MIGIZI Communications

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
MIGIZI Communications
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
July 2020
End Date
September 2021
Activity Type
Digitization/Online Information Access
Counties Affected
Project Overview

Migizi holds a large collection of reel-to-reel audio tape recordings of our original radio programming. Migizi intends to transfer 1,000 pieces of reel-to-reel audio to a digital format so that it may be preserved and re-introduced. With our media partner, KFAI Fresh Air Radio, we will produce 12 new audio stories utilizing the archive as source material. Stories will be broadcast on KFAI’s airwaves and digital media platforms for listeners across Minnesota on the AMPERS Radio Network.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

John Day (St. Paul, MN) – John Day was a part of the Why Treaties Matter selection team, is very familiar with MHC ways of working. He is American Indian.

Nanette Missaghi (Eden Prairie, MN) Nanette Missaghi was part of the community work group that developed the educator guides for Why Treaties Matter and instrumental with piloting the guides/exhibit in Eden Prairie schools. She is American Indian.

John Bobolink (Minneapolis, MN) was recommended to the panel by the group that created the original Indigenous Arts bill. He is American Indian.

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.

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

As a community radio station KFAI is proud to broadcast Native American current affairs and music programming to diverse audiences. KFAI’s MinneCulture has been making short and long form audio stories about Minnesota arts and cultural heritage for the past decade, and MinneCulture producers have won numerous awards for their work.

KFAI MinneCulture subscribes to a human-designed centered model for creating new stories for radio and podcast. For this project we begin by asking, “What does my audience need in order to feel connected to topics and subject matter. For this project, editors and producers intend to focus on an appropriate theme for the year: Superpowers: Making Visible the Invisible. As audio story tellers, KFAI MinneCulture believes that when we meet the needs of our audiences to feel better connected to Minnesota arts and cultural heritage our listeners continue to tune in to our broadcasts, and continue to search out our content online.

For this reason, KFAI MinneCulture will be collecting the number of streams and downloads for our social media sites and reporting it back to Migizi. We feel strongly that in a media saturated landscape collecting data on the number of streams and downloads is an important evaluation method. One important difference between broadcast formats and newer podcast platforms is that listeners seek out stories that are made available on digital platforms -- and so in this sense downloads and streams are an important data set because we recognize that we are fulfilling an audience’s need for more content related to subject matter that interests them, in this instance, American Indian art, history, and culture in Minnesota. Our project consultant will also work with KFAI editor to track the number of downloads on the Public Radio Exchange, the carriage reports of AMPERS community radio stations across Minnesota who broadcast our stories throughout the year, and comments on social media sites.

  • We expect to reach 500-1200 listeners on the radio each month when our short stories are broadcast on Wednesday night at 7pm on MinneCulture presents, and an additional 500-1200 listeners when the stories are broadcast as interstitials (between the hour) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8am and 4pm.
  • We expect each of our stories on Soundcloud to reach between 250-400 listeners.
  • We expect to stream each of stories between 100-200 each month on our digital platforms
  • We will share our stories with all 18 of the AMPERS radio stations on PRX
  • We expect that between 8-10 public and community radio stations throughout the United States will air our short stories in their respective markets.
  • We expect to harvest 4-6 comments per story (including hashtags and/or tweets) from our social media sites

Data on downloads helps us to continue to build our audiences by continuing to ask in this instance, “How well did our producers make the invisible visible?” KFAI will provide data to Migizi Communications and continue to discuss our theme and our stories throughout the year.

KFAI’s MinneCulture already collects social media data and comments on an ongoing basis to evaluate its own programming. A sample of MinneCulture data reveals:

  • In 2018, 17 different MinneCulture producers submitted 62 stories.
  • On SoundCloud we reached 15.9K streams in 2018, and 21.2K in 2019.
  • In 2018, 43 of our 62 short stories were licensed by eight stations: WAMC Northeast Public Radio, WDBM East Lansing, MI, PRX Remix, KBCS Bellevue, WA, KMUN Astoria, OR, KVSC St. Cloud, MN, KUMD Duluth, MN, Cards Against Humanity: The Good News Podcast.
  • An internal look at the diversity in our programming reveals that in 2018 34 (of 63) short stories featured the voices of women as the primary interview subject; 20 feature voices of people of color; 8 feature stories about Minnesotan art pertaining to the LGBTQ+ community.

In addition to the compliments posted in response to our stories on a rolling basis (“Wow” “Fascinating”), KFAI’s MinneCulture harvests comments from our social media sites. A recent story about a historical site in Minnesota yielded the following from one of our listeners in praise of the context our producer provided, “Few have a sense of even American history much less world history. Any event in history has to be evaluated within the CONTEXT of events that went before and after it. Myopia completely distorts one's perspective in evaluating any one event.” Another recent story we reported about public art at Bde Maka Ska related the impact of the story on educators, “Thanks for the post. Will share with my students.” KFAI editors will continue to harvest and report these to Migizi throughout the year.

The results will be shared with Migizi staff to help tell the story of the archive as we move forwards with the larger goal of creating additional content. Understanding how to attract and grow our audience will aid Migizi and its media partners in seeking to create more content, including long-form multi-season podcasts and long form documentaries. Learning what our audiences need and how we work to make them feel better connected. Those comments will help our project to continue to delve into subject matter that is meaningful for listeners. We know we are successful when listeners consistently return to stream and download or broadcast our stories.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In progress

Proposed Outcomes Achieved
outcomes data not yet available
Recipient Board Members
Joseph A. Erickson, Sommer Green, Barbara Cole, Tony Genia, Marie Rainey, Jillian Rowan, Kevin Waller, Tiffany Hand
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
MIGIZI Communications
Street Address
3017 27th Avenue South
Zip Code
612-721-6631 x222
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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