Youth, parents and staff at Esperanza United summer camp soccer game

Foundations Announce More Than $9.9 Million in Grants

The Saint Paul & Minnesota FoundationF. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation (the Foundations) today announced that, together and independently, they have awarded more than $9.9 million to nonprofits in their second round of 2022 grantmaking. Grants will support a diverse range of organizations working to build strength across Minnesota communities.

“In many ways, our Minnesota communities are still recovering from the impact of the pandemic and civil unrest,” said Tiffany Kong, the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation’s director of Community Impact. “And at the Foundation, we are privileged to witness the innovation of our nonprofit partners in response to the challenges presented by the last several years. This is why we believe so strongly in investing in these community-led solutions that are addressing Minnesota’s most pressing needs and opportunities.”

The Following Organizations Received Foundation Funding:

  • Afghan Cultural Society, awarded a $60,000 grant by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and F. R. Bigelow Foundation for programming and services supporting newly arrived Afghan refugees and established immigrant communities. The grant will support the need to fill the void of Afghan translation services in Minnesota.
  • City of Mahnomen, located on the White Earth Reservation, awarded a $25,000 general operating grant by the Mardag Foundation. Funding will support the Manoomin Arts Initiative, established by the city in 2021 to energize the community’s cultural vibrancy through arts-centered initiatives for adults, families and youth, including artist residencies, public art and town festivals. Ultimately, the Arts Initiative aims to foster an arts-focused economy and community that promote access and inclusion.
  • CLIMB Theatre, awarded an $85,000 grant by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation (the Foundations). CLIMB will apply the grant to further its mission to use the power of collaborative arts and live theater to inspire young people to develop accountability, resiliency, empathy, advocacy and self-regulation – strategies and behaviors that will benefit themselves and their communities.
  • Esperanza United, awarded an $80,000 grant by the Foundations to support the organization and its Family Advocacy Program. For nearly 40 years, Esperanza’s Family Advocacy Program has worked to mobilize Latinas and Latin@s communities to end gender-based violence. The new funding will support community-driven solutions to stop the cycle of family violence and foster safe and healthy environments for survivors.
  • The Black Gate, awarded a $55,000 grant by the Foundations, will use the funds to strengthen its work to ensure that African American artists are included in Minnesota history. The grant will make it possible for the organization to develop a physical space in St. Paul’s Frogtown community to facilitate greater awareness, capture storytelling and preserve the legacy and practices of creatives of color. The space will provide improved opportunities to engage with community partners, identify artists that need time and space to archive their work, and provide access to artists, academics, curators and the community.
  • 30,000 Feet, awarded a grant of $85,000 by the Foundations to support renovation and expansion of its East Saint Paul location to house its Arts + Tech Center, as well as general operations. The center will provide programs and services aimed at advancing equity and cultural diversity and at establishing a permanent home in which Black history and culture are celebrated and Black youth are empowered to thrive.
  • Tubman, awarded a grant of $80,000 by the Foundations to support its programs that help East Metro people of all ages, genders and cultural backgrounds who have experienced relationship violence, elder abuse, addiction, sexual exploitation or other forms of traumas. Funding will further support Tubman’s 24/7 crisis and resource line, as well as its shelter, transitional housing, rapid rehousing and legal services.
  • World Youth Connect, awarded a grant of $60,000 by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and F. R. Bigelow Foundation. A youth-led and executed movement working to amplify the voices of St. Paul’s multicultural young adults, World Youth Connect will use the funds to support compensation of employees who mentor, create and implement leadership and workforce development programs and political education, all to empower communities to defend against violence and injustice.