Artist Initiative

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Melissa H. Brandt
Recipient Type
Start Date
June 2012
End Date
September 2012
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview
Artist Initiative
Project Details
Brandt will complete her screenplay, "Chicken Day," about a rural town in Minnesota, and will hire Minnesota actors to perform a public reading of the work.
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Judson Bemis Jr., Actor, arts administrator, founder and principal of Clere Consulting. Secretary, Minnesota State Arts Board., 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. Vice Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board., Sean Dowse, Executive director, Sheldon Theatre. Board member for Minnesota Music Coalition, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, and Anderson Center for Interdisciplinary Studies., John Gunyou, City manager, Minnetonka., Benjamin Klipfel, Executive Director, Alexandria Area Arts Association, Inc. Director and arts educator.,Ellen McInnis, Director of Twin Cities government relations, Wells Fargo. Member of Bottineau Boulevard Partnership. Chair, Minnesota State Arts Board., Pamela Perri, Executive vice president, Builders Association of Minnesota., Margaret Rapp, Former educator, Saint Paul Academy and Summit School. Officer at-large, Minnesota State Arts Board., Anton Treuer, Professor of Ojibwe, Bemidji State University.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Andy Driscoll: Cohost of "TruthToTell" (KFAI), broadcast journalist, writer/commentator, political and public affairs specialist.; Kiera Faber: Visual artist, and member of Midwest Photographers Project.; Rick Hauser: Producer, director, and writer for television and media.; Amalia Nicholson: Media artist and educator.; Mark Rosenwinkel: Chair of the department of theater and dance, Concordia University. Lead teaching artist, Guthrie Theater summer theater camps. Actor, director, and playwright.; Norah Shap
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2011, First Special Session, chapter 6, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Minnesota artists are able to expand or further develop their artistic abilities through varied learning opportunities. More Minnesotans are able to engage in or with the work of Minnesota artists.

Measurable Outcome(s)

1. I completed my screenplay CHICKEN DAY, and it is currently under option by NEW GLOBE FILMS. They intend to shoot the film in Minnesota in 2014. As stated in my grant, having time to help build my body of work has been frustrating. Through the grant, I was able to complete the work and get in into the world. My instincts were confirmed: when I write what I love, people respond. Also, by hiring eleven actors for the reading, each actor was able to expand their craft through training, rehearsal, and the experience of a public reading. The opportunity gave them a chance to expand their resumes. Also, the actors read in front of a director who was interested in casting for the film roles. 2) My screenplay won the McKnight Award and was part of the Emerging Narrative series in New York City. These awards, combined with the option agreement, are a strong confirmation that I have achieved the goals I established in the grant request. 2: 1. Completing the work, growing my portfolio, putting my work out into the world, all amazing achievements during this process and due to the generosity of this grant. In addition, the public reading helped others Minnesotans to engage in the work. The actors read in front of an audience of more than 40 community members. A brief Q and A after the reading gave the audience members an opportunity to ask questions of both the writer and actors. 2. A headcount was taken of audience members who attended the reading. My hope is that, after the film is produced, many more Minnesotans will have the opportunity to see the work.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Melissa H. Brandt
(507) 251-7652
Administered By
Administered by

Griggs Midway Building, Suite 304,
540 Fairview Avenue North,
St. Paul, MN 55104

(651) 539-2650 or toll-free (800) 866-2787
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