-Minnesota State Arts Board - Minnesota North Star

Folk and Traditional Arts

Folk and Traditional Arts is a program designed to support the artistic traditions practiced within communities and/or cultural groups in Minnesota by identifying, documenting, creating, preserving, presenting, honoring, and sharing these artistic traditions.

Folk and traditional arts refer to artistic traditions that come from and are rooted in the cultural life of a community. Community members may share a common ethnicity, geographic location, occupation, language, or tribal affiliation. Folk and traditional arts are learned and passed on through community based systems of training and education where younger generations learn and attain mastery of a form by observation and practice or through apprenticeships with elders and masters. The practice of folk or traditional arts generally serves as a powerful marker of cultural heritage.

A folk or traditional arts project may be a single event or activity, or a series or combination of multiple events or activities. Apprenticeship projects, where a master artist passes on skills to a promising apprentice, also are encouraged. Projects may include creation of work, field research, and documentation of folk and traditional art forms. All projects must have a public component such as a concert, exhibition, documentary, workshop, or other activity that engages members of the public in the work of Minnesota's folk and traditional artists.

Application Deadline

The FY 2017 deadline is 4:30 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2016.

The Arts Board will only accept applications that are submitted and accepted by the online WebGrants system before the 4:30 p.m. deadline.

Who Can Apply?

The applicant may be:

  • Any Minnesota folk or traditional artist.
  • A Minnesota 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.
  • A Minnesota public agency such as a unit of local, state, or tribal government.
  • An informal, unincorporated group that has a formal written agreement with a Minnesota 501(c)(3) tax-exempt or governmental unit fiscal agent.

An applicant may submit only one Folk and Traditional Arts grant proposal per fiscal year.

Grant Range


The applicant may request 75 percent of the project costs; a 25 percent match is required.

Program Timeline

  • Panel Review: September 19–20, 2016
  • Applicant Notification: November, 2016
  • Project Period: January 1, 2017–December 31, 2017

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.

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

Overview presentation

Applicants who are new to the Folk and Traditional Arts program may want to view an online presentation that gives a more detailed overview of the program. The presentation is 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.

Program Information

FY 2017 Overview and Instructions (PDF)—all applicants should read this document thoroughly before beginning the application.

Sample Applications

If You Have Questions Or Need Assistance

If you have questions about the content of the application form or narrative, please contact:
Rina Rossi, program officer
(651) 215-1612

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
E-mail is preferred.

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

Online Application

Reports And Amendments

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