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Small/Art Project Grants for Organizations

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, Agencies, Libraries, and
Schools in Eligible Counties for Arts Related Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/01/19 Before 11:59 PM


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Grants ranging from $500 to $5,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, government agencies, libraries, and schools for arts projects in eligible counties. Funding is intended to support projects that result in the creation of artistic works and performances across a range of visual, media, performing, and literary art forms. Eligible counties include Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties.

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has grants available for local or regional arts projects sponsored or organized by groups, organizations, nonprofits, and units of government. The Small/Art Project Grants program provides support to organizations for a wide variety of arts projects involving the creation, sponsorship, publication, performance, and/or exhibition of art. Arts producing activities or services for artists or arts organizations should result from the project.

Art can describe several things: A study of a creative skill, a process of using the creative skill, a product of the creative skill, or the audience’s experience with the creative skill. The Regional Arts Council defines “arts” as activities resulting in the artistic creation or artistic performance of works of the imagination. Arts refers to a very broad range of visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary art forms through which one learns about, explores, shapes, and expresses the human experience.

Examples of eligible projects:

- Creation of art
- Performances
- Exhibitions such as visual art shows
- Theater productions
- Residencies involving a professional artist
- Workshops, classes, publications, films, and presentations that promote artists or participation in the arts
- Other projects providing access to the arts for community audiences

These factors constitute the grant review standards:

- Merit and artistic quality;
- Ability of the applicant to accomplish the project;
- Demonstrated need for the project.
(For further details on grant criteria, see Guidelines and Instructions listed in Supporting Documents below.)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 175625

Estimated Size of Grant:

ECRAC funds requests from $500 to $5,000.

Term of Contract:

For Grants with an Application Deadline of Nov. 1, 2018:

- Earliest Start Date: Jan. 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

For Grants with an Application Deadline of Feb. 1, 2019:

- Earliest Start Date: May 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

For Grants with an Application Deadline of April 1, 2019:

- Earliest Start Date: July 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

The start date for an ECRAC 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.).” ECRAC does not fund projects that are already underway. Grantees must wait until award notification before printing and/or disseminating publicity materials. No funds can be expended prior to the project start date. Funds incurred before the project start date (such as entering into a contract with performers) cannot be included in the grant project and may make a project ineligible.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

ECRAC serves the non-profit arts organization community in Region 7E Minnesota counties: Chisago, Isanti,Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine.

Agencies, organizations, or groups located in and serving Region 7E, meeting any one of the following three conditions are eligible to apply for grants:

a. A public agency or organization such as a local unit of government, school, or public library.
b. A Minnesota private, non-profit organization which has obtained a 501(c)3 tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code and is registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State and Department of Revenue.
c. A local group/organization that does not meet the above requirements, but applies through a fiscal agent that does qualify. It is the responsibility of the group to find a fiscal agent and enter into an agreement with them.

Please note that the organization application is not an application for individuals to use. Examples are artists, booking agents, or performing groups, looking for contract work with an organization. The applicant organization itself needs to complete the grant application and is responsible for the project, if funded.

ECRAC Small/Art Project Grants will not fund:

- Applications that do not have an arts and/or culture related focus.
- Activities of a for-profit project, organization, or business.
- Projects when funds are requested for deficits in projects or programs begun prior to the earliest project start date. In other words, payment of debts incurred before the grant activities begin or outside of the grant project scope of activity will not be approved.
- Applicants with either unacceptable or past due ECRAC final (or other) reports, or applicants that contact ECRAC members/panelists regarding the proposal before final grant approval.
- Applications when funds are to be used to match other ECRAC grant applications.
- Requests for new building construction, purchase of real property, or endowment funds.
- Projects in which total state arts funding (ECRAC and/or Minnesota State Arts Board) is more than 50% of the total project costs.
- Fundraising events.
- Relocating outside Region 7E or organizations established outside of Region 7E.
- Activities not open to the public.
- In-school projects by students or projects carried out exclusively by or for student organizations.
- Programs by schools that are limited in access to the public or serve only students or staff.
- Purchasing equipment for or improve facilities within K-12 public schools
- Religious organizations or projects that are for the religious socialization of participants or audience.
- Activities that engage in political lobbying or intend to influence public policy.
- Projects when artists are required to pay excessive entry or exhibition fees in order to exhibit or perform in the project which funds are sought.
- Requests for operating support.
- Projects that will not use the proper grant funding credit line (in a legible font) and won’t use the ECRAC logo and hashtag. Also applicants that won’t take responsibility for their publicity, media coverage, and public relations, or won’t provide timely promotion of the project throughout Region 7E.
- Any organizations or grant activities occurring outside of Region 7E and any travel outside of Minnesota.
- Applicants determined by ECRAC to be ineligible for funding.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Grant Info Sessions:

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has scheduled grant information sessions for all artists, organizations, schools, community organizations, and nonprofit organizations in the Region 7E area for art project grants. These sessions will include basic information about all ECRAC arts related grant programs, as well as recent changes to the grant application processes.

If you have already attended a grant information session in the past, a refresher is always a good idea to keep you up to date with any new grant requirements and recent changes to the application processes.

The Grant Info Sessions are as follows:

- Wed, December 12, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Isanti County Historical Society, 33525 Flanders St NE, Cambridge, MN 55008
- Wed, December 19, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Princeton Community Library, 100 4th Ave S, Princeton, MN 55371
- Thu, December 20, 5:30pm – 7:30pm
North Branch Area Library, 6355 379th St, North Branch, MN 55056

Grant Info Workshops for Nonprofits:

The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) has scheduled upcoming grant information workshops for nonprofits, for all organizations, schools, community organizations, and nonprofit organizations in the Region 7E area for art project grants.

The Grant Information Workshops for Nonprofits are as follows:

- Thu, January 17, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
East Central Regional Arts Council, 112 Main Ave S, Braham, MN 55006, USA
- Tue, February 12, 2019, 5:30pm – 7:00pm
East Central Regional Arts Council, 112 Main Ave S, Braham, MN 55006, USA
- Thu, March 21, 2019, 10:00am – 11:30am
East Central Regional Arts Council, 112 Main Ave S, Braham, MN 55006

Advance registration is required for all Info Sessions and Workshops. To register, please call the East Central Regional Arts Council office at (320) 396-2337 x 1, or email

Pre-Application Information:

There are three application deadlines per year for this program: November 1, Feburuary 1, and April 1. Completed applications must be submitted online before 11:59 p.m. on the deadline date.

The scheduled grant deadline dates for FY 2018-2019 are:

- Technical Assistance Deadline: October 15
- Grant Deadline: Nov. 1, 2018
- Final Approval By: Dec. 31, 2018
- Earliest Start Date: Jan. 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

- Technical Assistance Deadline: January 15
- Grant Deadline: Feb. 1, 2019
- Final Approval By: Mar. 31, 2019
- Earliest Start Date: May 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

- Technical Assistance Deadline: March 15
- Grant Deadline: April 1, 2019
- Final Approval By: May 31, 2019
- Earliest Start Date: July 15, 2019
- Latest End Date: June 30, 2020

If a deadline date falls on a weekend or a holiday, the deadline will be 11:59 p.m. on the next working day.

Technical assistance is guaranteed if you contact ECRAC staff before the technical assistance deadline. After that date, assistance will be offered based on staff availability.

All applicants will receive a grant allocation notification within 30 days after final review of the grant application by ECRAC.

This is an online only application. Application materials cannot be submitted by mail, in person, or by email.

Applicants are encouraged to attend a grant info session. This is not currently a grant requirement, but it is strongly recommended by ECRAC for this funding. Information sessions are held monthly. Participants will learn about the grant programs, application process, and how to write an effective ECRAC grant application. This is an excellent opportunity to get your questions answered on your project ideas. For details, see Pre-Proposal Conference above.

ECRAC maintains a library of submitted grant applications. Reviewing these materials can enhance your understanding of the process and may improve your application. The application library is normally open during regular office hours (9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.). ECRAC staff is happy to help you.

Applicants must show evidence of a match of at least 50% of the total costs of the project.

Grant requests from organizations for art project equipment purchases must include:

- A detailed plan for the use of the equipment; and
- A statement certifying they will not sell the equipment without prior ECRAC approval including the possibility of UCC filing. Organizations using a fiscal agent must develop an equipment purchase agreement outlining who will own the equipment at the end of the grant period.

The act of only purchasing equipment does not constitute a fundable grant project. Please note that schools cannot purchase equipment or improve facilities.

There is no limit on the number of grants that can be received each fiscal year but applicants are limited to submitting one application per grant deadline per grant program.

Contact ECRAC Program Officer Katina Eklund by phone or email with any grant related questions.

For assistance with the Grant Portal or for any other questions, please feel free to contact the ECRAC by email or phone.

ECRAC Grant Portal Tutorial:


For a recorded FY 2018 Grant Information Session:

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

Katina Eklund, ECRAC Program Officer
320-396-2337 x 2

East Central Regional Arts Council
112 Main Avenue South
PO Box 294
Braham, Minnesota 55006

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine Counties