After a recommendation from the board of directors and a vote by our members at our Annual Celebration on September 14, 2013, SMAHC is now the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council!
The majority of our funding (96%) comes from the State Legislature and the McKnight Foundation, and is restricted to arts activities. Because of this, all of our grant programs are also restricted to arts activities only. There was concern that our name — “Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council” — and our purpose — “the promotion of the arts and humanities in Southwestern Minnesota” — were misleading to the public and causing confusion for grant applicants, so a change was recommended and approved. “Humanities” has been removed from our name, and our purpose is now “to promote and encourage the development of the arts in the 18 counties of Southwest Minnesota.”
The name change provided the perfect opportunity to update our logo in a colorful, clean, and artistic way. The vibrant greens and blue celebrate our rural area and tie in well with the Legacy logo, which often appears next to ours. The stylized prairie grass provides continuity from our previous logo and represents our region. The circles suggest prairie grass seeds or prairie flowers, a paint palette, holes in a wind instrument, or the faces of our regional community. The combination of these elements gives us a logo that is artistic, easy to read, and clearly represents our organization.
The logo designers, 360 Design House of Canby, took cues from the new logo while creating our new Southwest Minnesota Arts Council website, www.swmnarts.org. The new website is more colorful and visual, with straightforward navigation and clean displays of information. Grant materials can be accessed quickly, and a more user-friendly content management system makes it easier for staff to showcase gallery exhibits, feature upcoming workshops and deadlines, and keep you up to date on news and events.