Two-Year Operating Support Grant

. County Seat Theatre Company, Cloquet, Carlton County, 2015 Two-Year Operating Support Grant Recipient

This program offers two years of funding for regional nonprofit arts organizations to maintain or grow their operating capacity. This program recognizes that arts organizations with an established record of programmatic service and administrative stability should have access to funds to support their operational goals and objectives. In the past, the Council has awarded this grant to organizations for both general support as well as for specific capacity-building projects.

The Two-Year Operating Support grant covers a twenty-four month period and requires a 10% cash match from the organization. The itemized cash match in your two annual budgets must equal 10% of the total you are requesting from ARAC. This program has one deadline per year. Organizations may apply for up to $15,000 to be distributed over a two-year period.

Regional arts organizations seeking support for operating expenses should consider applying to this program. This program is designed to give arts organizations access to funds to support their organization’s goals and objectives.



To be eligible to apply to the Two-Year Operating Support 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) organization located in the following Arrowhead counties: Aitkin, Cook, Carlton, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, or St. Louis. 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. 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 information on how to use a Fiscal Sponsor, see the Fiscal Sponsor Guidelines page on our website, or contact us directly.

Organizations currently receiving Operating Support from the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) are not eligible to apply to this or any other ARAC program, though they may serve as an eligible group’s fiscal sponsor or project partner. Past ARAC grant recipients with an overdue, unaccepted, or falsified final report are ineligible to apply.

For complete eligibility requirements, please read the guidelines.

Important Dates:

Applications OpenApplication DeadlineBoard 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.Applications will be reviewed and approved by the Board on this date.Grant projects may not start prior to this date.
Friday, August 17, 2018Friday, September 28, 2018Thursday, November 15, 2018
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
January 1, 2019

How to Apply:

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

Two-Year Support 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 Director 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 Director 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 Director no later than 2 weeks prior to the deadline.

To see a list of previous Two-Year Operating Support 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.