Creative Support for Organizations-Round 2

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2023 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Leslie Parker Dance Project
In Progress
Start Date
May 2023
End Date
April 2024
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

Creative Support for Organizations-Round 2

Project Details

Leslie Parker Dance Project will develop "Divination Tools: imagine home," a powerful collective of Black visual artists, musicians, and femme dance artists reflecting on divinity and lineage that draws from Blackness in music, dance, and storytelling in real time.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Board Members and Qualifications

Uri Camarena: business consultant; Michael Charron: arts educator and an arts and civic leader; Richard Cohen: attorney in private practice and a former state legislator; Emily Galusha: arts and civic leader, former arts administrator; Anthony Gardner: vice president, marketing and communications at CentraCare; Ken Martin, political strategist and campaign manager; Philip McKenzie: team lead with Denver Air, adjunct college faculty; Nichole Melton-Mitchell: healthcare administrator; Dobson West: retired attorney; Christina Widdess: nonprofit consultant; former arts administrator; Christina Woods: executive director, Duluth Art Institute

Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Gabriella Caldecott: Caldecott is a family office trust associate at Wells Fargo. She has served with three nonprofit organizations including a position as trustee for The College of Saint Scholastica, board of directors member for Joyce Preschool, and a member of the Highland Groveland Recreation Association. Caldecott graduated from The College of Saint Scholastica with a bachelor's degree in marketing and management and has a certificate in organizational leadership from St. Catherine's University.; Christina Cotruvo: Cotruvo performs folk harp and harp ukulele music in northern Minnesota. Her recordings and music arrangements have been sold worldwide. She organizes Duluth Ukulele Community Strum and brings connections for those with challenges as a certified clinical musician. She has been a music coach for the blind since 1988 with No-C-Notes publishing group. Cotruvo's 30-year career includes serving as an accountant, grant writer, software consultant, controller, finance manager, and software specialist in city government, schools, cooperatives, and nonprofit agencies. Recently she has worked with the National Standards Board for Therapeutic Musicians, Armory Arts and Music Center, CHOICE unlimited, Minnesota State Chapter P.E.O., and has been a Minnesota State Arts Board grant panelist.; James Everest: Everest is an independent working artist, teaching artist, artist organizer, producer, curator, musician, filmmaker, composer, director, and performer, and has been active in the Minnesota arts community for more than 30 years. He received a BA in history from the University of Minnesota. While at the University, he volunteered at The Whole Music Club venue and went on to host and curate the Making Music conversations series at the U of M and Walker Art Center. He was music director and lead collaborator for Emily Johnson/Catalyst Dance from 2004-2015. He then founded a community arts organization, Wavelets Creative. He was nominated "Artist of the Year" at the 1997 Minnesota Music Awards (MMA) and won "Best R&B Band" and "Best R&B Album" in 1998 and 1999 at the MMAs.; Wendy Grethen: Grethen has created and been putting on local art and gift fairs for fifteen years, starting with the Get It Local fairs. For sixteen years, Grethen put on the folk music festival called Dulcimer Day in Duluth which hosted twenty learning workshops. She created Up North Excursions which provided day trips from Duluth to arts, music, history, and nature events in the Northland. She continues to play hammered and mountain dulcimer at events and for healing situations. Grethen also volunteers as an usher at the Duluth Playhouse.; Megan Krueger: Krueger is the development manager at Every Meal in Roseville. During her career, she has held leadership positions in fundraising and led the development departments at several local arts organizations, including Steppingstone Theatre and Stages Theatre Company. She graduated with a BA in both English literature and theater from Viterbo University (La Crosse, WI).; Lisa Nelson: Nelson is an artist and full-time parent. She volunteers for her local neighborhood organization, Union Park District Council, where she is cochair of the transportation committee. She has previously worked as an art conservator at the Brooklyn Museum, Jewish Theological Seminary, American Philosophical Society, and other institutions. She has a BA in studio art from Swarthmore College (Swarthmore, PA), and an MA in art history and art conservation from New York University (New York, NY).; Laura Nichols: Nichols has been a featured oratorio and orchestral soloist with many accomplished conductors. She was a principal member of the world premiere casts of Dominic Argento's Casanova's Homecoming, William Mayer's A Death in the Family, and Conrad Susa's Black River. She has degrees from Rutgers University, the Eastman School of Music, and the University of Minnesota. Her mentors include the famed mezzo-sopranos Jan DeGaetani and Elizabeth Mannion. Recently, Nichols retired as an assistant professor of music from Macalester College in Saint Paul, where she taught voice, ran the opera workshop, and coached the principals in the biannual musical.; Gerald Smith: Smith is the founder and operator of Stem Cell Studios, a multimedia, multidisciplinary art studio dedicated to the exploration of ideas at the interface of aesthetics, epistemology, cosmology, and biology. He has been a biomedical researcher and teacher in biology and art at several universities and is a graduate of Walla Walla University and The California Institute of the Arts. He has experience as an exhibition proposal reviewer for the once thriving Minnesota Artist Exhibition Program at the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts and for a photography/video competition at North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park. Moreover, Smith taught a course titled Critical Frameworks for five years at St. Cloud State University's art department that included the preparation and presentation of art exhibitions and exhibition catalogues by the students.; Pamela Smith: Smith is a writer, teacher, and researcher. She was awarded the Artist Initiative grant (2019) and Creative Support for Individuals grant (2021 and 2022) from the Minnesota State Arts Board. She is the author of a variety of works of creative nonfiction.

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Legal Citation / Subdivision
Laws of Minnesota 2021, First Special Session, chapter 1, article 4, section 2, subdivision 3
Appropriation Language

ACHF Arts Access

2023 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Other Funds Leveraged
Direct expenses
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Increasing awareness of Black Dance Improvisation and fostering cross-collaborative exchanges centering dance art. Outcomes will be evaluated by documentation, experimental archival practices, and in person conversations with regard for reflection and feedback.

Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Leslie Parker Dance Project
Street Address
765 N Hampden Ave APT 631
St Paul
Zip Code
(347) 777-4914
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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