The DIAL Group

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
The DIAL Group
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
July 2020
End Date
September 2021
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

The DIAL will collaborate with Hmong artist Tou SaiKo Lee to develop “Ntiajteb Koomtes” (“Unified Worldwide” in English) – a Hmong language program based on Hmong traditional music infused with poetry and hip hop. Project activities include piloting the curriculum, developing media, and evaluating and revising the curriculum through feedback from students, teachers and linguists.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Kee Vang (St Paul, MN) Kee was a part of the Truth and Transformation conference/work with MHC, and is also serving on the immigrant cultural heritage panel. He is Hmong.

Tori Hong (Minneapolis, MN) Tori Hong is a Hmong and Korean illustrator, facilitator, and consultant. She was recommended by a Hmong artist/individual that knows MHC’s work well.

Kabo Yang (Little Canada, MN) Kabo Yang has been a panelist with MHC for prior grants. Her work focuses on identity-driven leadership, culturally-affirming nonprofit management and inclusion initiatives.

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.

(1) Of this amount, $250,000 the first year is for a grant to one or more community organizations that provide arts and cultural heritage programming celebrating Hmong heritage.

2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Direct expenses
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The most significant impact for the Ntiajteb Koomtes project will be in classrooms and schools. The arts can enhance students' learning of language, culture, and social justice. Researchers have shown that the arts can increase young people's academic achievement and contribute to their positive development. Our project’s measurable outcomes for students and schools are to increase:

  1. the number of youth learning Hmong language and culture through the arts (approx.. 80 students for this project period);
  2. the diversity of effective and creative teaching materials available to schools that wish to preserve the Hmong language, history, and culture (1 album with 5 music tracks, 5 videos, and music-based curriculum;
  3. the amount schools that teach Hmong language and culture using our arts-based curriculum (4 schools this project period).

The DIAL and our project partners will measure and evaluate the outcomes of Ntiajteb Koomtes using three primary evaluation methods:

  • Process Evaluation to monitor project activities regarding implementation and timing.
  • Summative Evaluation to assess overall effectiveness and achievements.
  • Outcome Evaluation to measure the impact of the project.

We will design and implement the evaluation plan and tools with oversight and direction from the DIAL’s executive director David Kang. The DIAL uses best practices to design our evaluations, and uses industry methods and standards to ensure project effectiveness, efficiency and quality. Also, we will measure the literacy of the students with support from their classroom teachers who have been tracking their progress before the implementation of our programming. We plan to have teachers determine the learning level of each student and then in our follow-up evaluations, we will assess the progress of each student after residency.

Taken together, the surveys, interviews, focus groups and other evaluation tools will help measure the extent to which the program outcomes are being achieved, as well as the overall quality of the project. The evaluation results will also help us eliminate or adjust the ineffective parts to Ntiajteb Koomtes for better program outcomes and performance. The DIAL will also share the results of the project to the community through our websites. Lastly, we will present the MN Humanities Center with the finding of our project and evaluations.

Outside of the direct outcomes of the project, we hope that indirectly instructors become facilitators of creative learning and are empowered in their own professional growth. Teachers will feel fulfilled and able to provide a hands-on, arts-based learning environment for their students. The Hmong language and learning curriculum has been a work in progress to fit into learning models in the United States. While living in villages of Asia, the Hmong have naturally learned through arts in our everyday lives as a means of survival whether it be sewing clothing for our families or chanting poetry in the forest as a form of therapy.

In the long-term, the DIAL and our partners will track the number of teachers and schools that implement our arts-based Hmong language curriculum, and the number of students who participate. We will have periodic check-ins beyond the grant period, since this is a long-term and ongoing effort for the organization, artists, and other collaborators.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In progress

Recipient Board Members
Phil Raskin, Grace Lee, Rodney McGee, David Kang
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
The DIAL Group
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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