2019 Ardee Awards Announced with Special Guest Artist Emily Bear in Concert!

Mark your calendars now for Tuesday, October 22nd when the Trust honors and celebrates excellence in the arts in 8 distinguished categories.

And for a change of pace, Presentation Hall is the setting for the award ceremony and a concert by LA-based, internationally-renowned, award-winning composer, pianist, singer, songwriter Emily Bear in the fields of jazz, pop, classical and film-scoring. And she’s still in her teens! Students are encouraged to attend.

To see who the award winners are, and to read the incredible biography of prodigy Emily Bear, click here

Tickets are on sale online or in person at the Mayo Civic Center box office.

Park the Arts was a Sunday afternoon crowd-pleaser!

Designed to infuse performing arts into neighborhood parks, Park the Arts did that very successfully according to the comments of the attendees. Hundreds of people attended the first year of a two-year pilot project to watch local talent take the stage and blow the leaves off the trees with incredible performances.

Six Mile Grove, Rochester Art Ensemble and Mitch Stevenson presenting the greatest gathering of blues, gospel and jazz stars that Rochester has to offer, all for free mainly thanks to the generosity of the Carl and Verna Schmidt Foundation.

As Megan Kennedy wrote, she hopes it becomes an annual event. And so do we!

Since the Trust is specifically mentioned in the Rochester Parks and Rec Master Plan as being charged with bringing performing arts to our parks, there is no doubt that the Trust and its partners- the Rochester Parks and Recreation Dept, RNeigbors and the Rochester Civic Theatre , will be doing just that.

The question is- which parks will host next year? It could be yours!

Dancing for the Arts Take VIII was a toe-tapping success!

The votes have been counted, the trophies awarded by Mayor Kim Norton, and DFTA 2019 goes down in the history books as the most successful ever, and that’s saying something because it was pretty hard to top the wonderful celebrity and professional dancers from the past, many of whom returned to the scene of the crime and took a well-deserved recognition bow for their past efforts!

We congratulate all who participated this year, and announce the following:

Mark Pagnano, M.D. and April Dahl: Dancing for the Arts 2019 Trophy

Christ Fierst and Hannah Krystosek: Judges Choice Award

Mike Jensen and Cassandra Narr: Most Community Support Award

To review all our 2019 Celebrity and Professional dancers Click here

And check out Major Media Sponsor ABC 6 News-KAAL TV’s promo for a little taste of what you missed.

Here’s a peek at what you missed in 2019, and imagine how much better in person. Click here and here.

Also see what you missed in 2018 and why you should consider attending this sold-out event? Click here for video. And here also

 DFTA Grant Information

Where did the money go? Click here for the list of 2019 grantees.

Dancing for the Arts Grant Applications are on a rolling basis. To submit a grant for 2020, click here.

Deadline for grant submission is May 15, 2020. 

Dancing for the Arts Grant Criteria can be found here


Call for 2019 Ardee Award Nominations 

 We use rolling nominations so you can submit for 2019 starting now. Click on the green block to the right to get started. 


Announcements & Blog

Current Priorities

Public Art Master Plan
See Details >

Equitable Distribution of Legacy Funding
See details >

Youth Arts Education
See details >

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

Arts and Economic Prosperity V Study Summary


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.