Monumental Ames Fund grant coming to the Arts Guild!

The Northfield Arts Guild, a community arts organization founded in 1959, announces that it will receive a capacity-building grant from the Ames Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation in the amount of $178,812.

The grant is payable over the course of three years with the goal of expanding the capacity of the organization by developing and facilitating arts programming that meets the community’s current needs and by expanding the rich network of volunteers and community partnerships to enact these programs. These goals will be met with the hiring of two new full-time positions within the Arts Guild: an Education Manager and Resident Teaching Artist, who will manage all arts education programs at the Guild and will create and deploy arts making experiences in traditional (e.g., afterschool programs, senior centers, libraries) and untraditional spaces (e.g., apartment complexes, farms, medical facilities) in the community; and a Volunteer and Community Engagement Coordinator, who will develop and implement systems for effective volunteer recruitment, training, and retention, as well as manage community partnerships and social media engagement. By offering new programming and maximizing current resources, the Northfield Arts Guild will be able to have a greater impact in Northfield and create access to arts experiences for all community members.

William Sternberg, a philanthropic advisor at The Minneapolis Foundation, said, “The Ames Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation was created to invest in the health, well-being, and vibrancy of the community of Northfield. We know that quality and diverse arts programming contribute greatly to growing a valued place to live. Partnering and investing in the growth of Northfield Arts Guild is one way of realizing that goal.”

Alyssa Herzog Melby, Executive Director of the Northfield Arts Guild, shares that “this grant from the Ames Fund will be life-changing, not only for this organization as we embark upon this new chapter, but for the people we serve. By expanding our team, we can deliver creative experiences to more people and to people for whom the sheer of act of creating or experiencing art might mean the difference between staying in school or dropping out, or seeing a path forward instead of a brick wall, or building connections with others instead of feeling alone. The arts are transformative, uplifting, and community building, and we are grateful to the Ames Fund for this opportunity to do this type of meaningful work that keeps our community vibrant and thriving!”

The Northfield Arts Guild is a 57-year old local community arts organization whose mission is to develop, support, and provide quality inclusive arts experiences. Under the umbrella of the Arts Guild are a five-production community theater season, the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, six gallery spaces, a gift shop that displays the work of over 100 local artists, the Riverfront Fine Arts Festival held during the Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration, the 411 Concert Series, other special events, and year-round arts education classes in dance, theater, music, clay, and visual arts. For more information about the Northfield Arts Guild, please visit

For more than 100 years, The Minneapolis Foundation has connected people, resources, and ideas to improve lives in Minnesota and beyond. The Foundation manages nearly $700 million in assets, providing customized and tax-smart giving solutions that result in the average annual distribution of more than $50 million in grants. The Foundation brings people together to unite behind common goals and spark positive change in our community.