SEMAC issues call for proposals

Published 8:00 pm Friday, January 28, 2022

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The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council announced a call for arts programming proposals by nonprofit organizations. All proposed projects must begin no earlier than May 1 and be completed within 12 months, culminating with a capstone event that is accessible and open to the public.  Online applications are available now with a March 1 submission deadline.

SEMAC, a nonprofit arts agency, is designated by the State of Minnesota Arts Board as the regional arts council for 11 southeastern Minnesota counties: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona.

For information about the grant application process, eligibility or assistance, contact the SEMAC office at 2778 D Commerce Drive NW, Rochester, MN 55901 or call 507-281-4848. Information may also be found at With limited funding available each fiscal year, every SEMAC grant category is competitive and includes a letter of intent stage used as an initial screening for eligibility.

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Organizational grants

1.  Legacy Grants

Proposals for Legacy Grants (formerly known as Arts and Cultural Heritage grants) are accepted from qualified applicants in the SEMAC region. Matching funds are not currently required.

The Arts and Cultural Heritage fund will support arts-focused activities in three key areas:  

1) Arts and arts access, 

2) Arts education

3) Arts and cultural heritage. 

SEMAC encourages applicants to research and develop proposals that incorporate two or more of the key areas with an emphasis on creating lasting partnerships among regional nonprofit arts organizations and other nonprofit groups. In addition to eligible arts organizations, nonprofits that do not have arts as a primary focus, such as schools, senior centers, community education, cultural groups and colleges, are invited to apply.

Future funding of Legacy Grants depends on appropriate use of current funding.  SEMAC urges arts organizations, non-arts organizations with an arts component, and government entities to apply.  This is a highly competitive category.

2.  Programming Grants

Proposals for Programming Grants (previously called Presenter/Production Assistance) offer funding of $5,000 to qualified applicants located in the SEMAC region.  Matching funds are not required at this time.

Programming may be in one of two forms:  Production Assistance is designed to support activities by arts organizations directly involved in the creation, performance, publication and exhibition of art. Presenter Assistance helps regional arts organizations and public or non-religious private K-12 schools sponsor appearances by touring artists or companies who have demonstrated high levels of artistic quality. These grants cannot be used for artist residencies in schools.

3.  Small Towns/Rural Areas Grants

The Small Towns/Rural Areas grants offer funding of $5,000 to qualified applicants in areas of the SEMAC Region with populations under 7,500. No matching funds are currently required.

SEMAC wishes to support and encourage the creation and development of art and arts organizations in communities with populations under 7,500. This support may be used for assistance in activities which directly involve the creation, performance, publication or exhibition of art. Applicants may include arts organizations, government entities and public or non-religious private K-12 schools, either individually or in cooperation.  These grants cannot be used to cover the costs of school residencies.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.