Equity Response Grant Program

The Equity Response grant program provides resources for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-led, People with Disabilities (PWD)-led, and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+)-led MRAC eligible groups.

Equity Response grants provide funding (up to $2,500) for targeted small-scale projects as a starting or transition point for groups to support their ability to provide access to the arts in a changing environment (COVID-19 and current social change realities).

This grant opportunity is open to new applicants as well as applicants who have received funding in the past.

Some examples of eligible projects could be, but are not restricted to:

Meet a group’s needs critical to its continued ability to provide arts activities to its community:
Covering the costs of an organization’s responsibilities to staff and contractors for projects not already funded by MRAC, including wages and benefits, to adapt or sustain the organization; Hosting a staff/board retreat and working with a consultant to create or revise a strategic or business plan; and/or Developing a plan, or even beginning work, that sets a group up for other grant opportunities.

Advance the group’s journey through (re-)envisioning, planning, securing necessary materials, and/or piloting new ways of working:
Acquiring, replacing, or repairing key infrastructure or equipment, such as those for virtual programming; and/or Paying costs to move out of a building, buy supplies for home offices, or make alternative accommodations for employees unable to return because of the pandemic.

Explore, initiate, or expand collaborations/strategic partnerships/resource sharing that supports a resilient arts ecosystem in the region:
Hosting collaborative virtual conversations aimed at coalition-building and resource-sharing across multiple organizations (such as a monthly meet-up for BIPOC artists or managing directors); and/or Producing a pop-up community artistic activity, with appropriate social distancing, responding to a social issue.

Please read the guidelines before you apply.

Text Guidelines for screen readers and translation applications are available here: Equity Response Text Grant Guidelines A pdf of the grant guidelines is available below in the Grant Documents section.

Grant Workshop

A video of the grant workshop is available on YouTube at this link: Equity Support Grant Workshop Video The slides referenced in the workshop are available in the grant document section below.


August 31, 2020 - 11:59 pm
September 28, 2020 - 11:59 pm
October 26, 2020 - 11:59 pm
November 23, 2020 - 11:59 pm
January 25, 2021 - 11:59 pm
February 22, 2021 - 11:59 pm
March 22, 2021 - 11:59 pm
April 26, 2021 - 11:59 pm

Program directors

Masami Kawazato
Lead Program Director
651-523-6386| masami@mrac.org

Scott Artley
651-523-6384| scott@mrac.org

Jovan Rebollar
651-523-6381| jovan@mrac.org

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.

Equity Response Grant Program

  • This program funds IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and/or cultural 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.
  • Fiscally Sponsored groups must have their own board of directors or advisory committee that provides input on the project and oversight of the grant funds

And leadership of the group must also be 50% or more BIPOC-led, LGBTQIA2+-led, and/or PWD-led.

Help with your application

MRAC Program Directors are available for questions on eligibility and program intent, project idea development, and will, when possible, review your application materials for eligibility in advance of the deadline. We encourage you to reach out to a program director before you submit an application, especially if you are a first-time applicant to MRAC.

If you have already been working with a Program Director on your Equity Response program application (such as having a phone conversation or an email exchange beyond simple questions with Masami Kawazato), please follow their link to schedule a meeting. Please note we may need to schedule you with someone else if the person requested is not available.

Schedule a meeting with Scott Artley
Schedule a meeting with Masami Kawazato
Schedule a meeting with Jovan Rebollar

If you haven’t been working with a specific person yet, please fill out the Equity Response application assistance meeting request form. Someone will follow up (ideally within 1 business day) to schedule a meeting.

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.

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