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.



It's Ardee Award time!!

It's time to start thinking about your favorite arts activity, public art work and anything else that you feel deserves recognition for its excellence.

To access the questions on the nomination form, please select which award you want to view first. That will take you to the proper form.

Also- the deadline to submit is September 30th, not September 18th. access and submit your nomination(s), click here!

For the list of past winners, click here

And then buy your tickets and mark your calendar for October 20th.



Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust

Awards Youth Arts Education Grants


On May 16th, 2015 ten local Rochester celebrities went toe-to-toe paired with professional dancers from Dahl Dance Center to raise money for youth arts education and the programs/services of the Arts and Cultural Trust.


Fifteen nonprofit arts and humanities organizations were the 2015 recipients, as determined by an independent panel of funders:


Boys and Girls Club of Rochester- $800 to provide an artist-in-residence 3-day poster printmaking workshop for teens.


Children’s Dance Theatre- $2000 to support school performances of the dance theatre production of “The Mermaid” at Mayo Civic Center.


Dover Eyota Music Association- $700 to support the SE MN a Cappella workshop for high school choirs.


Friends of Riverside Concerts- $1500 to support the Nordic Fiddlers as part of the Artists in Residency school program.


Hambone Music Festival- $1000 for workshops professionally teaching Blues Harmonica and creating homemade musical instruments.


History Center of Olmsted County- $1000 to support educational history summer day camps focusing on archaeology, early settler life and Native American migratory life and craft.


Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota- $2000 to support the “Discovering Music with Honors Choirs” outreach program that brings choral music instruction to the Rochester Boys and Girls Club.


Minnesota Children’s Museum of Rochester- $2000 for Summer Spectacular- a partnership with artists to introduce young children to voice, musical instruments, theatre, literature and the fine arts.


Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company- $1500 to purchase costumes for  Minnesota Renaissance Festival participation.


 Rochester Civic Theatre- $5000 for the inauguration of the Youth Arts Congress for high school students focusing on the formation of youth voice in the arts, content design and professionally artist-led workshops.


Rochester Irish Fest- $1500 for youth activities focusing on traditional Irish music, dance and storytelling.


Ronald McDonald House of Rochester, MN- $1500 for “Family Art to Go Bags” of art and craft supplies to promote enriching family interactions during stressful times.


Sing Out Loud- $4000 to support the choir programming of Bella Voce, Bella Fiore and the Bellettes.


Southeastern Minnesota Suzuki Association (SEMSA)- $500 to support a music workshop on improvisation skills and techniques.


Southeastern Minnesota Youth Orchestras- $2000 to support the

re-institution of the Symphonic Winds ensemble.


The community will have another opportunity to contribute to youth arts education on April 16th, 2016 when ten more local celebrities and their pro partners dust off their dancing shoes for “Dancing for the Arts-Take V”.


Thanks to everyone who supported DFTA-Take IV!!!

Congratulations to all the Celebrity Dancers for DFTA-Take IV!


And the DFTA-Take IV Trophy went to the team of.........

Bassem Elhassan M.D. and April Dahl


the DFTA-Take IV Judges Choice Trophies went to the team of.....

Leslie McClellon and Jimmy Dillon

The sold-out event raised $100,000 to support youth arts education and the programs/services of the Arts and Cultural Trust!


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


Where did the DFTA money go in 2014?

                                     Check it out here


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


Arts and Cultural Trust to contract for development of Public Art Master Plan for Rochester


The Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust will receive $15,000 in matching funds from the City of Rochester to contract with Forecast Public Art to develop a public art Master Plan for Rochester with community input.


Council members voted 6-0 to approve the request, which matched private sector funds contributed by all board members of the Trust, Maier Tree & Lawn, Dr. Richard and Evelyn Berger, Amadio Family Fund for the Arts and the Gus Chafoulias Trust.


Forecast Public Art, a Twin Cities-based nonprofit established in 1978, has built an international reputation as a leader in the field, publishing Public Art Review magazine, providing grants and technical assistance to Minnesota artists, and offering communities a wide range of consulting services that embody their mission of “strengthening and advancing the field of public art.”


Public art today goes beyond murals, monuments and memorials. It can help shape more livable, equitable and resilient cities. It can contribute to community well-being, improve cultural and economic health in urban environments and contribute to identity and way finding.


Artists are helping to shape the built environment, engaging in place-making, community cultural development, urban planning and programming. The public art Master Plan for the City of Rochester will serve the entire Rochester community, guiding and incentivizing investment in public art.




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- Executive Director, DMA Economic Development Agency

  • 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-Principal, Al Mannino and Associates Consulting

  • 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

Ellen Huston, Assistant Secretary


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 and supports the programs/services of the Trust.





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.