Eligibility

Each grant program has specific eligibility requirements; please read the grant program guidelines thoroughly before starting your application. Applicants are also strongly encouraged to participate in a grant application workshop and/or to speak to their program director to ensure eligibility. Visit our staff page to find the appropriate program director for your grant or call our general line at 651-645-0402.

Flexible Support Grant Program Eligibility

Flexible Support Grant Program Eligibility

All applicant groups and project activities must be located within the seven-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington) Twin Cities metro area.
The applicant group must implement and manage the proposed project.

Applicant groups must be one of the following:

1. Arts groups and organizations

a. Federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organizations with annual operating expenses of $400,000 or less.
b. MRAC may ask for more information, such as an audit or a board approved financial statement, if the organization appears to have been approaching the $400,000 limit in their previous year. If a previous year’s audit is not yet finished, a contingency may be placed on that award until the audit or board approved financial statement proves eligibility.

2. Cultural groups and organizations

a. Federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) culturally-specific nonprofit organizations that provide arts and non-arts programming with annual arts programming expenses of $400,000 or less.

3. Fiscally sponsored groups with arts projects and annual operating expenses of $400,000 or less.

a. A fiscally sponsored group must be comprised of at least three people.
b. The group must have an advisory committee of at least three people that is responsible for oversight of project and grant funds.
c. Groups must have a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsors must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a Minnesota address and have an active registration with the Minnesota Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization.

4. Non-arts and non-cultural nonprofit organizations

a. Non-arts and non-cultural 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations with annual arts programming expenses less than $400,000. Non-arts and non-cultural nonprofit organizations must be able to isolate their arts programming revenues and expenses from non-arts and non-cultural financial activity.
b. A public entity such as a unit of state, local, or tribal government with arts expenses of $400,000 or less.
c. Community education units of a school district in the seven-county metro area with arts budgets of any size.
d. Eligible nonprofit, non-arts and non-cultural organizations must describe how this request will create access to the arts and ensure connection to audiences across the seven-county metro.

Equity Response Grant Program Eligibility

Equity Response Grant Program Eligibility

All applicant groups and project activities must be located within the seven-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington) Twin Cities metro area.
The applicant group must implement and manage the proposed project.

This program is only available to groups and organizations led by individuals who are Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Disabled/have a disability, and/or are LGBTQIA2+. To qualify as “led-by,” the applicant group’s leadership must be made up of at least 50% or more BIPOC individuals, LGBTQIA2+ people, and/or People with Disabilities (PWD).

Applicant groups must fit the priority leadership listed above and be one of the following:

1. Arts groups and organizations

a. Federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organizations with annual operating expenses of $400,000 or less.
b. MRAC may ask for more information, such as an audit or a board approved financial statement, if the organization appears to have been approaching the $400,000 limit in their previous year. If a previous year’s audit is not yet finished, a contingency may be placed on that award until the audit or board approved financial statement proves eligibility.

2. Cultural groups and organizations

a. Federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) culturally-specific nonprofit organizations that provide arts and non-arts programming with annual arts programming expenses of $400,000 or less.

3. Fiscally sponsored groups with arts projects and annual operating expenses of $400,000 or less.

a. A fiscally sponsored group must be comprised of at least three people.
b. The group must have an advisory committee of at least three people that is responsible for oversight of project and grant funds.
c. Groups must have a fiscal sponsor. Fiscal sponsors must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a Minnesota address and have an active registration with the Minnesota Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization.

4. Non-arts and non-cultural nonprofit organizations

a. Non-arts and non-cultural 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations with annual arts programming expenses less than $400,000. Non-arts and non-cultural nonprofit organizations must be able to isolate their arts programming revenues and expenses from non-arts and non-cultural financial activity.
b. A public entity such as a unit of state, local, or tribal government with arts expenses of $400,000 or less.
c. Community education units of a school district in the seven-county metro area with arts budgets of any size.
d. Eligible nonprofit, non-arts and non-cultural organizations must describe how this request will create access to the arts and ensure connection to audiences across the seven-county metro.

Next Step Fund Eligibility

Next Step Fund Grant Program Eligibility

Applicants to the Next Step Fund must meet all of the following requirements:

• Emerging, mid-career and established artists, working in any discipline, who have evidence of artistic practice respective of their career stage.
• Have resided in the seven-county metro area the six-months prior to the deadline. Projects do NOT need to take place within the seven-county metro area but applicants MUST maintain permanent residence in the seven-county metro area the entire duration of their project.
• 18 years of age or older.

Applicants cannot be:

• Individuals seeking to begin a career as an artist, or make a professional transition to the arts.
• Individuals whose portfolio only reflects client or freelance work.
• Artists currently enrolled in a degree or certification program in their respective art form, unless the applicant can demonstrate they maintain a career as a professional artist outside of their educational program.
• Arts administrators seeking support for their administrative profession.

What Does MRAC Not Fund?

The Equity Response and the Flexible Support programs do not fund:

• Projects that do not uphold applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances in relation to the use of MRAC funds.
• Attendance at training events/conferences outside the state of Minnesota.
• Projects that are managed by another entity other than the applicant.
• Projects and activities designed to raise funds/regrant/donate funds on behalf of another person, organization, or cause. MRAC funds cannot be contributed to another organization or person.
• Projects that attempt to influence any state or federal legislation or appropriation; to support activities that are essentially for the religious socialization of the participants or audience; or discriminate against persons or groups.
• Projects that include costs incurred before Earliest Grant Expenditure Date. All expenses included in the grant proposal must be incurred on or after this date. Including expenses incurred prior to this date may deem the entire application ineligible.
• Projects for which any portion of activities take place after June 30 of the MRAC fiscal year following the one in which the award was issued are ineligible. The latest project end date is June 30, 2022. This means that the project is complete and all grant funds have been expended.
• Projects budgets that include unrealized income such as scholarships or in-kind support.
• Projects in which any portion of activities are located outside the seven-county metro area are ineligible. Exception: attendance at training/conference events may be outside of the seven-county metro area as long as they take place in Minnesota.
• These dollars cannot substitute other state dollars. This includes:

+Requests in which any portion of the project budget will be used to pay an artist or arts organization to provide essentially the same services that an ongoing
teacher, teaching staff, or arts specialist previously provided or would be expected to provide in a school setting are ineligible.
+Requests in which the project will replace discontinued or nonexistent arts programs that should be fulfilling the state’s arts curriculum requirements in
schools are ineligible.

• The purchase of real estate property.
• Development of endowments.
• Capital projects (facility improvements) to leased spaces that are not approved by the property owner are not eligible. No capital improvements can be made to homes. Written permission from the property owner of the space is required.
• Debt reduction and building cash reserves.
• Travel expenses to or from Minnesota. You may engage an out-of-state artist or consultant within your project, but their travel expense to get to or from Minnesota cannot be included in a MRAC request.
• Expenses to purchase alcoholic beverages or to pay associated costs (servers, insurance, liquor licenses, etc.).
• Costs for relocating the applicant’s legal address/residence outside the state of Minnesota.
• Using these funds as a match requirement for other MRAC awarded grants.
• Project expenses that are included in another MRAC grant.

How many MRAC grants may a group have at one time?

Flexible Support and Equity Response Grant Programs

  • Groups may apply to any or all deadline(s) for Flexible Support, but may receive only one Flexible Support grant per MRAC fiscal year.
  • Groups who demonstrate leadership priorities may also apply for any or all deadline(s) in the Equity Response grant program, but may only receive one Equity Response grant per MRAC fiscal year.

Eligible groups that have an open MRAC-funded project in any grant program from a previous fiscal year are eligible to apply for these new FY21 funding sources.

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