NASAA Notes: May 2022

May 2, 2022

Minnesota: Creative Support Grants

A young child explores an interactive display with colorful panels at an indoor exhibition.

A 2022 MSAB grantee, Waseca Arts Center supports exhibitions by local artists and provides online and in-person programming, such as this interactive display, for Waseca County families. Photo courtesy of Waseca Arts Center

While cultural activities are resuming nationwide, the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic still reverberates throughout the arts sector. Arts organizations and artists must continue to retool their business practices, find ways to re-engage communities and remain flexible as a new normal emerges.

To help Minnesota’s creative sector meet such challenges and navigate a time of transition, the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) recently announced two funding opportunities for fiscal year 2023: Creative Support for Individuals and Creative Support for Organizations. Both of these programs were launched in 2021 to support organizations and artists affected by the pandemic, and both place a premium on flexibility and equity.

For maximum flexibility, grantees can determine how grant funds can best be put to use to attune activities to community needs. Individual awards will range from $2,000 – $10,000 and organizational awards will range from $5,000 – $30,000. The awards will help grantees deepen relationships with audiences, participants and students; sustain creative practices; and maintain the long-term viability of arts programming so that all Minnesota residents have access to the arts.

To reduce funding barriers, neither a prior MSAB grant history nor a cash match is required. The adjudication criteria for both programs consider applicants’ connections with underserved communities and who will benefit from the grant activities. Rural residents, individuals with disabilities, veterans, individuals in institutions, individuals who are Black, Indigenous and/or people of color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ communities, and older adults all are examples of underserved groups present across the state.

Based on an analysis of its grant-making data, MSAB has identified certain populations that have historically received lower levels of support from the agency. These populations have been designated as funding priorities for Creative Support for Individuals and Creative Support for Organizations:

  • individuals and organizations based outside the state’s seven most populous metropolitan counties;
  • individuals who are BIPOC and organizations in which BIPOC individuals comprise 50% or more of the board and staff; and
  • individuals with disabilities or organizations in which people with disabilities comprise 50% or more of the board and staff or are the primary population served.

To ensure that these populations are able to access state funds on behalf of their communities, applicants from priority groups will receive a percentage of the grants awarded that is equal to or greater than their group’s percentage of the total applicant pool.

To learn more about how Minnesota’s grant policies developed during the pandemic, contact MSAB Executive Director Sue Gens.

In this Issue

From the President and CEO

State to State

Legislative Update

The Research Digest

Announcements and Resources

More Notes from NASAA




To receive information regarding updates to our newslettter. Please fill out the form below.