The Cedar Cultural Center

The Cedar’s work amplifies artistic voices and brings communities together through music.

aka The Cedar   |   Minneapolis, MN   |  www.thecedar.org

Mission

The Cedar's mission is to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through the presentation of global music and dance. The Cedar is committed to artistic excellence and integrity, diversity of programming, support for emerging artists, and community outreach.

Ruling year info

1988

Executive Director

David Hamilton

Main address

416 Cedar Ave S

Minneapolis, MN 55454 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1669156

NTEE code info

Performing Arts (A60)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We at The Cedar believe that artists are some of society's most powerful innovators and changemakers. We leverage the power of music to inspire positive change in attitude and perception, build bridges between communities, and establish a culture of understanding and acceptance.

As part of this, we launched the Midnimo program in 2014. Meaning “unity" in Somali, Midnimo has fostered a revival of Somali music culture by forming full bands for Somali singers and providing opportunities for local and global Somali artists to share their work and perspectives through classroom visits, workshops, panel discussions, and performances. Midnimo has had a transformational effect on our community as it lifts the voice of the artist, shares an opportunity for Somali patrons to connect with their cultural roots, facilitates opportunities for intercultural interaction and collaboration, and promotes positive cultural ties with other parts of the world.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Midnimo

Midnimo, the Somali word for “unity,” is a program that features Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world in residencies and events that increase understanding of Somali culture through music. Midnimo is reviving and preserving Somalia’s rich musical traditions while fostering social connections between generations and cultures in the heart of the largest Somali diaspora in North America.

Population(s) Served

The annual Global Roots Festival is a celebration of The Cedar’s world music roots. Each year, it reaches 2,000 audience members with performances, educational programs, and workshops featuring established and emerging international musicians. The only world music festival of its kind in the state, the festival attracts audiences of all ages and backgrounds from all over the region, presenting unique and innovative artistic voices from diverse cultures. Our daytime educational programs for K-12 students combine performance elements with discussion, Q&A, and instrument demonstrations that provide context and a deeper understanding of the artists’ work and culture and foster a lifelong appreciation for the arts. Since 2011, all festival events have been entirely free.

Population(s) Served

The Cedar Commissions is our flagship program for emerging artists made possible with a grant from the Jerome Foundation. Since its launch in 2011, The Cedar has commissioned and showcased new work by more than 35 local, emerging composers and musicians. The Cedar Commissions is known for supporting an eclectic range of musical artists and styles, making it, according to Noah Keesecker, Program Director of Artist Development at Springboard for the Arts and a Cedar Commissioned artist, “…one of the most impressive and progressive commissioning programs in the Midwest.”

The Cedar commissions six artists each year. Artists receive a commission fee and production stipend to create and perform their work. Applications are accepted each spring and reviewed by a diverse committee of music industry professionals and artists.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of audience members

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Last year, The Cedar’s booking efforts brought over 1,800 individual artists through 200+ groups that performed to over 50,000 audience members.

Number of volunteers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Total number of works commissioned

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

No target populations selected

Related Program

The Cedar Commissions

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

THE CEDAR COMMISSIONS, a mentorship program for six emerging artists who are annually selected to create and debut new work. Since launching in 2010, the program has fostered new work by over 50 emerg

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Key organizational goals for The Cedar include:

-Bolster our role as a tastemaker and trailblazer for culturally-rooted live music. We will grow The Cedar's reputation as a hub for the best national and international touring artists and as a home for local musicians with a focus on artists whose work speaks to our mission to promote intercultural appreciation.

-Deepen the audience experience. We will explore events and activities that provide audiences with artistic, cultural, and historical context for the artists and their work.

-Expand our engagement with youth and young adults through new and existing programs. More than half of Cedar Riverside residents are youth and young adults. Increasing and strengthening opportunities for them to learn about other cultures, engage with artists, and experience live music has the potential to make a profound positive impact on our community and serve as a model for other organizations.

-Sustain our Midnimo program and use it as a model for other cultural communities. These artist-driven events and activities will preserve, share, and celebrate the Somali culture of Minnesota while helping individuals find community, identity, and common ground.

The following core programs support our organizational goals:

GLOBAL ROOTS
As part of our mission to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through music, we bring more than 50 global and indigenous acts to our stage every year. Some of these artists are presented as part of our free Global Roots Festival, The Cedar's signature annual event. It is the only international music festival of its kind in the state and includes educational programming, community-building workshops, meet-and-greets, and even outdoor day-time performances. September 2018 will mark our 10th Annual Global Roots Festival.

THE CEDAR COMMISSIONS
The Cedar plays an important role in supporting local artists. Each year The Cedar Commissions program invites six Minnesota artists to create and debut new work. Participation is a competitive panel-selection process. The alumni association has now grown to over 45 artists! We also offer year-round opportunities for local bands and musicians to perform album release events or open for more established national and international acts, exposing them to a wider audience.

SOMALI COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Launched in 2014, Midnimo is a program that features the world's leading Somali artists in month-long residencies throughout Minnesota to share their work and perspectives with broader audiences which, in turn, increases understanding of Somali culture through music, builds pride in culture, and deepens social and community connections.

In addition to Midnimo, we regularly present special programs in partnership with Somali-run organizations to fulfill community goals, conduct strategic ticket giveaways, and implement culturally-specific marketing efforts to create access to the arts. Dalmar's Spotlight is our most recent social media campaign to enhance cultural context of upcoming artists while also assisting us in show promotion.

In response to The Cedar's growth and to evaluate our needs and opportunities for the future, The Cedar began a significant organizational self-assessment in 2010. The assessment resulted in CEDAR 2020, a plan that outlines the goals of The Cedar in alignment with our mission and reflects a shared vision among our volunteers, staff, donors, patrons, partnering organizations, and Board. It articulates a clear path from the organization's present situation to realizing our vision for the future with a focus on three areas of expansion and improvement: program development, including expanded programming for youth; audience growth to meet the demand for live music experiences; and capital improvements, which will ensure our facility's ability to support our operations and organizational growth. The strategic plan was partially updated with additional goals at the end of 2015 with the organizational leadership change. The full goals and plan are set to be reviewed and updated in 2017.

Since 1989, The Cedar has been a leader in presenting acclaimed, innovative musicians from around the globe whose performances have inspired and awed our audiences. Over the years, The Cedar's stage has been graced by acclaimed legends and visionaries like Ali Farka Touré & Ry Cooder, Femi Kuti, Doc Watson, Ani DiFranco, and Amadou and Mariam. We host over 250 events per year that serve 65,000 people.

However, The Cedar's impact goes beyond introducing audiences to great live music: The Cedar is grounded in the belief that the arts, and music in particular, is an underused resource for community building and economic development. We leverage the power of music to build bridges between communities, establish a culture of unity and understanding, inspire positive change in attitude and perception, and, ultimately, improve quality of life.

Our Midnimo program has reached more than 17,000 audience members - about 70% of whom are Somali. For most of these audience members, both Somali and non-Somali, Midnimo has provided an opportunity to experience live Somali music for the first time. Our residency with London-based Somali musician Aar Maanta in Spring of 2015 concluded with a sold-out public finale performance at The Cedar for 711 audience members. As of 2016, we are part of a consortium between universities and performance venues in Minneapolis, St. Cloud, and Mankato to create a statewide Midnimo touring network.

In September 2018, The Cedar will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary, and in looking back at our accomplishments we realize that we continue to serve a broad and diverse audience in the Twin Cities, with innovative programming, like Midnimo, that uplifts our mission. Financial support from our stakeholders permitted us to apply for artist visas on behalf of musicians who might not have the administrative backing or resources to do so themselves.

Our performances and programs earned local and regional press including Star Tribune, City Pages, the cover of the St. Cloud Times, MPR, and 89.3 The Current, along with national coverage from AramcoWorld, Somali BBC-London, and a mention in Islamic Monthly.

We continue to expand and improve our programming to:
-engage the Somali community in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood and in outstate Minnesota,
-develop leadership skills in local youth interested in the music industry,
-support intensive artist residencies, and
-commission new work from emerging musicians in the region.

Financials

The Cedar Cultural Center
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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The Cedar Cultural Center

Board of directors
as of 7/8/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Jill Dawe

Augsburg University

Term: 2018 - 2021


Board co-chair

Steve Katz

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Not applicable
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable