Arts Access

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
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
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Iraqi-American participants write and produce short videos, and Iraqi-American audiences view these films by and about their community. Our primary evaluation metrics are number of Iraqi filmmaker participants and of Iraqi audience members. Our goal is that nine Iraqi participants will create three new films. We will also track Iraqi audience attendance at screenings. 2: We provide a free, yearlong documentary mentorship with interpreters available to participants who would otherwise face economic, language, and cultural barriers. Pre-­ and post-­project surveys for each participant will include specific questions about these barriers and how well they were addressed. Completed forms will be given to an independent evaluator to assess and to follow ­up on.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Iraqi-American participants wrote and produced short videos, and Iraqi-American audiences viewed these films by and about their community. Because of the personal and intimate nature of this project, the most effective evaluation method was one on one interviews with all participants, the film directors, Nathan Fisher, and administrative staff at IARP. This evaluator was also present at all the events and public opportunities to share the films as an outside observer. Following this, the evaluator conducted interviews with all mentioned above to determine the impact of the project on participants. Additionally, film premiere attendees were surveyed via written forms. The forms were available in English and Arabic. 2: We provided a free, yearlong documentary mentorship with interpreters available to participants who would otherwise face economic, language, and cultural barriers. The evaluator on this project evaluated the project in previous years. The benefit of this consistency is the familiarity that this evaluator has with the deliberate progress this project is making with a small and challenging refugee community. The outcomes and progress are measurable within the context of the previous year, and while findings from this year reveal new challenges, significant strides are being made in the area of trust and barriers to participation are clearly less. The evaluation process for this project involves an embedded observer as the outcomes would not be evident through general surveys or questionnaires.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Steve Clemens, Paul Perkal, Erin Hart, Kathy Adam, Kathy McKay, Salam Murtada, David Smith, Luke Wilcox, Sarah Kanan, Al Nettles
Project Overview
Arts Access
Project Details
Iraqi Voices is a collaborative mentorship program for Iraqis in Minnesota to produce high-quality documentary video shorts. Phase 3 will result in three new shorts that will play at film festivals and online.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project
Street Address
416 Hennepin Ave E Ste 116
Zip Code
(952) 545-9981
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
Mary Bromen: Executive director, Dakota Woodlands Women's and Family Homeless Shelter; Laura Campbell: Adult day program manager, Southwest Senior Center, ArtSage teaching artist; Kendall Carlson: Communications and events manager for Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio (CLUES); Cheryl Kessler: Founder and principal evaluator, Blue Scarf Consulting, LLC; Lisa Vesel: Executive director, Minnesota Discovery Center
Conflict of Interest Disclosed