2022 Arts & Cultural Heritage Funding

MANKATO MUSIC NOTES - KMSU created 10 segments of Mankato Music Notes that focused on local musicians and events. Each segment celebrated noteworthy songs, artists, and musical performances. The series consisted of highly produced 90-second segments, exploring fun, moving, and delightful, musical moments in the history of Mankato and Southern Minnesota music, offering listeners a glimpse of the stories behind the music. Topics covered included a Mankato connection to Elvis’s Gold Lamet Suit, a well-known Mankato Garage Band called The Guestures, and why Paul and Linda McCartney were in Fairmont in 1994. Mankato Music Notes was a month-long project. 

COLLABORATION WITH ARTS CENTER OF ST. PETER - KMSU partnered with the Art Center of St. Peter to host a series of music events for its Collaboration with the Arts Center of St. Peter project. KMSU provided promotional and financial support as well as hosts and emcees for the events that featured performances by local jazz musicians in the Pavilion at Minnesota Square Park in St. Peter. In total, the four events were attended by approximately 375 people. Artists featured included the TLC Trio, Ted Olson Quartet, EZ Jazz Trio, and Adrian Barnnett and friends. KMSU also recorded the performances and broadcast two one-hour specials including a Radio Drama production of Night of The Living Dead that aired on Halloween. A member of the troupe said, “I’m so proud of how this radio drama turned out!! I legit can’t wait until we do something again next year.” Collaboration with the Arts Center of St. Peter was a four-month project. 

COLLABORATION WITH MSU DEPARTMENT OF MUSIC PERFORMANCE SERIES - KMSU partnered with the music department at Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) to host a series of concerts for its project Collaboration with MSU Department of Music Performance Series. The project featured performances by Minnesota-based artists Charlie Parr, Liz Draper, Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, City Mouse, Kit Kikdahl, Josh Gravelin, Good Morning Bedlam, and The Jimmys. Music students from the MSU Department of Music were given the opportunity to gain real-world experience in the areas of concert production and audio technology. Three in-person events were held as part of the project, with approximately 100 people attending each. For the Collaboration with MSU Department of Music Performance Series, KMSU created three 30-minute segments for broadcast from the three events. The Collaboration with MSU Department of Music Performance Series was a nine-month project. 

GRIND FU CINEMA - The Grind Fu Cinema project hosted odd and artsy outsider films and cult classic movies. The popular film screening project was free to the public, and hosted by KMSU’s Dynamic Shuffle Function Duo, Tim Lind and Shelley Pierce. At least six films were screened in Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Wiecking Auditorium. These popular and well-attended events helped increase the appreciation of visual arts and cinema, and provided residents of Southern Minnesota with greater access to visual arts. Three events were held, including a Monster Movie Marathon for Halloween, which featured classic movies from Universal Studios. KMSU paid for the licensing rights to publicly screen these films, which included Island of Lost Souls, Dracula, and Mazes and Monsters, among others. 

LARGE OUTDOOR MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL PERFORMANCES - KMSU supported Southern Minnesota’s thriving music and arts scene by promoting and contributing to several Large Outdoor Music and Arts Festival Performances. The More than 20,000 people attended events KMSU promoted as part of its Large Outdoor Music and Arts Festival Performances. The station also broadcast many of the events so those unable to attend could still enjoy them. Ampers ACHF Legislative Report FY2022 | 39 STATION REPORTS station partnered with and promoted the popular annual music event Rock Bend Folk Festival, which took place the Saturday and Sunday after Labor Day and was attended by approximately 10,000 people. KMSU’s Large Outdoor Music and Arts Festival Performances also helped to drive people to Alive After Five and Songs on the Lawn, free summertime outdoor concerts held at the Civic Center Plaza in downtown Mankato. Performances included local and regional acts and were produced in collaboration with Greater Mankato Growth and the City Center Partnership. As part of the project, KMSU also worked with the Austin Artworks Festival, a two-day event in celebration of local artists in Austin. Additionally, the project helped to promote events that were held at Wheeler Park in North Mankato and Minnesota Square Park in St. Peter. The Ambassador’s Bluesfest, a day-long outdoor music festival, featured well-known area and regional blues musicians. It is often regarded as the “kick-off” event to a busy summer of outdoor music and arts festivities in Southern Minnesota. Large Outdoor Music and Arts Festival Performances was a yearlong project. 

MANKATO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA RECORDINGS - KMSU produced, recorded, edited and aired four high-quality stereo recordings of Mankato Symphony Orchestra (MSO) concerts for its Mankato Symphony Orchestra Recordings project. The project aimed to increase accessibility to local classical music by offering Southern Minnesota residents the opportunity to hear orchestra concerts. The live performances were professionally recorded using multiple microphones and digital equipment, then edited into four 60- to 90-minute shows for air. Performances included works by George Gershwin, Aaron Copeland, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The concerts featured as part of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra Recordings typically aired the Sunday following the live performance. Mankato Symphony Orchestra Recordings was a six-month project. 

MAHKATO WACIPI (POW WOW) AND OTHER AMERICAN INDIAN CULTURAL EVENTS - KMSU provided support for the 49th Annual Mahkato Traditional Wacipi, the Indian Pow Wow held at Dakota Wokiksuye Makoce, through its project Mahkato Wacipi (Pow Wow). The station aired a 20-minute interview to promote the event and educate listeners about the historical significance of the Pow Wow. The vision statement for the Mahkato Traditional Wacipi states that “in the spirit of reconciliation, Mahkato Mdewakanton Association is committed to healing and enriching the experiences of Dakota and non-Dakota communities through the preservation and sharing of Dakota history, traditions, and culture.” The Pow Wow took place at the Land of Memories Park in Mankato and honored the 38 Dakota members who were killed in the largest mass execution in the United States. This gathering of nations celebrated and honored traditions and ancestors, with the goal of reconciliation and bridge-building between all nations through education, storytelling, and the sharing of Dakota Indian culture. As part of this project KMSU helped to support three other Native American events including a Creators Game that taught Dakota and Ojibwe perspectives to youth; a meet-and-greet event with the author of a book that shares the cultural practice of storytelling to provide relevant information on the history, culture, and community of Ojibwe and Dakota people; and a Native American cultural arts events featuring dance, artwork, games, and crafts. Mahkato Wacipi (Pow Wow) was a six-month project. 

MINNESOTA MUSIC CHANNEL - KMSU began work to create an online streaming and HD (Hybrid Digital) radio channel, the Minnesota Music Channel, specifically dedicated to airing the music of Minnesota musicians along with interviews and other programming highlighting Minnesota musicians and their work. KMSU purchased the HD equipment to upgrade the broadcast transmitter to transmit the digital signal. KMSU also began curating and obtaining the music that will be played on the Minnesota Music Channel. KMSU helped to continue to build bridges between Dakota and non-Dakota communities by supporting the Mahkato Wacipi (Pow Wow). Ampers ACHF Legislative Report FY2022 | 41 KMSU is not able to report on the outcomes and deliverables for this project at this time because it just purchased and began working to create the new channel at the end of FY22. The actual outputs will not come until FY23. KMSU will report on the proposed outcomes from the project in the FY23 Legislative Report. 

MN90: MANKATO - KMSU produced and broadcast 10 episodes of MN90: Mankato, a series of short, fun, and engaging stories exploring the history of Mankato and the surrounding area. The highly produced 90-second segments covered a wide range of topics including sports, politics, agriculture, business, pop culture, entertainment, and more. Local history stories included New Ulm’s 1881 Tornado, the Jeffers Petroglyphs, Mankato’s Mutt and Jeff, and Maude Hart Lovelace’s Betsy-Tacy series of children’s books. The MN90: Mankato series taught listeners about how some of the historical events and individuals who helped to shape the culture of Mankato and the surrounding area. A KMSU listener wrote, “This is great. I love hearing more about Mankato history…another thing that makes me love KMSU.” MN90: Mankato was a month-long project. 

SMALL VENUE MUSIC & ARTS PERFORMANCES - KMSU supported Southern Minnesota’s thriving music and arts scene by promoting and contributing to several Small Venue Music and Arts Performances in the Mankato and St. Peter area. For the project, KMSU partnered with local venues and businesses for 16 live events that were attended by approximately 2,100 people. KMSU also produced 16 radio segments for the project ranging from 10-minute interviews with artists or organizers to hour-long performances from the Golden Hour series, a concert series in July and August that highlighted local music acts on the outdoor patio at the Wine Café in downtown Mankato. Other events included Connecting on Commerce Concerts, held in a parking lot on Commerce Drive in North Mankato; Ambassador’s Oktoberfest, in downtown St. Peter offered the community a fun taste of German heritage; and artist reception that showcased a collection of works at the Blue Earth County Historical Society donated by well-known local artist Marion Anderson and many others. A KMSU listener who really appreciated the project said, “There is nothing better than being able to attend a local event in such a prime location that’s geared towards family with great people, good food and fun music. Small Venue Music & Arts Performances was a yearlong project.