Dancing for the Arts Take VII is another one for the history books!

Close to 500 people attended the sold out event at the Mayo Civic Center Ballroom on Saturday, April 21st, and the place was rocking. The celebrity dancers listed below definitely brought their A-game. With pre-event and event voting donations, sponsorships and ticket sales, over $127,000 was grossed! THANK YOU to all who participated and contributed to our youth and the arts.

And the trophies went to:

Team Medal for Most Community Support:  Dawn Davis M.D. and Gary Dahl

Judges Choice Award:  Michael Anthony Ph.D and Mallory McKay

Dancing for the Arts Trophy: Dawn Davis M.D. and Gary Dahl

Mark your calendars now for Dancing for the Arts Take VIII on April 13th, 2019!

Tickets go on sale March 1st, 2019, and this event does sell out.

Want to see what you missed? Click here for video. And here also

Who danced again? Dancing for the Arts Take VII Celebrities 

These celebrities took the stage on Saturday, April 21st for youth arts education:

Dawn Davis –Physician, Department of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic and president-elect Ronald McDonald House

Annalissa Johnson- City Council member and owner of Good Dog Camp

Tammy Westby- Firm Associate/Marketing Director, CRW architecture + design group, Inc.

Michael Anthony- Vice President of Student Affairs, Rochester Community & Technical College

Shawn Fagan- Co-Founder at Red Couch Stories + Owner, Fagan Studios.

Wayne Flock- Architectural Specifier for HGA Architects and Engineering and Founder of Art on the Avenue and Thursdays on First

Corey Heimer- President and CEO of Premier Bank Rochester

Joaquin Sanchez-Sotelo- Surgeon, Department of Orthopedics, Mayo Clinic

Ben Tilson- Owner, Tilson's Auto Repair

Christopher Zink- American College of Sports Medicine Certified Personal Trainer, Rochester Athletic Club

Paired with Dahl Dance professional dancers  Gary Dahl , Joseph Carey, James Geroux , April Dahl,  Summer Laqua, Nicole Bottelson, April Robb, Joanie Mix and Mallory McKay. 

Celebrity Judges were Lisa Clarke  (Executive Director, DMC Economic Development Agency), Brad Jones (Executive Director, Experience Rochester and DFTA first year Trophy winner) and Sharon Gentling ( National award winning competitive ballroom dancer).

Emcees were Laura Lee (News Anchor, ABC 6 KAAL-TV and first year’s Judges Choice winner) and James Rabe (Radio Personality, Y105FM and KROC AM ).

 DFTA Grant Information

Where did the money go? Click here for the list of 2018 grantees.

Dancing for the Arts Grant Applications are on a rolling basis. To submit a grant for 2019, click here.

Deadline is April 19th, 2019 at 12 noon. 

Dancing for the Arts Grant Criteria can be found here

2018 Fete/Ardee Awards will be held October 23rd and will be a special event. Stay tuned for more information.

Meanwhile, the 2017 Fete was truly a celebration of excellence!

Over 200 people came together on October 17th in the Mayo Civic Center Ballroom 2 for an evening of camaraderie and celebration of the best in the arts. Celebrating its 5th year milestone, the Ardee Awards honored past nominees in attendance, and were entertained by fifty 3rd and 4th graders from the Honors Choirs of SE MN who received a standing ovation for their efforts. 

Keynote Speaker Dudley Riggs shared personal tales, including an international incident he unknowingly provoked with Japan (read his book if you missed it) and gave sage advice regarding the arts. He was aided in his repartee by well-known Rochester humorist Nick Mezacapa.

And thanks to the generosity of Park Place Motors Cars, 75 attendees received a free, autographed book by Mr. Riggs entitled: "Flying Free: My Life Without a Net". 

While all the semi-finalists were deserving of an Ardee in their respective categories, or they wouldn't have been nominated, only one could take an Ardee home. The Finalists are listed below in bold and italicized.

The Semi-finalists and Finalists chosen by an independent panel of judges, the public (People’s Choice) and Mayor Ardell Brede (Mayor’s Award for Public Art) are:

Mayor’s Award for Public Art

1. Austin Ferguson

2. Matt Holt

3. Richard Brubaker

Leadership in the Arts Award

1. Dylan Hilliker

2. Judy and Jim Sloan

3. Southeastern MN Visual Artists

Arts Collaboration Award

1. Choral Arts Ensemble and University of MN Rochester

2. Riverside Concerts and Think Mutual Bank

3. Rochester Civic Theatre, Rochester City Jazz Festival and Rochester Downtown Alliance

Outstanding Artist Award

1. Annie Mack

2. HeeJune Shin

3. Kathleen Keech

Outstanding Volunteer in the Arts Award

1. Jay Beck

2. Judy Hickey

3. Jan Ulrich

Excellence in Arts Education

  1. Frank McIlmail
  2. Honors Choirs of SE MN
  3. Simon Huelsbeck

Outstanding Youth in Arts Award

1. Emily Lin Deng

2. Logan Ackerman

3. Spencer Ketterling

Outstanding Greater Rochester Arts Award

1. Brave Community Theatre-Spring Valley

2. MN Beethoven Festival-Winona

3. Sheldon Theatre-Red Wing

People’s Choice Award

1. Rochester Flower and Garden Club Tour

2. State Fair Summer Musical- Honors Choirs of SE MN

3. The Elephant Man- Commonweal Theatre

Call for 2018 Ardee Award Nominations 

 We use rolling nominations so you can submit for 2018 starting now. Click on the green block to the right to get started. 

Dancing for the Arts Take VI

Held in the new Mayo Civic Center Ballroom I, the event grossed close to $120,000 for youth arts education and the programs/services of the Trust. 

  • DFTA Take VI Trophy: Kelly Miles and James Geroux
  • Judges' Choice Award: Katie Kirckof and Gary Dahl
  • Community Support Team Award: Tom DeVinny and Christine Miller
  • 2017 Event Information here.
  • 2017 Youth Arts Education Grantees here
  • 2017 Photo Gallery here.


Announcements & Blog

Current Priorities

Public Art Master Plan
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Equitable Distribution of Legacy Funding
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Youth Arts Education
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Six Generative Goals


Leverage Rochester's arts and culture to attract and retain high-quality talent that leads to long-term prosperity for the community


To grow the Rochester region's capacity for individuals to have engaging experiences with arts and culture, thereby creating additional demand


To facilitate discussion and recommend policies of the highest quality on key topics in art and cultural policy for the benefit of Rochester                      

Trust Public Art Master Plan Executive Summary



To collaborate with arts and cultural partners to inspire and enhance the overall arts scene for consumers


To leverage arts and culture in Rochester to broaden and define placemaking and existing economic development initiatives
Economic Impact Study

SE MN Artists Economic Impact

Arts & Economic Prosperity V Study Brochure


To identify and engender regional arts and culture to further define and market assets and opportunities

Our Mission

The mission of the Trust is "to enrich the greater Rochester area by ensuring the continued celebration, promotion and advocacy of the arts and humanities".

Programs/services include Dancing for the Arts (benefiting youth arts education), public art (Goose is Loose! and Life's a Bench!), The Fete/Ardee Awards (celebrating excellence in the Arts) and connecting resources for arts-related matters.

Our Vision

Inspiring a milieu where arts and culture flourish.


Dancing for the Arts VI

Ten Rochester celebrities practiced their dancing skills by pairing with professional dancers in the Greater Rochester Arts & Cultural Trust's "FUN-raising" event Dancing for the Arts -Take VI, to benefit youth arts education and the programs/services of the Arts and Cultural Trust.


The Trust is eligible to receive matching grants through the IBM Matching Grants Program. We want to thank all the current employees and retirees who not only donated to us, but completed the matching grant form. If you are a current or former IBM employee, and a donor to the Trust, please consider the matching program.