The has announced sixty grants totaling $1.7 million in support of organizations working in the areas of the arts, aging, children, economic development, education, and health.
The awards included $1 million to the Reif Arts Council for the renovation and expansion of the , which received a $1.5 million grant from Blandin a year ago. The foundation also awarded $400,000 to the to boost its new Active Living Center, a collaborative project of the YMCA, , and the City of Grand Rapids that provides information for seniors, programming for youth, and health and fitness opportunities. The foundation's spring grants also include $25,000 to the , which for the past two years has been working to reduce technology barriers for local businesses by providing technology assessments, social media training, and quarterly meetings with IT professionals.
In addition, grants were awarded to ($90,000) for youth workforce development programs; ($170,000) for continued early childhood programming; ($10,000) for programs and services for Itasca area veterans; and ($1,000) in support of the O Gitch i Dah Club's 2015 pow-wow.
"Vibrant communities are fueled by the passion and dedication of local leaders," said Blandin Foundation president and CEO Kathleen Annette. "Across rural Minnesota, and especially in the Grand Rapids area, we're continually amazed by what can happen when communities come together. We are grateful to stand with local leaders as they imagine possibilities for a resilient future."