topMRAC e-newsletter
October 2014 
In This Issue
Arts Activities Support Awards
Community Arts Workshops
Arts Learning Workshops
Organizational Development and Capital Grant Panels
Arts Management Training
Legacy Signs
Resource Updates
FY 2015 Deadlines
Photos Needed!
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FY 2014 Summary
Quick Links

Next month, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) will celebrate 40 years as the oldest and most successful state arts advocacy organization in the country. From its small beginnings in 1975, when annual state funding for the arts in Minnesota was just 300,000, MCA has helped increase state arts allocations to become the nation's leader in per capita arts funding. Over those 40 years, MCA has lobbied to secure 394 million in total state funding for the arts. These public dollars reach organizations, artists, and audiences of all ages all over the state through the unique competitive grant-making system of the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils, and MCA was instrumental in creating this funding system to ensure access to the arts across the state.

In addition to Minnesota's exceptional arts funding, MCA successfully pushed for passage of the state's "Percent for Art in Public Places" Program, which acquires works of art to be exhibited in and around the public areas of state buildings.  

And of course MCA's most recent major accomplishment was its work in anchoring a coalition of environmental advocates that engineered the groundbreaking Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which was passed overwhelmingly by the electorate in November 2008.

MCA's advocacy has resulted in a robust state arts funding infrastructure, unique in the country, that as a partnership between the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils feeds resources to all levels of the arts ecosystem, resulting in access to the arts for Minnesotans no matter where they live or what their circumstances. MRAC has worked closely with MCA in helping to connect arts organizations with their legislators and providing information on public policy affecting the arts. We congratulate MCA on this milestone, and we are proud to be a partner.


Jeff Prauer

Executive Director 

Arts Activities Support, Round 1 Grant Awards

On September 23, 2014, MRAC awarded a total of 677,560 to 69 organizations and/or projects in the first round of the FY 2015 Arts Activities Support grant program. The organizations and projects chosen demonstrate both strong artistic quality and a community connection. This round's funded projects include a youth theater program with an original script and musical score, a Somali art exhibit, a Chinese New Year celebration, a teen neighborhood-inspired film project, several community music and/or art festivals, many dance and theater performances, a variety of musical concerts and more.


Click on the link for a complete list of this round's grantees sorted by county that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites.

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Community Arts Grant Deadline
The FY 2015 Community Arts, Round 1 grant deadline is Monday, October 6, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. with an earliest project start date of December 17, 2014. All applications must be submitted using MRAC's online Grant Interface. Guidelines and a link to the grant interface are available on the Community Arts grant program page.

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Arts Learning Grant Application Workshop
The FY 2015 Arts Learning, Round 1 grant deadline is Monday, November 3, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. with an earliest project start date of January 28, 2015. The following workshop is designed to help groups prepare MRAC Arts Learning grant applications. Participants will become familiar with the grant program and online application process and learn how to write effective MRAC grant proposals. Please click on the linked workshop date to register.

All applications must be submitted using MRAC's online Grant Interface. Guidelines and a link to the grant interface are available on the Arts Learning grant program page. The workshop is free and 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. 

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Organizational Development and Capital Grant Panels

The FY 2015 Organizational Development and Capital grant applications will be reviewed the week of November 10, 2014. Capital grants will be reviewed on November 10 and 11. Organizational Development grants will be reviewed November 12 and 13. The panel review meetings will begin each day at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. The order of grant reviews for each panel day will be available in our November newsletter and on our website in November.

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 or participate in the panel's discussion.

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MRAC Arts Management Training  

MRAC's November training is currently being scheduled. Look for an emailed announcement later this month. A complete list of upcoming MRAC training events and the handouts from past presentations are available at


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MRAC Lends Legacy Amendment Signs! 

Help us communicate the impact and value of Legacy Amendment funds! MRAC is lending graphic banner signs (33.5"w x 83"h) with the Legacy Amendment logo and MRAC acknowledgement language for display at projects/events funded by the arts and cultural heritage fund. Please contact Mara Miller at or by phone 651-523-6384 to reserve a sign. The number of signs available is limited, so please reserve them early and return the signs promptly after using.


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

The Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) is offering three, one-hour webinars to help arts organizations apply for the MSAB Operating Support grant program. These sessions will be particularly helpful for first-time applicants. The session dates are 10/29 at 4 p.m., 11/12 at 10 a.m., and 12/15 at 1:00 p.m. Registration and log-in information is available at Information about the Operating Support grant program is available at


Give to the Max Day, sponsored by, is scheduled for November 13, 2014. Give to the Max Day is a day for Minnesotans to come together to raise as much money as possible for nonprofits and schools in 24 hours. More information and related resources are available at

Forecast Public Art is offering three grant opportunities for Minnesota-based artists seeking to expand their work in the field of public art. More information and links to the applications are available at Deadline: October 15th, 2014.

The City of Minneapolis seeks to partner with a nonprofit design or cultural organization as co-applicants for a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Our Town grant. A government entity must be a partner in each NEA Our Town grant proposal, but each local government is limited to only one (1) application that they may endorse. The City of Minneapolis has a selection process to review proposals for the City's endorsement with a November 7 deadline. Visit for more information about the Minneapolis endorsement process and for the NEA Our Town grant guidelines.

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. Visit the Management Training Fund program page for more information. 


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FY 2015 Grant Application Deadlines

Below are the remaining 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 the application has been received and time-stamped by the MRAC Grant Interface server.  


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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Collecting Photos

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

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Please forward our e-newsletter to people who may be interested in information about MRAC grant deadlines and awards, workshops, training opportunities, resource updates, and other MRAC news. We do not share our e-mail subscriber list with others.

MRAC FY 2014 Summary 

In FY 2014, MRAC received 814 applications and awarded 452 grants totaling
3,175,634 to arts organizations and/or projects including a 220,000 grant to VSA Minnesota for its re-granting 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 340 applications from individual artists in the Next Step Fund program and awarded 38 grants totaling 182,586 with funds from The McKnight Foundation. MRAC also provided 23 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.