Somali Community Resettlement Services

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2020 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Somali Community Resettlement Services
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
Start Date
July 2020
End Date
September 2021
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

This project will connect Somali youth to their rich cultural heritage through arts and language. The Somali Youth Cultural Empowerment project will ensure youth learn their native Somali language and culture through classes taught by Somali teachers and will participate in the cultural tradition of Danta Dance. A dance group will perform at cultural events, with music performed live from previous members of the Somali supergroup, Waaberi, and thus, share Somali art culture with Minnesotans.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Leyla Suleiman (Minneapolis, MN) Leyla is a first year educator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and was a panelist for the Community Partner Fund and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.

Hibaq Mohamed (Minneapolis, MN) – Hibaq is an MHC Increase Engagement facilitator, author in the Crossroads: Somali Youth Anthology, and is also serving in the immigrant cultural heritage panel. She is Somali.

Nasra Farah (St. Cloud, MN) – Nasrah is a board member and featured speaker through the activist/advocacy organization #unitecloud. She is Somali.

Dr. Cawo Abdi (Minneapolis MN) Dr. Abdi is a professor of Sociology at the U of M. She has worked with MHC previously through its Lunch and Learn Series. She is Somali.

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.

(2) 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 Somali heritage.

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

Goal #1: Preserve Somali language and culture within the Somali community

Success of this goal will be:

- an estimated 160 students have expanded knowledge of Somali language and culture

- number of students and attendance at each class will be tracked

- Outcomes for each class session will be tracked for each student

- Satisfaction surveys will be given at the end of each training to both students and parents.

- Changes to curriculum will be made based on comments received.

- A Language and Culture curriculum will be developed and can be taught again the future.

- Participation/attendance in Danta dance groups is over 90%.


Goal #2: Introduce Somali art culture to all Minnesotans

Success of this goal will be:

- Festival committees in Minnesota are requesting performances of the dance groups and musicians

- Danta dance groups of Somali youth are performing at events – with an anticipated 3 performances for Rochester’s group and 2 performances for Faribault’s group.

- Musicians who were members of the Waaberi Band will perform at events

- Number of perfomances will be tracked

Measurable Outcome(s)

Goal #1: Preserve Somali language and culture within the Somali community.

We met most of this goal. We had 102 students take part in the language and dance trainings. The training was offered online during the grant period. We had originally planned to offer the trainings in Faribault and Rochester, but because the classes were online and there was high interest from other students, we were able to provide the training to interested students from Minneapolis and Owatonna. We surveyed the students through oral surveys and the results were that 100% of the students felt they gained knowledge in Somali language and culture. We could also gauge interest through our 90% rate of student class attendance. Surveys among parents gave the same results - 100% of parents felt their children gained knowledge in Somali language and culture.

We did not meet our second measure of success of having Danta dance groups perform at events due to COVID concerns.


Goal #2: Introduce Somali art culture to all Minnesotans. We offered Danta dance training beginning in January and going through the grant period. We were able to provide training to 102 students from Rochester, Faribault, Owatonna, and Minneapolis. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to have dance groups performing at festivals in Minnesota. Because of this, we did not meet this goal. We do still have strong interest in Danta dancing among the youth and will be continuing the groups. We are hoping to be able to have dance groups perform next summer.

Recipient Board Members
Yusuf Ahmed, Sadat Ali, Anab Garuf, Hassan Hussein, Ayan Mohamed, Susan Starr, Gulad Mohamoud, Daniel Reisman, Joy Watson, Hussein Weli, Sayid Mohamed, Mohamed Yarow, Faisel Ahmed
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Somali Community Resettlement Services
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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