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Monday, July 14, 2014

Cultural STAR Program Turns 20

Almost every night of the summer you can partake in great events like the Ordway’s Summer Dance Series, Music in Mears, Irish Fair of Minnesota, or catch fantastic festivals like the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. Besides bringing people together, and celebrating the few shorts months of summer we have, what do all these shows have in common? These fantastic events attract thousands of people to enjoy the culture and vibrancy of Saint Paul and have received funding from the city’s Cultural STAR Program.
Photo credit: Chris McDuffie
The Cultural STAR program was created to promote economic development growth through providing funding to develop and improve cultural facilities, cultural organizations and to attract audiences to events in Saint Paul. Created in 1994, this program has strengthened monumental art institutions while bringing together acts, shows and galleries large and small. In the program’s inaugural year, the city supported the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Penumbra Theatre Company, Inc., construction of a parking facility at the Science Museum of Minnesota, and improvements to arts and culture institutions.

Today, the Cultural STAR program not only brings in great acts to play downtown, it provides opportunities for musicians to learn from world-class acts at Twin Cities Bass Camp or from the Grammy Foundation, or to celebrate a homecoming show with locals Garrison Keillor and the tales of Lake Wobegon. This summer has more great shows coming with the 2014 Selby Ave JazzFest, Lowertown Guitar Festival 2014,and the Concrete and Grass Lowertown Music Festival.

Cultural STAR awards are made through two funding rounds annually. For more information about the program, visit

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