Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant

The Arts and Cultural Heritage Grant Program provides funding of up to $4,000 to individuals or organizations for projects that support arts activities with both community significance and authenticity to the community represented in the art.

This is a new program that supports artistic traditions that come from and are rooted in the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnicity, geographic or regional identity, occupation, language, or tribal affiliation. These arts are learned and passed on through community-based systems of training and education where younger generations learn and attain mastery of a form by observation and practice or through apprenticeships with elders. We encourage applicants to contact us to discuss their project before applying.

Applications OpenApplication DeadlineGrant Panel ReviewBoard Approval MeetingEarliest Possible Starting Date
Applications will be open and available to submit online on this date.Applications must be submitted online by 4:30 p.m. on this date.Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel on this date.Panel recommendations will be approved by the Board on this date.Grant projects may not start prior to this date.
Friday, December 18, 2020Friday, January 29, 2021Friday, March 5, 2021
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Thursday, March 18, 2021Thursday, April 1, 2021


Artistic Vision (25%): The strength of the artistic concept behind your project and details of the project itself.

Community Significance and Authenticity/Cultural Connection (50%): Evidence that the project and artists are connected to the community that the project comes from. A description of the authentic community value of the project.

Ability and Evaluation (25%): The capacity to undertake your project and evaluate its success. This includes: providing a budget that is realistic, feasible, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the scope of your project; and adequate support materials, including letters of commitment and support as necessary. Your plan should have a measurable outcome and a reasonable way to show that you were successful or ways to improve your project if you’d like to continue it.

Application Deadline For projects beginning April 1, 2021, is Friday, January 29, 2021 at 4:30 p.m.

Applications open six weeks prior to the deadline.
Your project must be completed and grant funds spent by June 30, 2022.
For Fiscal Year 2020, ARAC has budgeted $16,000 for this one deadline.


Organizations and Individuals are both eligible for this program.


To be eligible to apply for this program, you must be at least eighteen years old, a U.S. citizen or have permanent resident status, and be a resident of Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis County for at least six months, and remain a Minnesota resident for the duration of the project. Individuals enrolled in arts-related degree programs are INELIGIBLE to apply.


To be eligible, your organization must be located in the following Arrowhead counties: Aitkin, Cook, Carlton, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis.
What Kind of Organizations?
• State-registered and federally recognized non-profit, tax-exempt organizations
• Accredited schools
• Tribal governments
• Units of government

If your group has not yet received non-profit, tax-exempt status, you may apply by using another nonprofit organization, an accredited school, tribal government, or another unit of government as a fiscal sponsor. For information on how to use a Fiscal Sponsor, see the Fiscal Sponsor Guidelines page on our website, or contact us directly.

How to Apply:

Please read the guidelines completely before beginning your application, and feel free to contact the Grants Manager with questions.

Arts and Cultural Heritage Guidelines 

Applications must be completed and submitted using the ARAC Grant Portal. Submissions in any other format, including email, will not be accepted. Instructions for navigating the online system can be found in both the guidelines and by clicking on the ‘Apply Now’ button below.

  • The online application process will walk you through submitting your application.
  • To be eligible, your application must include all materials listed as required in the online application.
  • Applications must be received into the online system by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. Applications received after this time are ineligible and will not be reviewed. There are no exceptions to this policy.

Apply Now

Grant Questions:

Artistic Quality

Your answers in this section should demonstrate an understanding of your discipline or medium, a level of competency in your work, and clarity of vision.

  • What do you propose to do with this grant?
  • Describe your artistic work (including your focus and motivation). Tell us your current goals and describe where you want your work to go in the future.

You’ll be asked to attach a sample of your work.

Impact and Evaluation
The impact of your project is determined by the project’s appropriateness to furthering or achieving your artistic goals.

  • How does this opportunity/project advance your artistic career?

This section is for you to tell us about your goals and how you plan to know whether you succeeded in reaching them. The first section is really about your conception of the work. If you don’t know how to answer this question, please contact us and talk the issue through with our Grants Manager. Don’t wait until the final two weeks before the deadline, as they may be too busy to provide much help. Know that goal statements such as “I want to finish a set of paintings,” are acceptable, but might receive a very low score. Outcomes such as, “I finished the performance,” are also potentially low scoring.

  • What goals/outcomes do you hope to address or achieve through engaging in this activity?
  • How will you know if you’ve been successful?

Your capacity to undertake your project. This includes: providing a budget that is realistic, feasible, and demonstrates a clear understanding of the scope of your project; adequate support materials; as well as narrative responses articulating your readiness to undertake the project. We also look at timetables, past work successes, and confirmation of partnerships (if applicable).

  • How will you use the ARAC funding requested for this opportunity? Be as specific as possible.
  • Explain any technology or equipment you will be purchasing, or any services or training you will engage (if appropriate).

You’ll be asked to attach an artistic resume, and if applicable, resumes for other individuals participating in your project.

Optional Questions:

  • Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself or your proposal?

Grant FAQs

Budget Instructions

Work Sample Instructions