Minnesota taxpayers are funding mind-blowing stupidity and it’s all done without oversight thanks to the Legacy Fund. So far, Minnesota taxpayers have given a total of $2.9 billion of their hard earned money because of a 3/8 of one percent state sales tax Minnesotans were conned into voting for back in 2008.
On October 22, 2019, the Metro Regional Arts Council (MRAC) board awarded $806,429 in tax dollars from hardworking Minnesotans to 84 organizations/projects in the first round of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 Arts Project Support grant program. Awards ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 and included $6,950 to Viva La Pepa for the next season of drag story hour performances in libraries in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Viva La Pepa is not listed as a business on the Minnesota Secretary of State website nor is it a nonprofit. Are Minnesota libraries trying to hide the fact they pay drag queens with our tax dollars for strutting their stuff in front of innocent kids because of the controversy?
In November of 2019, The Deplorable Housewives of the Midwest submitted a data request to Hennepin County Libraries asking for all grants and public money used to support Hennepin County Stories Together. Their response – The Friends of Hennepin County used $1,200 in donations to support drag queen story hour. According to the data request, no tax dollars were used to pay each male adult performer, yet the MRAC award list seems to indicate otherwise. The lesson here is that, not only is government rolling in the dough, it lies to all of us on how the funds are used and misused.
MORE RIDICULOUS MRAC GRANTS
Since the landmark passage of Minnesota’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Amendment (also known as the Legacy Fund) in 2008, the Minnesota legislature has given a total of $2.9 billion to various agencies who then awards grants to other agencies and projects.
In 2019, $341.1 million was appropriated. Over $66 million was awarded to arts and cultural heritage. Nothing is too rude, crass or stupid to meet the definition of culture and art in the state of Minnesota. The following are but a few of the putrescent awards for art and culture:
$10,000 grant to The 20% Theater Company for the production of The Naked I 6.0 – Featuring a variety of performance types, The Naked I provides a platform to explore the experiences and talents of LGBTQIAP+ people, including topics such as gender identity/ies, relationships, bodies/body-image, transgender/gender non-conforming experiences, and all-around/self-defined queer-ness.
$10,000 grant to Alternative Motion Project to fund Alternative Motion Project’s 9th Season Performance that features an evening of 5 world premieres by 4 distinct choreographers. These new works explore a diverse body of creative research that include the body’s relationship to concepts of power, apathy, rhythm, + climate issues.
$10,000 grant to Queertopia for ungovernable queer art-making during pride week.
$10,000 grant to Somali Artifact and Cultural Museum. Funding to present the Traveling Exhibit, featuring Somali traditional art, targets Somali youth and segments of the Somali community who lack access to traditional arts and culture. The exhibit will be shown at 10 metro area locations from December 2019 – December 2020.
$10,000 grant to The Dial Group. Because film studio heads are 94% white and 100% male and television network and studio heads are 96% white and 71% male, Minnesota taxpayers are paying for the Media Arts Apprenticeship Program (MAAP), an artistic and creative professional development program for emerging artists of color interested in exploring media arts and new media as a potential career.
$10,000 grant for the Umbrella Collective for the production of A Squid has Three Hearts; a workshop presentation examines the environmental consequences of bringing a child into the world.
$10,000 grant for Voices for Racial Justice to engage a cohort of formerly incarcerated people and families of people affected by incarceration in learning about, exploring, and creating Ancestral Visionary writing.
$10,000 grant to Wonderlust Productions for production of a new play about and starring the community of people impacted by incarceration. The play will include the social impact of voting disparities of felons in the state of Minnesota. In other words, taxpayers will be forced to “lobby” for a felons voting bill even if they disagree.
$10,000 grant for Indonesian Performing Arts Association of Minnesota for the project Exploring Islam in America through Hip-Hop and Gamelan at the Ordway Concert Hall in St. Paul on February 9, 2020.
The Minnesota legislature appropriated $341.1 million in 2019 for the Legacy Fund to a web of nonprofits and agencies, making it difficult for citizens and legislators to track. It’s time to repeal this boondoggle or at the very least, ensure our tax dollars are being spent to support worthy programs. If you happen to talk to a candidate or legislator out on the campaign trail, ask them what they intend to do about the waste and fraud that is so prevalent in Minnesota government.