MRAC FY20 Grant Changes

After collecting ideas via constituent surveys, holding conversations with applicants, and completing a targeted feedback process, MRAC is pleased to announce a new grant program that was created in an effort to provide more opportunities and a streamlined overview of the grant programs available via MRAC. FY20 Grant Calendar

Effective July 1, 2019, our fiscal year 2020’s start, the Community Arts Program and the Arts Activities Support grant programs will be merged into a new Arts Project Support grant program. The goal of this change is to make funding opportunities more clear, increase the number of times a group may apply, and to increase the available dollars to groups, especially those that are unable to bring matching funds to a project proposal.

Within the new Arts Project Support grant:

  • All groups may apply for up to $10,000 in funding.
  • There is no match required for requests up to $7,000.
  • There is a 4-1 match required for requests between $7,001 and $10,000.
  • There are three deadlines and groups can apply all three times, but can only receive one Arts Project Support grant per MRAC fiscal year.
  • The second-round deadline has block funding by county of activity, which guarantees funding to each county in the MRAC region. This will be very similar to the Community Arts grant awards in the past, with the difference being groups can request up to $10,000 instead of $5,000.
  • There are now just 4 criteria to respond to within the narrative: Artistic Project & Goals, Ability, Community Need & Support, Equity & Inclusion.

The FY20 deadlines for the Arts Project Support grants are: July 15, 2019December 16, 2019, and April 6, 2020. Please take time to read the new FY20 Guidelines before you work on your request and reach out to us if we can help you navigate the new deadlines and the new program.

We have scheduled a general session for Thursday, June 13 from 2-3:30 pm at MRAC to provide an overview of our grant programs and to address questions you may have about these changes. There are also Arts Project Support workshops on:

Wednesday, June 19 from 5:30-7:30 pm

Thursday, June 27 from 10 am-12 pm

Monday, July 1 from 3-5 pm

Additional changes within the grant programs, include these highlights:

  • Starting with applications received June 1, 2019 or later, arts groups are eligible for up to $2,000 of support and two Management Consulting Fund awards per MRAC’s fiscal year. This is an effort to provide additional resources to groups working to build their infrastructure in managing arts organizations or groups.
  • In all grant programs Earliest Project Start Date has been replaced with Earliest Grant Expenditure Date (EGED). This is a significant change, allowing groups to start marketing, selling tickets, signing agreements, etc. in advance of the grant notification date, aka the Earliest Grant Expenditure Date. All expenditures and activities within in the grant request must be on or after the EGED.
  • Travel expenses to and from the state of Minnesota is not allowed in project budgets
  • Fiscal sponsors have new requirements in the letter that is provided to MRAC when offering support to informal groups and all fiscal sponsors must be active with the Minnesota Secretary of State as a nonprofit corporation on the deadline date. Please read the grant guidelines for specifics on what the fiscal sponsor must provide.
  • Informal arts groups using a fiscal sponsor no longer need to be registered with the Minnesota Secretary of State when applying to the Capital or Organizational Development grant programs.
  • Program Directors Masami Kawazato and Jovan Speller will manage the Arts Project Support and the Arts Learning programs. Program Director Bethany Whitehead will manage the Capital, Organizational Development, Management Consulting Fund, and the Management Training Fund programs.

Please reach out to staff with questions on any of these FY20 changes; we are happy to answer your questions or help plan your application schedule for the next fiscal year.

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