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Art Project Grant

Grants to Southwest Minnesota Nonprofits in Eligible
Counties for Arts Performances and Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

03/20/19 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $7,000 to Southwest Minnesota nonprofit organizations to promote the production and appreciation of the arts in eligible counties within the region. Funding is intended to support arts projects, exhibits, performances, and events in the eighteen counties of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council service region: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine.

SMAC Art Project Grants provides organizations with funds to stimulate and encourage the creation, performance and appreciation of the arts in the region.

Art Projects may include, but are not limited to:

- Community theater productions
- Pre-packaged theater (such as Prairie Fire or Missoula children’s theaters)
- Projects or performances involving community choirs, bands, or orchestras
- Music or dance performances
- Art productions that tour area communities
- Visual art exhibits
- Readings by authors
- Environmental art
- Public art
- Arts festivals
- Art classes for community members of all ages (excluding projects in schools)

Applicants must make the case that their project fulfills SMAC’s program intent and one or more of its commitments. SMAC is committed to:

- Supporting artists and arts organizations in creating, producing and presenting high-quality arts activities
- Overcoming barriers to accessing high quality arts activities
- Instilling the arts into the community and public life in the region
- Supporting high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for residents of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts
- Supporting events and activities that represent the diverse ethnic and cultural arts traditions including folk and traditional artists and art organizations, represented in the region

The grant review panel will score applications based on the following review criteria:

- The project's artistic quality and merit
- The impact on the participants and audience
- The applicant’s efforts toward reaching the underserved through the project
- The ability of the organization to accomplish the project
- The outcome evaluation plan for the project

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 173901

Estimated Size of Grant:

Art Project grants are available for up to $7,000 or 80% of the total project cash costs, whichever is less.

Pre-packaged theater projects are eligible for up to $2,500 or 80% of the total project cash costs, whichever is less.

Term of Contract:

The start date for a SMAC grant is defined as the point at which the project is set in motion. No funds can be expended prior to the project start date. The earliest start dates are as follows:

- Round I projects: September 15, 2018
- Round II projects: February 15, 2019
- Round III projects: May 15, 2019

Projects musts be concluded no later than June 30, 2020.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be located in the 18 county Southwest Minnesota region.

The Art Project grant program is open to nonprofit organizations in the eighteen counties of the SW MN Arts Council (SMAC) service region. The eighteen counties include: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine.

The Art Project grant program is open to nonprofit organizations as described in Section 501 (c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code with Articles of Incorporation on file with the State of Minnesota or official units of city, county, or state government of the State of Minnesota. Any formal organization not meeting this requirement may apply through a fiscal sponsor.

Organization grantees must provide proof of 501c3 status for their organization (or fiscal sponsor) before a contract can be issued.

The following projects and organizations are not eligible for SMAC grants:

- Applications that do not have an art focus.
- Activities of a for-profit project, organization, or business.
- Applications that are primarily for educational projects within a school system.
- Projects for which artists are required to pay excessive entry or exhibition fees in order to exhibit or perform in the project for which funds are sought.
- Payment of costs for projects that will take place outside the geographic boundaries of the state of Minnesota. Must not use more than ten percent of the total grant award for costs related to travel outside the state of Minnesota, including performer, artist, or consultant travel.
- Costs for relocating the applicant’s legal address/residence outside the state of Minnesota.
- Projects where funds are requested to account for deficits in projects or programs begun prior to the project earliest start date. In other words, payment of debts incurred before the grant activities begin or outside of the grant project scope of activity.
- Applicants with past due SMAC final (or other) reports.
- Applications where funds are to be used to match other SMAC grant applications.
- Requests for new building construction, purchase of real estate, or endowment funds.
- Fundraising events: Grant funding should allow projects to break even, not make a profit.
- Activities which are not open to the public. Projects must be inclusive and accessible in their process and/or final product, considering economic, geographic, and physical accessibility, as well as the cultural, racial, ethnic, age, and gender make-up of the community.
- Activities essentially for the religious socialization of the participants or audience.
- Activities that attempt to influence any state or federal legislation or appropriation.
- Applications submitted for the purpose of regranting, lobbying or scholarships.
- Projects that don’t provide timely promotion of the project throughout the SMAC region with use of the proper funding credit line and logo.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Workshop Webinars are offered to learn about the guidelines, requirements, and application process for the SMAC Art Project grants for organizations. The Webinars are scheduled as follows:

The Round I SMAC Art Project Project grant workshop webinar: June 21, 2018, noon to 1 pm.
For information and registration:

The Round II SMAC Art Project grant workshop webinar: November 1, 2018, noon to 1 pm.
For information and registration:

The Round III SMAC Art Project Project grant workshop webinar: February 7, 2019, noon to 1 pm.
For information and registration:

While the grant workshop webinars are free, participants must register to be able to join the meeting. Applicants should register online or contact Caroline Koska at the SMAC by email or phone.

Pre-Application Information:

The Deadlines for the FY19 are as follows:

Round I

Application Deadline: July 25, 2018 by 4:30 PM
Panel Review: August 18, 2018
Board Action: August 28, 2018
Earliest project start date: September 15, 2018

Round II

Application Deadline: December 12, 2018 by 4:30 PM
Panel Review: January 5, 2019
Board Action: January 26, 2019
Earliest project start date: February 15, 2019

Round III:

Application Deadline: March 20, 2019 by 4:30 PM
Panel Review: April 13, 2019
Board Action: April 23, 2019
Earliest project start date: May 15, 2019

Applications are to be submitted online by 4:30 pm of the Deadline Date.

The recommendations of the panel are submitted to the SMAC Board of Directors for final approval. Grants will be awarded in ranked order to applications meeting the criteria, to the extent of funds available. If funding is limited, and the scores of applications near the cut-off point are within 2%, additional considerations will be applied in the following order: artistic merit, first time grantees or final report history, equity (such as native, immigrant, or elderly populations), and geography.

All applicants will receive email notification of acceptance or rejection after final review of the application by the Board of Directors.

Before beginning an application, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the SMAC to determine if the grant program is appropriate for their project. To request a review of the application prior to submission, applicants should contact staff at least two weeks prior to the deadline. A staff member will review the application, as time permits, for eligibility and completed requirements.

If the application receives partial funding, a revised project description and budget must be submitted within 30 days of notification.

A 20% cash match is required. This means that the Applicant match must include 20% of the entire project’s cash cost. Although the minimum required cash match is 20%, applications that include a higher match may receive a higher score and be more competitive in the process.

Applicants who have received an Operating Support grant may not include pro-rated general operating costs in the budget for any other SMAC grant program (such as this Art Project grant program) that occurs during the same time period as the Operating Support Grant.

The applicant must not exceed 90% of the total project’s cash expenses in combined support from the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council.

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

For the online application portal:

Caroline Koska
Financial & Grants Administrator

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council
114 North 3rd Street
PO Box 55
Marshall, MN 56258
Toll Free:+1 800 622 5284
Telephone:+1 507 537 1471

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine Counties