NEWSBRIEF: Bush Foundation awards two St. Paul organizations

The Bush Foundation awarded on Nov. 13 the 2018 Bush Prize for Community Innovation to six organizations with a track record of successful community problem solving. 

The Bush Prize celebrates organizations that are extraordinary not only in what they do but in how they do it. This year’s winners are recognized for working inclusively, in partnership with others, to make their communities better for all.

The Bush Prize, now in its sixth year, is awarded annually in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geography.

The 2018 Bush Prize winners in Minnesota are Nexus Community Partners, which received a $495,000 prize; Northwest Indian Community Development Center in Bemidji, which was awarded $500,000; and Springboard for the Arts in St. Paul and Fergus Falls, which received $440,000.

Nexus Community Partners has helped organize a group of 11 East Side nonprofits — American Indian Family Center, East Side Financial Center, CLUES, Goodwill Easter Seals, Hmong American Partnership, Latino Economic Development Center, Merrick Community Services, Metropolitan State University, Urban Roots, Dayton’s Bluff Community Council and Neighborhood Development Alliance — to create the East Side Employment xChange. The xChange helps with job training, financial literacy and cultural-specific resources. 

Springboard for the Arts helps to connect artists to resources they need to make a living and to connect communities with artists to work on creative problem-solving. 

Other Midwest winners include North Dakota’s Mid-Dakota Education Cooperative and South Dakota’s Capital Area Counseling Service and Native American Community Board.

“The 2018 Bush Prize winners drive breakthrough solutions for our region,” said Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy. “They demonstrate an amazing ability to tackle whatever complex issue comes their way by engaging their communities to identify and solve problems.”

Bush Prize winners receive a package that includes promotional support and materials, and an unrestricted grant equal to 25 percent of the organization’s prior fiscal year budget, up to $500,000.

The Foundation received 110 applications for the 2018 Bush Prize. Three panels of community members chose the winners from their respective states.

“The 2018 winners are fierce and bold in their attitude and actions,” said Mandy Ellerton, community innovation director. “They take on daunting challenges and persevere until they find smart solutions that make their communities better places to live and work.”

Learn more about the Bush Prize for Community Innovation, including winners from previous years, at

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