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Press Release

ASI Community Fund Announces Summer Recipients

September 3, 2021 By Lizzy Rode

MINNEAPOLIS – Today, the American Swedish Institute announced its latest summer round of awards made through the recently established ASI Community Fund, offering short-term aid to service-oriented organizations located primarily in the Phillips and adjacent Minneapolis neighborhoods. Fund amounts ranged from $1,000 to $2,000, for a total of $6,000 awarded to the following groups: Alley Communications, English Learning Center, Joyce Preschool, Phillips Community Free Store and Sisters’ Camelot. 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.  Donations are intended to support organizations and initiatives aligned with ASI’s general mission and vision.

 ASI Community Fund Recipients for Summer 2021: 

  • Alley Communications: The Alley newspaper remains committed to maintaining its original free print format to increase access while innovating to serve the Phillips community and beyond by launching an editorial leadership committee and adding key volunteer and paid positions. ASI will support goals that include working with students to report community news, developing an advertising/sponsorship strategy to promote BIPOC businesses and organizations, providing public information about COVID-19 resources, updating Josie Adkin’s The Phillips Wayfinder and working with Friends of the Cemetery to publish Tales from Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery.  
  •  English Learning CenterThis program from Our Saviour’s Community Services on Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis will use ASI funds to support their free in-person and online courses, which include introductory English (six levels), literacy for elders, conversation, literature, math and preparation for the U.S. citizenship exam.  
  •  Joyce Preschool: With ASI support, Joyce Preschool will provide scholarships for tuition and food emergency assistance to low-income Latinx students from the Phillips neighborhood. Funding will help  provide access to quality education for kids whose families may face poverty, language barriers and employment concerns, which make it difficult to set young children up for success. 
  •  Phillips Community Free Store: This volunteer and collectively run group was recently founded to provide  food, hygiene supplies, diapers and other household goods to community members mostly in the Phillips neighborhood. ASI support will help this mutual aid project with distribution and to further enable home deliveries. 
  • Sisters’ Camelot supplies community kitchens in south Minneapolis that are cooking for unhoused encampments, Indigenous elders, local food shelves such as the Waite House and cultural organizations such as the Chippewa Tribal Office and the American Indian Center, all in the Phillips neighborhood. They also serve free and healthy food from a vintage bus that has been converted to a licensed commercial kitchen and offer grocery food shares to individuals, with selected distribution dates at ASI. 

The next ASI Community Fund submission deadline is September 30, 2021. 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 over 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 

Previous ASI Community Fun recipients include Tamales y Bicicletas, the Semilla Center for Healing and the Arts and the Somali American Women Action Center.  Earlier initial donations also went to PICA Head Start and Open Arms of Minnesota. 


The AMERICAN SWEDISH INSTITUTE is a museum and cultural center that is a gathering place for all people to share experiences around themes of culture, migration, the environment and the arts, informed by enduring ties 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:, 612-870-3373