Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT)

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT)
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
November 2020
End Date
March 2022
Activity Type
Counties Affected
St. Louis
St. Louis
Project Overview

Crossing Mountains is a highly collaborative effort by a coalition of Hmong artists to create a sweeping story of two generations of Hmong women who escape Laos to Minnesota. Their story is one of sacrifice and hardship and ultimately hope and redemption. Inspired by the real story of an amazing Hmong woman from Minneapolis, this Hmong opus will use ballet to share the Hmong story of escape from Laos to acclimating in a strange new land.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Savita Katarya (Rochester, MN) Savita works in cross-cultural leadership development and was connected to the CEO Tour in 2019. She identifies as an immigrant from India.

Jose Losada-Montero (Marshall, MN) Jose was a contact of a former MHC staffperson (Kirk MacKinnon Morrow). He is a Spanish professor at SMSU. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain. 

Juan Fernandez-Iglesias (Winona, MN) Juan Fernandez-Iglesias is a Winona State University Global Studies and Languages professor, and has blogged for MHC previously. He identifies as an immigrant from Spain. 

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact

Laura Benson

Minnesota Humanities Center


Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minn. State Legislature Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 8, (d)
Appropriation Language

$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Humanities Center must operate a competitive grants program to provide grants to programs that preserve and honor the cultural heritage of Minnesota or that provide education and student outreach on cultural diversity or to programs that empower communities to build their identity and culture. Priority must be given to grants for individuals and organizations working to create, celebrate, and teach indigenous arts and cultural activities and arts organizations and programs preserving, sharing, and educating on the arts and cultural heritage of immigrant communities in Minnesota.

2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Outcome #1: More Hmong youth will support and participate in ballet. We will track our workshops attendance numbers, provide surveys evaluate knowledge of ballet, interest and intentions to pursue ballet as an activity as a dancer or patron. We will also have surveys at our performances. We will stay in touch with the local ballet schools, instructors and dancers in the months after the workshops and performances if there are more Hmong student involvement. We can measure and track how Hmong students enroll in ballet schools (that we are connected with).

Outcome #2: More community support of Hmong art and art activities. We have a Salesforce for Nonprofits license and have developed a CRM database of users and participants. We intent to collect data from all participants from the workshops and performances of Crossing Mountains and measure them against future tracked art activities. We can analyze how many events each unique name attends, donates or purchases tickets and we can filter all the unique names that attended the Crossing Mountains performance or workshops and get concise numbers of the patrons of Crossing Mountains that supported future arts activities. We can get a measurable sense that Crossing Mountains help generate more support for Hmong art activities.

We hope that providing unique experiences like Crossing Mountains the Hmong community will support us to provide more experiences like this that honor the Hmong culture as well as connect Hmong youth to their culture. We hope that patrons of the arts can recognize that the Hmong culture has a layered and rich history with multitudes of powerful stories to be shared.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In progress

Proposed Outcomes Achieved
outcomes data not yet available
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Center for Hmong Arts and Talent (CHAT)
Street Address
995 University Ave W. Studio 251
St. Paul
Zip Code
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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