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 more information about SMAC grants, explore the Grants menu tab above.

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

  • Most panel meetings are held virtually via Zoom. However, panelists reviewing monthly Quick Support and Arts in the Schools applications complete their scoring and comments on their own and do not meet for discussion.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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

  • Read about our panel process and responsibilities above or in PDF format: SMAC Grant Panelist Responsibilities
  • Read and sign our Conflict of Interest policy.
  • Fill out the panelist interest form below; or download and fill out the form in Word doc format.
  • Submit your completed interest form, 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.
  • Please contact us if there are any accommodations we can provide to enable your participation.

Apply to be a panelist

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Panelist Interest Form

Simply fill in the information and click SUBMIT. We’ll review your application and get in touch with you!

Contact Information
What arts activities have you attended (A), supported (S), or participated (P) in the last year?
Panelist Guidelines & Responsibilities
SMAC Conflict of Interest Policy

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