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News Release: Springboard to administer McKnight's 2011 dance and choreography fellowships

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The McKnight Foundation has announced that Springboard for the Arts, an economic and professional development organization for artists, has agreed to temporarily administer the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers and for Choreographers. The 2011 application deadline for the two fellowships has passed, and this year's selection process will now proceed under Springboard's management. (The two fellowships were previously administered by the Southern Theater.)

"Springboard has a rich history of connecting artists with resources," said McKnight president Kate Wolford. "With these important fellowships in need of a home this year, we recognized our longtime grantee as uniquely positioned and well equipped to help. We are grateful that Springboard agreed to step in and lend a hand."

Springboard for the Arts' mission is to cultivate vibrant communities by connecting artists with the skills, information, and services they need to make a living and a life. Incorporated in 1991, Springboard has supported the arts community with economic, community and career development services for more than 20 years. The nonprofit's vision and commitment has gained national recognition as a model for professional development services to artists, arts organizations, and arts administrators.

"McKnight and Springboard share a mutual commitment to Minnesota's artists," said Springboard's executive director Laura Zabel. "We are pleased for this opportunity to realize our commitment in a new way, by filling this administrative role for the program's 2011 cycle."

In partnership with Springboard, the program will identify its next round of fellows this summer. McKnight annually awards three fellowships of $25,000 each to Minnesota dancers and three fellowships of $25,000 each to choreographers. With all its Artist Fellowships, McKnight sets broad funding parameters and works with administering sites to tailor guidelines and processes. Fellows are selected by panels of peer professionals, who look for evidence of continued excellence across a body of work.

McKnight hopes to announce a permanent new home for the two fellowships by late summer.
The McKnight Artist Fellowships were created in 1981 to help artists set aside time for study, reflection, experimentation, and exploration; take advantage of opportunities; and work on new projects. McKnight contributes nearly $1 million per year to individual artists through the 12 fellowship programs. The Foundation delegates management of the fellowships to arts organizations that tailor programs to the unique challenges of different creative disciplines. Interested artists should contact the appropriate administering organization for further information about potential funding.

The McKnight Foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations through grantmaking, coalition-building, and encouragement of strategic policy reform. Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the Minnesota-based Foundation had assets of approximately $1.9 billion and granted about $96 million in 2010. Of this total, about $8.7 million was directed to support an environment in which artists are valued leaders in our community, with access to the resources and opportunities they need to succeed.

Based in Saint Paul, Springboard for the Arts is a community and economic development organization serving artists in the Upper Midwest and beyond. Springboard applies the creative process to reframe conversations, develop unconventional partnerships, and devise simple solutions.  Incorporated in 1991, Springboard has worked with over 70,000 artists, with services that include professional development, healthcare, incubation, community development and other resources. In 2010, Springboard won both the Social Entrepreneur's Cup award and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Award for Excellence.

Media contacts
Tim Hanrahan, The McKnight Foundation, 612-333-4220
Laura Zabel, Springboard for the Arts, 651-692-3213