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The Cedar, Augsburg receive one of six national grants

A grant awarded to The Cedar Cultural Center and Augsburg College will support a program to build cross-cultural awareness, knowledge, and understanding of Somali culture through music. One of only six grants of its type awarded in the nation, the $200,000 award was made as part of the highly competitive Building Bridges: Campus Community Engagement grant by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

The grant will be used to launch a two-year project titled MIDNIMO: MUSIC FOR UNITY, CAMPUS, AND COMMUNITY.  Through Midnimo, the Somali word for “unity,” Augsburg students, Cedar Riverside residents, and the general public will engage in a series of educational and experiential events focused on Somali music.

“This is a particularly exciting opportunity for The Cedar. It speaks to our core mission to further intercultural appreciation and acknowledges our location in the middle of the largest Somali diaspora in the United States,” said Adrienne Dorn, The Cedar’s Director of Development and Midnimo Project Director.  “We are excited to bring artists to Minnesota as a launching point to celebrate and learn about Somali culture and the Islamic religion.”

Midnimo will bring Somali musicians from around the world to Minnesota for week-long residencies that include public performances and lectures in the classroom and community and that draw upon their culture, religion, and personal experiences. Midnimo will allow The Cedar, Augsburg, and community partners to facilitate and inspire dialogue, interaction, and understanding through artistic and academic interventions.

“Midnimo will build on the important work we’ve already been doing over the past four years to engage the local Somali community,” said Fadumo Ibrahim, Development Assistant and Somali Community Liaison at The Cedar. Past and current Cedar projects that engage Somali communities have been made possible through generous support from the Minnesota State Arts Board’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Arts Access Grant Program.

“At the heart of Augsburg’s mission are our commitments to educating informed global citizens and to embracing learning about and serving our neighbors,” said Augsburg College President Paul C. Pribbenow. “The opportunity to partner with The Cedar and our Somali neighbors offers our students an inspiring manner in which to engage in our world, to ponder that which we share, and to develop the intercultural understanding we all need in the 21st century.”

About APAP: The Association of Performing Arts Presenters, based in Washington, DC, is the national service and advocacy organization dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts presenting field and the professionals who work within it. Our 1,500 members, from all 50 states and 34 countries, represent leading performing arts centers, municipal and university performance facilities, nonprofit performing arts centers, culturally specific organizations, foreign governments, as well as artist agencies, managers, touring companies, and national consulting practices that serve the field, and a growing roster of self-presenting artists. As a leader in the field, APAP works to effect change through advocacy, professional development, resource sharing and civic engagement. APAP is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization governed by a volunteer board of directors and led by President & CEO Mario Garcia Durham. In addition to presenting the annual APAP|NYC conference – the world’s leading forum and marketplace for the performing arts (January 9-13, 2015) – APAP continues to be the industry’s leading resource, knowledge and networking destination for the advancement of performing arts presenting.

About the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation: The mission of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation is to improve the quality of people’s lives through grants supporting the performing arts, environmental conservation, medical research and  child well-being, and through preservation of the cultural and environmental legacy of Doris Duke’s properties.

About the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art: The Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art is an operating foundation funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The mission of DDFIA is to improve the quality of people’s lives through the study, understanding and appreciation of Islamic arts and cultures. Based in New York, the Building Bridges Program is a national grant making program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

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