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Press Release

ASI Community Fund Announces Fall Recipients

November 18, 2021 By Lizzy Rode

MINNEAPOLIS – Today, the American Swedish Institute announced its fall 2021 round of awards made through the ASI Community Fund, offering short-term aid to service-oriented organizations primarily in the Phillips and adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. Award amounts ranged from $1,000 to $2,000, for a total of $7,000 awarded to the following: In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, 826 MSP, Little Earth Residents Association, Organic Oneness and the Center for Excellence. The ASI Community Fund was founded in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and seeks to help respond to emerging needs and support ASI neighbors to build, invigorate and reimagine our shared community.  More than $21,000 in awards have been given since the Fund’s establishment in June 2020. Donations are intended to support organizations and initiatives aligned with ASI’s general mission and vision.  For more information, visit   


ASI Community Fund Recipients for Fall 2021:

  • In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre brings people together for the common good through the power of puppet and mask performance. HOBT strives to build creativity, empathy, interconnection and equity in the Powderhorn and Phillips neighborhoods. Its work is rooted in core values of environmental justice, worker rights, the queer community and BIPOC leadership. In addition to producing the annual May Day celebration, HOBT also offers residencies in schools and faith communities across the state, partners with neighborhood social service organizations to provide programming for under-resourced youth and facilitates artist development programs to support new generations of artist-activists. 
  • 826 MSP is an arts education nonprofit that amplifies the voices of historically marginalized youth. Its mission is to empower underserved K-12 students to think creatively, write effectively and succeed academically alongside a community of caring volunteers. It primarily serves BIPOC students and their families as well as students who identify as immigrants, children of immigrants and multilingual/English Language Learning youth. 
  • Little Earth Residents Association: Little Earth is 9.4-acre, 212-unit Housing and Urban Development (HUD) subsidized housing complex in Minneapolis’ urban industrial core. It is home to nearly 1,200 residents, 50% of whom are younger than 21. Little Earth was founded in 1973 and remains the only Indigenous-preference, project-based Section 8 rental assistance community in the United States. The Little Earth community prioritizes eliminating systemic barriers through wraparound support services designed to move communities forward as well as address existing conditions. 
  • Organic Oneness is a grassroots social justice organization that co-creates with communities to mobilize systemic change, healing and wellness and foregrounding BIPOC residents. Its collaborations in Minneapolis began in the days immediately following the murder of George Floyd with supporting and coordinating a volunteer-led food and supply pantry. The pantry at 37th Street and Chicago Avenue provides food staples, hygiene and baby items for more than 90 families per month. With funding from the ASI Community Fund, Organic Oneness seeks to expand neighborhood youth programming options. 
  • The Center for Excellence is an early childhood center and has been designated that provides high-quality care for infants through school-aged children. In addition, they offer low teacher-to-child ratios and small class sizes for optimal growth and development. Each classroom is taught by highly qualified lead teachers who have made early education their passion and career. 

The next ASI Community Fund submission deadline is January 31, 2022, with twice-yearly deadlines in January and June going forward. For more information, including granting criteria and a link to the online application, please visit 

The Fund was established with independent donations, mostly by individuals, with an ASI staff committee selecting recipients. It is rooted in ASI’s founding by Swedish immigrants and reflects a commitment to sharing stories of migration among many immigrant-based organizations in the Phillips neighborhood, celebrating mutual support and collective well-being. ASI has built longstanding community relationships during the past 15 years through collaborative programs including the Pippi Project at Andersen and Bancroft Elementary Schools, PICA Head Start graduations and the Story Swap program with Wellstone International High School.  ASI also hosts scheduled U.S. naturalization ceremonies and National Night Out, always recognizing that there is more we can do to build bridges for cross-cultural understanding.  Future gifts will allow the Fund to grow and continue to serve the community.  To contribute to the Fund, please visit 

The AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to explore diverse experiences of migration, identity, belonging and the environment through arts and culture, informed by enduring links to Sweden.  It encompasses the historic Turnblad Mansion and the contemporary Nelson Cultural Center as well as the ASI Museum Store and the critically acclaimed FIKA Café. Founded by Swedish immigrant and newspaper publisher Swan J. Turnblad in 1929, ASI has grown to engage many audiences through innovative art exhibitions, public events, community and school programs including Story Swap with Wellstone International High School, language classes and Nordic craft and food-related workshops. The Wall Street Journal called ASI “[a] model of how a small institution can draw visitors through exciting programming.”   

ASI is located at 2600 Park Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407. For more information, visit or call 612-871-4907 during public hours. 

Media Contact: Eric Wilson, Engagement Strategy Manager