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Emerging Artist Grants

Grants to Minnesota Emerging Artists in Eligible
Counties for Career Development Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/13/21 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $2,500 to Minnesota artists in eligible counties to support career development projects. Funding is intended to assist developing artists from all disciplines. Funding is also intended for projects including, but not limited to, portfolio production, purchase of supplies, rental of facilities, and daycare costs. Eligible applicants reside in one of the following counties: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine.

SMAC's goal is to provide resources and recognition to regional artists that will allow their work to develop and evolve. It is SMAC's intent to inspire creativity in its unique and true state without consideration of what is saleable. Funds may be used for a variety of activities designed to aid in public awareness of the artist’s work or projects that will aid in the progression to, and exploration of a new level in their artistic development and professional career. SMAC encourages artists to apply for concrete opportunities that address their artistic needs and increase their ability to live and work in the SW MN Region.

Projects may include but are not limited to:
  • Purchase of supplies necessary to complete a body of work
  • Compensated time for work on a specific body of work
  • Day care costs while working on a specific body of work
  • One-on-one study with a mentor 
  • Attendance at workshops or conferences for professional or artistic development
  • Rental of facilities for presenting work or for studio space
  • Research
  • Portfolio production
  • Framing
  • Recording
  • Editing or other costs related to publishing

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174959

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $2,500

Term of Contract:

- The earliest project start date for Round I is October 1, 2020.
- The earliest project start date for Round II is March 1, 2021.

The start date for a SMAC grant is defined as the point at which the project is set in motion (e.g. rehearsals, advertising and public notification, payment of fees, ordering and/or paying for supplies or printed material, etc.).

No funds can be expended prior to the project start date.

Projects must be concluded no later than June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Individual Artist grant program is open to permanent residents within the eighteen counties of the SMAC 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 counties) or on tribal lands within the SMAC service area.

Applicants must be a region resident for at least six months prior to submitting an application and remain a resident throughout the contract period. Applicants may be asked to provide proof of residency. Applicants must be at least 18 years old by the time of signing their grant contract.

Emerging artists are defined as those who are at an early stage in their career development. Other artists and arts professionals within their chosen field will not have acknowledged them as established artists. An emerging artist is expected to have a limited, yet clearly promising performance, publishing, or exhibition record. The term emerging refers to professional accomplishments and recognition, not to stylistic evolution. Age is not a factor in determining an emerging artist. The artistic accomplishments documented on the resume are critical in making a judgment regarding eligibility as an emerging artist.

Individual artist grant panelists who will be reviewing grants in this round and immediate family members of SMAC Board members or SMAC staff are ineligible to apply for this grant program. SMAC Board Members are not eligible to apply for this program during their tenure on the Board or until two years following their resignation from the Board.

In addition to the restrictions listed in SMAC’s general grant guidelines, the following are NOT eligible for Individual Artist grants:
- Equipment requests not specifically tied to the proposed project.
- Credits or materials necessary to fulfill degree requirements for students, including tuition, class projects, and school-related exhibits, performances, or shows.
- Projects that primarily involve developing curriculum plans, teaching materials, or other related activities intended to advance your professional teaching career; or applications that are primarily educational projects within a school system.
- Applications that support strictly commercial activities; projects intended for mass-market distribution or those that have profit as the primary motive.

For ineligible applicants and projects, please see:

Pre-proposal Conference:

Round I
- SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar: July 9, 2020, noon to 1:00 PM.
To register:

Round II
- SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar: December 3, 2020, noon to 1:00 PM.
Click here to view a recording of the December 3, 2020 webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

Deadlines for FY 2021:

Round I:
- SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar: July 9, 2020, noon to 1 pm.
- Application Deadline: August 12, 2020
- Panel Review: September 12, 2020
- Board Action: September 22, 2020
- Earliest project start date: October 1, 2020

Round II:
- SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar: December 3, 2020, noon to 1 pm. (Recording available here:
- Application Deadline: January 13, 2021
- Panel Review: February 6, 2021
- Board Action: February 23, 2021
- Earliest project start date: March 1, 2021

Applications must be submitted online by 4:30 PM on the deadline date.

It is always best to contact SMAC staff prior to submission of a grant application to determine grant eligibility. To request a review of your application prior to submission, 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. Staff review does not imply that a grant request will be funded. Project quality, content, budget, and accuracy of an application are solely the responsibility of the applicant.

Video Tutorial for Online Grant System:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

SMAC staff

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council
114 North 3rd Street
PO Box 55
Marshall, MN 56258

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

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