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Individual Artist: Established Career Artist Grant

Grants to Minnesota Established Artists in
Eligible Counties for Career-Advancing Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (SMAC)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

01/13/21 4:30 PM


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Grants of up to $7,000 to Minnesota established artists in eligible counties for career-advancing projects and activities. Funding is intended to support projects that meet the artistic needs of local artists, and further their ability to live and work within the region. The grant program is designed to assist professional artists who have held significant solo shows or performances, or have been published in significant publications (i.e., peer reviewed or professionally edited publications). All arts disciplines are accepted. Eligible artists reside in the 18-county Southwest Minnesota Arts Council region.

The service region is the counties of Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine.

The goal of the grant program is to provide resources and recognition to regional artists that will allow their work to develop and evolve. It is SMAC's intent to inspire creativity in its unique and true state without consideration of what is saleable. Funds may be used for a variety of activities designed to aid in public awareness of the artist’s work or projects that will aid in the progression to, and exploration of a new level in their artistic development and professional career. 

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Costs involved in portfolio production
  • Marketing or editorial assistance for a writer 
  • Purchase of supplies and materials necessary for the completion of a body of work scheduled for submission to publishers, performance, or exhibition
  • Engraving for composers
  • Producing a recording for a composer/musician or a video for a choreographer
  • Rental of facilities for presentation of a new work, or other activities
  • Experimental work in a new medium
  • Research or compensated time for an artist working on a specific body of work
  • Daycare costs if needed to allow the artist to devote their time to their project
  • Attendance at workshops or conferences for professional or artistic development
  • Studying one-on-one with a mentor of significant recognition
  • Costs to audit a college art course (funds may not be used for degree-related activities)

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 149913

Estimated Size of Grant:

Up to $7,000

Term of Contract:

The start date for a SMAC grant is defined as the point at which the project is set in motion (e.g. rehearsals, advertising and public notification, payment of fees, ordering and/or paying for supplies or printed material, etc.).

- Round I deadline: earliest project start date: October 1, 2020
- Round II deadline: earliest project start date: March 1, 2021

No funds can be expended prior to the project start date. No paid advertising by the applicant can take place before the start date, whether or not it will be paid for through the grant, however, posting basic information such as event dates is allowed.

Projects must be concluded no later than June 30, 2022.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The Individual Artist grant program is open to any permanent resident in the eighteen counties of the SMAC service region (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties) who has no outstanding final reports due to the SW MN Arts Council and who is at least 18 years old.

Applicants must be a region resident for at least six months prior to submitting an application and remain a resident throughout the contract period.

Eligible professional artists have achieved significant regional recognition in the past five years, and are in the process of progressing to a new level in their professional career. Career artists are defined as those who, for the most part, are at an advanced stage in their career development and have been acknowledged as established artists by other artists and arts professionals within their chosen field. The artistic accomplishments documented in the resume are critical in making a judgment regarding eligibility as a career artist.

Applicants may be asked to provide proof of residency, which must be demonstrated by at least two of the following, showing an eligible address:
- A valid Minnesota driver's license
- Certification of eligibility to vote within the SMAC region
- Bills for utilities or mortgage/rent

An artist may not apply for a second project that runs concurrently with another SMAC-funded individual artist grant project.

Individual artist grant panelists who will be reviewing grants in this round and immediate family members of SMAC Board members or SMAC staff are ineligible to apply for this grant program. SMAC Board Members are not eligible to apply for this program during their tenure on the Board or until two years following their resignation from the Board.

For general information about ineligible projects and organizations, see:

In addition to the restrictions listed in SMAC’s general grant guidelines, the following are not eligible for Individual Artist grants:
- Applications that support strictly commercial activities; projects intended for mass-market distribution or those that have profit as the primary motive
- Projects that include publishing that is initiated solely by the applicant (i.e., vanity press)
- Credits or materials necessary to fulfill degree requirements for students, including tuition, class projects, and school-related exhibits, performances, or shows
- Equipment requests not specifically tied to the proposed project.
- Applications that primarily involve developing curriculum plans or teaching materials
- Projects primarily intended to support teaching-related activities that will advance your teaching career
- Applications that are primarily educational projects within a school system

Pre-proposal Conference:

For Round I, the SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar will be on July 9, 2020, from noon to 1:00 PM. Webinar recording:

For Round II, the SMAC Individual Artist grant workshop webinar will be on December 3, 2020,, from noon to 1:00 PM. Webinar recording:

In addition, applicants may email the SMAC office to set up a time to meet via phone or web conference anytime between 10 am to 2 pm for assistance with any grant-related questions.

For a full list of grant workshops and webinars, please see:

Pre-Application Information:

Deadlines for FY 2021:

Round I:
- Application Deadline: August 12, 2020
- Panel Review: September 12, 2020
- Board Action: September 22, 2020
- Earliest project start date: October 1, 2020

Round II:
- Application Deadline: January 13, 2021
- Panel Review: February 6, 2021
- Board Action: February 23, 2021
- Earliest project start date: March 1, 2021

Applications must be submitted online by 4.30 PM on the deadline date.

It is always best to contact SMAC staff prior to the submission of a grant application to determine grant eligibility. To request a review of your application prior to submission, contact staff at least two weeks prior to the deadline. A staff member will review the application, as time permits, for eligibility and completed requirements. Staff review does not imply that a grant request will be funded. Project quality, content, budget, and accuracy of an application are solely the responsibility of the applicant.

Video Tutorial for Online Grants System:

Additional information:

Webinar Recording:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply online:

To schedule time for help with the grants administrator:

SMAC staff

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council
114 North 3rd Street
PO Box 55
Marshall, MN 56258
Toll Free:+1 800 622 5284
Telephone:+1 507 537 1471

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties

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