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Grants to Minnesota Artists for Professional Development Activities and Supplies

ECRAC Essential Artist Award


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC)
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Minnesota: Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties

Important Dates
Deadline: 03/01/23 11:59 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants of $8,000 to Minnesota individual artists in eligible counties for professional development activities and supplies. Funding is intended to encourage and support professional artists in all artistic mediums. Eligible applicants are those that reside in one of the following counties: Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, or Pine.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) Essential Artist Award program is designed with McKnight Foundation funding to recognize, reward, and encourage outstanding professional artists. The Council will fund artists at various stages in their professional careers. These Awards will allow artists to set aside time to work, purchase supplies and materials, undertake advanced study (not related to a degree), or to pursue other artistic career goals. The Essential Artist Award program is open to artists in all artistic mediums. 

An applicant must also be a creator in the visual, literary, or performing arts (including painters; print makers; sculptors; design, craft, film/video, interdisciplinary, and performance artists; playwrights, actors, directors, composers, musicians, singers, poets, fiction and creative nonfiction writers); applying in a single discipline; and applying as an individual.


  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria
The applicant may be any professional individual artist who is a permanent resident (for at least 6 months) in one of the five Minnesota counties of: Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, or Pine. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age. The applicant must be either a U.S. citizen, or have attained permanent resident alien status. The applicant must not have any outstanding or unacceptable final reports with ECRAC. The applicant must not have any Misuse of Funds determination with the Minnesota State Arts Board or Regional Arts Councils.

The Essential Artist Award program is open to professional artists in all artistic mediums, (The ECRAC definition of professional artist is someone who considers the creation of art to be
a primary endeavor or career. Culture bearers are considered artists by ECRAC.). This includes but is not limited to: visual (2 or 3 dimensional and photography), film/video screenwriting, dance/choreography, music, theater arts/playwriting, prose and poetry.

The applicant must not have received ECRAC’s McKnight funding for two years (Example: FY 2020 ECRAC/McKnight grantees are not eligible again until FY 2022.) Individual artists may not have more than one active ECRAC grant at a time.

This is not a program for college credits.

The Essential Artist Award program will not fund: artists that are not permanent residents of Region 7E; in school work by any level of students; projects which have or will receive funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board; applicants who intend to use the funding to move from Region 7E.

Pre-Application Information
Deadline for Fiscal Year 2023:
- Grant Application Deadlines: March 1, 2023

Completed applications must be submitted online before 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date.

All grant applicants will receive a grant allocation notification within 30 days after the final funding decision is made by ECRAC.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the ECRAC office early in the grant application process for individual assistance, or to attend a grant workshop.

Application Tutorial:

Number of Grants
Up to two awards are awarded each year.

Estimated Size of Grant
Each Award is for the amount of $8,000.

Term of Contract
The Essential Artist Award project should start on July 1 and must be completed within a year.

Contact Information
Apply online:

For further assistance navigating the ECRAC Grant Portal or have any other questions: or (320) 591-7034

109 Weber Ave S
PO Box 554
Hinckley, MN 55037

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