Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and McKnight Foundation Create “Art in This Present Moment” in Support of BIPOC Artists

Friday, September 25, 2020

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation), in partnership with the McKnight Foundation, today announced “Art in This Present Moment,” an initiative supporting and celebrating Minnesota artists whose work addresses social issues, particularly those relevant in this moment of time. Their work will be featured on the Foundation’s website in early October.

With the intent of placing a spotlight on artistic expression, the Foundation and McKnight Foundation are investing in Minnesota artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) and their art. Current crises have hit BIPOC communities especially hard. Black, Asian and Latinx communities continue to be hospitalized for COVID-19 at a rate significantly higher than the white population. Additionally, with the closures of arts venues and cancellations of in-person events, artists have lost income.

“During challenging and turbulent times, artists have been on the forefront of expressing our community’s demand for change,” said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., president and CEO of the Foundation. “In the wake of COVID-19 and the aftermath of George Floyd’s tragic murder, Minnesota artists have continued this tradition. It is imperative that we amplify their voices by supporting their work as they memorialize and mark this moment.”

Twelve nonprofit arts organizations were invited by the Foundation to select member artists who will receive funding as participants in “Art in This Present Moment.” Over the course of six weeks, the artists will share new or in-progress work by using the hashtag #ArtInThisMoment. At the conclusion of the project, their work will be documented and found at

“The diversity of artists and artwork is beautiful, provocative, and astounding, but not surprising, given the rich artistic environment we have in Minnesota,” said Pamela Wheelock, interim president of the McKnight Foundation. “We are pleased to join forces with the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation and with artists whose work inspires and gives us hope for a more equitable tomorrow.”

Participating organizations include American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), Brownbody, Catalyst Arts, Don’t You Feel It Too, Gizhiigin Arts Incubator, Indigenous Roots, Million Artist Movement, Monkeybear’s Harmolodic Workshop, Penumbra Center for Racial Healing, Soomaal House of Art, TruArtSpeaks, and Walker|West. 


About the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation believes in the best of Minnesota and the power of its communities. With roots in Saint Paul and partners across the state, it is Minnesota’s largest community foundation and the partner of choice for thousands of donors, nonprofits and community organizations. The Foundation aspires to create an equitable, just and vibrant Minnesota where all communities and people thrive by inspiring generosity, advocating for equity, and investing in community-led solutions. Visit:

About the McKnight Foundation
The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, advances a more just, creative, and abundant future where people and planet thrive. Established in 1953, the McKnight Foundation is deeply committed to advancing climate solutions in the Midwest; building an equitable and inclusive Minnesota; and supporting the arts in Minnesota, neuroscience, and international crop research. Visit