Rural and Community Art Project Grant

. Chalk.a.Lot, Two Harbors, Lake County, 2015 Rural and Community Art Project Grant Recipient

The Rural and Community Art Project Grant program is a matching grant program that provides up to $5,000 per application to regional groups to support community or artist initiated arts activities that will impact the group and/or the community it serves. This grant requires a 20% match and applicants may not request more than $5,000. These grants may also help arts activities in their early years of development.

Rural and community arts activities should be collaborative efforts between community groups, artists, and/or the arts organizations and have a close relationship to a specific population or location, enabling applicants to produce or present arts activities which impact their group and the community they serve.

The purpose of the activity should be to do one or more of the following: encourage the development of an art form, stimulate the artistic growth of artists associated with an arts organization or arts discipline, advance the artistic growth of an arts organization, or present a variety of high quality arts experiences for regional audiences. Projects may be proposed in the following disciplines: visual arts, music, dance, theater, literature, film, video, and folk or ethnic art.

Regional groups outside the Duluth City Limits residing in the Arrowhead Counties, with annual operating budgets under $40,000, should consider applying to this program. This program is designed to help groups to present or produce arts activities which might not take place as proposed without ARAC support.

Grant proposals may include the following activities:

  • Activities that encourage artistic collaborations among groups, artists, and/or communities;
  • Public performances by touring artists or companies;
  • Presentations of regionally produced touring ensembles and assembled touring exhibitions;
  • Residencies which offer artists’ time and space to produce their art;
  • Projects which promote arts organizations to overcome barriers, collaborate, and/or share resources; or
  • Projects which enable organizations to offer arts programming or performances to communities throughout Minnesota.

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 Rural and Community Art Project Grant program, you must comply with the following:

  • an organization or group registered as a nonprofit in the State of Minnesota, and be either a federal nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) arts organization, or an arts group using a Fiscal Sponsor;
  • have an annual agency cash budget under $40,000;
  • your organization or group must be located outside the city limits of Duluth; and
  • be located in one of the following Arrowhead counties: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis.
  • Accredited K-12 schools or units of government located outside Duluth in the Arrowhead Region are also eligible to apply.

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 DeadlinePanel Review MeetingBoard 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, October 30, 2015Friday, January 15, 2016
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, January 21, 2016
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
February 1, 2016
Friday, April 29, 2016Friday, June 3, 2016
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
July 1, 2016
Friday, October 28, 2016Friday, January 13, 2017
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, January 19, 2017
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
February 1, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017Friday, June 2, 2017
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Thursday, June 15, 2017
2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
July 1, 2017

How to Apply:

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

Rural and Community Art 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, times, and locations will be listed on our Grant Workshops page. Workshops are held both in Duluth at the ARAC offices and out in the region. 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 Rural and Community Art Project 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.