topMRAC e-newsletter
February 2015 
In This Issue
Arts Learning Awards
Arts Learning Deadline
Next Step Fund Workshops
Arts Activities Support Workshops
Community Arts Panels
Creative Minnesota
FY 2014 Annual Report
Legacy Signs
Arts & Culture Funders Database
Resource Updates
Holiday Hours
FY 2015 Deadlines
Photos Needed!
Forward to a Friend
FY 2014 Summary
Quick Links

Arts Advocacy Day, organized by Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, is coming up on Thursday, February 19th, beginning at 8:00 a.m. at the Minnesota History Center and then moving to the State Capitol for meetings with members of the state legislature. Advocacy Day is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to talk with legislators about the importance of the arts in our lives and our communities, the impact of the General Fund and Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund appropriations, and other key legislative issues. Legislators are eager to hear from their constituents, and Arts Advocacy Day is a fabulous opportunity for you to communicate with your representatives and senators in an organized way, with assistance from experienced Advocacy Day team leaders.  

The 7-county metropolitan region touches all or part of 37 of the state's 67 legislative districts (that's 55% of the whole state!), so it's extremely important for people in the MRAC region to participate. I strongly urge you to attend, and to get other people to join you. I look forward to seeing you at the Capitol on February 19th! Here is a link to more information:

Also on February 19th, at 3:00 p.m. at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts in St. Paul, "Creative Minnesota," a new study on the health and impacts of the nonprofit arts and culture sector, will be released. "Creative Minnesota" was developed by a collaborative of arts and culture funders in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

I hope to see you at both events on February 19th!

Jeff Prauer
Executive Director
Arts Learning, Round 1 Grant Awards

On January 27, 2015, MRAC awarded 247,759 to 27 organizations in its FY 2015 Arts Learning, Round 1 grant program. The Arts Learning projects chosen will provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education for Minnesotans of all ages to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of and/or through the arts by engaging people in extended arts experiences and activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. The Arts Learning grant program is a direct result of the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Legacy Amendment. All applications go through a competitive peer review panel process. The MRAC board of directors makes the final decisions on all panel recommendations.


Visit for a list of this round's grant recipients sorted by county that includes award amounts, project summaries, and links to the grantees' websites when available. Please note that the core cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul are separated from the surrounding suburban Hennepin and Ramsey counties.


Arts Learning, Round 2 Grant Deadline
The FY 2015 Arts Learning, Round 2 grant deadline is Monday, March 2, 2015 at 4:30 p.m. with an earliest project start date of May 27, 2015. 

All applications must be submitted using MRAC's online Grant Interface. The grant guidelines and Grant Interface are available on the Arts Learning grant program page.


Back to top 

Next Step Fund for Individual Artist Grant Application Workshops

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.

Next Step Fund application workshops are designed to help individual artists prepare Next Step Fund grant applications. Participants will become familiar with the program and online application. Because of the volume of applications to this program, MRAC staff does not offer individual consultations for this grant. The workshops are your opportunity to get questions answered.  


Please click on the linked workshop date to register.  Please note the locations. 


Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Tuesday, February 3, 2015, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Open Book
1011 Washington Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415


Thursday, February 5, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council
2324 University Avenue West, St. Paul, MN 55114 


Saturday, February 7, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.   

Bloomington Center for the Arts
1800 West Old Shakopee Road, Bloomington, MN 55431    


The Next Step Fund for individual artists, through generous support from The McKnight Foundation, provides project grants up to $5,000 to professional artists in any discipline for the purpose of career development and artistic achievement. Applicants may be at any stage of their career, but must demonstrate achievement in their artistic field and have a history of public presentation or community contribution.    


Back to top 

Arts Activities Support, Round 2 - Application Workshops

The deadline for Arts Activities Support, Round 2 grant applications is Monday, April 6, 2015 with an earliest project start date of June 16, 2015. Grant guidelines are available on the Arts Activities Support grant program page. 


The following workshops are designed to help groups prepare MRAC Arts Activities Support grant applications. Participants will become familiar with the grant program, the online application process, and how to write effective MRAC grant proposals. Click on the linked workshop date to register.


Monday, March 9, 2015, 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Thursday, March 12, 2015, 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 

Friday, March 13, 2015, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 


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 an application workshop. 


All applications must be submitted using MRAC's online Grant Interface. Tutorial videos are available on the online applications page. The grant interface for this program will be active starting on February 23, 2015.


Back to top 

Community Arts, Round 2 Grant Panels

The FY 2015 Community Arts, Round 2 grant applications will be reviewed the week of March 16, 2015. The panel review meetings will begin each day at 9:00 a.m. with a short panel re-orientation. Panel review schedules will be available in our March e-newsletter and on our website in March.

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 

Creative Minnesota: The Health and Impact of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector

A new study on the health and impacts of the nonprofit arts and culture sector will be released at Arts Advocacy Day at 3:00 p.m. on February 19, 2015, by MRAC and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts. The presentation of the results will be made at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts at 345 Washington Street, Saint Paul.


As the most comprehensive report ever done about the sector's health and economic impact, Creative Minnesota: The Health and Impact of the Nonprofit Arts and Culture Sector breaks out data both statewide and regionally. 645 nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the Seven County Metro Area participated in the study.


As the first of an ongoing series of biennial reports, Creative Minnesota is a snapshot of spending by nonprofit arts and culture organizations and their audiences as well as other indicators of the sector's health and impact on the economy in 2013. The study quantifies the economic impact from 1269 arts and culture organizations in every corner of the state, in addition to information about jobs created, local vs. non-local attendees spending, nonprofit arts and culture organizational budgets, and artist employment levels.


Creative Minnesota was developed by a collaborative of arts and culture funders in partnership with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA). The report leverages new opportunities for in depth research provided by Minnesota's participation in the Cultural Data Project (CDP) ( Many public and private grant makers in Minnesota require some or all of their arts and culture grantees to submit data to the CDP. Americans for the Arts (AFTA) was commissioned to calculate the economic impact of the arts.

 Back to Top  

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 Katie Kaufmann at 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

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 Katie Kaufmann 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.
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 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.     


Back to top 

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

February 19, 2015 is Arts Advocacy Day. Join MRAC and Arts Advocates from around the state to help communicate the importance of the arts and arts funding. More information is available at

The Arts and Culture Funders network is hosting two informational sessions to discuss how the arts can contribute to community development in rural Minnesota. In each of these sessions, Lyz Crane, deputy director of ArtPlace, will provide an overview on ArtPlace and creative placemaking in a rural context, and introduce ArtPlace's new Community Development Investments grant program, which will provide up to three million dollars to one organization in rural Minnesota.


Arts + Community Development in Rural Communities: Grand Rapids

February 12, 2015 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Blandin Foundation, 100 North Pokegama Avenue Grand Rapids, MN 

Register Online for the Grand Rapids session 


Arts + Community Development in Rural Communities: Fergus Falls

February 13, 2015 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. 

West Central Initiative Foundation, 1000 Western Ave., Fergus Falls, MN

Register Online for the Fergus Falls session 

Franconia Sculpture Park is now accepting applications for their 2015 Fellowship Program, Intern Artist Program, Hot Metal Residency, and Arts Administration Internship. Franconia's fellowship, internship, and residency programs offer opportunities for artists to live, create, and exhibit three-dimensional artwork in the sculpture park. While in residence, artists live in a communal setting in a ten-bedroom farmhouse, receive studio space in the 7,000 sq. ft. outdoor work area, and have access to tools and equipment necessary to produce large-scale artwork. More information is available at

Applications for the 2015 Minnesota Fringe Festival (July 30 - August 9, 2015) are now available at The Fringe Festival connects adventurous artists with adventurous audiences through an annual 11-day performing arts extravaganza. Fringe Festival shows are selected by random lottery. The application fee is $25, and producing fees for selected shows range from $350 to $450 depending on venue size. Deadline: February 13, 2015.

The Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant Program awards grants to emerging artists who create new work, rotating the eligible disciplines in alternating years. The eligible disciplines for 2015 are music, theater, and visual arts, including composers, sound artists, playwrights, creators of performance art and experimental theater, and visual artists. Funds support periods of travel for the purpose of study, exploration, and growth. More information is available at Deadline: February 19, 2015.


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 Craigslist for the arts. More information is available at has been an online arts hub for more than a decade. Last month they debuted a new full-scale redesign! Check it out at

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 February 16, 2015 for Presidents' Day.

FY 2015 Grant Application Deadlines

Below are the remaining FY 2015 grant application deadlines. All applications must be submitted using MRAC's online 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.  


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 Kelly Affeldt 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.