giveMN Best in America Seal of Excellence



Did you know?.......

The Trust is eligible to receive matching grants through the IBM Matching Grants Program. We want to thank all the current employees and retirees who not only donated to us, but completed the matching grant form. If you are a current or former IBM employee, and a donor to the Trust, please consider the matching program. Funds received will help defray the costs of Dancing for the Arts and The Fete.



Since there is always too much to do in Rochester, our

Events Calendar has been color-coordinated.

Fundraisers are in green, events in red and auditions and gallery showings in blue. We hope this central location will assist arts organizations and others in planning their own activities, such as fundraisers. As well as letting everyone know when that high school or college play is being performed, or the season schedule for your favorite performing arts group. But this interactive website is also only as good as those who use it- so submit your events and refer to the calendar and Events section for all things Arts.



Click Here to Purchase Tickets and/or to vote


Dancing for the Arts-Take IV

Tickets on Sale now!!!

Here are the 2015 Celebrity Dancers!

Jenna Bowman- Executive Director,  Rochester Downtown Alliance

Heather Holmes- Vice President-Marketing, Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc (RAEDI)

Shannon Knoepke- Vice President/General Manager, Townsquare Media

Leslie McClellon- President, Rochester Community and Technical College (RCTC)

Pamela Trachsel-  Licensed Real Estate Agent, RE/MAX Results-Rochester

Bassem Elhassan, M.D. – Orthopedic surgeon, Mayo Clinic

Jay Furst- Managing Editor, Post-Bulletin Company

Johnny Mango- Owner/Chef,  Johnny Mango's Catering

Bob Nuss-CEO,  Nuss Truck & Equipment

Mitch Stevenson- Partner & VP of Marketing and Sales, S & K Custom Furniture/ Section Leader, Trader Joe’s

Click here if you want to download a paper voting ballot to send in.



2014 Ardee Award Recipients are Announced!!!

Mayor’s Award for Public Art

 Greg Wimmer


Leadership in the Arts Award

 Dr. Rick Kvam


Arts Collaboration Award 

Rochester Civic Theatre and Rochester Diversity Council

Outstanding Artist Award

 Horacio Nuguid


Outstanding Volunteer in the Arts Award

April Dahl - Gary Dahl


Excellence in Arts Education

Rochester Art Center


Outstanding Youth in Arts Award

Honors Choirs of SE MN


Outstanding Greater Rochester Arts Award

Great River Shakespeare Festival


People’s Choice Award

Irish Fest


Save the Date for the Fete 2015

October 20, 2015



Rochester Arts Council Announces Transition to Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust (“The Trust”)


The Rochester Arts Council has transformed into the Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust to better serve the needs of the greater Rochester community. Rochester’s cultural vibrancy coupled with the City of Rochester’s Master Planning process calls for a unified body incorporating policymakers, philanthropists, artistic practitioners and the public to determine policy and direction for the development and expansion of the arts. The Trust serves as an independent, informed resource for generative discussion and action for arts-related issues of importance to the community. 

Among its goals, the Trust will identify and address arts, cultural and entertainment issues to best serve the interests of the community, increase visibility and support of the arts, create an environment and opportunities that are supportive of individual artists, serve as a model resource organization that strives to ensure organizational sustainability, impact the economic growth of the city and region, serve as a connector and facilitator and be a voice and ambassador for the arts.

The Board of Trustees is composed of key leaders representing all segments of the greater Rochester community.

Trustees are:

  • Rochester Mayor Ardell F. Brede

  • Randy Staver- Rochester City Council President

  • Senator Carla Nelson (R-Rochester)

  • Representative Tina Liebling (D-Rochester)

  • Lisa Clarke- Administrator DMC/Division Chair, Public Affairs, Mayo Clinic

  • Joe Powers- owner Power Ventures/Canadian Honker

  • Kay Caskey- Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation

  • Judy Sloan and Jim Sloan- Judy and Jim Sloan Foundation

  • Sue Mackert- Executive Director, Perpich Center for Arts Education

  • Brad Jones- Executive Director, Rochester Convention and Visitors Bureau

  • Michael Brennan-Director of Rochester Catholic Schools

  • Leslie McClellon- President of Rochester Community and Technical College

  • Ashok Patel, M.D.- past chair of Rochester Diversity Council

  • Ellen Huston-Executive Director, Minnesota Ballet Theatre

  • Al Mannino-Independent Consultant

  • Larry Guse-Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer, Think Mutual Bank.

Officers 2015

Brad Jones, Chair

Ashok Patel, M.D., Vice-Chair

Larry Guse, Treasurer

Bari Amadio, Secretary and CEO


The Trust will continue to host the annual Fete and the Ardee Awards (October 20, 2015) celebrating excellence in the arts, as well as Dancing for the Arts (May 16th 2015), which provides grants for youth arts education.




Rochester Arts Council Awards 2014 Youth Arts Education Grants


On April 12th, 2014 ten local Rochester celebrities went toe-to-toe paired with professional dancers from Dahl Dance Center to raise money for youth arts education.


All voting monies for the celeb/pro teams were designated by the Arts Council board to benefit youth arts education.


Fourteen nonprofit arts and humanities organizations, an increase over the number last year, were the 2014 recipients, as determined by an independent panel of funders:


Boys and Girls Club of Rochester- $1500 to provide an artist-in-residence 3-day poster printmaking workshop for teens.


Children’s Dance Theatre- $1000 to support school performances of the dance theatre production of “Madeline’s Christmas” at Mayo Civic Center.


Hambone Music Festival- $1000 for a professionally-taught Blues for Kids harmonica educational workshop.


History Center of Olmsted County- $2000 to support educational history summer day camps focusing on archaeology, early settler life and Native Americans.


Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota- $900 to support the “Sharing Music in the Schools” outreach program that brings choral music into Rochester schools.


Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester- $1200 for Jump Start the Arts- a partnership with artists to introduce young children to voice, musical instruments, theatre and the fine arts.


Rochester Art Center- $1500 to support Tastes Like Paint- a free after-school program fostering the artistic creativity of teens.


Rochester Civic Theatre- $4000 for the inauguration of the Performing Arts Conservatory Level intensive training program in acting, performance, music and dance.


Rochester Irish Fest- $1000 for youth workshops on traditional Irish music and dance, culminating in showcasing group sessions.


Rochester Public Library- $2400 to assist in the purchase of iPads and software to develop 21st century art programming for and by teens.


Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN- $3000 for portable Family Fun Cart and arts and craft supplies to promote enriching family interactions during stressful times.


Sing Out Loud- $1250 to expand the pilot project The Bellettes, a choral training program for 1st-5th grade girls.


Southeastern Minnesota Suzuki Association (SEMSA)- $250 to support Gasshuku at Eagle Bluff, a biennial workshop offering specialized musical training.


Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras (SEMYO)- $1000 to support sectionals resulting in specialized smaller group musical educational opportunities for youth.


The community will have another opportunity to contribute to youth arts education on May 16th, 2015 when ten more local celebrities and their pro partners dust off their dancing shoes for “Dancing for the Arts-Take IV”.





Dancing for the Arts-Take III           was a sell-out event!

$86,000 was raised to support youth arts education and the programs and services of the Rochester Arts Council.

And the DFTA-Take III Trophy was awarded to the team of

Dan Litzinger and Katy Jablonski

We're not saying anything but that's the third year in a row that a jock has won- Was it the magic hand-me-down shoes?

Taking home the Judges' Choice Trophies was the team of

Jen Koski and John Vitek

Rave reviews are being given to the celebrity dancers who really did a fantastic job learning their dance routines under the tutelage of Gary and April Dahl of Dahl Dance Center and their professional dancers.

BUT It could not have been accomplished without your support of the celebrity dancers of the Class of 2014. So once again.......

Who were the celebrity dancers for Take III?

Audrey Betcher- Executive Director of the Rochester Public Library

Carolyn Piepho- Director of Development and Marketing, Season Hospice

Jennifer Koski- Associate Editor, Rochester Magazine and Post-Bulletin columnist

JoAnn Stormer- President of the Rochester Area Foundation

Julie Jones-102.5 The Fox radio personality (and former DFTA judge)

Aaron Benike- President, Alvin E. Benike, Inc.

Al Mannino- Vice-president of Communications, Home Federal

Dan Litzinger- General manager, Rochester Honkers

Larry Guse- Chief  People Officer, Think Mutual Bank

Steve Books- Musician, Booker Mini Band, BookerMini Foundation

The professional dancers representing Dahl Dance Center are April Dahl, Gary Dahl, Tim Horn, Joel Ray, John Vitek, Calvin Behling, Katy Jablonski,

Christine Miller, Amanda Ruggeri and Julie Sobolewski.


Where did the money go last year?

                                     Check it out here




And........check out this video testimonal from Dancing for the Arts 2012.



How Fortunate We Are To Live In Minnesota With Our Legacy Amendment!

Ann Arbor City Officials Disappointed by Rejection of Public Art Millage

A property tax millage to fund a more comprehensive public art program has been rejected by voters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, disappointing city officials there, the Michigan Daily reports.

At a cost of about $11 a month to the average homeowner, the tax would have generated approximately $450,000 annually to provide direct funding for public art projects in the community. The millage had been proposed as an alternative to the current funding mechanism for public art, a program called Percent for Art that receives funds from different city departments and is restricted to permanent art installations on specified government properties. The millage would have included funding for temporary art projects. Although there are proposals to modify the Percent for Art program, none calls for including temporary art.

Public art administrator Aaron Seagraves noted that unfamiliarity with the new model of funding as well as a lack of awareness about the proposal, which was added to the ballot two months before election day, could have contributed to the measure's defeat.

Mark Tucker, art director of the University of Michigan's Lloyd Hall Scholars Program and founder of FestiFools, an annual parade of papier-mâché puppets created by students and members of the community that would have benefited from the millage, said he was disappointed but not surprised by its defeat. "I'm not completely surprised because it would be unusual for a community to come out in strong favor of wanting its tax dollars to go towards public art," said Tucker. "But I think it probably has to do with education in terms of how much the public art millage committee had time to get out the information."



Arts & Economic Prosperity IV Study Results are in!

The Arts are Big Business in Rochester!

The Rochester Arts Council's commissioned study to determine the economic impact of nonprofit Arts and Cultural Organizations and their Audiences in the City of Rochester has shown that the Arts brought $38.2 million into the City of Rochester, and added $3 million to the state and local tax coffers.

And these numbers do not take into account the earnings of our individual artists, so the actual number is undoubtedly higher.

A big THANK YOU is in order for all those who participated in the gathering of the information and especially to the audience members who took the time to complete the survey.

A project of Americans for the Arts, the Arts Council was chosen to be the representative for the state of Minnesota, as well as commissioning a customized study for Rochester thanks to generous partnerships with the City of Rochester, University of Minnesota Rochester, Mayo Clinic and Home Federal Savings Bank.

In addition to the Rochester Arts Council, participating organizations included Bella Voce Young Women's Choir, Children's Dance Theatre, Children's Museum of Rochester, Choral Arts Ensemble, Diversity Council, History Center of Olmsted County, Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota, Lyra Baroque Orchestra, Mayo Civic Center, Mayo Clinic Center for Humanities in Medicine, RCTC Drama Club, Rochester Aria Group, Rochester Art Center, Rochester Chamber Music Society, Rochester Civic Music, Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester Dance Company, Rochester Downtown Alliance, Rochesterfest, Rochester International Film Group, Rochester Male Chorus, Rochester Music Guild, Rochester Music Men Barbershop Chorus, Rochester Public Library, Rochester Repertory Theatre Company, Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale, Southeastern Minnesota American Guild of Organists, Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council, Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestra, St. John's Block Party and Vertigo Theatre Factory.