topMRAC e-newsletter
December 2014 
In This Issue
Organizational Development and Capital grant awards
Community Arts Workshops
Community Arts Panels
Arts Learning Panels
Next Step Fund Guidelines
FY 2014 Annual Report
Arts Management Training
Legacy Signs
Arts & Culture Funders Database
Resource Updates
Holiday Hours
FY 2015 Deadlines
Photos Needed!
Forward to a Friend
FY 2014 Summary
Quick Links
Greetings!

We were delighted to receive notification last month from the Cultural Data Project (CDP) that a new streamlined version is now available. This was designed to make an organization's data entry for creating its Data Profile shorter, and this will be especially helpful for small organizations whose operations are not complex. According to the people at the CDP, most organizations will be required to answer one-third fewer questions than before, and many organizations will see the number of questions reduced by half.

The Minnesota CDP is an online system for reporting your organizational and financial data. After you've completed your first Data Profile, you will be able to run reports on your organization, which you can use to analyze operations over time and inform your planning, as one part of the grant application process to partnering funders (currently optional for MRAC applications), and to make your case to potential donors and grant makers, board members, advocates, and policy makers.

A video on the new streamlined CDP Data Profile is available at http://vimeo.com/104023197.  For more information, and to start or update your organization's Data Profile, go to www.mnculturaldata.org.

Jeff Prauer

Executive Director 

Organizational Development and Capital grant awards

On November 25, 2014, MRAC awarded 218,424  to 22 organizations in its FY 2015 Organizational Development grant program and 204,935 to 25 organizations in its FY 2015 Capital grant program.

The Organizational Development grant program offers grants of up to 10,000 for projects designed to strengthen the management or administration of arts organizations. The Capital grant program offers grants of up to 10,000 for arts organizations to purchase equipment and related supplies and services, or to make capital improvements. Awarded projects must advance the organization's mission, have the potential for long-term impact, and show evidence of thorough planning.

Click the linked program name for lists of the FY 2015 Organizational Development
and Capital grantees sorted by county of affiliation that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites. Groups located in Minneapolis and St. Paul are listed separately from suburban Hennepin and suburban Ramsey counties.

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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.

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.

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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. Click the linked panel date to see the order of reviews for that panel day.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014
Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Friday, December 12, 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 or participate in the panel's discussion.

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Arts Learning, Round 1 Grant Panels

The FY 2015 Arts Learning, Round 1 grant applications will be reviewed January 20-22, 2015. 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 January newsletter and on our website in January.

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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Next Step Fund FY 2015 Guidelines Are Online!

The FY 2015 Next Step Fund for individual artists deadline is March 2, 2015. The FY 2015 guidelines are available on the Next Step Fund grant program page. Workshops will be held in February and announced in the January newsletter.  

 

FY 2014 Annual Report
 

All of our grant awards from FY 2014 are available in a downloadable document--the MRAC 2014 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 Body Cartography, Drama Interaction, FTF Works/Herocycle - photo by Mike Neuharth, Iny Asian Dance Theater - Photo by Cam Xiong, Marcy Puppet Dragons Residency,  Magic Lantern Puppet Theater, Open Eye Figure Theatre - photo by Mark Vancleave, Poetry Picnic - photo by Bruce Silcox, Theatre Pro Rata - photo by Charles Gorrill, Wayzata Symphony Orchestra - photo by Dawn Anderson, and Yellow Tree Theatre for supplying the photos we used in this year's report.

 

Please note: with 490 grants awarded last year, the annual report is a fairly large file and may take a moment to download. It also may not display correctly in Firefox. Please contact Mara Miller at mara@mrac.org if you would like an emailed pdf. 

 

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.


 

MRAC Arts Management Training
  • Email EQ (Emotional Quotient) 12/2/2014
  • Arts & Culture Funders Database (reprise) 12/8/2014
  • Capitalization and Financial Health for Arts Organizations 12/15/2014

Email EQ (Emotional Quotient) 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 Arts & Culture Funders Database (Reprise!)  
Monday, December 8, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Roseville Library, 2180 Hamline Ave N., Roseville, MN 55113
Presented by Steve Paprocki, Access Philanthropy
 
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 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.      

Capitalization and Financial Health for Arts Organizations 
Monday, December 15, 2014, 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, 2324 University Ave W., St. Paul, MN 55114
Presented by Kate Barr, Nonprofit Assistance Fund

Capitalization is an essential but often misunderstood concept for nonprofit organizations. Grantmakers in the Arts and their members have been leaders on this topic for several years. The discussions around capitalization frequently raise more questions: How is capital different than the other funding we grant or receive? What are the consequences of having the wrong capital structure? What are the real benefits and results when arts nonprofits are well capitalized?
 
Kate Barr, Executive Director of Nonprofits Assistance Fund, will demystify capitalization, illustrate capitalization concepts with examples, and share some practices and principles that nurture capitalization. You will reflect on and discuss with other arts nonprofits what being well capitalized would mean for your organization.
 
Kate Barr is the Executive Director of Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF) where she oversees the organization's strategic plans, development, loan capital, outreach, and program activities. Under her leadership, the organization has emerged as a premier financial management resource in Minnesota. Prior to joining NAF, Kate served as Senior Vice President of Riverside Bank where she was responsible for strategic planning, marketing, and community development lending. Kate holds a Master's degree from Hamline University and is currently a member of their adjunct faculty. She serves on the boards of directors of the Neighborhood Development Center, Partners for the Common Good, Western Bank and the Cultural Data Project.
 
The workshops are free, but we ask that you register in advance. Please click on the linked workshop date to register. A complete list of upcoming MRAC training events and the handouts from past presentations are available at www.mrac.org/workshops/artsmanagementtraining. Please contact us if you need special accommodations to attend a workshop.
 
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 mara@mrac.org 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. 

Arts & Culture Funders Database

You have asked, "Where besides MRAC can we go for funding?" Now we have an answer. MRAC has 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. Visit http://funders.accessphilanthropy.com/clients/mrac/index.php to access the database.

Access Philanthropy is also providing a quarterly newsletter with updates and deadlines. Click the link to view the most recent Arts & Culture Funders Database updates/deadlines newsletter. Sign up to receive them by email at

 

Your feedback is important! Please let us know if you receive a grant as a result of this tool or if you think of ways to improve it.  

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

Minnesota Varsity 2015, Classical MPR's fifth annual showcase of young musical talent across Classical MPR's broadcast region, is requesting submissions. Music students (aged 14-18) are invited to submit a recording of an instrumental or vocal performance of a classical or musical theater work, for evaluation by a panel of MPR judges. Student composers in the same age group are invited to submit an original score for a piano, clarinet and French horn trio. More information is available at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/radio/services/cms/features/ongoing/minnesota-varsity. Deadline: December 5, 2014 by 9:00 a.m.

Intermedia Arts is accepting applications for their Beyond the Pure Fellowships for Writers (formerly the SASE Jerome Grants for Emerging Writers). The 9-month fellowship program awards grants of up to $4,000 to four to six emerging Minnesota writers and provides peer support, guidance, community, and resources throughout the program year. The fellowship places a particular emphasis on increasing the visibility of and providing a platform for emerging writers whose voices have historically been underrepresented in the literary arts. More information is available at www.intermediaarts.org/beyond-the-pure-fellowships. Deadline: December 9, 2014.

The Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) is offering one-hour webinars to help arts organizations apply for the MSAB Operating Support grant program. The session will be particularly helpful for first-time applicants. The final session date is December 15 at 1:00 p.m. Registration and log-in information is available at www.arts.state.mn.us/calendar/information-sessions.htm. Information about the Operating Support grant program is available at www.arts.state.mn.us/grants/operating-support.htm.

 

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 minnesotatheateralliance.org/content/about-arts-market.

MNartists.org has been an online arts hub for more than a decade. Last month they debuted a new full-scale redesign! Check it out at www.mnartists.org.

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 www.neabigread.org/application_process.php. 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. 

 

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MRAC Holiday Hours

MRAC will be closed December 24 and December 25 for Christmas and January 1 for New Year's Day.

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.  

 

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 mara@mrac.org.

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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.