Grant Review Panelists Needed

The SMAC Board of Directors continually seeks artists, arts administrators, arts teachers, arts volunteers, and arts appreciators to serve on its grant review panels.  SMAC looks for a mix of individuals from across our Southwest Minnesota region, from all communities – including BIPOC, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals – and representing all artistic disciplines.  Panelists share their knowledge and expertise in the arts or nonprofit management and their ability to interpret grant guidelines and review criteria equitably and fairly.

For an overview of available SMAC grants, see our FY 2023 Grant Calendar or go to Grants.




The Panel Process

  • Panelists have approximately two weeks to read a group of applications and assign preliminary scores within SMAC’s online grant system.  Scoring is based on criteria for the particular grant program.
  • Then the panel, a group of approximately 7 individuals, meets to discuss the applications, finalize their scores, and make funding recommendations to the SMAC Board.
  • The SMAC Board of Directors makes the final funding decisions. Grants are awarded in ranked order to applications meeting the criteria, to the extent of funds available.
  • Comments from the panel (which remain anonymous) are passed on to applicants, whether funded or not.


Panel Meetings

  • Panel meetings may be held virtually or in person, with the exception of Quick Support grants (scored online only – no meeting).  All panel meetings in FY 2023 will be held via Zoom.
  • Meeting length depends on the number of applications received. The meeting agenda will give an estimate of time.  Most often a panel meets for an hour or two on a weeknight evening or a Saturday morning.
  • When meetings are held in person, meals are provided, if timely.
  • Panel meetings are a great way to network with other arts-interested individuals and learn about arts events around the SW MN region.



  • Grant panelists will receive a stipend of $75 per round of applications they review.
  • If a meeting is in person, mileage is reimbursed at the year’s standard mileage rate.


Panel Policies

  • Panelists are responsible for understanding the grant program goals and criteria for the applications they are reviewing and for completing the required scoring.
  • A quorum of five panel members is needed for each grant round.
  • An individual cannot serve on a panel for any individual artist grant if they are applying for a grant within that same that round.
  • Panelists must declare any conflicts of interest.  This may be a financial relationship, family relationship, or other perceived conflict of interest with an individual applicant or applicant organization.  The panelist must then abstain from discussion and scoring of that application. Read our Conflict of Interest Policy for more details.
  • Panelists cannot discuss the recommendations of the panel prior to SMAC Board action on those recommendations.


How to Become a SMAC Panelist

  1. Read about our panel process and responsibilities above or in PDF format: SMAC Grant Panelist Responsibilities
  2. Read and sign our Conflict of Interest policy.
  3. Fill out the panelist application form below; or download and fill out a PDF application or Word application form.
  4. Submit your completed application, resume (optional), and signed Conflict of Interest document by using the form below, emailing them to, or mailing them to SW MN Arts Council, PO Box 55, Marshall, MN 56258.
  1. Appointments to the pool of grant review panelists will be made by the SMAC Board.
  2. SMAC staff will then invite you to serve on review panels for particular grant rounds relevant to your expertise and interest. You may accept or decline as many invitations as you choose.

Please contact us if there are any accommodations we can provide to enable your participation.


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