TU DANCE, St. Paul, Minnesota, received $12,000 to support the creation and production of new works in 2007. Founded by Co-Artistic Directors Uri Sands and Toni Pierce-Sands, the mission of TU Dance is to create, produce and deliver dance performances that excite diverse audiences. This commitment by the Jerome Foundation marks the fifth year of support.
THE CHILDREN'S THEATRE COMPANY, Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a two-year grant of $30,000 in support of the Playground Program. The Children's Theatre Company aims to create extraordinary theater experiences that educate, challenge and inspire young people. Playground is a collaboration of The Children's Theatre Company and New York City-based New Dramatists. Its purpose is to introduce emerging playwrights to the growing field of theater for young people and to support the creation of new work. This grant will allow the collaborating organizations to embark on the third round of Playground, which will serve three playwrights: Liz Duffy Adams, Zakiyyah Alexander and Karl Gajdusek. This process evolves over two years and includes components designed to support the writers in the development of new work that is then considered by The Children's Theatre Company for further development and production.
The POWDERHORN PARK NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION in Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a grant of $9,000 to support Crepuscule in Powderhorn Park. This neighborhood association builds connections among Powderhorn Park residents, and brings together the diverse population to improve the neighborhoods economic and cultural environment. Crepuscule is under the direction of Douglas Ewart, a composer, musician, visual artist and instrument maker. Ewart will create a suite of music and lyrics derived from community-based issues. He will teach Powderhorn Park youth how to construct wind and percussion instruments from everyday discarded items. He will develop a programmatic scheme for the performance piece and involve professional musicians as pod leaders. Each pod will be a mix of amateur musicians, students from the instrument making workshops, lay persons located in various parts of Powderhorn Park and professional musicians. The focus will be on producing sounds that coincide with or embellish the naturally occurring sounds of wind, water and trees. Crepuscule is a cultural bridge.
Support was awarded to NICOLE BRENDING for an experimental narrative short titled Grandpa, about a small town stripper who gets a call that her grandfather has died, but she must finish her shift dancing for the old men who patronize the club where she works, before allowing herself to experience the overwhelming grief she feels. The film examines the interior world of the young woman who tries to put on an outward smile while attempting and failing to do her job. The impossibility of existing between the worlds of fantasy and reality, in circumstances that blur the two, are the focus of this story.
A two-year grant of $120,000 was authorized for THE LOFT, Minneapolis, Minnesota, in support of the Minnesota Writers Career Initiative. Established in 1974 as a nonprofit organization serving writers, The Loft has evolved into a nationally recognized literary center with a membership of 23,000. Its mission is to foster a writing community, the artistic development of individual writers and an audience for literature. In 1993, The Loft and Jerome Foundation created a pilot program to serve advanced Minnesota writers who had achieved significant artistic recognition for their work on a regional level. These writers have the potential to expand significantly that recognition and/or their existing audience. The purpose of the Career Initiative program was to leverage this potential in order to bring the writers to new levels in career development. The Career Initiative uses a two-step process of logistical and strategic planning, resulting in the creation of workable career plans. The initiative is open to writers of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, childrens literature and performance oriented work.
Playwright-performer BETH GILLELAND will spend two weeks visiting Civil War battle sites in Tennessee and Pennsylvania in order to complete a new play on Mrs. Frances Clayton, who, disguised, joined the Union army during the Civil War in order to be near her husband.