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Carla Rodriguez
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Artist Initiative grant program

The Artist Initiative grant program is designed to support and assist professional Minnesota artists at various stages in their careers by encouraging artistic development, nurturing artistic creativity, and recognizing the contributions of individual artists to the creative environment of the state of Minnesota.

Grants will be awarded for career building and for the creative development of artists. Some artists may choose to request funds to create new work, but that isn't a requirement of the program. Artists working in all artistic disciplines—dance, media arts, music, photography, poetry, prose, theater, and two- and three-dimensional visual arts—may apply.

First time applicants to this program are strongly encouraged to call the program officer prior to beginning an application, after first reviewing the Program Overview and Application Instructions.

Program information

FY 2018 Overview and Instructions (PDF)—all applicants should read this document thoroughly before beginning the application.

FY 2018 Application deadline

  • Literary arts; poetry and prose: 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 19, 2017
  • Performing arts; dance, music, and theater: 4:30 p.m., Friday, May 19, 2017
  • Visual arts; media arts, photography, and two- and three-dimensional visual arts:
    4:30 p.m., Friday, August 4, 2017

Applications must be submitted and accepted before 4:30 p.m. For more information about the timeline, see the calendar page.

Who can apply

Click to see eligibility requirements (PDF).

Grant range


$2,000 - $10,000

Resources for applicants


Overview and application instructions
FY 2018 Overview and Instructions (PDF)

Webinar and PowerPoint
Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017, 3:00 p.m.

The Minnesota State Arts Board is offering two one-hour Webinars to help applicants prepare to apply for the Artist Initiative grant program. The sessions are identical in content and will focus on program basics and applicant questions. The Webinars are free of charge, but advance registration is strongly encouraged. To register, visit the Information Sessions page.

The PowerPoint presentation is also available in two formats: MS Powerpoint (with audio) or PDF (without audio). Be aware that the MS Powerpoint takes up to 30 seconds to open.

Help for working with these files.

Sample applications
See the full list of sample applications.

Grants awarded
Summaries of previously funded applications.

Video interviews
Watch interviews of grantees

If you have questions or need assistance

If you have questions about the content of the application form or narrative, please contact:
Sherrie Fernandez-Williams, program officer
(651) 215-1626
Sherrie.Fernandez-Williams@arts.state.mn.us

If you have questions about the technical aspects of the application form, or questions about electronic submission, please contact:
Tom Miller, project manager
(651) 215-1611
apply@arts.state.mn.us
E-mail is preferred.

All staff can be reached toll-free at (800) 866-2787.

How to apply


Application method
All applicants are required to use the WebGrants system to apply, and will submit all materials electronically. Registration is required of all applicants before beginning an application to any Arts Board program. It is only necessary to register once.

WebGrants tutorials
Two online tutorials are available to acquaint users with the WebGrants system:

Reports and Amendments



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