Somali Community and Museum Grants Announced

The Minnesota Humanities Center (MHC) is VERY happy to announce the recipients of our recent Somali Community and Museum Grants! As part of our work, MHC is given the great privilege of providing funding, both through designated legislative funds, and our own resources to support humanities work happening at organizations all around the state. As such, in late 2017, we awarded $200,000 to Somali-American community organizations to support and further the great work they are doing.

Ka Joog – $75,000
African Immigrants Community Services – $50,000
Somali Community Resettlement Services – $50,000
The Somali Museum of Minnesota – $25,000

The grantees all have projects with robust partnerships that focus on both the Twin Cities and at least one city in Greater Minnesota: Ka Joog will be working in St. Cloud and Willmar; Somali Community Resettlement Services will be working in Rochester and Faribault; the Somali Museum of Minnesota will be working across the state in multiple communities; and African Immigrants Community Services will have a presence at events in the Twin Cities that already have audiences and attendees from around the state.

Ka Joog – Building Community Cohesiveness through Fanka (Art)
Ka Joog, the New American Development Center, and Shanta will build community cohesiveness between the Somali-American community and the general public through Fanka (Art) by utilizing the successful documentary “Somalia, a Nation of Poets,” holding monthly art workshops, and celebrating Somali Independence Day. Their goal is to spread appreciation for Somali art forms and to create a platform for community-based discussions about the issues that Somali-Americans face in Minnesota including Islamophobia and racism.

African Immigrants Community Services – East African Culture & Art Collision
This project is a collaboration between African Immigrants Community Services, Somali American Parent Association, and Isuroon. These cultural preservation/educational activities seek to improve the academic achievement of Somali students including STEM programming for girls, improved communication/relationships between parents and children, exposure to professional art performances and exhibits for Somali families, showcasing of local Somali artists and their work, celebration of Somali culture/arts, and learning from other cultures.

Somali Community Resettlement Services – Connecting to Our Past – Moving Into the Future
This grant looks to both preserve Somali arts and traditional cultural practices and share Somali culture and experiences with Somali youth and the greater Minnesota community. They will hold art expos and educational forums and create videos of Somali community members sharing their stories.

The Somali Museum of Minnesota – Mobile Culture Show
The Somali Museum of Minnesota will present the Mobile Culture Show: a statewide program of immersive cross-cultural exhibitions, performances, and workshops highlighting Somali cultural arts. The program responds to a statewide need for more resources to teach and learn about Somali culture, and employs Somali art as a tool to build bridges between generations and communities, showcasing art forms including traditional dance, finger-weaving, storytelling, and oral poetry.

An independent review panel comprised of Somali-American community members assessed/recommended projects that aligned with the goals of the grant and legislative language. We’re so excited to see how these projects unfold over the ensuing weeks and months. Congratulations to all the grantees! Your work will add to the rich cultural fabric of our state.

Minnesota Humanities Center

Author: Minnesota Humanities Center

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