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THE CEDAR CULTURAL CENTER INC

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Performing Arts

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.

Geographic areas served: the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis

Programs: The Cedar puts on 250+ events and shows per year, including more than 70 global acts. In any given month, you’ll find artists from around the world here at The Cedar. Our annual Global Roots Festival is a celebration of The Cedar’s world music roots. Each year, it reaches 3,000 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. Midnimo, the Somali word for “unity,” is a program that features Somali artists from Minnesota and around the world in multi-week residencies and events that engage Somali immigrants with the arts and 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. Since its launch in October 2014, Midnimo has served over 12,500 audience members, including 2,500 K-12 youth. In 2015, The Cedar began expanding its partnerships throughout the state in order to take Midnimo to areas with growing Somali populations and has since conducted activities in Mankato and St. Cloud. 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 30 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.”

Community Stories

10 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Cedar is the center of cross-cultural art in Minnesota! I consider The Cedar to truly be the hub of all things music, from the best of touring global performers to the most exciting local talents. The best collaborations and most exciting surprises happen on the Cedar mainstage. As a musician myself, I can say that artists consider The Cedar to be one of the primary spaces to dream of playing. People who come to The Cedar have beautiful experiences where they meet and share experiences with people from different communities, different cultures, and across class. Magical experiences happen - like the evening I found myself walking home from work, unsure of my plans, and then dropped into a performance at The Cedar that was sublimely transformative. In a world characterized more and more by division and misunderstanding, we need more spaces like The Cedar where people come together and share the best of being human together.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have so much gratitude for the Cedar Cultural center and their commitment to global music. As a young East African aspiring musician it’s so important we have spaces like the Cedar in our neighborhood honoring a diversity of musical traditions. Cedar has felt like home away from home, which is also what I’ve heard my relatives say to me. Cedar Cultural Center is not just a center, it’s become interwoven into the very fabric of who we are as a community, neighborhood, city and world.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In all the time I've lived in the Twin Cities, The Cedar Cultural Center has always stood strong as an important force for so much that is good in the world: community, inclusiveness, artistic expression, compassion, modesty, variety, and growth; with too many more contributions to list. Not too mention that it's one of the finest sounding venues in the Cities. Being in this space means feeling more connected to the richest aspects of life. I am grateful for the presence of The Cedar.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Intimate venue with great sight lines seems to feature a different genre of music every night and a different kind of audience every night. Known for world music, also features indie rock, Americana, folk, bluegrass, new music, etc. as well as comedy and touring podcasters.

Hosts annual events which have become staples of the Twin Cities music calendar including Global Roots Festival and Drone Not Drones, as well as sponsoring commissioned works by local artists.

Largely staffed by volunteers, which gives a welcoming vibe. Just the right size; capacity 450 seated and 650 standing.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Cedar's natural charm and old-school energy make it the perfect host for live music from across the world. I saw my first Cedar show in October 2014, and since then, I've enjoyed countless shows at the unique, non-corporate, home-style venue.

I love that the Cedar is volunteer-run because the environment feels relaxed; even at busy times, staff and volunteers always seem happy to be there and share the space with you.

Beyond that, I love the hall's sound. You can tell upon entering that the building was once a movie theater, and the stage's layout makes it so there's not a bad view in the house. I'm usually craning my neck to see at concerts, so this is huge for me!

I admire that the Cedar's shows are all-ages. It's convenient because shows there start on time and end by 11pm, so you're never out too late watching the music. Plus, sharing in the joy of live music with children is invigorating, as it's often their first time seeing live performance.

I love the Cedar and I think it's the best nonprofit venue in the Twin Cities.

Patrick L.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have spent time at the Cedar for 10 years and it was and remains one of the most unique concert venues I am aware of.

Robert L.3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Cedar Cultural Center is such a special gem in the Twin Cities - there's no other place like it. More than it appears, The Cedar is a community hub, a place for audiences, artists, and volunteers to gather, celebrate, and share culture through the experience of live music in an intimate setting. They've got among the best sound of venues I've been to - not too loud, and mixed just right. Their volunteers are so friendly and helpful, and artists continue to say from the stage just how much they love The Cedar and look forward to playing its stage every year.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Cedar Cultural Center represents an incredible scope of musical acts, from hyper-local groups playing together for the first time to internationally renouned and highly acclaimed musicians coming from the far reaches of the globe. This venue curates all-ages events that are inviting and comfortable for patrons and offers intimate listening experiences with stellar sound-quality and the visual charm of a converted vintage movie theater.
Definitely stop by for a show if you’re passing through, or get to know the Cedar well if you’re a local in the Twin Cities. You won’t be disappointed!

Donor

Rating: 5

Best music from all over the world in a non-pretentious, friendly setting! Prices are always reasonable. Come check it out!

Donor

Rating: 4

The Cedar is the ONLY nonprofit music venue in the Twin Cities (St. Paul/Minneapolis) with a mission to promote intercultural appreciation and understanding through the presentation of GLOBAL music and dance. It's the "global" aspect that draws me into this incredible arts organization. The ticket prices are affordable to see world-renown musicians, and the venue is an all-ages, family-friendly, accessibility-conscientious place! My understanding is that It couldn't operate without the over 400 volunteers who support shows throughout the year. Volunteers take tickets, pour beers, welcome patrons, sell "merch" for artists, and clean up the hall after each show. The Cedar offers over 200+ shows a year! Need I say more? Let's show them our support and keep the org going for another 30 years!