Arts and Cultural Heritage Community Arts Learning Grant for Orgs

. Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Ball Club Community Center, Itasca County, 2015 Community Arts Learning Grant Recipient

The Community Arts Learning Grant program is a matching grant program that provides up to $6,000 to arts organizations providing activities with clearly articulated learning objectives. Targeted audiences will have interactive contact with artists, and the project will include a public performance or presentation. These projects may take place in public schools, community education sites, parks and recreation facilities, or other community venues.

With this grant, ARAC wants to increase the public’s awareness of the value of the arts in the eyes of community members, leaders, and policy makers. ARAC strives to integrate the arts into the social fabric and identity of every community.

Projects funded by this grant program must take place within the State of Minnesota, and no more than 10% of the grant request can apply to travel outside Minnesota.

Regional organizations looking for support to offer arts learning activities in community venues should consider applying to this program. This grant program is intended to serve as a catalyst for innovative, participatory projects which provide high-quality, age-appropriate arts education that increases participants’ knowledge, skills, and understanding of the arts.

ARAC encourages organizations to create single or interdisciplinary activities that engage participants of any age group to learn through the arts. These activities may occur at a broad range of venues, including but not limited to: public schools, after-school and summer program sites, community centers, parks and recreation sites, public housing and other congregate living facilities.

Examples of activities might include:

  • Contracting with individual artists to create an exhibit, performance, etc., with an interactive component as an integral piece of the project;
  • Bringing a theatrical or musical group to your community with a creative/interactive learning activity as well as a public performance;
  • Collaborating with another community sponsor to make one of the above activities happen.

This is not a complete list of eligible opportunities. For more examples of what funding may cover, please read the guidelines.


Who may apply?

To be eligible to apply to the Community Arts Learning Grant program, an arts organization or group must be registered as a nonprofit in the State of Minnesota, and be a federal nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) arts organization (or an arts group using a Fiscal Sponsor), accredited school, or unit of government located in the Arrowhead Region. Eligible applicants may include:

  • Nonprofit arts groups who do not receive general operating support from the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB);
  • Nonprofit, non-arts groups with a history of arts programming, if the group’s previous year’s arts income can be isolated from the group’s other costs;
  • New nonprofit groups wanting to create learning activities;
  • Schools, school organizations (PTAs, PTOs, etc.), community education units throughout the Arrowhead Region.

If you do not have 501(c)(3) status:

  • If your group has not yet received federal nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status, you may apply by using another 501(c)(3) organization as a Fiscal Sponsor. Please refer to our Fiscal Sponsor Guidelines for information on how to apply using one.
  • If your group has not yet registered as a nonprofit in the State of Minnesota, you will be required to do so within three years of receiving your first ARAC grant.

For complete eligibility requirements and a list of what this program will and will not fund, please read the guidelines.


Important Dates:

Application DeadlineGrant Panel ReviewBoard Approval MeetingEarliest Possible Starting 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, July 31, 2015Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
10 a.m. to Noon
Thursday, Sept. 17, 2015
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
October 1, 2015
Friday, January 29, 2016Thursday, March 17, 2016
10 a.m. to Noon
Thursday, March 17, 2016
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
April 1, 2016
Friday, July 29, 2016Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016
10 a.m. to Noon
Thursday, Sept. 15, 2016
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
October 1, 2016
Friday, January 27, 2017Thursday, March 16, 2017
10 a.m. to Noon
Thursday, March 16, 2017
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
April 1, 2017

How to Apply:

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

Community Arts Learning 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


Help with your application:

  • All applicants are encouraged to discuss proposal ideas and eligibility with the Grants Manager prior to starting a grant application.
  • Grant Writing workshops are held two weeks prior to the deadline. The dates and times are listed in the grant program guidelines and on our Grant Workshops page. Participants learn about the grant program, application process, and how to write an effective grant application. This is a good opportunity to get your questions answered prior to completing your application.
  • Applicants may request grant application ‘draft reviews’ no later than 2 weeks prior to the deadline. The Grants Manager will review your application draft and give feedback for you prior to submitting your application for the Board to review. Draft reviews must be requested by contacting the Grants Manager no later than 2 weeks prior to the deadline.

To see a list of previous Community Arts Learning grant recipients and their projects, visit our recent awards page.

If you received a grant prior to July 1, 2014 and still have a Final Report due, please contact the office to have a form sent to you.