Changes to SW MN Arts Council grant programs for Fiscal Year 2021

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Changes to SW MN Arts Council grant programs for Fiscal Year 2021

(July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021)

Click here to view the new 2020-21 SMAC Grant Calendar 

 ***Grant Calendar for fiscal year 2021 will remain tentative. Dates and availability may change.***


Cash match requirement suspended

For Fiscal Year 2021, no cash match will be required of organization applicants in any grant program.


Separate round for Art Legacy Projects

Art Legacy Projects will be budgeted for and considered separately from Art Projects.  A new separate application round with a deadline of March 3, 2021 has been added for Art Legacy Projects.  (Art Projects will continue to have three deadlines for the year.)


Grant rounds delayed or consolidated (*All grant programs are tentative depending on funding*)

Since we don’t yet know what funding will be available to us from the State of Minnesota and the Arts & Cultural Heritage (Legacy) fund, we have delayed and/or consolidated several grant rounds:

  • The deadline for the first round of Art Project applications is usually in late July, but for this year has been moved to September 9, 2020, with an earliest project start date of November 1, 2020.
  • There will only be one round (instead of two) of Equipment & Facilities Improvement grants, with a deadline date of February 10, 2021.
  • There will only be one round (instead of two) of Individual Artist: Community Collaboration grants with a deadline date of January 13, 2021.
  • Grants with monthly deadlines normally starting August 1 – including Art Legacy Project Planning, Arts Organization Development, and Arts Organization Start-Up – are on hold until further notice.


Request amounts

Grant request amounts for the following programs have been decreased:

  • Art Legacy Projects: $20,000 (was $25,000)
  • Arts Organization Development: $2,500 (was $5,000)


Project start date definition

Clarifications have been made to the definition of “project start date.”

  • Auditions cannot take place before a grantee’s start date.
  • No advertising (whether paid or not) can take place before a grantee’s start date. Grantees still may post basic information such as event dates.


Project end dates

The latest allowable end date for most grant programs will be April 15 of the following year – Fiscal Year 2021 applicants will need to finish their projects by April 15, 2022.


Artist resume requirements

In applications, when providing information about artists’ experience and qualifications:

  • Individual Artist applicants may now submit either their resume or a narrative that includes similar information.
  • Organization applications may submit either resumes or bios for artists involved in their projects.


Guidelines for schools

The following clarifications have been added to the Arts in the Schools guidelines:

  • Arts in the Schools grant projects may occur during the school year or during the summer for projects that involve artist residencies, arts-related field trips, juried art shows or pre-packaged theatre projects.
  • Community education that is governed by a school district should apply for Arts in the Schools grants. Community education that is governed by city government should apply through Art Project grants.
  • Arts in the Schools applicants may request up to $4,000 for each distinct, stand-alone residency.


Guidelines for Individual Artist grants

The following clarifications have been added to the guidelines for Individual Artist grants:

  • Individual Artist applicants must reach the minimum age of 18 by the time of signing their contract, specifically by the earliest project start date for the grant round.
  • Publishing activities and costs are allowed for Individual Artist grant projects.
  • For Community Collaboration projects, the applicant must be one artist, not a pair or group of artists.


Applications restructured

Application questions have been reorganized and consolidated to make things easier for grant writers and reviewers.


Updates to scoring criteria

Applicants will no longer receive separate scores for their outcome evaluation plans.  In each grant program, the requirements for Outcome Evaluation have been combined with other criteria.   See program guidelines and evaluation criteria documents for these updates and other small adjustments made to scoring and criteria.

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