact on the immediate neighborhood has, through the use of empowering artistic media, allowed the organization to connect with the many facets of the community. They do this through social justice programming and public art initiatives. Ann Markusen’s study, “The Artistic Dividend” enlightened the neighborhood as to the possibility of art centers serving as economic engines that would bring development and increase safety and workability in challenged inner-city communities. The neighborhood developed the <i>38th Chicago Small Area Development Plan</i> in partnership with hundreds of residents and neighborhood organizations, which was adopted by the city of Minneapolis in 2005.The plan specifically states the desire to include a Fire Arts Center. Within 6 months of CAFAC’s opening, the intersection bloomed and is now home to several creativity-based businesses including Wing Young Huie's Gallery "The Third Place", Blue Ox Craft Coffee House, City Foods Studio (a community kitchen), and several others in development.
N
I LOVE this little, can do organization. They are doing great work to engage youth from their neighborhood in unusual, quality arts experiences. What kid would not want a chance to do welding, or glass work, and where else is that going to happen? They are hands-on, personal, and involved. This is not a mass experience, but an intimate and powerful one.

Organizational Strengths

O
CAFAC is a completely volunteer-operated nonprofit founded by a group of six neighbors, all living within 4 blocks of the intersection of 38th and Chicago (only one of which is a fire artist).They were committed to using the tools they had to make a difference in their community. CAFAC now has 70+ dedicated volunteers have who have created a safe and accessible place to create and explore fire arts including sculptural welding, blacksmithing, cast metal, jewelry making, glass working, and others. They serve youth and adults from beginners to master-level artisans. CAFAC now offers studio rental and a residency program to working and emerging artists as well as a gallery for student and visiting artists' work. These ephemeral media of heat, spark, and flame have proven themselves a powerful draw for a spectrum of people regardless of race, culture, socio economic background, sex or gender identity. CAFAC embodies a grassroots movement to connect and empower through elemental fire.

Areas for Improvement

O
The volunteers supporting the organization have necessarily compartmentalized their contributions to the organization. The thoughtful infrastructure they have created must be clearly documented and training programs put in place to ensure the reliable replication of programming and management. CAFAC’s business plan illustrates its potential to achieve 70% earned income through classes, studio rental, commission contracts and gallery sales. The funding relationship development necessary to support the organizations’ operating shortfall of 30% is an important next step.
Coffee House Press (2 recommendations) Coffee House Press is doing a phenomenal job of placing exceptional writing in the hands of people across the country. They combine high editing and literary standards with a real understanding of their community and tremendous outreach. There is no excuse not to pick up a Coffee House Press book, they make it easy to engage.
Coffee House Press
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http://www.coffeehousepress.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Coffee House Press is doing a phenomenal job of placing exceptional writing in the hands of people across the country. They combine high editing and literary standards with a real understanding of their community and tremendous outreach. There is no excuse not to pick up a Coffee House Press book, they make it easy to engage.
O
The range and diversity of the Coffee House Press line is truly remarkable, particularly in the area of Asian American and African American literature.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are great communications and tremendous support for writers.
O
Coffee House Press makes a commitment to its authors in ways that few other presses do. It is open to a wide variety of aesthetics and is willing to publish work that is particularly challenging in terms of form, such as Karen Tei Yamashita's "I Hotel", or in terms of content, as in the work of John A Williams or Frank Chin.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their website is sometimes cluttered and difficult to follow.
O
Because Coffee House Press has made a concerted commitment to writers of color, it faces certain challenges in terms of sales and readership that other presses that are less diverse or white-dominated. It will be challenging to overcome this. The press is also going through a transitional phase at present with the original founder, Allan Kornblum, handing over the reins to his successor, Chris Fishback.
Edge of the Wilderness Community Center (EWCC) (2 recommendations) This small, volunteer based organization presents access to quality arts experiences in a very rural community.
Edge of the Wilderness Community Center (EWCC)

http://www.the-edge-center.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This small, volunteer based organization presents access to quality arts experiences in a very rural community.
F
This is a mostly volunteer group in a community of just over 300 individuals. This group raised almost $2 million to build an arts center to bring quality arts programming to their community and the surrounding area. They involve community members of all ages in theater productions as well as bring in a wide variety of quality arts activities into the community.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are the exceptionally high quality of performances and a dogged loyalty by members of the community. Also, the group brings in outside performers to their stage.
F
Leadership is their primary strength. It is what has allowed them to do what they have accomplished. Fundraising is also their strength; they were able to get a private foundation in the state to invest in an arts center in a very rural community.

Areas for Improvement

N
This is an all-volunteer organization. They could benefit from mentorship and probably from some training in making arts decisions. They would be well advised to network better with the statewide arts community.
F
A challenge in a small community is maintaining the volunteers and to keep a group going after the initial years of success. Building sustainability will also be a challenge for this group.
Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota (2 recommendations) I see their impact as their wide variety of programming, willingness to collaborate with a variety of partners, and their services to artists and art organizations across the state. Many projects and artists who receive funding from the individual regional arts councils would not be able to compete more broadly for funds against the artists and organizations in the Twin Cities. The individual regional arts councils serve as an effective conduit for funders such as McKnight or the State Arts Board.
Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota

http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/forum.htm

Evidence of Impact

N
I see their impact as their wide variety of programming, willingness to collaborate with a variety of partners, and their services to artists and art organizations across the state. Many projects and artists who receive funding from the individual regional arts councils would not be able to compete more broadly for funds against the artists and organizations in the Twin Cities. The individual regional arts councils serve as an effective conduit for funders such as McKnight or the State Arts Board.
N
The Forum of Regional Arts Councils is made up of eleven regional nonprofits that distribute state and other funding for the arts, in small grants to artists, schools, and nonprofit organizations in every corner of Minnesota. Their grants and services reach every single Minnesota county, making the arts more accessible regardless of geography or income. No other state has such a comprehensive funding system. They give training in starting small arts nonprofits and then support these organizations as they grow. They fund mentorships between adult artists and kids, and they make sure there is access to the arts in every county.

Organizational Strengths

N
They offer diverse programs including professional development for artists. They have creative and visionary leadership. Lastly, they have a gift for effectively communicating to a wide audience.
N
The Forum's strength is its eleven member-organizations, each a regional arts council serving a set of counties that collectively covers the whole state. If you want to have a statewide impact, working with the Forum of Regional Arts Councils is the best way to go, as they have boots on the ground in every community.

Areas for Improvement

N
Since the individual regional arts councils are somewhat separated from the majority of arts programming and culture workers in the state, it is wise for them to seek out advice, support, and collaborations on an ongoing basis to stay connected and current to the arts community. They also need to guard against becoming too inclusive, as they tend to know their constituents a bit more intimately than some of the organizations that serve a larger constituency. They need to remain open to a variety of ideas and approaches. Leadership may need to change more frequently to avoid stagnation in programming.
N
The individual regional arts councils have grown quickly, as a result of increased funding from the Legacy Amendment. They worked quickly to meet the challenge and have identified even more needs for arts access, through surveying communities statewide. Their challenge will be to adapt to the swiftly changing economic and demographic environments in which they live.
Free Arts Minnesota (2 recommendations) I have seen their high quality, hands-on programs at women's shelters and partner arts organizations. Kids benefit from consistent mentors and positive leadership.
Free Arts Minnesota

http://www.freeartsminnesota.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
I have seen their high quality, hands-on programs at women's shelters and partner arts organizations. Kids benefit from consistent mentors and positive leadership.
N
Free Arts is introducing families, who would otherwise not have that access, to art. They partner with professional artists and arts volunteers. In some cases, children who really need a boost to their self-esteem get to experience public performance and public exhibition with the most incredible results.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength lies in their work providing volunteer mentorship opportunities for aspiring arts leaders. They also organize celebrations of finished projects that include funders and staff.
N
They are lean but mighty, with a tiny staff and hundreds of volunteers. They really know how to do a lot with a little. Over the years, they have done an excellent job of sharing their artwork with the community through open exhibitions, traveling art shows, and a gallery on their website.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could develop stronger partnerships with local nonprofits involved with the arts.
N
It has been a while since one of the art showings has been publicized, so it is not clear whether they still do them.
Friends of the Hennepin County Library (2 recommendations) This organization is free, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive. I think they have done a great job of leveraging the welcoming public space that libraries offer to connect many, many people with quality arts experiences.
Friends of the Hennepin County Library

http://www.supporthclib.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization is free, accessible, welcoming, and inclusive. I think they have done a great job of leveraging the welcoming public space that libraries offer to connect many, many people with quality arts experiences.
O
Through their programs <i>Talk of the Stacks</i>and <i>Childish Films</i>, this organization brings the work of authors and filmmakers to audiences for free, at the Central Library, and now other libraries as well. The programming is amazing, offering such diversity and range. <i>Childish Films</i> is bringing young families into the library in droves. The library is the most democratic of our institutions, and this program furthers that access-for-all.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are stable, they work well within their scale, and they have a dedicated staff.
O
They are well run, well respected, and have solid operations and finances. Plus, the Friends of the Hennepin County Library took on the task of organizing the separate "Friends of..," chapters as part of the Minneapolis and Hennepin County merger, and the new joint-membership option seems brilliant in concept.

Areas for Improvement

N
There is clearly room to grow.
O
They could improve by figuring out how to get even more programming into all Hennepin County Library sites.
Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) (2 recommendations) The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has worked on the downward adjustment of ticket prices to increase access to concerts, which has been very successful. They have also expanded the education program to be more inclusive. They have embraced their relatively small size to make performances more intimate and thus have more impact. This includes featuring small ensembles in a new, small-scale hall.
Friends of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO)

http://www.thespco.org/about-us/friends-of-the-spco

Evidence of Impact

N
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has worked on the downward adjustment of ticket prices to increase access to concerts, which has been very successful. They have also expanded the education program to be more inclusive. They have embraced their relatively small size to make performances more intimate and thus have more impact. This includes featuring small ensembles in a new, small-scale hall.
N
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has developed a unique performance schedule in which they bring classical music to unusual venues all across the Twin Cities. Instead of demanding that everyone come to their venue, they have created venues all over town. People who ordinarily cannot, or would not travel, to downtown Saint Paul have access to the very best classical music in their own neighborhoods. As a result, their attendance has increased even as attendance at other organizations has declined. They have discovered a new formula for access to classical music that is really working.

Organizational Strengths

N
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has widespread community support. Also, the quality of musicianship is at a very high standard currently.
N
Friends of Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has an innovative administrative structure that gives both artists and administrators the power to work together to achieve goals for the organization. They are a model for innovative management that is inspiring new thinking about administrative structures for arts organizations around the country.

Areas for Improvement

N
The organization needs strong staff leadership to keep driving it forward and to maintain confidence during difficult economic times.
N
They are experiencing a leadership turnover just this month. I hope that the innovation they have introduced in performance and structure will continue.
Grand Marais Arts Colony (2 recommendations) Their impact can be seen in the number of artists and patrons involved in their work.
Grand Marais Arts Colony

http://www.grandmaraisartcolony.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Their impact can be seen in the number of artists and patrons involved in their work.

Organizational Strengths

O
The Grand Marais Art Colony has a long, stable history. They have been around since 1947, gaining nonprofit status in 1984.The leadership of the board and the expertise of the staff, including the director and marketing employees, have made the Grand Marais Art Colony come back to life after some turbulent times.
O
They have a long tradition of quality art and a capable staff.

Areas for Improvement

O
I would like to see them move forward to become truly a "colony," by providing housing for both instructors and students. They need to expand; and, at the same time, update facilities. The organization also wants to reach a broader base to strengthen class attendance.
O
They could improve with better facilities for artists and classes.
IFP Center for Media Arts (2 recommendations) This organization provides access to education, equipment, and connections to photographers and videographers of all levels in an affordable and accessible (in terms of attitude as well as convenience) way.
IFP Center for Media Arts

http://www.ifpmsp.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization provides access to education, equipment, and connections to photographers and videographers of all levels in an affordable and accessible (in terms of attitude as well as convenience) way.
O
They are responsive to the needs of the specific community they serve. They implement practical applications of community suggestions. They are also engaged in strengthening the film community's networks and developing filmmakers within many stages of their careers.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are smart. They communicate who and what they are clearly. They also seem smart about finding relevant sponsorships and ways to provide earned income without going off mission.
O
They have strong leadership within the Board of Directors and in the Executive Director. They are strategic about engaging broader stakeholders. They also have great marketing and communications. Another of their strengths is that they have created intentional structures of support for emerging filmmakers and photographers.
In Progress (2 recommendations) They are having a far-reaching impact, spreading digital media skills and literacy outside the metro area of Minnesota. They have well-developed relationships within Latino and American Indian communities, now lasting several generations. They are providing a path for young artists within these communities to develop and reach national resources to critique and exhibit.
In Progress

http://www.inprogresshome.blogspot.com/?view=magazine

Evidence of Impact

O
They are having a far-reaching impact, spreading digital media skills and literacy outside the metro area of Minnesota. They have well-developed relationships within Latino and American Indian communities, now lasting several generations. They are providing a path for young artists within these communities to develop and reach national resources to critique and exhibit.
O
In Progress partners with and serves communities of color and has a focus on the Native American community. In Progress artists become leaders in the video arts and film communities.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have the strong vision and commitment of their Executive Director. Other strengths include their great use of youth leadership, their work developing artists from participant to educator and exhibitor, and strong board participation.
O
The staff members are dedicated and well qualified in the area of media production. The organization has been around for over 15 years.

Areas for Improvement

O
Too much of the vision rests in the Executive Director, and I am uncertain the work would continue without her.
O
I would like to see more mentorship and adult training for In Progress artists who are seeking careers and education in film, video, and media arts.
Jerome Foundation (2 recommendations) They fund artists.
Jerome Foundation

http://www.jeromefdn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They fund artists.
F
The Jerome Foundation assures that the next generation of artists will be able to make exciting and engaging work with its programs that partner with venues in all major disciplines and that encourage the development of new artistic voices. Two examples of this programming would be the <i>Naked Stages</i> partnership with Pillsbury House Theater and the <i>Momentum</i> partnership with the Walker Art Center.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see them have even more money for even more artists.
Minnesota Center for Book Arts (2 recommendations) They offer quality programs, inspiring facility, and have a quality location.
Minnesota Center for Book Arts

http://www.mnbookarts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They offer quality programs, inspiring facility, and have a quality location.
O
MCBA is a very public arts organization with great ease of access for all. They are in a public building with street access in a highly visible location. They offer classes for all ages and have artist advancement programs.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong leadership at the top, and in key areas of the organization. The Executive Director is an artist with great organizational skills as well. They have brought an international audience to MCBA with the Biennial and MCBA Prize, the largest prize in the book arts in the world.

Areas for Improvement

O
Their current location is in a building (Open Book) with The Loft Literary Center and Milkweed Editions that needs to be explored. The partnership is great, but the changes in nonprofit rules make the Open Book nonprofit a potential millstone for all three nonprofits.
Myles Reif Performing Arts Center (Reif Center) (2 recommendations) The Reif Center offers a broad array of performing arts and arts education programs that directly connect with participants of all ages. Its highly active role in Grand Rapids brings to a rural community, a broad range of access to the arts opportunities.
Myles Reif Performing Arts Center (Reif Center)

http://www.reifcenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Reif Center offers a broad array of performing arts and arts education programs that directly connect with participants of all ages. Its highly active role in Grand Rapids brings to a rural community, a broad range of access to the arts opportunities.
F
This performing arts center and small exhibit space offers quality performances, exhibitions, and dance classes in a community of about 16,000 people. It has created a large community audience for a wide range of quality programming which covers a wide spectrum of the arts.

Organizational Strengths

N
The Reif Center has a strong history of consistent executive leadership and a participatory board that is reflective of community interests.
F
Their artistic leadership and vision has been important to their success. Their ability to involve the community in their programming has allowed them to keep going.

Areas for Improvement

N
Reif Center has sought to build alliances with other regional arts centers. Continuing to nurture these alliances has the potential to build depth and solidarity amongst rural arts enterprises.
North House Folk School (2 recommendations) North Folk House has unique offerings and strong community support.
North House Folk School

http://www.northhouse.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
North Folk House has unique offerings and strong community support.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their leadership and staff.
O
The staff and leadership at North House Folk School are extremely dedicated to the health and wealth of the organization. Their operations and finances have grown considerably since their inception about 10 years ago.

Areas for Improvement

O
I am sure, as with all nonprofits, North House Folk School could use more funding. I believe they could also use more outreach to other cities and states to make themselves known in these areas.
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association (2 recommendations) Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, as a grassroots organization, has noticeably impacted northeast Minneapolis through its involvement with artists and the community. It continuously strives to be a connector between artists living and working in the northeast with its community. Its mission is to support a community where artists can live, work, and showcase their art. The mission is to promote connections between individuals, businesses, and artists for the collective benefit of the greater community.
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association

http://www.nemaa.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, as a grassroots organization, has noticeably impacted northeast Minneapolis through its involvement with artists and the community. It continuously strives to be a connector between artists living and working in the northeast with its community. Its mission is to support a community where artists can live, work, and showcase their art. The mission is to promote connections between individuals, businesses, and artists for the collective benefit of the greater community.
N
This recommendation is based on evidence of artists positively affected by the annual <i>Art-A-Whirl</i> event, as well as under-represented visual and multi-disciplinary artists, positively affected by the advocacy efforts of NEMAA.

Organizational Strengths

O
Their leadership, in its 17th year, is the strongest it has been since its inception. They are also strong in their growth. The organization continues to present <i>Art-A-Whirl,</i> which has grown in the past 5 years and membership in NEMAA has grown by 40% in the past 5 years. Likewise, their methods of communication and marketing have increased in professionalism. This is all testaments to the commitment of the leadership to see this organization thrive for the good of its artist members and community members.
N
Organizational procedures and marketing are strengths of this organization.

Areas for Improvement

O
Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association is at a crossroads for funding and sponsorships. It simply has not had the ways and means to move beyond running on a shoestring. Many would not believe how much they have done with so little. NEMAA has been able to keep going by the generosity of a few sponsors and the hard work of its volunteer board.
Northern Lights.mn (2 recommendations) Northern Light promotes not only the work of contemporary artists working in conjunction with new media, it also engages the public in large scale events, such as the Northern Spark Festival and the Singing Installation at the Minnesota State Fair.
Northern Lights.mn

http://northern.lights.mn/

Evidence of Impact

N
Northern Light promotes not only the work of contemporary artists working in conjunction with new media, it also engages the public in large scale events, such as the Northern Spark Festival and the Singing Installation at the Minnesota State Fair.
N
They offer support for artists exploring new media in the public realm and produce the Northern Spark Festival.

Organizational Strengths

N
They tremendous leadership in Steve Dietz and nimble operations make this nonprofit low to the ground and adaptable.
N
They have great leadership and a great ability to market and produce their festival.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see them develop a stronger identity for the organization. I think people are not aware what Northern Lights is.
N
They have a limited capacity, which limits their ability to impact as many as they could.
Northfiield Arts Guild (2 recommendations) They are an active art center with quality programming.
Northfiield Arts Guild

http://www.northfieldartsguild.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are an active art center with quality programming.
N
They have a long history of successful offerings, strong connection to the local community, and wide range of offerings from theatre to painting to dance.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their leadership and staff members.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve access.
One Voice Mixed Chorus (2 recommendations) I recommend them based on stories I have heard of their expanding reach into schools, and having an impact on young people’s lives through acceptance around GLBTQ identity and bullying. I know they have been a great community resource in many ways for years, but this latest expanding presence in schools inspires the recommendation.
One Voice Mixed Chorus

http://www.ovmc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
I recommend them based on stories I have heard of their expanding reach into schools, and having an impact on young people’s lives through acceptance around GLBTQ identity and bullying. I know they have been a great community resource in many ways for years, but this latest expanding presence in schools inspires the recommendation.
N
One Voice Mixed Chorus (OVMC) makes an impact on the clients they serve by ensuring inclusion for gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. They do a good deal of community outreach. In a world still full of dysfunction, racism, and disrespect, OVMC stands the test of time through continuity and strength.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a broad, deep, and dedicated volunteer base.
N
One of their strengths is a clear, open, inclusive mission that holds true to its clients and community. They also have a strong ability to market themselves in a dysfunctional world and make funders see the need for their existence not only for the singers, but also for the greater community.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should work to expand their individual donor base and continue improving on their marketing efforts. The product is excellent, but hidden behind a cultural stigma.
Open Eye Figure Theatre (2 recommendations) They offer great support for the artists that they work with.
Open Eye Figure Theatre

http://www.openeyetheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They offer great support for the artists that they work with.
N
Open Eye Figure Theater creates original work, advances new artists, and engages the community. Their program, <i>Toy Theatre after Dark</i> presents a week of miniature puppetry, classes, discussions, and networking opportunities. Likewise, their backyard puppet shows bring puppetry directly to neighborhoods, creating a magical experience for children and adults.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their clarity of mission, great programming, and a great facility.
N
Their strengths are their creative vision and the restoration of their lovely jewel box theater.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could strengthen organizational operations and improve marketing.
N
Their marketing could be more robust.
Region 2 Arts Council (2 recommendations) The Region 2 Arts Council is the granting organization for our five-county area. They manage and disperse State and Legacy Amendment funded art dollars and provide a wide range of support services including training, grant writing, and professional development workshops. They also host round table discussions with area legislators, and provide a newsletter to give and receive information.
Region 2 Arts Council

http://www.r2arts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Region 2 Arts Council is the granting organization for our five-county area. They manage and disperse State and Legacy Amendment funded art dollars and provide a wide range of support services including training, grant writing, and professional development workshops. They also host round table discussions with area legislators, and provide a newsletter to give and receive information.
O
This organization grants arts funding to five counties, which are extremely large and rural. The largest town has a population of about 13,000.Region 2 makes extraordinary efforts to reach out to largely under-served portions of the region to serve artists, arts organizations, and community arts activities. They are artist-centered and they design programs and services to support their efforts. This organization has been aggressive in long-range planning and in taking advantage of its resources to provide leadership and staff that offer professional services and an expanding array of grant and workshop programs. It works with statewide networks as well as regional and local agencies to encourage collaboration. They have a dedicated board, which changes often enough to give new members a chance to serve and attracts experienced arts advocates and professionals. They communicate online with a monthly newsletter and sometimes daily "arts updates" if needed. They are frugal with spending for overhead. This organization does more with less and keeps their passion for the arts alive.

Organizational Strengths

N
One strength is the <i>Annishaabe Arts Initiative </i> advisory council, a separate board under the Region 2 Arts Council. This advisory council funds many great project including grants open to Native American individual artists and a mentor program that connects high school age students with a practicing professional in a specific field of interest. This is amazing outreach to two under-served populations.
O
This organization has always had very professional and competent Executive Directors. With the new Legacy funding, they have increased their staff to reflect the increased expertise needed. Staff members communicate using all communication methods, both traditional and internet. The organization keeps excellent books, and audits are always positive. The board leadership and membership reflects a broad geographic area and some members drive a two-hour round trip to attend monthly meeting. The board is committed to providing resources and services to regional artists and communities and they have made special efforts to engage the smallest communities and artists in remote areas. One of the most important programs this organization has is the <i>Anishanaabe Arts Initiative,</i> an arts council made up of Native American board members from the three regional Ojibwe reservations. This grants program supports native artists and communities. It is a gem, and I believe it is the only council of its kind in Minnesota.

Areas for Improvement

N
I wish they were able to create and host a website that is open to all artists, organizations, and venues that would serve as a resource for events, artists, activities, and education. However, I recognize this would be expensive and would use up a lot of staff hours.
O
It would be nice if they could offer more expertise in the realm of public art projects and procedures. Also, their offices are not disability accessible.
Zeitgeist (2 recommendations) Zeitgeist is responsible for the annual Eric Stokes Song Contest, which identifies fledgling composers of various ages throughout the community. They also offer STUDIO Z performance space, which they manage and leverage as a community resource.
Zeitgeist

http://www.zeitgeistnewmusic.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Zeitgeist is responsible for the annual Eric Stokes Song Contest, which identifies fledgling composers of various ages throughout the community. They also offer STUDIO Z performance space, which they manage and leverage as a community resource.
O
Their artistic impact on the new music community is clearly palpable. Their new space, Studio Z, is not only fully programmed, but also includes a range of music styles that make it an important contributor to our local community.

Organizational Strengths

N
Zeitgeist is a stable new-music ensemble (almost an oxymoron) with wide sympathies and a down-home vibe. It is managed by its members and takes the art of multi-tasking as far as it can go. The ensemble's education efforts are strong and imaginative.
O
Their strength is their strong and long-serving staff.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their publicity is not always as effective as it could be.
O
They could invest more resources in communications strategies so more people in the community are aware of all their great work.
A Center for the Arts (Fergus Theatre) (1 recommendation) A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls has benefited the community and region for many years. They have enhanced the quality of life in central Minnesota by their promotion of the arts throughout the region. I have been impressed by the breadth of programming they bring to the community; both homegrown and from across the country.
A Center for the Arts (Fergus Theatre)

http://www.fergusarts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
A Center for the Arts in Fergus Falls has benefited the community and region for many years. They have enhanced the quality of life in central Minnesota by their promotion of the arts throughout the region. I have been impressed by the breadth of programming they bring to the community; both homegrown and from across the country.

Organizational Strengths

N
While the Executive Director is new to the position, the organization remains strong and stable. From the outside, the organization seems to be in good shape financially.

Areas for Improvement

N
The new leadership should seek to continue partnerships that were developed over many years rather than "re-inventing the wheel." Too often, a new leader jettisons relationships developed by the previous leader without exploring what is truly good for the organization. Also, more live presentations are always a positive.
ARTS-Us (1 recommendation) ARTS-US draws upon the talent and culture of the Summit University & Frogtown communities of Saint Paul, MN. They provide a creative outlet for youth and encourage a high level of parental involvement. They offer a variety of free and low-cost arts enrichment programs, and they operate during non-school hours to meet the needs of Saint Paul families.
ARTS-Us

http://www.arts-us.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
ARTS-US draws upon the talent and culture of the Summit University & Frogtown communities of Saint Paul, MN. They provide a creative outlet for youth and encourage a high level of parental involvement. They offer a variety of free and low-cost arts enrichment programs, and they operate during non-school hours to meet the needs of Saint Paul families.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong leadership and a strong base of community support.

Areas for Improvement

N
They have a facility that is aging and is not pleasant to the eye. Youth should be able to feel a sense of pride and ownership in the places and spaces where they spend their non-school hours. Efforts could be made to bring the space more up to date and to create a more youth-friendly physical environment.
American Swedish Institute (1 recommendation) I see their impact in their focused programs, improving facility, and their strong cultural awareness and focus.
American Swedish Institute

http://www.asimn.org/ASI/Home.html

Evidence of Impact

N
I see their impact in their focused programs, improving facility, and their strong cultural awareness and focus.
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (Wilder Foundation) (1 recommendation) They offer widespread activities in multiple sectors of the community. Many people talk about the Wilder Foundation being a strong and effective organization in the community. My interaction with the Wilder Foundation has put me in touch with extremely strong people in the field.
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation (Wilder Foundation)
Silver-small

http://www.wilder.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They offer widespread activities in multiple sectors of the community. Many people talk about the Wilder Foundation being a strong and effective organization in the community. My interaction with the Wilder Foundation has put me in touch with extremely strong people in the field.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong leadership and strong program leaders. I believe it is also a well-financed organization.
Ananya Dance Theatre (1 recommendation) They have a clear vision and mission for artistic excellence and social-justice. They are a professional dance company that remains primarily women of color. They offer innovative, relevant and stunning performances addressing complexity of global justice issues. They have a long-standing method of a participatory, creative process among dancers to become politicized and train in ADT movement-base. You can see their results in their full houses, high-ticket sales, and invites to tour nationally and internationally.
Ananya Dance Theatre
Bronze-small

http://www.ananyadancetheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They have a clear vision and mission for artistic excellence and social-justice. They are a professional dance company that remains primarily women of color. They offer innovative, relevant and stunning performances addressing complexity of global justice issues. They have a long-standing method of a participatory, creative process among dancers to become politicized and train in ADT movement-base. You can see their results in their full houses, high-ticket sales, and invites to tour nationally and internationally.

Organizational Strengths

F
More than ever, the board and staff show solid leadership. Another of their strength is the fact that they are affiliated with University of Minnesota Dance and Theater Department and receive funding. Also, Ananya Dance Theater accomplishes solid projects on limited budget and capacity.

Areas for Improvement

F
They would benefit from greater staff capacity, a clearer direction for the future, and a stronger plan for sustainable growth.
ArtReach St. Croix (1 recommendation) They are a great network for arts organizations.
ArtReach St. Croix
Silver-small

http://www.artreachstcroix.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are a great network for arts organizations.
ArtStart (1 recommendation) ArtStart has a perennial, creative reuse space with a great reputation among teachers and artists. They are an invaluable resource to the Twin Cities environment. Their programs are thoughtful and provide culturally respectful explorations of the world through the arts. The repeat visits of students and the multiple partners they have in the schools, and other community organizations, is notable.
ArtStart

http://www.artstart.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
ArtStart has a perennial, creative reuse space with a great reputation among teachers and artists. They are an invaluable resource to the Twin Cities environment. Their programs are thoughtful and provide culturally respectful explorations of the world through the arts. The repeat visits of students and the multiple partners they have in the schools, and other community organizations, is notable.

Organizational Strengths

N
I believe their mission of tying arts to the environment through education is brilliant and timely. This shows up in the work they do and informs new projects. I believe they have a strong board and a truly committed Executive Director as well as top notch small staff. Their artistic staff is also very talented and they do a good job of rotating people to keep variety and interest.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could take more advantage of the store model and partner with other organizations to expand in a franchise-style model. I believe they could improve by increasing capacity around the store, moving items through more rapidly, increasing sources, possibly decreasing price points on some things, and increasing revenue through partnerships and materials contracts. They should also continue to build on artists as a focal point for their programs. I would also recommend they increase the spotlight on the creative reuse angle.
ArtiCulture (1 recommendation) Their impact is bringing arts learning experiences to younger generations.
ArtiCulture

http://www.articulture.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact is bringing arts learning experiences to younger generations.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are visionary leadership, good staff members, and good operations.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should improve their planning and board development as well as public relations.
Arts and Culture Partnership of Saint Paul (1 recommendation) Ever since this organization was established in the late 90's, more art and culture networking and collaboration opportunities have been facilitated through its efforts.
Arts and Culture Partnership of Saint Paul

http://www.acpstpaul.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Ever since this organization was established in the late 90's, more art and culture networking and collaboration opportunities have been facilitated through its efforts.

Organizational Strengths

O
The leadership and staff have worked hard to maintain growth, membership, and activities sponsored by Arts and Culture Partnership.

Areas for Improvement

O
They need to have more community meetings for updates and previews of what is to come.
Arts on Superior (1 recommendation) This is a relatively new nonprofit, and although they have had some wonderful arts opportunities for the community, they are still struggling. The artists they have been able to fund have had a very positive impact on the school community, where there are no visual arts in the elementary schools, and no funding to enhance the arts in the entire Kindergarten through 12 grade!
Arts on Superior

http://www.artsonsuperior.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
This is a relatively new nonprofit, and although they have had some wonderful arts opportunities for the community, they are still struggling. The artists they have been able to fund have had a very positive impact on the school community, where there are no visual arts in the elementary schools, and no funding to enhance the arts in the entire Kindergarten through 12 grade!

Organizational Strengths

O
The leadership from the two founders of this organization has been excellent! Also, they now have a Facebook page, which has helped to get the organization into the media more.

Areas for Improvement

O
They need more people to get involved with their mission! They also need more funding so they can provide the kind of programs that would benefit the community's relatively poor demographic.
BareBones Productions (1 recommendation) This organization continues to build community through spectacle and performance that is centered on being creative, inclusive, and outdoors. The community at-large really responds each year by telling friends and increasing donations of time and money. The audience numbers have increased along with an ever-changing pool of participants from around the world.
BareBones Productions

http://www.barebonespuppets.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization continues to build community through spectacle and performance that is centered on being creative, inclusive, and outdoors. The community at-large really responds each year by telling friends and increasing donations of time and money. The audience numbers have increased along with an ever-changing pool of participants from around the world.

Organizational Strengths

N
They run on a truly bare bones budget, spending very little on marketing and overhead. While maintaining a conservative approach to spending, they still work to increase the number of artists served whenever the revenue stream increases. Their value driven approach and broad volunteer base illuminate their core commitment to the work. The growing outreach education aspect of their work is a relevant and deeply effective way to share the wonders of puppetry arts, collaborative art making, and creative reuse with the children of the Twin Cities area.

Areas for Improvement

N
The board could use some support, development, diversification of the skill sets represented, and sharing of the leadership responsibilities. Transparency has increased over the last years, but they would benefit from a continued effort at making their hiring, performance, and planning process open to the community. They could also work on increasing the artists and audience of color.
Bell Museum of Natural History (1 recommendation) Their theatre brings film and science together for people of all ages.
Bell Museum of Natural History

http://www.bellmuseum.umn.edu/

Evidence of Impact

O
Their theatre brings film and science together for people of all ages.
Bluestem Center for the Arts (1 recommendation) Bluestem Center for the Arts houses Trollwood Performing Arts School, which has positively affected the lives of countless young people for years. It is a cultural icon in this region.
Bluestem Center for the Arts

http://www.bluestemcfa.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Bluestem Center for the Arts houses Trollwood Performing Arts School, which has positively affected the lives of countless young people for years. It is a cultural icon in this region.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their marketing is very strong and reaches the region.

Areas for Improvement

N
Lately, they seem to have lost their way in terms of leadership and focus. It would seem that the opening of the new facility caused the organization to overreach and lose sight of what it is known for in the community. Too many programs have caused a diffusion of the mission. More collaboration with local arts organizations would also be a positive.
Cantus (1 recommendation) Cantus' tours to out-state Minnesota have brought high-quality music to audiences beyond the Twin Cities.
Cantus

http://www.cantussings.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Cantus' tours to out-state Minnesota have brought high-quality music to audiences beyond the Twin Cities.

Organizational Strengths

N
The organization's staffing is lean and effective. They are also very smart in their plans and implementation.
Cedar Cultural Center (The Cedar) (1 recommendation) This amazing organization serves not only a diverse urban neighborhood; it offers an incredibly diverse array of musical entertainment reflecting local, national, and international cultures. It gives emerging as well as established musicians a first-class performance experience in a casual setting. This organization supports local musicians by providing a venue where they can develop, grow, and build a local audience. One of the outstanding things that happen is that musicians meet each other and many times begin to collaborate with each other. To sit in the audience and hear a blend of music from various cultures, and see folk musicians play with East Indian musicians is very exciting and entertaining.
Cedar Cultural Center (The Cedar)

http://www.thecedar.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
This amazing organization serves not only a diverse urban neighborhood; it offers an incredibly diverse array of musical entertainment reflecting local, national, and international cultures. It gives emerging as well as established musicians a first-class performance experience in a casual setting. This organization supports local musicians by providing a venue where they can develop, grow, and build a local audience. One of the outstanding things that happen is that musicians meet each other and many times begin to collaborate with each other. To sit in the audience and hear a blend of music from various cultures, and see folk musicians play with East Indian musicians is very exciting and entertaining.

Organizational Strengths

O
A small staff and a large amount of volunteers make this place survive and thrive. Local musicians and volunteers contribute to the success of the Cedar Cultural Center. They have an effective website with ticket buying options. This organization is an arts anchor in the city and is highly deserving of strong funding support.

Areas for Improvement

O
The chairs could be more comfortable. Also, for a facility that holds 465 there are only two stalls in the women's bathroom.
Center for Irish Music (1 recommendation) I see their impact as their rapid growth and quality instructors.
Center for Irish Music

http://www.centerforirishmusic.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
I see their impact as their rapid growth and quality instructors.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are making a difference in teaching music to individuals of all ages and skills. Their programs are worth looking into.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by raising public awareness. More people in the region need to be aware of what they offer.
College of St. Scholastica (1 recommendation) The College of St. Scholastica offers a diversity of programming to students and the community.
College of St. Scholastica

http://www.css.edu/

Evidence of Impact

F
The College of St. Scholastica offers a diversity of programming to students and the community.

Organizational Strengths

F
They are always looking for an art programming that is new and that will expose the community and surrounding area to quality arts experiences from other cultures. They try to create an activity that will involve the participant in a variety of cultural activities prior to the concert or exhibition.

Areas for Improvement

F
As a college doing community activities, they need to better reach the community. Marketing is always an issue no matter the size of the community being served.
College of Visual Arts (1 recommendation) This institution provides post-secondary arts education, but also contributes to the artistic health of Saint Paul. It provides free and reduced classes to Saint Paul students, even allowing them to earn high school credit for participation. College of Visual Arts encourages youth to explore the visual arts through summer camps and experiential learning.
College of Visual Arts

http://www.cva.edu/

Evidence of Impact

N
This institution provides post-secondary arts education, but also contributes to the artistic health of Saint Paul. It provides free and reduced classes to Saint Paul students, even allowing them to earn high school credit for participation. College of Visual Arts encourages youth to explore the visual arts through summer camps and experiential learning.
Duluth Art Institute (1 recommendation) Duluth Art Institute (DAI) brought on a new curator two years ago, and they have gone above and beyond to bring the arts to the community. Besides programming a wide variety of exhibitions and integrating performing arts with their work, DAI began creating happening events at the exhibit openings. These events draw hundreds more people than they had previously. Additionally, the new curator is always out in the community; she is constantly at schools, studio visits, hosting art documentary viewings, brown bag lunch discussions in the downtown area, on the radio, and more. Her energy and motivation for the local art scene and for the Duluth Art Institute is amazing.
Duluth Art Institute

http://www.duluthartinstitute.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Duluth Art Institute (DAI) brought on a new curator two years ago, and they have gone above and beyond to bring the arts to the community. Besides programming a wide variety of exhibitions and integrating performing arts with their work, DAI began creating happening events at the exhibit openings. These events draw hundreds more people than they had previously. Additionally, the new curator is always out in the community; she is constantly at schools, studio visits, hosting art documentary viewings, brown bag lunch discussions in the downtown area, on the radio, and more. Her energy and motivation for the local art scene and for the Duluth Art Institute is amazing.

Organizational Strengths

O
The staff includes a great educator, a truly motivated individual who is great with children and can teach adults. The organization has also just brought on a new director who has a new perspective and has brought a new excitement to the place.

Areas for Improvement

O
Their rental space and location are less than desirable. With the curator's ability, the addition of predatory and exhibition design help, and a new location, the Duluth Art Institute could easily be of national renown and better maximize its impact on the arts in the region.
East Central Regional Arts Council (1 recommendation) They are having a deep impact by funding regional arts organizations.
East Central Regional Arts Council

http://www.ecrac.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are having a deep impact by funding regional arts organizations.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is that they are providing critical funding and support for fledgling, growing regional arts organizations. Another of their strengths is their advocacy for regional arts organizations.
Evansville Art Center (1 recommendation) Based in a very small rural community, this organization has done well in providing high-quality arts activities not only for their community, but for surrounding communities as well. They were fortunate to be selected as one of six Minnesota communities to host the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit ''New Harmonies''.
Evansville Art Center

http://www.evansvilleartcenter.com/

Evidence of Impact

F
Based in a very small rural community, this organization has done well in providing high-quality arts activities not only for their community, but for surrounding communities as well. They were fortunate to be selected as one of six Minnesota communities to host the traveling Smithsonian Exhibit ''New Harmonies''.

Organizational Strengths

F
They offer a wide variety of arts programming including music, visual, and literary. These works often have an interactive component where the audience not only views, but also participates in the arts events. This is very impressive, especially for a smaller nonprofit. They are ambitious in programming their activities, but always with an awareness of serving a smaller, very eclectic audience.

Areas for Improvement

F
Currently all work is done by volunteers. It is important that they bring on consistent, paid staff, as it would help the organization stabilize and grow.
Frank Theatre (1 recommendation) Wendy Knox, Director and Founder, takes on difficult subject matter and produces provocative plays in unusual venues.
Frank Theatre

http://www.franktheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Wendy Knox, Director and Founder, takes on difficult subject matter and produces provocative plays in unusual venues.
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library (1 recommendation) The Saint Paul Public Library has, in my opinion, never been more visible and active. It has become obvious that much of this success has been due to the efforts of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.
Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library
Bronze-small

http://www.thefriends.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
The Saint Paul Public Library has, in my opinion, never been more visible and active. It has become obvious that much of this success has been due to the efforts of the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library.

Organizational Strengths

R
Using the little money they have, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library has proved to be a capable steward of several magnificent buildings.

Areas for Improvement

R
All libraries today seem to have a difficult time defining their mission, they usually overreach. The Saint Paul Public Library is no exception.
Graywolf Press (1 recommendation) They constantly win awards for their books.
Graywolf Press

http://www.graywolfpress.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They constantly win awards for their books.

Organizational Strengths

N
This organization is visionary. They put together fantastic panels and conferences and they publish many authors of color.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could do a better job communicating with their donors.
Great River Educational Arts Theatre (GREAT) (1 recommendation) This organization serves many families. They have also received many people on stage.
Great River Educational Arts Theatre (GREAT)

http://www.greattheatre.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization serves many families. They have also received many people on stage.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their leadership is dynamic and forward thinking.

Areas for Improvement

N
They cannot maintain contact with families when the show is over.
Guthrie Theatre (1 recommendation) There is no organization in Minnesota that has quite the amount of accessibility for those attending their theatre. Not only do they provide accessible seating, but also offer captioning, American Sign Language, assistive listening devices, and guided hands tours in which people who are blind can come early and feel props, costumes, staging before watching the show. They also offer around 10,000 free tickets to under-served populations and schools.
Guthrie Theatre
Silver-small

http://www.guthrietheater.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
There is no organization in Minnesota that has quite the amount of accessibility for those attending their theatre. Not only do they provide accessible seating, but also offer captioning, American Sign Language, assistive listening devices, and guided hands tours in which people who are blind can come early and feel props, costumes, staging before watching the show. They also offer around 10,000 free tickets to under-served populations and schools.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are known for their strong leadership, both in the organization and among their peers outside the organization as well.

Areas for Improvement

N
Based on the size of their organization, it would be nice to see more community engagement efforts that are free to students and schools or community members.
HUGE Improv Theater (1 recommendation) They have only been around one year, but they have put an extraordinary number of artists and performances on their stage within that timeframe.
HUGE Improv Theater
Bronze-small

http://www.hugetheater.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have only been around one year, but they have put an extraordinary number of artists and performances on their stage within that timeframe.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have such clear and smart leadership! They understand their goals; increasing audiences for long-form improvement, and go after them in smart, fiscally responsible ways.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should expand their income to allow for a paid staff! Ticket prices are extremely low, which is fabulous, but the staff members (who are working their tails off) should be compensated to forestall the, otherwise inevitable, burnout.
Headwaters School of Music and the Arts (1 recommendation) The Headwaters School of Music and the Arts does a lot of outreach to school-age children to offer music lessons and access to music in rural Minnesota, often providing the ONLY access to music these grade school students will have.
Headwaters School of Music and the Arts
Bronze-small

http://www.hwschool.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Headwaters School of Music and the Arts does a lot of outreach to school-age children to offer music lessons and access to music in rural Minnesota, often providing the ONLY access to music these grade school students will have.

Organizational Strengths

N
The Headwaters School of Music and the Arts has a very dedicated, creative, and hardworking Executive Director. She is experienced and aggressive at going after funding and grants. She is energetic, upbeat, welcoming, and inclusive in her work. She understands the value of collaborations. She has brought this organization from the brink of closing and has it thriving.
Heartland Symphony Orchestra (1 recommendation) This group provides concerts for the residents of central Minnesota where opportunity and resources to get to the Twin Cities for classical performances are limited. For many in this area, these concerts are their first exposure to orchestral music. It also provides local musicians the opportunity to play in an orchestra and continue to express themselves through music.
Heartland Symphony Orchestra

http://www.heartlandsymphony.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This group provides concerts for the residents of central Minnesota where opportunity and resources to get to the Twin Cities for classical performances are limited. For many in this area, these concerts are their first exposure to orchestral music. It also provides local musicians the opportunity to play in an orchestra and continue to express themselves through music.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are a committed group who know their audience and work hard to provide engaging performances for the public. They have a small staff and many great volunteers who keep the organization going and growing.

Areas for Improvement

N
Using local musicians comes with some risk, as they are not all playing at the same level. A stronger audition process might lead to a higher artistic level, but part of the mission is to engage local musicians and that is important. More publicity about their performances and guest artists could help.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking (1 recommendation) They have great, innovative programs that draw diverse audiences. They recently completed a capital campaign and moved into a new building on Lake Street, which gives them more space for programs.
Highpoint Center for Printmaking
Silver-small

http://www.highpointprintmaking.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have great, innovative programs that draw diverse audiences. They recently completed a capital campaign and moved into a new building on Lake Street, which gives them more space for programs.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have a great administrative team that consists of a printer, who is the Artistic Director, and an Executive Director, who manages the business of the Highpoint Center. They also have a strong board that is well connected in the community.

Areas for Improvement

N
They need to be more transparent by publishing their 1990s and annual reports on their website.
Hope Community (1 recommendation) Hope Community is an inspiration for many other community development organizations because of the way they have embedded the arts as a strategy for advancing their community development objectives. Their staff members have been training young arts-based organizers who are subtly influencing the way we think about organizing in the Twin Cities.
Hope Community

http://www.hope-community.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Hope Community is an inspiration for many other community development organizations because of the way they have embedded the arts as a strategy for advancing their community development objectives. Their staff members have been training young arts-based organizers who are subtly influencing the way we think about organizing in the Twin Cities.

Organizational Strengths

O
This organization's strength is wisdom. Wisdom is not usually on the list of organizational strengths, but it expresses the way Hope Community goes about their work. They do not partner unless the partnership is authentic and exemplifies their values. They are adept at listening and to community responsiveness. Again, listening is not usually on the list of organizational strengths, but it is the bedrock of Hope Community's success.

Areas for Improvement

O
An organization's strength is always its weakness. Hope is brilliantly focused on their work at the intersection of Franklin & Portland. It would be wonderful if they were more linked to other parts of the community, because they have so much to teach others about doing good work really well.
Hot Summer Jazz Festival (1 recommendation) This organization has not only produced one of the fastest growing events in our city, but it produces a whole series of music festivals that are a key to the brand identity of our city.
Hot Summer Jazz Festival

http://www.hotsummerjazz.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
This organization has not only produced one of the fastest growing events in our city, but it produces a whole series of music festivals that are a key to the brand identity of our city.

Organizational Strengths

O
This organization is very good as stretching resources and leveraging growth. With a very strong staff and a committed board, this organization is lean and very effective.

Areas for Improvement

O
They would be well served to further establish their identity as an organization. Very few members of the public understand that they are responsible for all of the results they produce. They would also be well served to establish a rainy day fund.
Illusion Theater (1 recommendation) They have a very strong outreach program.
Illusion Theater

http://www.illusiontheater.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have a very strong outreach program.

Organizational Strengths

N
I see their strengths as their great leadership and good reputation.

Areas for Improvement

N
They have been around so long, they may be forgotten at times.
James Sewell Ballet (1 recommendation) James Sewell and his company are working to expand performances and dance education throughout the state.
James Sewell Ballet

http://www.jsballet.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
James Sewell and his company are working to expand performances and dance education throughout the state.

Organizational Strengths

N
The organization's leadership is very strong. Also, the commitment to dance education on a higher level is powerful.

Areas for Improvement

N
The company could probably use additional resources on how best to tailor educational programs. Also, time to build better partnerships and programs would be beneficial.
KFAI (1 recommendation) KFAI, Fresh Air Radio is a peerless community radio station in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul market. Through its programming and its web streaming service, Fresh Air Radio reaches not only the state of Minnesota, but also an international listening audience. KFAI's impact on arts and culture in Minnesota can be measured in its scope and wealth of radio programming focusing on arts and culture elements that are not available on other airways in Minnesota. Through its programming, KFAI serves as a platform for Twin Cities and Minnesota artists, arts, and culture organizations and as a vital disseminator of news, information, and music.
KFAI

http://www.kfai.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
KFAI, Fresh Air Radio is a peerless community radio station in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul market. Through its programming and its web streaming service, Fresh Air Radio reaches not only the state of Minnesota, but also an international listening audience. KFAI's impact on arts and culture in Minnesota can be measured in its scope and wealth of radio programming focusing on arts and culture elements that are not available on other airways in Minnesota. Through its programming, KFAI serves as a platform for Twin Cities and Minnesota artists, arts, and culture organizations and as a vital disseminator of news, information, and music.

Organizational Strengths

O
KFAI's strengths are many. I will start by mentioning its all-volunteer board and programming staff. There is also their nationally recognized General Manager. KFAI's General Manager is a true visionary who is deeply invested in arts and culture. He works from the perspective of a former arts administrator and occasional performing artist.

Areas for Improvement

O
KFAI's efforts on behalf of arts and culture could be immeasurably improved with additional capital in the form of financial support. In achieving a broader funding base, KFAI would improve its delivery of arts and cultural programming, including news and information from the field.
Kaddatz Galleries (1 recommendation) They are effectively using their network of artists and status as a gallery to branch out and be of service to the larger community. They have done very well in partnering with other arts organizations and with other community entities to bring arts activities to senior living centers, cancer treatment centers, and local schools.
Kaddatz Galleries

http://www.kaddatzgalleries.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They are effectively using their network of artists and status as a gallery to branch out and be of service to the larger community. They have done very well in partnering with other arts organizations and with other community entities to bring arts activities to senior living centers, cancer treatment centers, and local schools.

Organizational Strengths

F
The leadership of their board and their Executive Director has helped them visualize their mission to be more than just an art gallery. They also have been reaching out to younger people to get them involved in the arts. For example, they helped host a graffiti mural project in the downtown area, which brought professional aerosol artists together with local youth to do a mural, educating everyone about this art form and helping the kids develop skills with aerosol art. And no, we didn't have a rash of vandalism afterwards. The kids loved it!

Areas for Improvement

F
They could use more space for programming or a way to take better advantage of the currently unused space in their building.
Kulture Klub Collaborative (1 recommendation) Kulture Klub makes efforts to bring together artists and youth experiencing homelessness, through their crisis drop-in center as well as through programs in partnerships with arts organizations.
Kulture Klub Collaborative

http://www.kultureklub.org/#!about

Evidence of Impact

N
Kulture Klub makes efforts to bring together artists and youth experiencing homelessness, through their crisis drop-in center as well as through programs in partnerships with arts organizations.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their collaboration with arts organizations to increase their impact on homeless youth and their Youth Advisory Council, which shapes their programs.
Kundiman (1 recommendation) Kundiman developed the first national Asian American poetry summer literary conference. It has also been quite instrumental in providing Asian American poets with opportunities to publish and give readings.
Kundiman
Silver-small

http://www.kundiman.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Kundiman developed the first national Asian American poetry summer literary conference. It has also been quite instrumental in providing Asian American poets with opportunities to publish and give readings.

Organizational Strengths

O
Kundiman has helped a number of emerging Asian American poets to develop as artists and has helped them gain access to publishing, readings, and connections with both Asian American poets and poets from other communities, particularly the African American poetry community and the Cave Canem organization.

Areas for Improvement

O
Kundiman has improved both their finances and organizational structure in the past few years, but there is stillroom for improvement in both areas.
Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra (1 recommendation) They present seven concerts each year that expose the community to a wide variety of chamber music in an unexpected way. One-half of each concert is traditional, but sometimes unexpected, while the other half of the concert consists of new compositions, outstanding soloist, chamber opera, unexpected performers and instruments, and other surprises.
Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra

http://www.lakesuperiorchamberorchestra.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They present seven concerts each year that expose the community to a wide variety of chamber music in an unexpected way. One-half of each concert is traditional, but sometimes unexpected, while the other half of the concert consists of new compositions, outstanding soloist, chamber opera, unexpected performers and instruments, and other surprises.

Organizational Strengths

F
The work and vision of the Artistic Director has been very strong. Their creative program is strong, exciting, and accessible.

Areas for Improvement

F
It is hard maintaining quality part-time staff when you are a small, seasonal nonprofit. Marketing is also an ongoing challenge for this organization.
Landmark Center (1 recommendation) The programs within Minnesota Landmarks directly impact hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This venue and its different program offerings is a cultural icon to the community and its funders.
Landmark Center

http://www.landmarkcenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The programs within Minnesota Landmarks directly impact hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This venue and its different program offerings is a cultural icon to the community and its funders.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are clear leadership and interesting programming. Minnesota Landmarks also has a good vision for what it is now, and where it should be going in the future.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve on their ability to expand or re-invent program offerings. They should also continue to develop ways to improve their individual funding base.
Lutheran Music Program (Lutheran Summer Music Academy) (1 recommendation) I have attended several concerts of their Lutheran Summer Music program and have witnessed firsthand the impact that the program has on high school-aged youth from all economic backgrounds and religious affiliations. This program changes lives for youth who have little access to quality arts instruction and performance opportunities. Lutheran Music Program is purposeful about making their programs financially accessible to those youth who express an interest in participating but are unable to afford the full cost. The level of artistic quality, both in the instructors and the students, is unsurpassed. These youth come from throughout the United States to share in a month-long program that feeds their artistic needs. I have never seen youth of this age perform at such a high level of quality and passion.
Lutheran Music Program (Lutheran Summer Music Academy)
Bronze-small

http://www.lutheransummermusic.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
I have attended several concerts of their Lutheran Summer Music program and have witnessed firsthand the impact that the program has on high school-aged youth from all economic backgrounds and religious affiliations. This program changes lives for youth who have little access to quality arts instruction and performance opportunities. Lutheran Music Program is purposeful about making their programs financially accessible to those youth who express an interest in participating but are unable to afford the full cost. The level of artistic quality, both in the instructors and the students, is unsurpassed. These youth come from throughout the United States to share in a month-long program that feeds their artistic needs. I have never seen youth of this age perform at such a high level of quality and passion.

Organizational Strengths

F
In the last five years, this organization retired all of its long-term debt during an economic time that has devastated most nonprofits. They did this not only through fiscal prudence, but also through growth in support. From the outside, I attribute this to a very engaged and mission-focused Board of Directors lead by a visionary Executive Director. They have expanded and diversified their programming so that they are not reliant on the financial success of their summer camp program.

Areas for Improvement

F
I would like to see additional diversification of programming and better communication to the larger nonprofit and arts community about their existence.
MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency) (1 recommendation) They provide programming that brings atypical topics and presenters to libraries and they offer a free museum pass program. This attracts families to museums that might normally not go, either for financial reasons or for lack of awareness of museum options.
MELSA (Metropolitan Library Service Agency)

http://www.melsa.org/melsa/index.cfm/foundation/

Evidence of Impact

N
They provide programming that brings atypical topics and presenters to libraries and they offer a free museum pass program. This attracts families to museums that might normally not go, either for financial reasons or for lack of awareness of museum options.

Organizational Strengths

N
The staff members who I know are collaborative and open to new ways of partnering.
MIGIZI Communications (1 recommendation) MIGIZI began teaching video arts to high school students with great success. Students now fulfill contracts to do video work with clients.
MIGIZI Communications

http://www.migizi.org/default/index.cfm

Evidence of Impact

O
MIGIZI began teaching video arts to high school students with great success. Students now fulfill contracts to do video work with clients.

Organizational Strengths

O
The organization has built on its strengths and has not been afraid to let go of areas that were not producing well. They also have strong board and staff leadership.
Management Assistance Project for Nonprofits (MAP for Nonprofits) (1 recommendation) Their impact is their depth of programming.
Management Assistance Project for Nonprofits (MAP for Nonprofits)
Silver-small

http://www.mapfornonprofits.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact is their depth of programming.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong leadership.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should work to increase earned revenue.
Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra (1 recommendation) Their impact is their strong artistic product and grassroots community engagement. They are making orchestra concerts available to everyone.
Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

http://www.msomn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact is their strong artistic product and grassroots community engagement. They are making orchestra concerts available to everyone.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their impactful volunteer base.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by attracting greater resources to allow access to more professional venues.
Milkweed Editions (1 recommendation) Milkweed Editions has done what few have been able to do. They have changed their leadership and are doing great. The new leadership replaced the founder and founding team and it has not missed a beat. They are innovative; they reach far past the shores of Minnesota, and have a well-respected brand.
Milkweed Editions
Silver-small

http://www.milkweed.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Milkweed Editions has done what few have been able to do. They have changed their leadership and are doing great. The new leadership replaced the founder and founding team and it has not missed a beat. They are innovative; they reach far past the shores of Minnesota, and have a well-respected brand.

Organizational Strengths

O
I think that they are smart in a marketing sense. They have been able to garner awards and recognition despite only having a handful of staff members. The collegial work they do with Minnesota Center for Book Arts and the Loft is noteworthy.

Areas for Improvement

O
The building OPEN BOOK, which is a nonprofit itself and on which Milkweed sits as board member, is in need of clarification so that it does not damage the positives of Milkweed. It is a question of organizational structure and not a physical one. The changes to the laws of nonprofit activities have created a problem, but it is solvable.
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (1 recommendation) This organization provides dance, music and visual arts instruction to both youth and adults in the southeast Minnesota region. They also support summer intensive dance workshops, summer chamber music camps for youth, private individual instrumental and voice lessons, a youth choir, adult community flute choir, master classes, and space for performances for many different groups.
Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts

Evidence of Impact

R
This organization provides dance, music and visual arts instruction to both youth and adults in the southeast Minnesota region. They also support summer intensive dance workshops, summer chamber music camps for youth, private individual instrumental and voice lessons, a youth choir, adult community flute choir, master classes, and space for performances for many different groups.

Organizational Strengths

R
They are very forward thinking; they are actively looking for areas in which to expand. They have excellent staff members, both administrators and teachers. They also have a nice facility, though they may need additional rooms in the coming years.

Areas for Improvement

R
The organization would benefit from expansion to meet growing demand. Areas of future improvement include additional staff, more space, and additional offerings in the curriculum.
Minnesota Historical Society (1 recommendation) They provide programming at the Minnesota History Center and work on historic advocacy and preservation across the state.
Minnesota Historical Society

http://www.mnhs.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
They provide programming at the Minnesota History Center and work on historic advocacy and preservation across the state.

Organizational Strengths

R
They are very accessible to researchers, which is admirable. Also, their publishing efforts are exemplary.

Areas for Improvement

R
The organization could move away from politically polarizing subjects and fundraising campaigns.
Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) (1 recommendation) Through their all-state music programs, they engage hundreds of students every year in high-level experiences in music. This experience changes lives and often leads young musicians on a path toward being a professional musician or a music teacher, further it creates the audiences of the future for Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and many others. In addition, they provide service to public school music teachers as well as students.
Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA)

http://www.mmea.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Through their all-state music programs, they engage hundreds of students every year in high-level experiences in music. This experience changes lives and often leads young musicians on a path toward being a professional musician or a music teacher, further it creates the audiences of the future for Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Opera and many others. In addition, they provide service to public school music teachers as well as students.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their Executive Director, Mary Schaefle, is a dynamo. She is a highly skilled leader who is passionate about what MMEA does. She has an equally committed staff. They are a small group, but with huge impact!

Areas for Improvement

N
Like any nonprofit, they could do more if they had more financial resources. They are struggling against the tide of school districts that are cutting back music programs. They could do more in the area of advocacy if they had more staff time for this.
Minnesota Opera (1 recommendation) Their contemporary programming is innovative and reaches new audiences. Their marketing efforts are also connecting people, who may not have previously been interested in opera, to their performances.
Minnesota Opera

http://www.mnopera.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their contemporary programming is innovative and reaches new audiences. Their marketing efforts are also connecting people, who may not have previously been interested in opera, to their performances.

Organizational Strengths

N
Top management and marketing staff seem committed to continuing to invigorate the organization.
Minnesota Public Radio (1 recommendation) They have a strong history of community involvement, a broad perspective, and a connection to all of Minnesota. They also offer dynamic programming and a wide array of voices that engage the arts and celebrate their presence in our communities.
Minnesota Public Radio

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have a strong history of community involvement, a broad perspective, and a connection to all of Minnesota. They also offer dynamic programming and a wide array of voices that engage the arts and celebrate their presence in our communities.
National Art Education Association (Art Educators Minnesota) (1 recommendation) The National Arts Education Association is made up of people from within the communities they serve and they push for advocacy and support. They also give practical resources to teachers and students.
National Art Education Association (Art Educators Minnesota)

http://www.aem-mn.org/

Organizational Strengths

R
The National Arts Education Association is made up of people from within the communities they serve and they push for advocacy and support. They also give practical resources to teachers and students.
New York Mills Regional Cultural Center (1 recommendation) I see their impact as the high participation rates of people of all ages, in the region. Also, the revitalization of the old downtown around the arts and cultural events that they offer enhances engagements rates.
New York Mills Regional Cultural Center
Silver-small

http://www.kulcher.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
I see their impact as the high participation rates of people of all ages, in the region. Also, the revitalization of the old downtown around the arts and cultural events that they offer enhances engagements rates.

Organizational Strengths

R
New York Mills Regional Cultural Center has brilliant leadership. The Executive Director role is half-paid by the City. This means that her responsibilities include both running this cultural hub, and working with the City Council to take programming out of the center itself, and into the community.

Areas for Improvement

R
Many similar organizations in other small Minnesota towns could benefit from mentoring by this organization. Perhaps they already do this, but a formal commitment, with accompanying resources, might help spawn many more such venues around the state.
Nordic Arts Alliance (1 recommendation) This is a relatively new organization but in its short history, they have targeted an often-overlooked segment of arts consumers, 17-35 year olds. In addition, they are taking a fresh approach to investigating and presenting arts programming of Nordic ethnic roots. By being very creative and "outside the box" they are bringing cultural awareness to a completely new group of people. This group is definitely NOT your father's Sons of Norway.
Nordic Arts Alliance

http://www.nordicartsalliance.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
This is a relatively new organization but in its short history, they have targeted an often-overlooked segment of arts consumers, 17-35 year olds. In addition, they are taking a fresh approach to investigating and presenting arts programming of Nordic ethnic roots. By being very creative and "outside the box" they are bringing cultural awareness to a completely new group of people. This group is definitely NOT your father's Sons of Norway.

Organizational Strengths

F
I see their strength as their ability to look at Nordic culture from an entirely new perspective. For example, they plan to bring in a Swedish all-girl folk punk band. They will organize a flash mob for an installation of Danish bronze sculptor Ronan Vandrer. They have been successful by building their board with diverse individuals.

Areas for Improvement

F
Being a newer organization, finding funding without a long track record is a challenge. They would also benefit from a stable, paid staff position. Right now, it is all volunteer and funded from project to project.
North Dakota Museum of Art (1 recommendation) This organization seems to be a vibrant and accessible art museum.
North Dakota Museum of Art

http://www.ndmoa.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization seems to be a vibrant and accessible art museum.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have strong leadership. They also have an outstanding grant writer, who makes you want to make the road trip to see what they are offering.

Areas for Improvement

N
Perhaps they would benefit from more internet access for those who cannot make the 6 - 10 hour drive to experience their exhibits.
Northern Lake County Arts Board (1 recommendation) I serve on the board for this organization, and I have seen firsthand the impact that the grants we have received benefit both children and adults in the community. We are serving a very poor demographic, and we provide various arts experiences for the community that they would otherwise not have an opportunity to be exposed to.
Northern Lake County Arts Board

http://www.northernlakecountyartsboard.com/

Evidence of Impact

O
I serve on the board for this organization, and I have seen firsthand the impact that the grants we have received benefit both children and adults in the community. We are serving a very poor demographic, and we provide various arts experiences for the community that they would otherwise not have an opportunity to be exposed to.

Organizational Strengths

O
The members of the board are extremely dedicated to the vision and mission of the Northern Lake County Arts Board. The positive feedback that we have received from the community has also "kept us going" when financial times get tough. We have had community members "step up to the plate" to help fund us as well as volunteer their time to support our events.

Areas for Improvement

O
As with all nonprofits, they could use more money in order to keep various arts events coming to the community they serve. They also need better exposure.
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (1 recommendation) This organization supports several initiatives throughout Northfield that help the disadvantaged in the community. Further, Northfield Health Community Initiative partners with other nonprofits and businesses to extend their reach.
Northfield Healthy Community Initiative

http://www.northfieldhci.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
This organization supports several initiatives throughout Northfield that help the disadvantaged in the community. Further, Northfield Health Community Initiative partners with other nonprofits and businesses to extend their reach.

Organizational Strengths

N
The staff members of the organization are community team players. We see Northfield Healthy Community Initiative’s positive impact in many areas of the community.

Areas for Improvement

N
The organization could increase its communication and outreach to the community at-large to communicate their services and share their successes.
Open Book (1 recommendation) They offer high-quality classes and supportive events for writers.
Open Book
Bronze-small

http://www.openbookmn.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They offer high-quality classes and supportive events for writers.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their instructors.
Owatonna Arts Center (1 recommendation) They are giving the community a state-of-the-art facility to showcase local artists.
Owatonna Arts Center

http://www.oacarts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are giving the community a state-of-the-art facility to showcase local artists.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their staff members and operations.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by increasing access.
Pangea World Theater (1 recommendation) Pangea World Theater has a clear mission and vision as well as demonstrated leadership of staff, board and other volunteers to fulfill its mission and vision. They have very strong programs that nurture artists of color, their political and artistic voices, and their justice-themed artistic work. The organization participates in collaborations, networks, and partnerships locally and nationally to push for cultural equity in arts. They have a very strong base of support and audience.
Pangea World Theater
Silver-small

http://www.pangeaworldtheater.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Pangea World Theater has a clear mission and vision as well as demonstrated leadership of staff, board and other volunteers to fulfill its mission and vision. They have very strong programs that nurture artists of color, their political and artistic voices, and their justice-themed artistic work. The organization participates in collaborations, networks, and partnerships locally and nationally to push for cultural equity in arts. They have a very strong base of support and audience.

Organizational Strengths

F
I see their strengths as their organizational culture of learning and innovation. Also, they have strong fiscal management which is aided by diverse funding, nimble capacity, and smart decision-making.
Park Square Theatre (1 recommendation) Park Square Theatre Company is an ever-evolving company that is growing in leaps and bounds. The quality of their work is superior, and they continue to provide thought provoking experiences for theatre audiences and schools.
Park Square Theatre

http://www.parksquaretheatre.org/www/index.php

Evidence of Impact

N
Park Square Theatre Company is an ever-evolving company that is growing in leaps and bounds. The quality of their work is superior, and they continue to provide thought provoking experiences for theatre audiences and schools.

Organizational Strengths

N
This organization's leadership is brilliant both artistically and administratively.
Partnership Resources (PRI) (1 recommendation) Their arts programming is for adults with developmental disabilities, who participate in their day program. They offer programming in areas of visual arts and performing arts. Outcomes include a large quantity of art used for the production of holiday and all-occasion cards, a recent exhibit at the Walker Art Center, and public performances in playhouses and musical theaters. The art presented is high quality and good teachers are involved.
Partnership Resources (PRI)

http://www.partnershipresources.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their arts programming is for adults with developmental disabilities, who participate in their day program. They offer programming in areas of visual arts and performing arts. Outcomes include a large quantity of art used for the production of holiday and all-occasion cards, a recent exhibit at the Walker Art Center, and public performances in playhouses and musical theaters. The art presented is high quality and good teachers are involved.

Organizational Strengths

N
The arts program is just one part of this social service organization and it is a growing component. There is a very strong staff and board in place and they are considering expanding their arts programming.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve by opening their programming to individuals who are not regular clients, by offering their programming in more of a class format.
Performance Cenyer St. Mary's University (Page Theater) (1 recommendation) Their strength is their excellent outreach to the region, not only for performances, but master classes and clinics both on the Saint Mary's University campus and in the greater Winona community.
Performance Cenyer St. Mary's University (Page Theater)

Organizational Strengths

R
Their strength is their excellent outreach to the region, not only for performances, but master classes and clinics both on the Saint Mary's University campus and in the greater Winona community.

Areas for Improvement

R
It would be wonderful to increase the number of offsite offerings such as this season's partnership with the Winona Historical Society. Also, the facility needs physical expansion. An adequate rehearsal and master class classroom space joining the performance spaces would be a huge benefit to the Page.
Phipps Center for the Arts (1 recommendation) The Phipps Center for the Arts provides a wide variety of arts programming, enabling community residents to experience and participate in many different arts activities.
Phipps Center for the Arts

http://www.thephipps.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
The Phipps Center for the Arts provides a wide variety of arts programming, enabling community residents to experience and participate in many different arts activities.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their strong, stable board and staff members are assets to the organization. The Phipps Center for the Arts has also devoted time to building an endowment and diverse and broad sources for support.

Areas for Improvement

F
Their facility is heavily utilized and could use additional space.
Plains Art Museum (1 recommendation) The Plains Art Museum has a great influence on the art community in this region. The opening of the new creative studio should only enhance the number of people who are given the opportunity to experience art.
Plains Art Museum

http://www.plainsart.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Plains Art Museum has a great influence on the art community in this region. The opening of the new creative studio should only enhance the number of people who are given the opportunity to experience art.

Organizational Strengths

N
This organization has visionary leadership. I have been very pleased to see the development of new programs, which should only increase as the new studio develops.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see them attract more patrons. Perhaps a regular free-admission night to the museum, like in New York City, would be a positive start. Also, Plains Art Museum is not very collaborative with other arts organizations in the use of their facilities.
Playwrights Center (1 recommendation) Playwright's Center creates a space for emerging playwrights to workshop and produces their work with an administrative and financial infrastructure that they would not be able to find elsewhere. This is key to encourage the creation of new work and keep fresh and current perspectives alive in the playwriting and performing field. They also particularly focus on playwrights of color through a fellowship program. I think this particular program is important to encourage, as these may have been missing narratives in the playwrighting field in the past.
Playwrights Center

http://www.pwcenter.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Playwright's Center creates a space for emerging playwrights to workshop and produces their work with an administrative and financial infrastructure that they would not be able to find elsewhere. This is key to encourage the creation of new work and keep fresh and current perspectives alive in the playwriting and performing field. They also particularly focus on playwrights of color through a fellowship program. I think this particular program is important to encourage, as these may have been missing narratives in the playwrighting field in the past.

Organizational Strengths

N
Operationally, I respect the amount of resources they put into the creation of work. Based on what I have seen, I would say that they put the majority of their resources into supporting artists and artistic work rather than administrative overhead.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would love to see them do more work in encouraging playwriting practice in young people, through youth programming.
Prairie Lakes Regional Art Council (PLRAC) (1 recommendation) They give a lot of free access to the public as well as opportunities for local artists.
Prairie Lakes Regional Art Council (PLRAC)

http://www.plrac.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
They give a lot of free access to the public as well as opportunities for local artists.

Organizational Strengths

R
Their strength is that they are run by the public and supported by many volunteers.
Public Art Saint Paul (1 recommendation) Their sidewalk poetry project stands out for me.
Public Art Saint Paul

http://www.publicartstpaul.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their sidewalk poetry project stands out for me.

Organizational Strengths

N
They offer community-oriented programming with a citywide reach.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve with higher visibility and marketing to show off artist opportunities and project results to citizens who may not be connected to the arts.
Ragamala Dance (1 recommendation) Ragamala Dance is bringing a generally unfamiliar form of dance to audiences in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Ragamala Dance

http://www.ragamala.net/

Evidence of Impact

N
Ragamala Dance is bringing a generally unfamiliar form of dance to audiences in the Twin Cities and beyond.

Organizational Strengths

N
The artistic vision is very strong in this organization.

Areas for Improvement

N
Their challenge will be creating an effective leadership team beyond the founding Director.
Red Eye Theater (1 recommendation) I have seen this organization devote time and resources toward the development of an innovative theater arts and literacy model. This model is showing positive impact on students in elementary schools that are racially isolated and located in high poverty neighborhoods. The program is also having a positive impact on teacher practice; providing teachers with strategies and skills to better meet the needs of students.
Red Eye Theater

http://www.redeyetheater.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
I have seen this organization devote time and resources toward the development of an innovative theater arts and literacy model. This model is showing positive impact on students in elementary schools that are racially isolated and located in high poverty neighborhoods. The program is also having a positive impact on teacher practice; providing teachers with strategies and skills to better meet the needs of students.

Organizational Strengths

O
The staff has taken advantage of different programs designed to improve all aspects of their organization, from marketing and operations, to programming and production of performances. They model quality practice in their work as a theater, presenting new and experimental performance, as well as in their arts education programming in schools.

Areas for Improvement

O
I believe the organization would benefit from professional development with a focus on culturally responsive classrooms and cross-cultural communications. If given the time to research, explore, and expand on this idea, their use of multicultural resources would greatly enhance their arts education program.
Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation  (1 recommendation) Specifically, their work on the Saint Paul Winter Carnival provides entertainment and a collective, historic sense of community at an opportune time.
Saint Paul Festival and Heritage Foundation 

http://www.winter-carnival.com/

Evidence of Impact

R
Specifically, their work on the Saint Paul Winter Carnival provides entertainment and a collective, historic sense of community at an opportune time.

Organizational Strengths

R
The organization is active throughout the year and is supported by a large spectrum of businesses and organizations.

Areas for Improvement

R
It would be nice to see a more stable administration.
Skylark Opera (Skylakr Opera) (1 recommendation) I am on the board of this organization. Skylark provides quality opera, operetta and musical theater that is uniquely accessible because it is performed entirely in English, in a small venue, with professional orchestra at affordable ticket prices. Skylark offers Minnesota's only professionally produced operetta, which gives the many seniors in the audience a rare chance to experience the music they grew up on and introduce it to their children and grandchildren.
Skylark Opera (Skylakr Opera)
Bronze-small

http://www.skylarkopera.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
I am on the board of this organization. Skylark provides quality opera, operetta and musical theater that is uniquely accessible because it is performed entirely in English, in a small venue, with professional orchestra at affordable ticket prices. Skylark offers Minnesota's only professionally produced operetta, which gives the many seniors in the audience a rare chance to experience the music they grew up on and introduce it to their children and grandchildren.

Organizational Strengths

O
The artistic quality provided by Skylark's Artistic Director, Steve Stucki, has been recognized with uniformly favorable reviews of his musicianship as Music Director and Conductor. The intimacy and accessibility of Skylark's performances are another great strength.

Areas for Improvement

O
Their marketing could use improvement, which would require more funding. Raising the organization's profile would allow it to serve more people.
Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) (1 recommendation) The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council is serving artists in southeastern Minnesota. They offer great grant opportunities for emerging and established artists.
Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC)

http://www.semac.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council is serving artists in southeastern Minnesota. They offer great grant opportunities for emerging and established artists.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strengths are their staff members and their operations.

Areas for Improvement

N
They could improve on marketing.
Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council (SMAHC) (1 recommendation) The organization has strong leadership and staff members are informed, personable, and knowledgeable of opportunities and guidance within our network. Other strengths include their ability to encourage, the hands-on activities they facilitate, and the retreats and training they take part in.
Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council (SMAHC)

http://www.smahc.org/

Organizational Strengths

N
The organization has strong leadership and staff members are informed, personable, and knowledgeable of opportunities and guidance within our network. Other strengths include their ability to encourage, the hands-on activities they facilitate, and the retreats and training they take part in.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see some simplification in the application process for smaller projects.
St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN) (1 recommendation) Structurally, this organization is the strongest partner in the Twin Cities Youth Media Network. It engages youth development best practices while providing a high-quality art and employment skills training for youth. They are actively engaging youth in leadership at appropriate stages of development within the department. Young people in Saint Paul are given a chance to tell their own stories from their perspective within the community.
St. Paul Neighborhood Network (SPNN)

http://www.spnn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Structurally, this organization is the strongest partner in the Twin Cities Youth Media Network. It engages youth development best practices while providing a high-quality art and employment skills training for youth. They are actively engaging youth in leadership at appropriate stages of development within the department. Young people in Saint Paul are given a chance to tell their own stories from their perspective within the community.

Organizational Strengths

O
I see their strengths as their strong leadership and their engaged and educated department staff.

Areas for Improvement

O
They would benefit from stronger executive leadership that can build community stakeholders and investment. Also, I would like to see a stronger sense of collaborative leadership.
St. Stephen's Human Services (1 recommendation) I am making this recommendation specifically based on the work St. Stephens does with the <i>zAmya Theatre Project.</i> Their work to raise awareness around the issue of homelessness and inspire action among their audiences (both in nonprofit and for-profit settings) is quite unique. Using a mix of actors who are or have been homeless with professional actors creates an enthralling dynamic.
St. Stephen's Human Services
Silver-small

http://www.ststephensmpls.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
I am making this recommendation specifically based on the work St. Stephens does with the <i>zAmya Theatre Project.</i> Their work to raise awareness around the issue of homelessness and inspire action among their audiences (both in nonprofit and for-profit settings) is quite unique. Using a mix of actors who are or have been homeless with professional actors creates an enthralling dynamic.

Organizational Strengths

N
The strength of the <i>zAmya Project</i> comes from being within a structure like St. Stephens. Also, the commitment of the artists and volunteers to bring what is often an invisible issue for many Minnesotans should be commended.

Areas for Improvement

N
Financial stability is always an issue in these times, but especially when the actors involved in projects are economically disadvantaged.
Stephen Arts Council (1 recommendation) They provide a variety of programming in the arts, in a very small northwestern Minnesota community. They can be proud of the work they have done to build an arts center out of an old church, in a town of less than 1,000 people.
Stephen Arts Council

http://www.stephenmn.com/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={44ACA345-532E-419E-98B9-0BE5AD038173}&DE={6A312121-8F45-4043-951D-5CF1B4730912}

Evidence of Impact

F
They provide a variety of programming in the arts, in a very small northwestern Minnesota community. They can be proud of the work they have done to build an arts center out of an old church, in a town of less than 1,000 people.

Organizational Strengths

F
They have a strong volunteer base that brings out good participation and audience numbers for their activities. They look to a variety of funding sources to keep their organization and building operating.
Summer Arts Stages (1 recommendation) As a traveling theater troupe, they provide a high quality workshop and performance experience. They travel the entire northwestern Minnesota area to communities of around 1,000. This is the only theater experience for many of the youth in these small towns.
Summer Arts Stages

Evidence of Impact

F
As a traveling theater troupe, they provide a high quality workshop and performance experience. They travel the entire northwestern Minnesota area to communities of around 1,000. This is the only theater experience for many of the youth in these small towns.

Organizational Strengths

F
Their staff does a good job leading the youth through trainings and workshops that result in a good performance after just five days.

Areas for Improvement

F
The organization needs a better website and more email connections for marketing purposes. Also, they should start to plan early for the following summer in order to secure grants before funds are depleted.
Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance (1 recommendation) Joko Sutrisno is a magnificent artist, particularly in Japanese musical forms. He has an amazing ability to connect with young people (ages 10 - 13). Tri completes the artistic package with her incredible knowledge of dance. Together Joko and Tri bring the art forms of Indonesia to the Twin Cities communities, which is unique in and of itself.
Sumunar Indonesian Music and Dance

http://www.sumunar.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Joko Sutrisno is a magnificent artist, particularly in Japanese musical forms. He has an amazing ability to connect with young people (ages 10 - 13). Tri completes the artistic package with her incredible knowledge of dance. Together Joko and Tri bring the art forms of Indonesia to the Twin Cities communities, which is unique in and of itself.

Organizational Strengths

N
I see strength in Juko’s and Tri's ability to connect with young people.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would venture a guess that having English as a second language might be a barrier to funding, simply because it is difficult to understand the U.S. systems for obtaining arts funding.
Textile Center (1 recommendation) Textile Center has brought national artists to its center; they hosted an international conference, and have become a hot spot on the world's scene for fiber arts.
Textile Center

http://www.textilecentermn.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
Textile Center has brought national artists to its center; they hosted an international conference, and have become a hot spot on the world's scene for fiber arts.

Organizational Strengths

O
They have a strong community of guilds and members that support Textile Center. They also have an award-winning shop where artist-made goods are sold, and they have a public dye lab that is unique to the region.

Areas for Improvement

O
The long-time and founding Executive Director of the organization is retiring this year. They have a strong board and supporter base, but filling this leadership position will be a challenge.
Theater Latté Da (1 recommendation) Theatre Latte-da is the absolute word in the art of American musical theatre. They are cultivating the future of our indigenous art form.
Theater Latté Da

http://www.theaterlatteda.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Theatre Latte-da is the absolute word in the art of American musical theatre. They are cultivating the future of our indigenous art form.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their leadership.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see longer runs and higher production values.
Thief River Falls Community Arts Council (1 recommendation) They provide high quality, consistent theater for community members and in northwestern Minnesota.
Thief River Falls Community Arts Council

http://www.trfact.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
They provide high quality, consistent theater for community members and in northwestern Minnesota.

Organizational Strengths

F
They combine local talent with some outside professionals that raise the bar for local productions. They reach into an area that surrounds their community for participation and audience members.
Thursday Musical (1 recommendation) I know this organization to do a great deal to support young musicians and engage them in music as a participant and as an audience member. They have high artistic standards and a broad scope of music that they present to the public, often free of charge or at a limited cost.
Thursday Musical

http://www.thursdaymusical.com/

Evidence of Impact

N
I know this organization to do a great deal to support young musicians and engage them in music as a participant and as an audience member. They have high artistic standards and a broad scope of music that they present to the public, often free of charge or at a limited cost.

Organizational Strengths

N
Thursday Musical is an organization with a long tradition of excellence and outreach. They have a committed and creative staff who are dedicated to following the organization’s mission. They know how to engage the public.

Areas for Improvement

N
I am certain they would do more school performances if they had funding, and that would be great.
Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus (1 recommendation) Their concerts, usually 4-5 each year with each concert repeated 2-3 times, have large audiences and the audience each year is loyal, knowledgeable and engaged. Their repertoire is challenging musically, and occasionally social. It is always of a high quality. Although their conductor is moving on at the end of the year, it is expected that their new hire will be someone of high musical ability and with close connection to the community.
Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus

http://www.tcgmc.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Their concerts, usually 4-5 each year with each concert repeated 2-3 times, have large audiences and the audience each year is loyal, knowledgeable and engaged. Their repertoire is challenging musically, and occasionally social. It is always of a high quality. Although their conductor is moving on at the end of the year, it is expected that their new hire will be someone of high musical ability and with close connection to the community.

Organizational Strengths

N
The board of TCGMC is very hands-on and very interested in presenting a choir that has high musical standards. Marketing to the GLBT and general community is always done in a highly professional manner. They had some financial and administrative issues in the last couple of years but the board seems to have addressed the problems. They have re-righted themselves and are looking forward to less stressful times.

Areas for Improvement

N
They would benefit from a closer connection to the arts community in general, and perhaps they could be looking to engage in a partnership or two with local arts organizations.
Twin Cities Media Alliance (1 recommendation) They have created a platform for mingling of professional and civilian journalists to talk about all kinds of art including theater, music, movies, visual art, and fashion. They also set their arts coverage amidst politics, food, education, and other topics making it clear that art is part of everyday life, not a special or optional item.
Twin Cities Media Alliance

http://www.tcmediaalliance.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They have created a platform for mingling of professional and civilian journalists to talk about all kinds of art including theater, music, movies, visual art, and fashion. They also set their arts coverage amidst politics, food, education, and other topics making it clear that art is part of everyday life, not a special or optional item.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is visibility. They have built themselves into a reputable news and opinion source. They have built this reputation despite its all-volunteer nature, which might be seen as diminishing its value or quality.

Areas for Improvement

N
It is possible that they could benefit from an increase in their readership.
University of St. Thomas (1 recommendation) The leadership of Saint Thomas University has made diligent efforts at keeping the surrounding neighborhoods appraised of their activities.
University of St. Thomas

http://www.stthomas.edu/

Evidence of Impact

O
The leadership of Saint Thomas University has made diligent efforts at keeping the surrounding neighborhoods appraised of their activities.

Organizational Strengths

O
It has become a large university with a myriad of workshops and conferences geared at promoting the performing arts and nonprofit management.

Areas for Improvement

O
Their rapid growth has caused a recent increase in the number of buildings that are needed. This encroaches on the neighboring homes and businesses.
Urban Arts Academy (1 recommendation) The youth programming at Urban Arts Academy offers a synergy between professional artists and youth, by offering artists the opportunity to teach their craft. The benefits are exponential as youth participants receive such high-quality expertise, and professional artists gain experience outside of the studio as well as financial support. Artists also benefit from the perspective gained through experiencing their own process through the eyes of youth. This program has a generally high retention rate and youth stay on until they are no longer eligible to attend (up to age 14).Many youth often choose to support the organization through paid internships that develop life skills in a mentor/mentee format. It is an ideal first job.
Urban Arts Academy

http://www.urbanartsacademy.org/

Evidence of Impact

O
The youth programming at Urban Arts Academy offers a synergy between professional artists and youth, by offering artists the opportunity to teach their craft. The benefits are exponential as youth participants receive such high-quality expertise, and professional artists gain experience outside of the studio as well as financial support. Artists also benefit from the perspective gained through experiencing their own process through the eyes of youth. This program has a generally high retention rate and youth stay on until they are no longer eligible to attend (up to age 14).Many youth often choose to support the organization through paid internships that develop life skills in a mentor/mentee format. It is an ideal first job.

Organizational Strengths

O
The leadership of the organization is rooted in the community and recognizes the spectrum of influence on youth, and thus the importance of multicultural exposure through various art forms. They encourage understanding through exploration of traditions, craft, music, and dance. Another strong point for Urban Arts Academy is that it is an intern site for many organizations. They have the opportunity to constantly review and assess programming and services through the internship management process are of great value. This fresh perspective constantly invigorates the programming. Lastly, the array of offerings is astonishing.

Areas for Improvement

O
Urban Arts Academy relies heavily on foundation funding brought in by the founder of the organization. It is important to broaden the scope of funding to ensure that it can continue as a viable organization.
Veterans in the Arts (1 recommendation) They are reaching an audience that typically does not participate in the arts: veterans.
Veterans in the Arts

http://www.veteransinthearts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
They are reaching an audience that typically does not participate in the arts: veterans.

Organizational Strengths

N
Suzanne Asher has given a lot of thought to what approach is needed to engage military personnel in artistic expression. As a veteran, she has the credibility needed to engage this population. Veterans in the Arts do a wonderful job of collaboration. They do not re-invent the wheel. Rather, they collaborate with existing arts organizations to bring those skill sets to a group of individuals who typically would not participate in these art forms.

Areas for Improvement

N
I have heard from them that they would like to engage more veterans from the current wars.
WTIP North Shore Community Radio (1 recommendation) WTIP's programming has an impact on the Grand Marais community. Youth, rural constituents, and artists with limited access to cultural resources are all vastly served by WTIP.
WTIP North Shore Community Radio

http://www.wtip.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
WTIP's programming has an impact on the Grand Marais community. Youth, rural constituents, and artists with limited access to cultural resources are all vastly served by WTIP.

Organizational Strengths

N
This organization has strong collaborations with city, county, and government entities. They also have a well-managed operational system with keen financial aptitude.
Walker West Music Academy (1 recommendation) Walker West Music Academy reaches students of all ages, from 6 months to 70+, and all abilities to give them a chance to learn music.
Walker West Music Academy

http://www.walkerwestmusicacademy.org/

Evidence of Impact

F
Walker West Music Academy reaches students of all ages, from 6 months to 70+, and all abilities to give them a chance to learn music.

Organizational Strengths

F
They provide teachers for all student needs, be it voice, violin or piano. Every student is an individual and the learning is personalized.

Areas for Improvement

F
Teachers are stretched too thin because every student may have a different instrument with different needs.
White Bear Center for the Arts (1 recommendation) White Bear Center for the Arts has developed into an excellent art center that positively influences community development. Classes and exhibitions offer a nice mix that supports emerging and professional artists.
White Bear Center for the Arts

http://www.whitebeararts.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
White Bear Center for the Arts has developed into an excellent art center that positively influences community development. Classes and exhibitions offer a nice mix that supports emerging and professional artists.

Organizational Strengths

N
They have just built a new facility with amazing support from their community. Also, the Executive Director is a visionary, who also is able to accomplish the 'brass task' of implementing strong programming.

Areas for Improvement

N
Due to its growth, this organization now needs to shift to its focus to establishing long-term sustainability.
Windgate Charitable Trust (1 recommendation) Their impact comes from their support and funding of artist fellowships and the creation of new art.
Windgate Charitable Trust

Evidence of Impact

N
Their impact comes from their support and funding of artist fellowships and the creation of new art.

Organizational Strengths

N
I see their strengths as their significant support and funding for artists, their hand in the creation of artwork, and their art exhibitions.
Winona Arts Center (1 recommendation) Winona Arts Center is located near downtown Winona in a re-purposed old church; the location is both inviting and beautiful. The volunteer staff members are exceptionally dedicated. Also, the organization offers the space to other area organizations such as the Winona Film Society.
Winona Arts Center

http://www.winonaarts.org/

Organizational Strengths

R
Winona Arts Center is located near downtown Winona in a re-purposed old church; the location is both inviting and beautiful. The volunteer staff members are exceptionally dedicated. Also, the organization offers the space to other area organizations such as the Winona Film Society.

Areas for Improvement

R
Additional funding for staff to keep the center open more hours would be greatly appreciated. They could also benefit from work on the website design and user-interaction to better reflect the depth and breadth of this organization.
Winona Community Foundation (1 recommendation) They have funded many different arts-related projects in the Winona community.
Winona Community Foundation
Silver-small

http://www.winonacommunityfoundation.org/

Evidence of Impact

R
They have funded many different arts-related projects in the Winona community.

Organizational Strengths

R
They have very dedicated leaders, administrators, and fundraisers. They are amazing people!

Areas for Improvement

R
They could improve by working for higher visibility in the area. They also could benefit from better communication regarding granting deadlines for the applications process, and other logistics.
Women's Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) (1 recommendation) Women's Art Registry of Minnesota has great mentorship programs. They also offer education, exhibit opportunities, and networking opportunities to female artists, an often under-served group.
Women's Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM)

http://www.thewarm.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Women's Art Registry of Minnesota has great mentorship programs. They also offer education, exhibit opportunities, and networking opportunities to female artists, an often under-served group.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their strength is their communication with members.

Areas for Improvement

N
I would like to see improvements in their marketing of programs and exhibits.
Youth Performance Company (YPC) (1 recommendation) The work this theatre company is doing HIGHLY impacts the lives of those youth who become directly involved in the organization. With a completely wide range of diversity in artists and program offerings, they easily set the bar for inclusiveness and ability to have an impact on so many different communities, races and lives.
Youth Performance Company (YPC)
Bronze-small

http://www.youthperformanceco.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
The work this theatre company is doing HIGHLY impacts the lives of those youth who become directly involved in the organization. With a completely wide range of diversity in artists and program offerings, they easily set the bar for inclusiveness and ability to have an impact on so many different communities, races and lives.

Organizational Strengths

N
They are under excellent leadership from those who clearly know and understand the mission. Their work has such a direct impact on the students involved.

Areas for Improvement

N
They should continue efforts to market their excellent product as well as work on building their individual donor base and support.
Zenon Dance Company and School (1 recommendation) Zenon Dance Company has made a significant impact with their dance classes and school performances, offered for FREE. In addition, tickets to see their highly professional dance performances are very accessible and draw a diverse audience.
Zenon Dance Company and School

http://www.zenondance.org/

Evidence of Impact

N
Zenon Dance Company has made a significant impact with their dance classes and school performances, offered for FREE. In addition, tickets to see their highly professional dance performances are very accessible and draw a diverse audience.

Organizational Strengths

N
Their artistic leadership is strong and creative.

Areas for Improvement

N
The company could be more inclusive within the greater dance community and in partnering with other arts organizations.

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