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Individual Artists: Developing Artist Grants

Grants to Southwest Minnesota Emerging
Artists for Career Development Activities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/07/18 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $2,000 to Minnesota emerging artists for projects and activities that will further their careers and artistic development. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact program staff prior to applying. Applications are welcome from early-career artists residing in 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

The goal of this program 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/or exploration of a new level in their artistic development and professional career.

Projects may include but are not limited to:
-Costs involved in portfolio production
-Engraving for composers
-Producing a demo recording for a composer/musician or a video for a choreographer
-Marketing or editorial assistance for a writer
-Purchase of supplies and materials necessary for the completion of a body of work scheduled for submission to publishers, performance or exhibition
-Rental of facilities for presentation of a new work, or other activities
-Experimental work in a new medium
-Research or compensated time for an artist working on a specific body of work
-Daycare costs if needed to allow the artist to devote their time to their project
-Attendance at workshops or conferences for professional or artistic development
-Studying one-on-one with a mentor of significant recognition
-Costs to audit a college art course (funds may not be used for degree-related activities)

The grant review panel will score your application based on:
-The overall excellence of work and demonstration of exceptional talent
-Project's contribution to the artist's professional growth
-Feasibility of the project

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 174959

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $2,000

Term of Contract:

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

The earliest project start date for Special Summer round is September 15, 2017.

The earliest project start date for Round I is November 15, 2017.

The earliest project start date for Round II is April 15, 2018.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Developing Artist category of the Individual Artist grant program is designed for emerging artists. 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.

Students in K-12 educational programs or individuals enrolled in undergraduate or graduate degree programs are not eligible.

The Individual Artist grant program is open to any permanent resident in the eighteen counties of the SMAC service region who has no outstanding final reports due to the SW MN Arts Council and who is at least 18 years old.

Artists may only receive one (1) SMAC individual artist grant per year. An artist may not apply for a second project that runs concurrently with another SMAC-funded individual artist grant project.

Applicants must be a region resident for at least six months prior to submitting an application and who will remain a resident throughout the contract period. Immediate family members of the SMAC Board, SMAC staff – and current individual artist grant panelists are ineligible to apply for this grant program.

All arts disciplines are accepted.

Proof of Residency is required in questionable cases, and must be demonstrated by more than one of the following showing an eligible address:
1. A valid Minnesota driver's license
2. Certification of eligibility to vote within the SMAC region
3. Receipts for utilities and mortgage/rent

The SMAC Individual Artist Project Grant Program will not or can NOT fund:
-Applications that do not have an art focus.
-Applications that support strictly commercial activities; projects intended for mass-market distribution or those that have profit as the primary motive.
-Projects that include publishing that is initiated solely by the applicant (i.e., vanity press)
-Credits or materials necessary to fulfill degree requirements for students.
-Equipment requests not specifically tied to the proposed project.
-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 that primarily involve developing curriculum plans or teaching materials.
-Projects primarily intended to support teaching related activities that will advance your teaching career.
-Applications that are primarily educational projects within a school system.
-Applications where funds are to be used to match other SMAC grant applications.
-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.
-Projects/activities that are essentially for the religious socialization of the participants or audience.
-Applications submitted for the purpose of re-granting or scholarships.
-Lobbying or attempts to influence any state or federal legislation.
-Applicants that will not take responsibility for their publicity, media coverage, and public relations and that won’t provide timely promotion of the project throughout the SMAC region through use of the proper funding credit line and logo.
-Applications from immediate family members of the SMAC Board, SMAC staff, or current individual artist grant panelists.
-SMAC Board Members are not eligible to apply for this program during their tenure on the Board or two years following their resignation from the Board.

Pre-proposal Conference:

For Round II applicants, the SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop is scheduled for January 4, 2018, 5:00 PM at SMAC Office. Please register by contacting SMAC staff.

Free grant writing assistance workshops are scheduled for organizations interested in applying to the SMAC grant programs. To sponsor a workshop in your area, please contact the SMAC office to make arrangements for a workshop.

Pre-Application Information:

You are strongly encouraged to contact the SMAC office prior to submitting an application to get input on your particular project idea and which category you should apply under.

Special Summer Round:
-Application Deadline: July 19, 2017 by 4:30 PM
-Panel Meeting: August 9, 2017
-Board Action: August 22, 2017
-Earliest project start date September 15, 2017

Round I
-Application Deadline: September 13, 2017 by 4:30 PM
-Panel Meeting: October 7, 2017
-Board Action: October 25, 2017
-Earliest project start date November 15, 2017

Round II:
-SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop: January 4, 2018, 5:00 PM
-Application Deadline: February 7, 2018 by 4:30 PM
-Panel Meeting: March 3, 2018
-Board Action: March 26, 2018
-Earliest project start date: April 15, 2018

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

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

800-622-5284/507- 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