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Arts Project Grants

Grants to Northwest Minnesota Nonprofits, Schools, and
Agencies for Local Arts Events, Programming, and Equipment

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Northwest Minnesota Arts Council (NWMAC)

Deadline Date:

03/01/19 - For Regular Grants only; Arts Equipment for Schools Grants has a deadline of November 1.


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Grants of up to $3,000 to Northwest Minnesota nonprofit organizations, schools, and government agencies to implement arts programming and events in Kittson, Norman, Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, Marshall, and Roseau Counties. This program supports activities in all artistic disciplines, including but not limited to theater, visual arts, film and video, architecture and design, dance, folk arts, music, literature, and multi-disciplinary. Funding is also available for organizational development.

The Arts Project Grants has two subcategories:
- Regular Grants
- Arts Equipment for Schools

Funds may be requested to initiate cultural activities, to supplement existing arts programming; or, to provide enrichment, education, or participatory development opportunities.

To be eligible for funding, a project must be for the creation and production of arts programs or projects which are for the development or enhancement of local or regional artists or arts organizations; or, the hosting of arts events by contracting for the services of another organization or individual to provide arts programming to the local or regional community.

The primary impact of the project must be within the boundaries of the region.

Types of Projects:

1) Productions or Exhibitions

- Costs directly related to the performance, publication, or exhibition of art are eligible expenses. Such costs may include artists’ fees, directly applicable administrative costs, costs of expendable materials, project-specific promotional costs, travel costs, and rental fees.

- Projects in which a variety of components are drawn together to compose a local or regional arts festival or fair may be funded for specific components of the event involving artists or promotional efforts. General operating support for festivals or fairs is not eligible.

- The focus for this type of project is on the creation of art or a performance or publication by artists in our region.

2) Sponsorship/Guest Artists

- Application may be made for contracting with a professional artist or arts group who does not regularly work for the applicant organization. Contracting may be made for the purpose of the artistic development of the applicant, or artists and arts resources in the community, and/or for the purpose of being presented with the applicant organization in a public performance. Organizations that host art events from outside their community are part of this category.

- The focus of this program is on the audience and access of that audience to a wide variety of professional artistic experiences which may be brought to a community.

General Sponsorship grants may be used for the following types of events:
- Performances by touring artists or arts organizations
- Assembled exhibitions on tour
- Film and video screening
- Public readings
- Lectures, demonstrations, master classes, seminars, or workshops

3) Organizational Development

- Administrative or Consultant Services

- Requesting funds for a managerial or consultant project for the purpose of improving existing programs or developing new programs is an eligible activity. This support is not for the continuation of on going managerial functions or regular staff costs. Most grants for administrative or consultant services will be granted on a one-time only basis. Services may include public relations, fiscal management, fund-raising, and other management activities.

- Production or Planning Services: Activities which support and/or assist the needs of arts organizations and artists, or the arts needs of the general community by being commonly administered or coordinated by one agency are eligible projects. This may include developing methods to increase public exposure to, and education of arts in the community. Most grants requested for a consultant to assist in the production or planning of arts services will be granted on a one-time basis.

4) Publications

- Funds may be requested for special arts publications such as exhibition catalogs, or visual arts and literary materials. Literary magazines and small press books are eligible for funding only after they have been published at least once. (Publication projects which are not part of an on-going series are eligible without the stipulation of previous publication.) Any publication which is distributed only to an organization’s membership is not eligible. Funds may be requested for editorial services, production costs, compensation for contributing writers and/or distribution.

5) Workshops, Classes, and Arts Awareness Projects

- Application may be made for funding activities or materials for classes, conferences or workshops, publications, films, exhibits, and other presentations of this nature.

Through majority vote, the Council will make a recommendation for full funding, partial funding, or no funding, based on the established criteria for:
- Artistic quality and merit of the project;
- Ability of the applicant to accomplish the project; and,
- Need or demand for the project.

The Council will give priority to organizations that charge a fee for sponsored events. The Council will give priority to applications which show evidence that attempts have been made to seek financial support from the community.

Project Eligibility for Arts Equipment for Schools:

- Applications may be made for the purchase of artistic equipment.
- Each school district or private school may apply for grants
- Requests must be for items which are generally adaptable, i.e. usable for more than one performance or display or training session.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 177076

Estimated Size of Grant:

Regular Grants: up to $3,000
Arts Equipment for Schools: Each school district or private school may apply for $1,000 - $3,000 grants.

Term of Contract:

The project must be completed within 24 months of the notification of the receipt of a grant.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant Eligibility for Regular Grants:

- The applicant must be a Minnesota nonprofit, tax-exempt organization 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, a governmental unit or department or agency of the State of Minnesota.
- Two or more eligible organizations or governmental units may form a partnership to present arts activities within a community and may submit one application.
- The Regular Grant is not intended for use by school districts.

An organization not meeting the 501 (c)(3) status requirement may apply to the regional Arts Council through a fiscal agent. A fiscal agent is a Minnesota non-profit, federally tax-exempt organization or governmental unit which applies to the regional Arts Council on behalf of an organization not meeting non-profit, tax-exempt requirements. The fiscal agent must sign the application and, if funds are received, sign the grant Arts Grant Contract and Request for Payment. The fiscal agent is legally responsible for the completion of the project and for the proper management of the grant. A contract or letter of agreement between the fiscal agent and the organization clarifying the responsibilities and authority of each, is required. (A template is provided on the Grant Forms Quick LIst.)

Applicant Eligibility for Arts Equipment for Schools Grant:

- All school districts within the service area may apply for the Arts Equipment in Schools grant. Private schools are also eligible if they show that the equipment will not be used for religious socialization.

Preference for funding for the Arts Equipment for Schools Grant will be given to:

- Schools that do not have an arts organization within their community that could and should be requesting funds due to the fact that they share your facility.
- Schools that continue to employ arts specialists.
- Schools that have not received arts equipment grants from the NW Arts Council in the last one or two years.

Applications for grant assistance will not be accepted for review if any of the following conditions exist:

- Funds are requested from the regional Arts Council and the Minnesota State Arts Board for the same work or expenses incurred while carrying out the same project in a single fiscal year, without the expressed consent of both the Regional Arts Council and Minnesota State Arts Board;
- State funds requested from the regional Arts Council and/or the State of Minnesota exceed 90% of the total cost of a project;
- Artists are required to pay high entry or exhibition fees in order to exhibit or perform in the project;
- Funds are requested for capital improvement or construction; purchase of real property (land or buildings); or, endowment funds;
- Funds are requested for projects limited in access to, or only serving, those attending educational institutions, including the staff;
- Funds are requested to account for fund deficiencies in projects begun prior to the project starting date specified in the “Application Guidelines” section of this Program Information;
- Funds are requested for projects which are essentially for the religious socialization of the participants;
- An organization has a report overdue from a past grant;
- Funds are requested for non fine arts portions of festivals or art fairs, including humanities and historical portions;
- The activity is not open to the public;
- Funds are requested for publications to be distributed only to the organization’s members;
- The proposal includes a series of events.

Ineligible costs for Regular Grants:

- Transportation to exhibits/field trips
- Ribbons, prizes, flowers, gifts, awards, etc.
- Building space and equipment owned by the applicant
- Materials and supplies sold to participants
- Materials, supplies, equipment, etc. which could be used for personal gain of participants
- Monthly/seasonal/annual office or telephone rental
- Monthly/seasonal/annual storage costs

Funding restrictions for the Arts Equipment for Schools Grant:

- Funds are requested to reduce or eliminate accumulated deficits.
- The project is primarily for the religious socialization of the participants.
- The applicant has a report overdue from a past award given by the Arts Council and NWRDC.

Pre-Application Information:

The next Regular Arts Project Grant deadline is February 1, 2018. Other deadlines: August 1 and November 1.

Deadline for the Arts Equipment for Schools Grant: November 1.

A 10% minimum cash match is required for all grant requests. If the project is to repeat sponsorship of an artist or group that has been sponsored with NWMAC funding in previous years then a 25% minimum cash match is required.

Matching funds may consist of cash, revenues, or other grants.

Donated materials, labor and space which can be given a dollar value may be listed but will not be considered a part of the main budget or match

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council office early in the planning process at which time the Arts Council Director can provide the most assistance. Staff are available to pre-review applications, prior to the deadline date, for completeness and accuracy. Such assistance in no way implies that a grant request will be funded.

Tips for arts organizations, cities, and non-profit groups:

Tips for school districts and schools:

Additional forms and links:

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Mara Lunde Hanel, Arts Council Director

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council
109 S. Minnesota St.
Warren, Mn. 56762-1428

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Kittson, Norman, Polk, Red Lake, Pennington, Marshall, and Roseau Counties