Southwest Minnesota Arts Council 2017 Highlights


2017 Highlights Fiscal Year 2017 HIGHLIGHTS (Click here for a printable pdf)

Grants to Arts Organizations, Communities, Schools, and Individuals

Total: 161 awards and grants totaling $524,809 were awarded to area organizations and artists through thirteen grant programs, including:


  • $203,620 for 54 matching grants through our Art Projects Grant Program, $29,850 for 2 Art Project Legacy Grants, and $2,000 for 1 Art Legacy Project Planning Grant.


  • 12 Operating Support Grants totaling $113,166


  • 2 Arts Organization Start-up Grants totaling $3,655 to assist new organizations with start-up and obtaining 501(c) (3) status.


  • $4,840 for 2 Arts Organization Development Grants, awarded for organizations to increase their long-term stability and capacity through organizational development and management projects.


  • $47,575 for 7 Equipment/Facilities Improvement Grants (including legacy), awarded for the purchase of equipment items and facilities improvement that will improve the organization’s capacity.


  • 2 Local Arts Initiated grants for a total of $7,380 to sponsor the SWWC Service Cooperative’s Young Artists Conference and for Tonantzin Tlalli Guadalupe’s efforts for authentic culture share.


  • $49,474 to 17 area schools in matching grants for artist residencies and arts related field trips through our Arts in the Schools Grant Program.


  • 8 grants were awarded to students through the Art Study Opportunity for Youth Grant Program for a total of $3,795.


  • 15 individual artists were granted a total of $48,520 for projects to further their careers as artists through the Individual Artist Programs for Developing Artists and Established Career Artists.


  • 38 Scholarships totaling $10,434 enabling 41 people to participate in the Rural Arts and Culture Summit.



SMAC awarded the Prairie Disciple Award in 2017. This award is to recognize one individual from SW MN who has been instrumental in promoting the arts in the 18-county area of southwestern Minnesota. This year’s recipient is Andy Kahmann of Montevideo. He was nominated by Patrick Moore, who praised his collaboration with and promotion of artists: “Many artists have gained confidence to print, sell and display their work as a result of working with Andy.”  Kahmann grew up in Bird Island and has at least 50 years’ experience working with some kind of printing. Kahmann owns and operates A to Z Letterpress, where he creates specialty cards, letters, stationery and posters with hand-set type. His knowledge in the area of printing has allowed him to collaborate with 14 area artists to create the limited edition posters for the Upper Minnesota River Art Crawl, the Meander. He has also put in countless hours volunteering and developing the Art Crawl with the steering committee for the last 14 years and developing a structure so that it can survive financially. Moore summed up his support for Kahmann as Prairie Disciple by saying “you would have to look very hard to find a more dedicated servant to the promotion of art and its appreciation in everyday life.”


Technical Assistance


  • SMAC staff met with artists, volunteers, staff and boards from arts & culture organizations and schools throughout the region to provide assistance with board development, personnel, grant writing, marketing, fundraising and financial management. This free assistance is available upon request.


  • 10 Grant Writing Workshops were conducted at the SMAC office and 2 workshops for arts organizations: A Fundraising & Social Medial Workshop and a Financial Sustainability & Operating Support workshop. SMAC also hosted 4 Minnesota State Arts Board informational sessions with the public in Marshall, Worthington, Hutchinson, and Willmar. Attendance for workshops totaled at least 78


  • SMAC Artist Retreat was held in at the historic Danebod Folk School in Tyler with 54 artists attending. 12 workshops sessions and 2 performances took place, including The Way of the Monarch by Heart of the Beast Theater, Songwriting on the Prairie, Alcohol Inks on Tile, Bookmaking, a Charlie Roth performance, The Importance of Web Presence for Artists, Color Theory, Family Stories into Memoir, Intro to Musical Theatre, Traditional Native Arts on the Prairie, Intro to Shakespeare, Visual Art Peer Critique, Haiku writing, and Business Skills for Artists. There was also time for networking for regional artists.


  • SMAC’s Annual Art Celebration was held in Dassel, MN at the Dassel History Center & Ergot Museum. The event featured a Spirit of the Region raffle, performances by the Fungus Amongus Players from their historical, Midwestern musical Plain Hearts, and a performance by harpist Kathy Fransen, plus dinner catered by Elbows Allowed. 2016 Prairie Disciple Brian Pearson and 2016 Prairie Star Craig Edwards were both honored at the event. (2017 Prairie Disciple Andy Kahmann will be honored at the FY2018 celebration in September 2017 in Windom.)


  • SMAC Art Gallery provided 6 regional artists (all SMAC grantees) the opportunity to have a solo exhibit in an accessible space. Receptions and artist talks were held honoring each artist.  Exhibits in FY 2017 included: Sima Wewetzer, Marshall; Liz Rackl, Ortonville; Dana Weiss, New London; Curt Soine, Granite Falls; Saara Raappana, Marshall; Malena Handeen, Milan. 7 regional musicians or bands were showcased as performers at the artist receptions.


  • The VOICES newsletter was published monthly and included a calendar of events, art opportunities and news items.


  • SMAC website provided up-to-date information on available grants, news, on-line grant forms, calendar of arts events, and links to arts resources.


Legacy LogoFunding for the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council’s programs and services is provided by memberships and donations from individuals, businesses, organizations, schools, cities and counties, the McKnight Foundation, an allocation from the Minnesota State Legislature and by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Leave a Comment


Join our email list

© 2024 Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. All Rights Reserved.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. ACCEPT READ MORE

Privacy & Cookies Policy
Skip to content