Name of Cultural Fund
Montana CulturalTrust/Cultural & Aesthetic Project Grants
1975 (legislated in 1979)
Contact NASAA for legislation
Purpose of Fund
The purpose of the Trust is to support “cultural and aesthetic projects including, but not limited to, the visual, performing, literary and media arts, history, archaeology, folklore, archives, collections, research, historic preservation and the construction or renovation of cultural facilities.”
Total Funding Goal
No stated funding goal
Coal severance tax revenue: about $300,000 per year
The Trust received one-time funding from the state bed tax and the general fund.
Special Taxes or Legislation
The Trust is funded by 0.63% of the coal severance tax. The estimated annual growth from the coal tax for fiscal year 2012 is $300,000 with projected interest rates of 4.6%.
Current Principal Amount
The Trust is managed by the Board of Investments.
How Funds Will Be Distributed
There are four grant categories:
Originally, funds were used for the restoration of capitol art, oral histories and other cultural projects.
State Arts Agency Role
The state arts agency manages the earnings from the Trust and established rules and processes for grant applicants (match requirements, deadlines, evaluations, etc.).
Historical society, Montana
Committee for the Humanities
Other Notes and Comments
Although the advisory board recommends funding designations, the state legislature makes the final decisions and often bypasses the board altogether. Originally, the Trust was maintained by the historical society, but management was taken over by the state arts agency in 1984. Since its inception, the Trust has awarded $17.3 million.
Many thanks to Montana Arts Council Accountant Carleen Layne for providing this information.
Updated May 2011 by Elizabeth Bentley-Smith