The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced grants totaling $2.15 million to strengthen the arts and arts community in downtown St. Paul.
The grants include $1.5 million to the Minnesota Museum of American Art to establish its permanent home in the Pioneer Endicott building; $200,000 to the Saint Paul Downtown Alliance to engage private-sector partners in the design and creation of a sustainable Business Improvement District; and $100,000 to Saint Paul Public Library to advance the work of the Nicholson Workforce and Innovation Center at the George Latimer Central Library, which works to help residents develop technical skills and career paths. In addition, the foundation awarded $100,000 to Minnesota Opera to create and produce an opera for youth performers based on a memoir written by local author Kao Kalia Yang; and $200,000 to the Creative Enterprise Zone in support of the inaugural Chroma Zone Mural & Art Festival.
"It's a time of transformation in St. Paul, as our city claims its place as a lively, engaging urban hub," said Knight Foundation St. Paul director Jai Winston. "Downtown St. Paul is at the core of this change. Building on palpable local momentum, these investments aim to inspire new energy and interest in downtown and beyond, making the city a more attractive place to live, work, play, and stay."
(Photo credit: Saint Paul Downtown Alliance)