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Cultural STAR Program Special Projects and Organizational Development Grant

Grants to Saint Paul, Minnesota Nonprofits
and Businesses for Arts and Culture Projects

Agency Type:


Funding Source:

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City of Saint Paul

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

08/23/19 4:00 PM Receipt


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Grants starting at $5,000 to Saint Paul, Minnesota nonprofit organizations and businesses to strengthen the local arts and cultural community. Funding is intended for specific projects and organizational development to promote economic growth and cultural vitality. Particular emphasis is placed on activities occurring in the downtown Cultural District.

There are four major goals of the Cultural STAR Program:
- Build and diversify audiences;
- Promote a broad range of cultural offerings;
- Produce a long-term impact; and
- Leverage additional financial support.

The Cultural STAR Program will make grants and loans for projects and programs that: attract audiences; develop and improve cultural facilities; and build capacity of artists and cultural organizations.

Special Project grants are made to groups wishing to offer quality arts activities, in any discipline, within the geographic boundaries of the City of Saint Paul. Grant requests may include costs for artists and other personnel, postage, supplies, printing, travel and other expenses necessary to carry out the project.

The Organizational Development program provides grants for projects designed to strengthen the management, administration, or operations of the recipient organization. Such activities must 1) advance the mission of the group, and 2) have the potential for significant or long-term impact. The intent of the program is to challenge the organization, infuse new thinking, develop new systems, or strengthen existing systems to further the group’s growth and development.

What this program funds/how the grant funds can be used:
Any project cost that specifically pertains to the execution of the project, including but not limited to expenses such as:
- Personnel, including Artists, Employees and Contractors
- Supplies
- Printing and postage
- Space and equipment rental
- Transportation and travel
- Other expenses necessary to carry out the project

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182839

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

The minimum grant request is $5,000. The Cultural STAR Board is unlikely to recommended funding any proposal for more than $50,000.

Term of Contract:

- Earliest Project Start Date: January 1, 2020
- Latest Project End Date: December 31, 2020

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicant groups must be one of the following:
- Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations: Note that the organization does not need to be based in the City of Saint Paul, but the project must take place within the boundaries of the City of Saint Paul.
- Informal and/or unincorporated arts-focused groups, individuals, and one-time arts projects with a fiscal sponsor, provided that the project takes place in the Cultural District
- Businesses located in the Cultural District applying for a project that enhances visitor enjoyment of the Cultural District
- City departments or divisions are eligible when applying in partnership with an eligible organization

The following are not eligible to apply:
- Churches or religious organizations
- Political parties and related political action groups
- Federal, state and county agencies and departments

Ineligible Expenses:
- Activities located outside the City of Saint Paul
- Projects that take place before the Project Start Date
- Projects that extend past the Project End Date, meaning that the activity must be completed by the Project End Date, and no expenses can be incurred after the Project End Date.
- Food or beverages
- Expenses related to insurance coverage
- Permanently affixed physical improvements or construction, purchase of real capital equipment or purchase of real property with a life of 7 years or longer, or funding of endowments
- Activities that engage in political lobbying, serve the religious socialization of participants, or discriminate against persons or groups
- Costs for fundraising events. This includes activities designed to raise funds for your own organization or on behalf of another person, organization or cause.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Application assistance is available at information sessions held during the open application period or by contacting Cultural STAR staff.

Six information sessions are scheduled Tuesday, July 16 - Tuesday, August 6.

- Monday, July 22, 2019: 3:30 -5 p.m.
- Wednesday, July 24, 2019: 10:30 a.m. - Noon
- Wednesday, July 31, 2019: 3 - 4:30 p.m
- Thursday, August 1, 2019: 2-3:30 p.m
- Monday, August 5, 2019: 1 - 2:30 p.m
- Tuesday, August 6, 2019: 5 - 6:30 p.m

Pre-Application Information:

2019 Round 1:
- Application available: by January 11, 2019
- Deadline: Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4:00 PM
- Applicant Interviews: April 17 and 18, 2019
- Earliest Project Start Date: July 1, 2019
- Latest Project End Date: June 30, 2020

2019 Round 2:
- Application available: by July 12, 2019
- Deadline: Friday, August 23, 2019 at 4:00 PM
- Applicant Interviews: Dates TBD
- Earliest Project Start Date: January 1, 2020
- Latest Project End Date: December 31, 2020

Applications must be submitted through ZoomGrants by 4:00 PM on the deadline date. Applications not received by this time will not be accepted.

Applicants will be contacted within one week of application deadline if corrections are needed to the application.
Deadline for entering corrections:
- Round 1 – Friday, March 8, 2019
- Round 2 – Friday, September 6, 2019

Timing for grant funds to be advanced:
- 80% of the grant funds will be advanced to applicants who are awarded grants, upon final execution of a grant agreement.
- The remaining 20% will be paid upon project completion and submission and approval of all reporting requirements.

Cultural STAR funds must be matched dollar for dollar. This is considered a minimum match, with preference given to projects that exceed this requirement. The match can be other grants, individual donations, general operating funds, earned revenue you expect from the project, project or event sponsorships, or a combination of these.

At least 80 percent of Cultural STAR funds will be awarded to nonprofit arts organizations that are located within the targeted area known as the Cultural District of downtown Saint Paul.

The remaining 20% of funds may be allocated to:
- For-profit businesses located in the Cultural District for projects that enhance visitor enjoyment of the Cultural District; or
- Nonprofit arts and cultural organizations with a project located in Saint Paul but outside of the Cultural District.

For more information on the Cultural STAR program, see:

Contact Information:

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

Apply online through ZoomGrants:

Contact staff with questions and for support:
Nora Riemenschneider
Program Coordinator

Nancy Vang
Project Management Technician

City of Saint Paul
15 Kellogg Blvd. West
Saint Paul, MN 55102

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: City of Saint Paul, particularly the Cultural District