Friendship Academy of the Arts

Focus Area: Youth Development

Grant Amount: $10,000

Located in Minneapolis. FAA was founded by a group of community leaders committed to addressing the dire opportunity gap for African American students in Minnesota, creating a school that provides access to a high-quality education and the arts. The school opened in 2001 with 37 students and ended the year with 47. FAA has a current population of 280 students. Due to family and community demand, FAA has expanded from a K-6 school to a K-8 school and is operating at 2 locations.

Grant supports FAA’s summer Freedom School program, which is based on the Children’s Defense Fund model. It incorporates a wide variety of culturally relevant academic enrichment activities focused on African American children. FAA is continuing its partnership with Heart & Soul Drum Academy and adding a STEM component with Spark-Y. Last year the program increased the youth served to 100 African American children ages 5-11. The youth come from Friendship Academy and the surrounding south Minneapolis neighborhoods.