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Welcome to MRAC! (pronounced EM-RAC)

Below are answers to common questions about the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

What does MRAC do?

The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council is a funder of nonprofit arts organizations, non-arts nonprofits with arts programming, and informal arts groups with a nonprofit as a fiscal sponsor. Funded groups and activities must be in the 7-county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties) of Minnesota. Individual artists in the region may apply for the Next Step Fund grant. Our Eligibility page, gives an overview of what MRAC funds, does not fund, and how many grants a group may have at one time. MRAC also provides arts-management training and advocacy opportunities.

What is MRAC's granting process?

MRAC has a variety of grant programs with specific deadlines and guidelines. Applications are submitted online, checked for eligibility, and then evaluated by a peer review panel. The panels rank the grant proposals, which are then forwarded to MRAC's board of directors for review and final approval. The panels consist of representatives from different artistic disciplines and communities in the region, and help ensure an equitable consideration of each request. The panel reviews are open meetings. Visit our Review Panel page to learn more.

How do I choose what grant to apply for?

Start with our Grants-at-a-Glance page. This page has all MRAC grants listed with deadline dates, earliest project start dates (MRAC does not fund projects that have begun before the earliest project start date in any program), panel weeks, and short explanations of each grant program. Click on the grant name to go to that grant's program page to learn more about the grant and download the guidelines. The guidelines explain each program in detail.

What if I need help or have questions?

MRAC staff is happy to help you! Each grant program has a program director or directors who are available to answer your questions and who will review grant proposals before the deadline if given enough time in advance. Grant application workshops are scheduled about a month before a grant program's deadline and will help you learn how to write an effective MRAC grant proposal. MRAC also maintains a library of previously submitted grant applications and recorded panel discussions at our office. The application library is open during MRAC hours, and staff will be happy to help you when you stop by. To see a list of this and last fiscal year's funded projects, visit our Recent Awards page. Visit our Online Application page for more information about our online submission process and to view tutorial videos.

Tell me more about MRAC's Arts Management Training.

MRAC offers a variety of workshops on topics such as: leadership, finance, board development, communications, fundraising, etc, to strengthen arts groups in our region. Our training season starts in the fall and ends in the spring. Visit our Arts Management Training page to see upcoming workshops or to download the handouts from previous sessions.

Tell me more about MRAC's Arts Advocacy Efforts.

Part of MRAC's vision for the metropolitan area is that public value of the arts is understood and acted upon by community members, leaders, and policy makers. MRAC works with Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) and with our funded arts groups to help that happen. For information about advocacy efforts and how to get involved, visit our Arts Advocacy page.

If I still have questions, who should I call?

You can always start with our general number at 651-645-0402 or email Visit the MRAC Staff page for individual contact information. Program directors for each grant program are listed on the program's page. To keep up with what is happening at MRAC sign up for our e-Newsletter.