Arts Activities Support

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Caponi Art Park AKA Caponi Art Park and Learning Center
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
October 2015
End Date
August 2016
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2015 Special Session, chapter 2, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Administration costs
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

We expect to attract an audience that includes 20% new patrons through increased publicity efforts. We also expect the audience to be 10% more diverse because of the variety of groups presented. For quantitative measures we will use audience, volunteer and artist participation counts. For qualitative measures we will use audience surveys taken at the performance and artist surveys sent out by email after the performance.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Over 1600 people attended the 2016 Summer Performance Series season many who had never heard of the park before. We tracked audience numbers and used sign-in sheets and staff interactions with visitors to identify those who were new to the park. While the threat of bad weather reduced attendance at two performances overall audience numbers were good, engagement was high and our outcomes were met. We successfully achieved the artistic goals for our 2016 Summer Performance Series. On June 12 the Minnesota Sinfonia presented a well-received concert of familiar and less well known pieces of classical music. This performance was dedicated to the memory of the Art Park’s founder. On June 26 director Jim Cunningham and a cast of 3 actors presented The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged). This parody of all 37 Shakespeare’s plays brought a bit of Fringe Festival sensibility to the park’s tradition of “Shakespeare in the Park.” July 10 Aunt Beverly and Voice of Culture performed a combination of traditional and contemporary African stories and drum and dance from West Africa and Afro-Hip-Hop. The performers were Beverly Cottman and young students of Voice of Culture led by Kenna Cottman. On July 24 the High-48’s presented a concert of classical bluegrass and original songs with a wide range of influences beyond Bill Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs. In our grant application this slot was intended to be filled by the group Buckets and Tap Shoes but we were unable to keep in contact with them through the planning process and made this substitution. The connection between the two – they are both high energy performers whose work features driving rhythms. On August 7 Mu Daiko, an ensemble of Mu Performing Arts, filled the Theater in the Woods with the sounds of Japanese Taiko Drumming. On August 21, Mixed Precipitation presented “Donald Giovanni in Cornlandia: A Picnic Operetta.” This was a 1980’s pop retelling of the 1787 Mozart opera Don Gionvanni the style of classical Italian comedic opera meets ‘80s hair bands and modern day politics. This performance in particular brought many new people to the park who knew of Mixed Precipitation’s work but not about the park. Our community of Dakota County and Eagan is made up primarily of families with young and school-age children, and a growing number of older adults. According to our surveys, this is the audience who attended the Summer Performance Series this season; roughly 60% of the audience was from Dakota County and the other 40% was from the greater Twin Cities area. Each performance in the series attracted slightly different audiences: the Minnesota Sinfonia trended older and more patrons had physical limitations; the High 48s, Mu Daiko and Voice of Culture attracted more families, the Shakespeare and Mixed Precipitation audiences were mostly adults. As a whole the audience continued to be more ethnically diverse. Since these performances are presented without tickets we cannot use sales to track the number of new and returning audience members. Instead we use sign-in/mailing list sheets and audiences surveys. From this information we know that at least 1/3 of the audience was new to the park and many commented that they had been meaning to come and finally did.

Description of Funds
Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Jina Penn-Tracy, Wayne Potratz, Kirk Muhlenbruck, Rhea Benz, Cheryl Caponi, Renee Ervasti, Juli Johnson
Project Overview
Arts Activities Support
Project Details
Funding for the 2016 Summer Performance Series featuring six performing groups in the Park’s Theater in the Woods amphitheater. The free performance series will be held at Caponi Art Park in Eagan from June through August 2016.
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Caponi Art Park AKA Caponi Art Park and Learning Center
Street Address
1205 Diffley Rd
Zip Code
(651) 454-9412
Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications
Julie Andersen: Eagan Art House Executive Director; Jill Anfang: Roseville Parks and Recreation Program Director; Bethany Brunsell: Music Teacher and Performer; Shelly Chamberlain: Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Operations Director; Marisol Chiclana-Ayla: Artist, Board Chair of El Arco Iris; Anthony Galloway: Actor, storyteller, West Metro Education Program; Jamil Jude: Theatre artist; Tricia Khutoretsky: Public Functionary Curator and Co-Director; Peter Leggett: Walker West Music Academy Executive Director; Dayna Martinez: Ordway Center for the Performing Arts; Coleen McLaughlin: Arts Midwest Director of External Relations; Tom Moffatt: Silverwood Park Supervisor; Kathy Mouacheupao: Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation Cultural Corridor Coordinator; Adam Napoli-Rangel: Artist; Heather Rutledge: ArtReach Saint Croix Executive Director; Andrea Sjogren: Hopkins Public Schools Youth Programs Coordinator; Dameun Strange: Composer and Performer; Melissa Wright: Twin Cities Public Television.
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications
Bethany Whitehead: Fundraising, general management, organizational development; Alex Legeros: General management, artistic, finance; Amanda Dlouhy: Artistic, general management, organizational development; Janice Johnson: Audience development, organizational development, education; Nate Lovdahl: Fundraising, education, organizational development; Debra Stone: Artistic, education, community development; Becky Stibbe: Fundraising, audience development, general management; Patricia Vaillancourt: General management, audience development, computer systems; Teresa Mock: Artistic, audience development, organizational development.
Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Jeff Prauer (651) 645-0402