Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council: Grants for Visual Arts

OVERVIEW: The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council supports artists and arts development in the region. Its grantmaking encompasses dance, literary arts, theatre, music, and the visual arts.

IP TAKE: This regional funder supports both arts organizations and individual artists in the 11 counties that make up southeastern Minnesota.

PROFILE: Created in 1977, the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) serves Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties in southeastern Minnesota. It seeks to “encourage, promote, and assist regional arts development by providing leadership, outreach, advocacy, mentorship, grants and services.” The arts council funds both individual artists and arts organizations.

Grants for individual artists seek to “encourage the development of entirely new work by artists who are full-time residents of the SEMAC Region.” Funded projects must culminate in a Capstone Event, which SEMAC identifies as “publication, performance, or exhibition, at an accessible venue provided by a non-profit organization.” Grants for emerging artists are $2,500 and $5,000 for advancing artists. Deadlines are February 1 and July 1 each year.

SEMAC’s grantmaking for organizations falls into several different categories:

The Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund supports arts access, arts education, and arts and cultural heritage. Grant amounts range from $3,000 to $10,000 and require 20% matching funds.

Grants for General Operating Support fund administrative expenses for nonprofit arts organizations. Grantees must have been programming for at least three years and have operating expenses of less than $166,000.

Presenter/Production Assistance grants “support activities directly involved in the creation, performance, publication, and exhibition of the arts.” Grant amounts range from $500 to $3.000 and require a 20% funds match. Past recipients are eligible to reapply once per year. Deadlines are April 1 and October 1 each year.

Small Towns/Rural Areas grants support art and arts organizations in “communities with populations under $7,500.” Amounts range from $500 to $3,000 and require a 20% funds match. Deadlines are April 1 and October 1 each year.

SEMAC also funds School Residency grants and Arts Management Training grants. The residency supports arts activity involving K-12 students, teachers, and artists. The training seeks to “help regional nonprofit arts groups send key staff, board and volunteers to management education workshops, seminars or conferences.”

Finally, SEMAC offers small opportunity grants of up to $300 “to take advantage of opportunities that arise with little advance notice.”

Use SEMAC’s online application system to apply.


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