Operating Support Grant


This program offers operating support for regional nonprofit arts organizations.

The Operating Support grant is awarded on a one-year-plus-one-year formula. Grants of up to $8,000 will be made based on an organization’s relative score and size. Actual amounts may be significantly less depending on how many qualified organizations apply.

Important Dates

Friday, July 19 to submit a Request for Site Visit form via our grant portal.

Friday, September 6 to have completed your site visit.

Applications due Friday, August 30, 2019 for support starting January 1, 2020

All dollars must be expended by December 31, 2020

If you received Operating Support grant for 2019, a renewal short-form application is due by Friday, September 27, 2019

Both of these will cover operating support for January 1-December 31, 2020

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, July 19, 2019Friday, August 30, 2019Thursday, October 17, 2019TBD


• Artistic Excellence and Leadership (25%)

• Management and Fiscal Responsibility (25%)

• Assessment and Evaluation (25%)

• Community Accessibility (25%)

Note: There are minor changes to the funding formula for 2020 which will include an increase in the size of awards to smaller organizations. In most cases, grants will be at least $2,000 per year.



Who’s Eligible?

Arts organizations 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 with a focus on the arts.

• Your organization must be an arts producing, arts presenting, or artist service agency, dedicated primarily to the arts. “Primarily” is defined as more than 75% of your organization’s activities and budget must be solely dedicated to the arts.

• The majority of your programming, services, or activities must take place in Minnesota, and must primarily serve

and engage Minnesota audiences and participants.

• Your organization must have a history of at least one year of arts-related programs and services prior to applying.

• Your organization must have at least one paid or designated volunteer staff person.

• Local chapters of state or national organizations are only eligible to apply if they are administratively independent.

If your group has not yet received non-profit, tax-exempt status, you may apply by using a non-profit organization, accredited school, tribal government, or other 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.


For complete eligibility requirements, please read the guidelines.


How to Apply:

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

Operating 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.
  • ARAC schedules a variety of workshops, office hours, and one-on-one consultations before each grant deadline. Please consult our Announcements page for the most recent information or call/email our grants manager to set up a one-on-one consultation. ARAC also maintains a guest computer in our offices if you’d like to work on your proposal during regular office hours.
  • 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.

Grant FAQs

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.