shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

COVID-19 campus response and Return to Learn news and updates.



News Highlights

Page address:

Grant Will Bring Somali Musical Artists to Campus

Cultural grant from Association of Performing Arts Presenters intended to increase understanding of Muslim culture through music, arts.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office News Release, 9-23-2016

Event speakers at the Friday, Sept. 23 grant announcement included (left to right): Dale Haefner, Midnimo grant coordinator and project director from Minnesota State Mankato; Bobby Fleischman, associate provost, Minnesota State Mankato; Fardousa Jama, local Somali organizer and community leader; Heather Mueller, director of teaching and learning, Mankato Area Public Schools; Danielle Haque, professor, Department of English, Minnesota State Mankato; and Bukata Hayes, executive director, Mankato Diversity Council.

Mankato, Minn. – Minnesota State University, Mankato’s Department of Music announced that its Performance Series is part of a consortium that has received a $600,000 grant from the Association of Performing Arts Presenters through the “Building Bridges: Arts, Culture and Identity” program, a component of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

Other members of the consortium receiving this grant include the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, in association with Augsburg College, and the Paramount Center for the Arts in St. Cloud, Minn., in association with St. Cloud State University. The Minnesota State Mankato Department of Music’s portion of the grant is $125,850.

The grant focuses on increasing understanding and awareness of Muslim cultures through the performing arts and will result in approximately five or six community musical performances in Mankato over the next three years by internationally renowned Somali artists. The first artist and performance information will be announced this fall.

Increasing understanding of Muslim culture will be accomplished through new curricular designs in various University academic departments (English, art, history and music departments are among those participating), panel discussions, workshops, Q&As, and campus and community performances for Somali and non-Somali audiences of all ages, with a focus on millennials.
The main goals of the grant project, titled “Midnimo” (Somali for unity), are to:

  • Increase participation in the performing arts among college students, particularly arts rooted in cultures relevant to their surrounding community and lived experiences.
  • Explore and evaluate ways to leverage performing arts to improve and enhance learning outcomes.
  • Increase understanding and awareness of Muslim cultures through the arts and interdisciplinary activities, particularly among the millennial generation.
  • Engage Somali and non-Somali communities to experience music and artist-driven events together in order to increase intercultural appreciation and understanding.

For more information, please contact Dale Haefner (pictured at left), performance series director at Minnesota State Mankato, by phone at 507-389-5549 or by email at Haefner is the Midnimo grant coordinator and project director at Minnesota State Mankato.

The Association of Performing Arts Presenters is the national service, advocacy and membership organization for presenters of the performing arts. APAP is dedicated to developing and supporting a robust performing arts industry and the professionals who work within it.

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.

The mission of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art is to promote the study and understanding of Islamic arts and cultures.

Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Music is part of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University.

Minnesota State Mankato, a comprehensive university with 15,193 students, is part of the Minnesota State system, which comprises 31 state institutions.

Email this article | Permanent link | Topstories news | Topstories news archives