Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Loretta J. Simonet
Recipient Type
Start Date
January 2015
End Date
December 2015
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2013, Chapter 137, Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Interviewing extraordinary people I don't know, creating songs from their stories, and working with a teacher at MacPhail Center for the Arts, develops my song-writing skills in the folk music story-song genre. Songwriting's effectiveness is measured by positive feedback. I will gather oral and written feedback from my teacher at MacPhail Center for the Arts. I will gather audience feedback on a printed survey, live tape of audience comments, and blog posts. 2: Minnesotans in the inner-city, outstate, broadcast audience, and an underserved community (retirement home) share in my original music and sing along on selected songs. Audience attendance and feedback will indicate success. Headcount will be taken and audience participation noted. Audience feedback on printed survey, live taped comments and blog posts will gauge to what degree listeners felt engaged.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Loretta developed her songwriting skills in story-songs by interviewing extraordinary people she didn’t know, crafting their stories into song, and taking songwriting lessons at MacPhail. Loretta Simonet collected audience multiple choice answers and comments on written surveys at her concerts. She taped a discussion at the end of each concert, though this was not as successful (people preferred to write, rather than speak, their comments.) She also received comments about the songs on her online blog, Facebook, and emails. She received oral feedback and a written evaluation from her teacher at MacPhail. Other methods which grew out of the project were feedback from the song subjects about whom she wrote, from presenters at the venues, and in reviews from the media. 2: Even more Minnesotans than Loretta Simonet expected shared in her original music, at concerts in the inner-city, outstate, broadcast audience, and at a retirement home. The presenter of each concert did a headcount and gave it to Loretta Simonet. She visually noted the degree of engagement of the audience members. Audience feedback was collected via a written survey, comments on blog posts on her website, Facebook and email comments, and a taped discussion after each concert. The most successful methods (i.e. most participation) were the written survey, and Facebook and email comments.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Simonet will develop her songwriting skills by interviewing twelve people who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds, crafting their stories into songs. She will make a CD of the songs and present them at three live concerts in Minneapolis, Owatonna, and Bloomington.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Loretta J. Simonet
(612) 812-4555x c
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Ardell Brede: Mayor of Rochester, elected 2002.; Peggy Burnet: Businesswoman, art collector, and community volunteer. Chair of the Nominating Committee, Smithsonian National Board. Trustee, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Michael Charron: Dean of the School of the Arts, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Rebecca Davis-Lee: Touring pianist, piano and music theory teacher; Wendy Dayton: Arts and community leader and philanthropist.; Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, Treasurer, Minnesota State Arts Board.; David Glenn: Executive director of the Minnesota Project, ceramic artist; Ellen McInnis: Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board.; Thomas Moss: Consultant to nonprofits and government agencies; Janice Sivertson: Gallery owner and visual artist
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Jian-Jun Chen-Edmund: Assistant professor of music education, University of Minnesota Duluth; Ryan French: Director of marketing and public relations, Walker Art Center; Asako Hirabayashi: Composer and harpsichordist; Laura MacKenzie: Performing musician and teacher of traditional music; Matthew McCright: International piano soloist and chamber musician, piano faculty member, Carleton College; John Munson: Band member, The New Standards and The Twilight Hours, music director, Wits radio program on American Public Media; Rebecca Petersen: Executive director, Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra
Conflict of Interest Disclosed