Made possible by McKnight and Ford Foundations.
Artists’ Futures provides resources directly to artists and culture bearers of African, Afro-Latinx, Afro-Caribbean, Latinx, Chicanx, Asian/Pacific Islander, and SWANA (South West Asian and North African) descent residing in the 7-county metropolitan area (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties), and artists who are Native American/American Indian/Native Alaskan residing in Minnesota and the 11 Tribal nations that share the same geography.
Artists’ Futures provides financial support of $35,000 to individual artists along with additional resources and support. Artists’ Futures is a professional development, skill building and networking cohort for artists working in any artistic discipline at any stage in their career. The Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) is interested in investing in artists by providing support that allows them to grow their ability to take creative risks, and build technical skills that could contribute to a sustainable and successful career in the arts.
Artists have been major contributors to American culture, they play an important role in building stronger communities, and they weave connections across communities. Yet, in Minnesota, they continue to experience some of the greatest disparities in the country. MRAC wants Artists’ Futures to be more than a financial boost in artists’ careers. Rather, we want this to be a boost in their lives. We are interested in investing in artists by providing support that allows them to grow their ability to take creative risks, and build technical skills that could contribute to a sustainable and successful career in the arts.
Artists’ Futures was developed for and by a diverse group of artists and cultural leaders who are members of the artist communities this program intends to serve. A group of 11 advisors along with MRAC staff engaged with artists across backgrounds, experiences and cultures in several intimate focus groups and one-on-one meetings, engaging nearly 100 individuals. The responses shared during focus groups directly informed the design of Artists’ Futures.
Note: In this program we use the term “artist” to refer to both artists and culture bearers.
Goals of Artists’ Futures:
- Selected artists have the resources they need to take risks, and creatively challenge themselves during the program.
- Selected artists broaden their networks to include relationships and strategies that could provide long-term support.
- MRAC will provide a bundle of resources (financial, access to space, equipment, and people) that is significant enough to shift the selected artists’ artistic presence, practice, and life.
Virtual Information Session: August 19, 2022, 12:00pm
Submission Deadline: October 3, 2022, 11:59pm
Notification Date: February 22, 2023
Financial Support: $35,000 (unrestricted)
Additional resources: $2,000 for professional development, plus access to vetted partnering professionals/spaces/organizations
Cohort Period: Support from MRAC and access to partners from Feb 2023 – Feb 2025
- Attend a 90min Zoom meet & greet event to meet the cohort of selected artists, network and learn how to access the available resources. A financial advisor/tax professional will join us for a portion of this meeting to talk about tax requirements and answer questions.
- Attend six (6) scheduled networking lunch hour meetings. These events will focus on expanding the network of selected artists by building relationships to other makers, arts professionals and arts organizations. These meetings will be coordinated in partnership with selected artists to best accommodate schedules and meet the needs of the cohort.
Number of Selected Artists: 10
Artists’ Futures Guidelines: all applicants must read the guidelines
- Haitian Creole
- Accessible PDF – Artists’ Futures Info Session Slides
- PDF – Artists’ Futures Info Session Slides
- RTF – Artists’ Futures Info Session Slides
Recorded Information Webinar
A recorded Grant Information Webinar on Artists’ Futures is available below and on MRAC’s YouTube page. The webinar includes ASL interpretation, adjustable captions, automated translated captions into other languages, and adjustable playback speeds.
Virtual Question & Answer Session
After reviewing the recording we invite you to join us for a Virtual Q&A session on August 29 to ask any questions you have.
Program directors are available to help with your application. To schedule a video or phone meeting with a program director, fill out the application assistance meeting request form.
MRAC is using Submittable for this submission process. The Submittable platform has been certified to meet the needs of people with blindness, low-vision, deafness and hearing loss, learning disabilities, cognitive limitations, limited movement, speech disabilities, photosensitivity, and combinations of these. Submittable follows Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (2.0) and meets Level AA Accessibility to ensure people using assistive technologies can easily navigate Submittable’s pages and forms.
If you are unable to use Submittable or would like to send us your submission in an alternative way, please reach out to us at least one week prior to the deadline for assistance.
MRAC works to ensure that written information, instructions, and workshop presentations are created with accessibility principles in mind. Additionally, we are happy to provide materials in Braille, Large Print, or other formats with advanced notice that varies according to format, from one week to on-demand, but even if the notice timeline has elapsed, we may still be able to accommodate the request.
Contact us as early as possible to begin a conversation about how to make sure you have an equal opportunity to be considered.
These instructions are translated in Spanish, Somali, and Hmong and available on the MRAC website. With advance notice, MRAC can also contract an interpreter and/or translator to assist with the process.
Artists may submit their letter/video/audio file in any language and MRAC will work with interpreters/translators as needed.
For questions about the submission process in general and technical assistance, please contact us at email@example.com or 651-645-0402.
Questions and assistance related to eligibility and/or preparing a submission:
Please contact Jovan Rebollar (firstname.lastname@example.org or 651-523-6381).
Or, fill out the meeting request form to schedule a time to meet with a staff member who can assist you.
Please do your best to read these instructions thoroughly before reaching out with questions.
MRAC Artists’ Futures Glossary
A creative individual who regularly generates or creates new work using conventional and/or non-conventional creative expressive forms. This includes, but is not limited to individuals using visual, performance, musical, theatrical, audio, literary, and/or sculptural forms. (Throughout this document we use the term “artist” to refer to both artists and culture bearers)
A category of creative study, knowledge and/or expertise.
Ways in which an artist goes about creating and conceptualizing their work. This includes but is not limited to physical activities of making, engaging ideas, working with materials, tools and applying creative skills.
We define cohort as a select group of people that intend to share knowledge and experiences during the program period.
For the purposes of the Artists’ Futures program MRAC adopted McKnight Foundation’s definition of “culture bearers” as “creative leaders in Minnesota from cultures that don’t use the word artist (such as Native American and Hmong), as well as those who center the transmission and preservation of cultural lifeways.” (Throughout this document we use the term “artist” to refer to both artists and culture bearers.)
The Artists’ Futures program was developed for and by a diverse group of artists and cultural leaders who are members of the artist communities this program intends to serve. A group of 11 advisors along with MRAC staff engaged with artists across backgrounds, experiences and cultures in several intimate focus groups and one-on-one meetings, engaging nearly 100 individuals. The responses shared during focus groups directly informed the design of Artists’ Futures. Informed by this engagement, the Groupings represent people identified as facing complex and historical barriers in accessing resources and financial support, while also honoring the voices that shared their knowledge, challenges, and experiences that contributed to our learning and growth.
Continuing education or training opportunities or services to help develop new skills, stay up-to-date on current practices, and advance one’s artistic career.
This term is used to describe money that can be used for any purpose. For example, the Artists’ Futures’ $35,000 award does not need to be spent on arts or program related activities. It may be spent on anything the recipient decides (i.e. rent, groceries, travel, research, art, health care, self care, debt, etc.).