About Us

Our Mission

The Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) is a non-profit organization committed to promoting and encouraging the development of the arts in the eighteen counties and two sovereign nations of southwestern Minnesota by serving as a source of funds and technical services which enable local organizations, educational institutions, and individuals to sponsor and/or create and promote the arts in their communities.

Our Vision

Artists, arts organizations and arts activities thrive. Public value of the arts is understood and acted upon by community members, leaders and policy makers. The creative spirit is integrated into the social fabric of every community.

Our Values

Artistic Quality

Program Intent

SMAC is committed to:

  • Supporting artists and arts organizations in creating, producing and presenting high-quality arts activities
  • Overcoming barriers to accessing high quality arts activities
  • Instilling the arts into the community and public life in our region
  • Supporting high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for residents of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts
  • Supporting events and activities that represent the diverse ethnic and cultural arts traditions including folk and traditional artists and art organizations, represented in this region

Painting by Anne Wedler

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Statement

We believe that all people deserve art and culture in their lives – from a moment of personal inspiration, to a neighborhood musical gathering, to a glorious production that brings thousands to their feet, to the greatest of all: uniting people through creative expression.


Tackling the issues of equity and inclusion requires commitment, respect, patience, determination, and flexibility. SMAC understands that there is no one single way to achieve equitable results, however we are committed to a sustained effort in breaking down barriers and building bridges across communities . . . 

Our History

Established in 1974, the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC) merged with SWAFAH, a similar regional arts organization which had been in operation in the area since 1968. SMAC is part of the statewide system of eleven regional arts councils (RACs) that receive a legislative allocation for the arts in an effort to increase access to and participation in the arts, increase arts awareness and ensure equitable distribution of legislative arts funding, the regional arts councils work on a statewide basis in partnership with the Minnesota State Arts Board. Each regional arts council is designated to assess arts needs, develop programs and services to meet those needs, and distribute grants to fund arts programs in their region.

SMAC is governed by a volunteer board of directors who are elected by the individual and organizational members of the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. The board members, one from each of our counties and sovereign nations, meet monthly to work on policy, planning activities, discussing new ideas, and evaluating past projects. Daily activities are managed by a staff of three full-time employees.

Serving Southwest Minnesota
Big Stone  |  Chippewa |  Cottonwood |  Jackson |  Kandiyohi |  Lac qui Parle |  Lincoln |  Lyon |  McLeod |  Meeker |  Murray |  Nobles |  Pipestone |  Redwood |  Renville |  Rock |  Swift |  Yellow Medicine | Pezihutazizi/Upper Sioux Community |  Cansayapi/Lower Sioux Community

The creative spirit is integrated into the social fabric of every community.

Artwork by Eva Margaret of Willmar, MN.


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