ST. PAUL, Minn. (April 15, 2015) — Legislation authored by Minnesota State Sen. Foung Hawj (67-DFL) would provide funding for African cultural heritage arts. The bill was heard before the Legacy Subcommittee on Tuesday evening.
The bill seeks to remedy the challenges that exist in the ability of African communities to access support for sharing their rich and community-building cultural heritage arts with the broader community of Minnesotans.
“Cultural heritage arts lower rates of social distress; reduce rates of ethnic harassment; preserve ethnic, social and racial diversity in urban neighborhoods,” Hawj said. “But there’s more: they have an economic impact. The presence of cultural assets in urban neighborhoods is associated with economic improvements – including declines in poverty. I’m proud to have authored legislation that both preserves and creates history.”
The legislation seeks $6 million over the next two years to administer a state wide grant program that will provide technical assistance support for African Cultural Heritage Arts projects and programs. It will also ensure that communities and organizations in Greater Minnesota are supported in their efforts to increase awareness and access to their local African Cultural Heritage Arts resources.
For more information on Senate File 1037, call Sen. Hawj’s office at 651.296.5285.