topMRAC e-newsletter
November 2014 
In This Issue
Community Arts Workshops
Organizational Development and Capital Grant Panels
Community Arts Grant Panels
Arts Management Training
Legacy Signs
Resource Updates
Holiday Hours
FY 2015 Deadlines
Photos Needed!
Forward to a Friend
FY 2014 Summary
Quick Links

MRAC staff members are often asked, "Where else can I go for funding?" and so we are very excited to announce that starting this month, arts organizations have access to a new database of funders with a history of making grants in the Twin Cities metro area in the arts, culture, history, and humanities. This searchable resource, the "Arts & Culture Funders Database" of approximately 400 funders, was developed and is operated by Access Philanthropy, a locally-based consulting firm that helps nonprofits find and connect with resources. 


Users can access - for free! - the Arts & Culture Funders Database (24/7) through a link on MRAC's website (under resources) or through Access Philanthropy's website at In addition, users will be able to register - also for free - to receive a quarterly calendar showing upcoming deadlines of ongoing and special funding opportunities, and MRAC will provide periodic alerts on updates to the Arts & Culture Funders Database.


MRAC is hosting a workshop on the Arts & Culture Funders Database on Monday, November 17, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Open Book in Minneapolis, and another identical workshop on Monday, December 8, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Roseville Library's Community Room. 


We hope this tool will be a useful resource for you!


Jeff Prauer

Executive Director 

Community Arts, Round 2 Grant Application Workshops 
The FY 2015 Community Arts, Round 2 grant deadline is Monday, January 12, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. with an earliest project start date of March 25, 2015. The following workshops are designed to help groups prepare MRAC Community Arts 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.

Monday, December 1, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, December 3, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, December 4, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Friday, December 5, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

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.

The workshops are 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.

Back to top
Organizational Development and Capital Grant Panels

The FY 2015 Organizational Development and Capital grant applications will be reviewed the week of November 10, 2014.  The panel review meetings will begin each day at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. Click on the linked panel date to see the order of grant reviews for that panel day.

November 10, CapitalNovember 12, Organizational Development 
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.

Back to top 

Community Arts, Round 1 Grant Panels

The FY 2015 Community Arts, Round 1 grant applications will be reviewed December 9 - 12, 2014. 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 December newsletter and on our website in December.

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.

Back to top 

MRAC Arts Management Training
  • The Arts & Culture Funders Database, 11/17/2014 and 12/8/2014 
  • Email EQ for Fundraising & Engagement: Tips to Tap the Arts Supporter's Brain, 12/2/2014

The Arts & Culture Funders Database (We've Added a 2nd Date!!) 
Presented by Steve Paprocki, Access Philanthropy  

Because of the high demand for this session, we have added a second date! The November 17 session is currently filled but will reopen if cancellations are received. If you wish to be put on the November 17 waiting list or reschedule your attendance to the December session, contact Mara Miller at

Monday, November 17, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 
Open Book, 1011 Washington Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55415


Monday, December 8, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N, Roseville, MN 55113  


You have asked, "Where besides MRAC can we go for funding?" Now we have an answer. MRAC is excited to announce that we have partnered with Access Philanthropy to provide, for free, a database of approximately 400 funders that have a history of making grants in the Twin Cities metro area for arts, culture, history, and humanities. Join us at one of the two workshops to find out about the tool and how to use it to your organization's best advantage. You will learn what makes this database different, how to customize your search and create your own online funder list, and how to use the detailed information provided to match funding opportunities to your organization.


Steve Paprocki has 35+ years of philanthropic experience as a foundation director, fundraiser, trainer, donor consultant, author, researcher, and lobbyist. He is the president of Access Philanthropy, the author of more than two dozen books and directories on foundations and corporate giving programs and he teaches philanthropy, fundraising and communications in business and nonprofit graduate school programs. 


Email EQ for Fundraising & Engagement: Tips to Tap the Arts Supporter's Brain 
Tuesday, December 2, 2014, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 2324 University Ave W., St. Paul, MN 55114
Presented by Cary Walski and Kevin Jagoe

In the land of online fundraising, it's email, not social media, that brings in the most donations. What can your arts nonprofit do to maximize the persuasive impact of the fundraising messages you send out?    


This fun, interactive training will help you examine how to craft donation appeals that tap into the "emotional" brain of donors. Research has yielded surprising results about what does, and does not motivate people to give when they receive an email from a nonprofit. Attendees will learn easy-to-implement strategies to optimize both the look and language of fundraising e-campaigns. The session will also discuss ethical considerations when using emotionally-charged content to persuade audiences.


Cary Walski is the owner of Copilot, a web development company specializing in nonprofits. Cary has a background in psychology and 10 years of experience in the technology and online communications field. She also serves as membership chair for the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of the Twin Cities.


Kevin Jagoe has been working with nonprofit organizations and community-minded small businesses for nearly a decade. His work has included website design and development as well as multichannel communications strategy for organizations with limited budgets and few (if any) dedicated communications staff.  


The workshops are free but we ask that you register in advance. Click on the linked training date to register for that event. Please contact us if you need special accommodations to attend.

Back to top 
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.


P.S. Send me a photo of the sign at your event and I will put it on our Facebook page. 

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 holding information sessions on November 12, 17, and 18 about funding opportunities for artists, arts organizations, schools, community organizations, and human and social service organizations. The sessions include a brief overview of all MSAB grant programs and a panel discussion with five grantees. The sessions provide an opportunity for participants to learn from the experience of a diverse group of peers who have successfully worked in partnership with the Arts Board to fund a range of projects. Visit for more information and to register.

The Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) is offering 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 November 12 at 10 a.m. and December 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

The City of Minneapolis is leading a planning process to think more strategically about how its arts and creative assets can best contribute to the local and regional economy and improve Minneapolis' quality of life. An arts participation survey is a part of the planning process and the results will greatly inform the Creative City Road Map. More information is available at The survey closes on November 21, 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.

The Minnesota Theater Alliance has launched Arts Market, a free online materials exchange for the arts, where you can offer and find reusable set pieces, hardware, art materials, gear, costumes, props, office equipment/materials, etc. available for free, sale, rent, or barter. You can share resources, reduce costs, make a little revenue, and reduce waste. It's like Craig's List for the arts. More information is available at has been an online hub for over a decade. On November 7 they will debut a new full-scale redesign! Sign up at for early beta access and be one of the first to be a part of this renewed community. Or check out the new site on or after November 7 at

The Surdna Foundation is now accepting proposals for artist-driven projects as part of its Artists Engaging in Social Change funding area. Through this RFP, Surdna will support compelling projects that artists develop in response to their communities' specific challenges, and will also fund the projects of artists whose long-term, deeply-rooted work has increased social engagement without necessarily being explicitly defined as "activist." More information is available at Deadline: November 12, 2014.

The Big Read is a national program designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage reading for pleasure and enrichment. Organizations selected to participate in The Big Read receive a grant, educational and promotional materials, and access to online training resources and opportunities. Approximately 75 organizations from across the country will be selected. Funding ranges from $2,500 to $20,000. More information is available at Deadline January 28, 2015.

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. 


Back to top 

MRAC Holiday Hours

MRAC will be closed November 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

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.  


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


Back to top 

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

forwardForward to a Friend

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.