Arts Learning

The Arts Learning grant program provides grants of up to $10,000 for arts learning activities in any arts discipline to communities within the seven-county metro area: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties. Grant requests must outline specific activities that may include related costs for artists and personnel, supplies, equipment rental, and other expenses necessary to carry out the project. This program is intended to serve as a catalyst for innovative projects in which organizations provide opportunities for Minnesotans of all ages and experiences over an extended period of time to develop knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts. The arts learning opportunities can be single-discipline or multidisciplinary arts and can occur in a broad range of venues. The focus of these projects must be on the arts learner and not on a final presentation or community engagement.

Please read the guidelines before you apply. The application will be activated six weeks before each deadline.

Text Guidelines for screen readers and translation applications are here.

Recorded Grant Workshop

one-hour video of the Arts Learning grant workshop available via YouTube with captions. This is a helpful way to learn more about this grant program and how to put together a competitive grant proposal for the Arts Learning grant program.


Monday, November 4, 2019- 11:59 p.m.
Monday, February 10, 2020- 11:59 p.m.

Program directors

Masami Kawazato
Hennepin County

Jovan Rebollar
Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, Washington Counties

Bethany Whitehead
Arts Learning Program Director for all projects awarded in FY19 or earlier. Contact Bethany for project changes or final report questions.

Program requirements & eligibility

The requirements listed below are intended to give a sense of the program and are NOT comprehensive. Please read the complete guidelines before beginning your application and contact your program director with questions.

Arts Learning projects must occur over an extended period of time with repeat or multiple learning opportunities. The activities may occur in schools, but schools and school support organizations are NOT eligible to apply.

  • This program funds IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organizations, non-arts nonprofits, and community education units with a history of arts programming, and informal/unincorporated arts groups applying with a nonprofit as a fiscal sponsor.
  • The applicant group and project must be located in the 7-county metropolitan region
  • The applicant group’s annualized operating/arts programming expenses must be less than $400,000.
  • This program requires a cash match from a source other than MRAC.
  • Informal/unincorporated arts groups must have their own board of directors or advisory committee that provides input on the project and oversight of the grant funds.

For-profit entities, schools, and school support organizations are not eligible to apply for this program, and this program does not fund the purchase of land or buildings, debt reduction, cash reserves, endowments, fundraising events, political lobbying, or discriminatory activities.

Help with your application

All applicants are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas and eligibility with their program director prior to starting an MRAC application. Program Directors will provide feedback on applications prior to the deadline; contact your program director to set up a time to have materials reviewed.

Grant application workshops

Application workshops are held about a month prior to the deadline. Participants learn about the grant program, application process, and how to write an effective MRAC grant application. This is a great opportunity to get your questions answered about your project ideas.

Previously funded projects

MRAC encourages groups to review previously awarded grants to enhance the understanding of the process and improve your application. You may also contact your program director to have up to 3 grants emailed to you as pdfs. To see a list of this and last fiscal year’s funded projects, visit the recent grant awards link for the full listing.

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