Minnesota's Legacy

Arts Activities Support

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Skylark Opera
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
October 2015
End Date
June 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)

Two thousand audience members attended festival productions that engaged 70 artists. Audience surveys indicated that at least a third of respondents have incomes under $60,000 per year. Internal evaluation measures include: post-production artistic staff meetings, budget-to-actual financial analysis, and confidential artist surveys. External evaluation measures include: media reviews and written audience surveys.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The most significant outcome is a full analysis of Skylark's former business model and re-visioning of that model going forward. The elements of that re-visioning include: Two free-standing productions each year; Smaller-scale pieces; Re-dedication to local artists; Non-traditional performance venues; An immersive performance aesthetic; Educational outreach focused on seniors. As Metropolitan Regional Arts Council is aware, the festival did not take place due primarily to financial issues. This prompted a re-evaluation of Skylark's existing business model and formulation of a plan to move forward under the leadership of newly-hired Artistic Director Robert Neu, and Managing Director Heather Brands. See answer to question 1. Through an outpouring of support from the local singer/actor community, we discovered that Skylark Opera is highly valued by that community. They pledged their support in a variety of ways---offering to perform gratis at a fundraiser, volunteering their time on social media updates and generating ideas for Skylark's future. Audience members also expressed support.

Source of Additional Funds

Other, local or private

Recipient Board Members
Carrie Wasley, Ann Morelli Spencer, Pamela Dickson, Craig Herkert, Eugene Young, Carla Petersen, Lori Herkert, Jack Neveaux
Project Overview

Arts Activities Support

Project Details

Funding for their ninth annual Summer Opera Festival featuring four performances each of On the Twentieth Century by Cy Coleman and the musical revue Oh, Coward! by Noël Coward. The festival will take place at EM Pearson Theatre at Concordia University in

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Skylark Opera
Street Address
75 5th St W Ste 414
St Paul
Zip Code
(651) 292-4309
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