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

This program offers unrestricted funding for regional nonprofit arts organizations. 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.

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

Key changes in this program for FY 19 include:

  • An earlier deadline (August 15, 2018 for Letters of Intent; Sept. 28, 2018 for the completed application) and an earlier date for support to start (January 1, 2019)
  • A site visit is required before the application deadline. You may start the process by filling out a Letter of Intent beginning June 15, 2018. All site visits must be scheduled by August 15, 2018 and take place by Sept. 21, 2018.
  • Program is for general operating support (previously, applicants could propose using the funding for specific capacity building projects. That is still a permitted use of the funding but will not be part of the review).
  • Grants are for one year but can be extended for an additional year for grantees in good standing.
  • There is no longer a waiting period of one year between grants.
  • Additional funding has been put into this program, but award sizes are dependent on the number of qualified applicants and may be smaller than in previous years.


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 nonprofit, 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.


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.

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.

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.