SEMAC grant application deadline approaching

Published 8:00 pm Friday, January 27, 2023

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The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council announces a call for arts programming proposals by nonprofit organizations. Proposed grant activities 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 will be available until Feb. 22 for the March 1 final 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 Dr 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:
The LOI stage (part 1) for all organizational grants is due no later than Feb. 22. This stage will require applicants to provide programming data and declare their intent to apply for one of the following grants. Upon approval, part of the application will be released, with a March 1 final submission deadline.

Legacy Grants
Proposals for Legacy Grants are accepted from qualified applicants located 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: arts and arts access, arts education, and 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 for $5,000.

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.

Programming grants

Proposals for programming grants 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.

Small towns/rural areas grants

The small towns/rural areas grants offer funding of $5,000 to qualified applicants located 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, local 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.