topMRAC e-newsletter
May 2014 
In This Issue
FY 2015 Deadlines
Arts Impact Study
Arts Activities Support Workshops
Management Consulting Fund Workshop
Arts Learning Panels
Next Step Fund Panel
Arts Activities Support Panels
ADA Access Improvement Grants
Green Line Launch
Resource Updates
Holiday Hours
Website Update
FY 2013 Annual Report
Photos Needed!
Forward to a Friend
FY 2013 Summary
Quick Links


The MRAC Board of Directors begins every monthly meeting with each Board and staff person talking about MRAC-funded arts events or performances that they have attended in the past month. Attendance at these events is not required, but it has become part of the culture of the organization, and it's a responsibility that everyone loves and embraces eagerly. The MRAC Board's primary responsibility is to approve grant awards that have been read, discussed, and ranked by volunteer review panels (and MRAC, along with the 10 other regional arts councils and the Minnesota State Arts Board, received an award at Arts Advocacy Day in March "For Effective Use of Public Panels in Grantmaking" from Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and Conservation Minnesota).

Soon our Board members will start wearing name tags identifying them as MRAC Board members when they attend arts events. So, when you see one of them--or any of the seven MRAC staff members--at your arts event, we're not there to check up on you or conduct a site visit.  We're there because we all share a passion for art and community.

Sincerely,

Jeff Prauer

Executive Director 

 

FY 2015 Grant Application Deadlines

Below are the FY 2015 grant application deadlines. All applications must be submitted using the online MRAC Grant Interface. Unless otherwise noted, all applications must be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date.  "Submitted" means that your application has been received and time-stamped by the MRAC Grant Interface server. FY 2015 guidelines will be posted on Monday, June 2, 2014. 

 

7/14/2014   Arts Activities Support, Round 1

9/8/2014     Capital

9/8/2014     Organizational Development

10/6/2014   Community Arts, Round 1

11/3/2014   Arts Learning, Round 1

1/12/2015   Community Arts, Round 2

3/2/2015     Arts Learning, Round 2

3/2/2015     Next Step Fund, (11:59 p.m.)

4/6/2015     Arts Activities Support, Round 2

4/13/2015   Arts Achievement Award

 

Weekly           Management Training Fund

Weekly           Emergency Accessibility

Monthly         Management Consulting Fund

 

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Make Sure Your Organization is Counted!

Your arts and culture nonprofit has an impact on your community's economy, but no economic impact study of the nonprofit arts and culture sector has been done in Minnesota since 2007. To fill this gap, Minnesota's arts funders have partnered with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) to create a new State of the Arts and Culture Report to be released in January 2015. The report will include data collected from multiple sources including the Cultural Data Project (CDP). Funding partners include The McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the 11 Regional Arts Councils.

Make sure your organization is counted as part of Minnesota's arts economy! Fill out a brief online survey for your organization at http://research.zarca.com/k/SsVWVWsQUSsPsPsP. If your organization has filled out a CDP profile for FY 2012, you don't need to do this online survey.

Want to know more about the project? Visit http://www.mncitizensforthearts.org/learn/artsresearch/2014-eis-study/.

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FY 2015 Arts Activities Support, Round 1 Grant Workshops

The FY 2015 Arts Activities Support, Round 1 grant application deadline is Monday, July 14, 2014 with an earliest project start date of September 24, 2014. Grant guidelines will be available on the Arts Activities Support grant program page starting Monday, June 2, 2014.

MRAC offers workshops designed to help groups prepare MRAC Arts Activities Support grant applications. Participants become familiar with the program, online application process, and learn how to write effective MRAC grant proposals. This is a great opportunity to get questions answered on your project ideas.
The Arts Activities Support workshops will be held:

Monday, June 9, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 10, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 12, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, June 13, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The workshops are free, but we ask that you register in advance. To register, click on the linked workshop date. The workshops will be held in the MRAC conference room at 2324 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55114. Please contact us if you need special accommodations to attend an application workshop.  

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Management Consulting Fund Workshop in Washington County   

 

MCF Grant/Working with a Consultant: Prepare your Organization for Success!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Hosted by ArtReach St. Croix, 224 4th St. N., Stillwater, MN 55082

Presented by: Shannon Forney and Kathy Blegen-Huntley

 

Could hiring an expert help your organization get to the next level, overcome a barrier, plan an expansion, or help solve a problem? MRAC's Management-Consulting Fund grant will pay for consultant fees relating to a small arts-management project that has the potential for significant impact in advancing the mission of your arts group. After a brief overview of MRAC funding, this session will explain the Management Consulting Fund program, the application process, and give you ideas for how your organization might benefit. While MRAC does not recommend or endorse specific consultants, you will learn tips for finding and selecting a consultant and best practices to ensure that your arts-management project is a success.

Shannon Forney is the MRAC Program Director for the Organizational Development, Capital, Management Consulting Fund, Management Training Fund, and Emergency Accessibility grant programs. She holds a Masters of Administration in Nonprofit Management from Hamline University's School of Business in St. Paul, Minnesota and a BA in Theater from Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio.

Kathy Blegen-Huntley, Owner & President of Upward Spiral Consulting works in the areas of non-profit advancement, arts collaborations and facilitation.  Kathy is a skilled leader and experienced consultant to a wide variety of non-profits including nine years working as Development Director and Executive Director of human service and arts organizations. Kathy's experience includes fundraising, capital campaign planning and implementation, marketing/branding, strategic planning, board development and operational effectiveness.


The workshop is free, but we ask that you register in advance. To register, click on the linked workshop date. Please contact us if you need special accommodations to attend an application workshop.  

 

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Arts Learning, Round 2 Grant Panels    

 

The FY 2014 Arts Learning, Round 2 grant applications will be reviewed May 20, 21, and 22. The panel review meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. Click on the linked panel date to see the order of reviews for that panel day.  

 

May 20, 2014 

May 21, 2014 

May 22, 2014   

 

Panel meetings are public, open meetings, and constituents are encouraged to come and listen to the reviews to gain a fuller understanding of the process and hear the panelists' comments directly. Applicants may listen to the proceedings, but are not invited to make presentations.

 

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Next Step Fund Grant Panel     

 

The FY 2014 Next Step Fund grant applications will be reviewed Wednesday, June 11 2014. The panel review meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. The panel review schedule will be available in the June e-newsletter and on our website in June. 

 

Panel meetings are public, open meetings, and constituents are encouraged to come and listen to the reviews to gain a fuller understanding of the process and hear the panelists' comments directly. Applicants may listen to the proceedings, but are not invited to make presentations.

 

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Arts Activities Support, Round 2 Grant Panels    

 

The FY 2014 Arts Activities Support, Round 2 grant applications will be reviewed the week of June 16, 2014. The panel review meetings will begin at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. Panel review schedules will be available in our June e-newsletter and on our website in June.    

 

Panel meetings are public, open meetings, and constituents are encouraged to come and listen to the reviews to gain a fuller understanding of the process and hear the panelists' comments directly. Applicants may listen to the proceedings, but are not invited to make presentations.

 

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ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations

ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations are designed to help make arts programming, activities, and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities. The grants of up to 15,000 are intended for projects with significant or long-term potential to involve more people with disabilities as participants or patrons in arts programs. This year some smaller grants will be available for shorter-term activities to help arts groups engage with part of the disability community and cover their expenses in doing so (such as language interpreting, Braille programs, captioning, assistive listening units, etc.). Groups must be located in the 7-county metropolitan region and have an annual budget less than 4,460,000.

For grant guidelines, application, and the dates/locations of information meetings and accessibility workshops, contact VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888, email access@vsamn.org, or go to www.vsamn.org. Deadline: May 16, 2014.

 

This program, administered by VSA Minnesota, is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

 

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Green Line Launch, June 14, 2014!

Thank you for your patience during the LRT Green Line construction along University Avenue! Metro Transit has announced that the trains will officially start running on June 14, 2014. Join the community celebrations at stations along the line from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m on that day. The Raymond Station's Green Line Launch party (the station in front of MRAC's building) is in the parking lot on the east side of the Midtown Commons buildings on the corner of LaSalle Street and University Avenue. The launch party will feature live performances, public art, demonstrations, food, and more. Find out more or get involved at creativeenterprisezone.org.

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Resource Updates (These non-MRAC opportunities are listed at MRAC's discretion. The listing does not indicate an endorsement.)     

The Knight Foundation's Arts Challenge is an ideas contest. They're looking for innovative ideas that can help engage St. Paul in or through the arts. There are only three rules for the challenge: the idea must be about the arts, the project must take place in or benefit St. Paul, and grant recipients must find funds to match Knight's commitment within a year. The challenge is open to anyone who has a great idea for the arts. The simple application is available at KnightArts.org and asks for a project description in just 150 words. Deadline: May 5, 2014.

 

Forecast Public Art and Hennepin County's Multicultural Arts Committee are partnering to host an art exhibit by a Twin Cities nonprofit at the Hennepin Gallery in downtown Minneapolis this December-January. The selected exhibitor receives $2,000 for expenses plus $500 for promotion, and the gallery gets thousands of visitors every week! More information is available at forecastpublicart.org/assets/2014/04/Hennepin-Gallery-Exhibit-Opportunity-2014.pdf. Deadline: May 15, 2014.  

 

The Minnesota State Arts Board's Minnesota Festival Support program is designed to engage Minnesotans in festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts. The program provides funding for sponsoring or presenting organizations to feature Minnesota individual artists and Minnesota arts groups in arts festivals, or in the arts components of broader, community-based festivals. More information is available at www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/machf-mfs.htm. Deadline: May 23, 2014.

 

Women's Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) is seeking mentors for the 2015-2016 cycle of its Mentor/Protégée program. WARM's Mentor Program pairs emerging artists and professional women artists for a two-year mentoring period. More information is available at www.thewarm.org/mentor-program. Deadline: May 25, 2014.

 

The Minnesota State Arts Board's Artist Initiative program supports and assists artists at various stages in their careers. It encourages artistic development, nurtures artistic creativity, and recognizes the contributions individual artists make to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota. More information is available at www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/artist-initiative.htm. There are three deadlines for the FY 2015 Artist Initiative grant applications, depending on discipline:

  • Literary arts; poetry and prose: June 13, 2014
  • Performing arts; dance, music, and theater: July 11, 2014
  • Visual arts; media arts, and photography, and visual arts: August 1, 2014   

Call for Artists: Post Offices...an Endangered Species is a nonprofit mail-art project that asks artists working in any medium to adopt a Minnesota post office, explore the community history, and create a visual design or written work for display on their website gallery, as a way to inform decision makers and the public about the important economic and community role the United States Postal Service plays in our Minnesota communities. More information is available at www.po4ever.com. Deadline: June 30, 2014.

 

Interested in a non-MRAC training opportunity, but not sure that your organization can afford the fee? MRAC offers a training fund grant for management or administrative-related training opportunities that will strengthen your organization. Click on the link for more information on MRAC's Management Training Fund grant. 

 

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MRAC Holiday Hours

MRAC will be closed on Monday, May 26 for Memorial Day.

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Website Update!

MRAC has added a Manage My Grant web page with direct links to the Grant Interfaces and directions for grant agreements and final reports.

If you have suggestions about how we can improve the website, please send them to mara@mrac.org.

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FY 2013 Annual Report

All of our grant awards from FY 2013 are available in a downloadable document--the MRAC 2013 Annual Report is now online! Thank you to all of our awarded groups whose work helps us meet our mission of increasing access to the arts in 7-county metropolitan area communities. We also thank Ananya Dance Theatre - photo by V. Paul Virtucio, Bedlam Theatre - photo by Farrington Starnes, Cleveland Neighborhood Association, Dream Songs Project - photo by Greg Kaiser, Hinterhands Puppet Company - photos by Bruce Silcox, Iraqi and American Reconcilliation Project - photo by Shari Hagen, KAIROSalive!, Northeast Minneapolis Arts Association, Rosemount Area Arts Council, and zAmya Theater Project for supplying the photos we used in this year's report.

 

Please note: with 472 grants awarded last year, the annual report is a fairly large file and may take a moment to download. If you wish to submit photos from your MRAC-funded events for use in MRAC and RAC Forum materials, please visit www.mrac.org/news/photo-submission.

 

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Photos Needed for a New Brochure!

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council needs photos of arts activities from the past year to use on our website and in our print materials such as our brochure and annual report. We are looking for a variety of photos that will show the diversity of our community and the range of arts activities and arts disciplines that MRAC funds. Photos will be selected for use based on our needs and photo quality.


For more information and to submit your photos, please visit our photo submission page or contact Mara Miller by email at mara@mrac.org.

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MRAC FY 2013 Summary 

In FY 2013, MRAC received 801 applications and awarded 434 grants totaling  

2,979,141 to arts organizations and/or projects including a grant to VSA Minnesota for its regranting program, the ADA Access Improvement Grants for Metro Arts Organizations. These grants were funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State's general fund, and by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. MRAC also received 376 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 38 grants totaling 180,225 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 16 arts management training sessions and 30 grant application workshops.

 

Photos for top ribbon provided by: Caponi Art Park, Twin Cities Housing Development Corporation, Twin Cities Women's Choir, Weavers Guild of Minnesota, and the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.