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the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation have awarded more than $8 million to Minnesota nonprofits in their first round of 2024 grantmaking.

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation), F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation today announced that, together and independently, they have awarded more than $8 million to Minnesota nonprofits in their first round of 2024 grantmaking.

Grants will provide funding resources for community organizations that provide critical resources to Minnesotans across the state. Many grants support the arts, embrace culture and cultural differences to grow and restore our communities. These organizations also address a variety of concerns including navigating the criminal justice system, the US school system, immigrant communities and preserving Indigenous practices and traditions.

"Our state is overflowing with bold and imaginative community-led solutions," said Senior Director or Community Impact Tsega Tamene. “We are excited to partner more deeply with nonprofits meeting the moment and multiplying their impact every day."

The following organizations were among the recipients in this round:

We Resolve was awarded $60,000 by the Foundation and F. R. Bigelow Foundation over two years to help reduce the number of conviction rates and sentence lengths of Black, Indigenous, people of color (BIPOC) individuals in Minnesota. We Resolve is a Black-led organization with a predominantly BIPOC represented board, serving community members primarily from Ramsey County, while also extending support to individuals from Greater Minnesota. The organization focuses on those most negatively impacted by the criminal legal system, and aims to humanize individuals before the court, providing support through various channels including community meetings, court appearances, social biography creation and referrals to supportive organizations.

Conexiones was awarded $25,000 by the Mardag Foundation to support their general operating efforts. It’s vision is to build stronger, more united communities and is the sole organization dedicated to supporting Latino immigrants in Stevens and Swift Counties, through four focus areas: a) relocation services for immigrants; b) health services and well-being education; c) partnerships with local schools to help families navigate the local school system; and d) community and cultural activities.

Bear Paws Cultural Art was awarded a $50,000 capital grant by the Mardag Foundation to invest in their mobile operation. Based in Hinckley, Minnesota, Bear Paws Cultural Art provides traditional and contemporary Native American art classes that are free and open to the public. Its projects have included Ojibwe Pucker Toe Moccasins, Hand Painted Leather Belts, Regalia Bells, Ribbon Skirts, Ribbon Shirts, Beaded Earrings, Hand Drums and Drumsticks and Ceremonial Blankets. It has plans for dozens of other classes including birchbark canoes, frybread making, Ojibwe storytelling and wigwam construction.

Theresa Living Center was awarded $30,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation for general operations, which includes providing affordable housing, stability and economic independence to women and single-parent families. Located in Saint Paul, Theresa Living Center serves the east metro community with a mission is to “provide transitional/rapid re-housing opportunities for women and single-parent families who are striving to reclaim self-dignity and economic independence following a period of homelessness.”

Exposed Brick Theatre (EBT) was awarded $20,000 by the Foundation for general operating practices. For 20 years this Saint Paul based theater has made their mission to tell untold stories, center omitted narratives and create art at the intersection of identities. Current programming includes Through Our Eyes new play commissioning, Theater Productions, School Residencies, and Arts-Based Equity Trainings. EBT works with playwrights who identify as Algerian-American, African American, Asian-American/Taiwanese Maldivian, Asian-American/Karen, South Asian/transracial adoptee, South Asian/Indian, Latine/Peruvian/Indigenous, Latine/Puerto-Rican and Indigenous (White Earth Ojibwe/Hupa).

Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community was awarded $31,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation, $30,000 by Mardag Foundation and $29,000 by the Foundation for general operating purposes. The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Tribal Community (MMDTC) is a Tribal organization with a mission to preserve, protect and promote Dakota culture for future generations. The organization offers in-person and online courses on Dakota language, traditional arts and crafts taught by Minnesota's Dakota elders with goal to preserve cultural skills within Native American families and educate non-Native Minnesotans about Dakota language, culture and history.

Our state is overflowing with bold and imaginative community-led solutions. We are excited to partner more deeply with nonprofits meeting the moment and multiplying their impact every day.

Tsega Tamene, Senior Director of Community Impact

More About Our Grantmaking

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and our partners F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation offer a variety of grant programs to support nonprofits meeting the diverse community needs across the East Metro and Minnesota.

We offer two Building Community Capacity grant rounds a year. Our second grant round of 2024 opens July 15, 2024, and closes Aug. 7, 2024. We also offer other grant programs with rolling application dates.

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