Community Arts Support Grants

Interim Report Deadline: February 15, 2023
Interim Report Approval/2nd Payment: mid-March 2023
Final Report Deadline: January 15, 2024

NOTE: This is a two-year operating support grant award.  We are currently in the 2022-2024 two-year cycle with grants awarded in March 2022. The next opportunity for arts organizations and arts affiliates to submit an application for this grant program will be February 2024. 

Funding Source

Region 2 Arts Council (R2AC) Community Arts Support (CAS) Grants are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF). The CAS grant program is also funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s General Fund.

Grant Awards
This is an operating support grant. Two-year award amounts between $2,000 and $7,000 per year will be paid out in two installments.The 1st year award payment will be made once Region 2 Arts Council has approved the organization’s outcomes and evaluation measures and the signed contract has been received. Granted organizations may begin expending funds once contracts have been signed by both the organization and the Region 2 Arts Council.The 2nd year award payment is contingent first and foremost upon Region 2 Arts Council’s availability of funds.  R2AC is committed to a second-year payout of this operating support grant program; however, if statewide distribution of State General Fund and Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund dollars is interrupted or stalled, this could impact a second-year payment to CAS grant recipients. When statewide distribution of funds is on schedule, a completed interim report (February 15, 2023 deadline) including documented evidence of the expenditure of year-one funds and a renewed commitment to organizational growth, stability, and evidence of follow-through on the approved outcomes will result in a second-year payment of this grant award. All awarded organizations must expend the second year of grant funds and submit a final report by January 15, 2024.

Determining Funding Levels

NEW Due to cancelations of arts and cultural programming beginning in March 2020, many arts presenting organizations experienced a reduction in expenditures during the most recently completed fiscal years. For this CAS application, the Region 2 Arts Council Board of Directors is allowing flexibility to arts organizations, arts affiliates, and groups formed for non-profit purposes in terms of which two fiscal years they will use to average their expenses for determining their CAS funding level. In short, applicant organizations may select any two consecutive years of the previous four completed fiscal years (between September 2017 and January 2022) from which to average expenses.

Average Annual Expenses under
$5,000 receive $2,000/year funding support
Average Annual Expenses between
$5,000-$10,999 receive $3,000/year funding support
$11,000-$20,999 receive $4,000/year funding support
$21,000-$34,999 receive $5,000/year funding support
$35,000-$90,999 receive $6,000/year funding support
$91,000-$173,999 receive $7,000/year funding support

Note in FY2022: Organizations with FY18 & 19 averaged expenses of $174,000 and over are eligible to apply for a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) operating support grant, but are NOT eligible for an R2AC Community Arts Support grant. Contact us at or call us at 218-751-5447 with questions.

Eligible Organizations

All eligible arts organizations, arts affiliates, and arts groups seeking 501(c)3 status have arts programming at the center of their mission, and have been providing arts programming to our Region 2 Arts Council communities during two years of the past four years. (Note: this criteria has been adjusted from previous years due to COVID-19 impacts on arts and cultural institutions).

Arts Organizations
Eligible arts organizations are physically located with a legal address in one of the five counties of the Region 2 Arts Council service area (Beltrami, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Hubbard).

**NEW**Arts Affiliates

Eligible arts affiliates are physically located with a legal address in one of the five counties of the Region 2 Arts Council service area (Beltrami, Clearwater, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Hubbard). An Arts Affiliate by definition is a distinct arts program or established arts division with an arts-focused mission that is hosted within a Minnesota nonprofit 501(c)(3) non arts institution or public entity (such as city government or a university) or within a Minnesota nonprofit 501(c)(3), tax‐exempt, community service organization; and for whom arts programming or services represent at least 90 percent of the affiliate’s annual operating expenses.

The arts affiliate must

  • provide or plan to provide a consistent menu of arts programming or services for the general public in Minnesota, not just for the host institution or its constituents, as would be the case with an academic degree program and its students;
  • have a citizen advisory or governing board either independent from or acting as a subset of the host organization’s board, providing community oversight of the affiliate’s activities as distinct from the host organization’s activities;
  • have a distinct budget indicating all revenue and expenses, that can be documented through financial statements;
  • meet any additional Community Arts Support grant eligibility criteria.

Groups Seeking 501c3 nonprofit status

Groups without 501(c)3 nonprofit tax status must be formed for non-profit purposes, must have the equivalent of a governing body similar to a board of directors or advisory council, and must use a Minnesota-based non-profit, tax-exempt 501(c)3 organization as a fiscal sponsor for this application.

Eligible Proposals

R2AC CAS operating support funds may not be used to cover an organization’s arts programming and project costs. This funding is designated for an organization’s operational costs; those costs that support an organization’s ability to provide arts programming.

An organization’s proposal must show both a commitment to the organization’s mission and the communities it serves by using this operational support grant funding for operations that support and organization’s capacity to offer expanded and/or new arts programming that is accessible and open to the public. Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds shall not cover costs for activity or operations that have formerly been funded in another way, nor may funds be used to supplant/replace an organization’s traditional funding sources. Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds may, however, be used to supplement those funding sources if programming and expected outcomes are new and or expanded.

Community Arts Support Grant Eligible Uses for Funding

  • Administrative and operating expenses such as rent, utilities, wages/salaries, facility maintenance that support an organization’s growth, expansion, and improvement
  • Capital improvement projects, which support arts access, education, and arts and cultural heritage activity, made to property owned by the applicant arts organization.
  • Training for staff and board to expand and/or improve an organization’s accessibility and equity in its programming and practices.
  • Development/improvement of diversity, equity, inclusion, and/or accessibility plans.
  • Development/improvement of marketing and publicity plans including website development, engagement of consultants, etc. that will support an organization’s new or updated initiatives
  • Free standing equipment for an arts organization’s office or facility, or non-expendable items, such as instruments, easels, computers, updated technology.
  • Capacity building, audience and board development, feasibility studies, strategic planning, facilitation of networking, collaborative projects, outreach.
  • Expenses associated with obtaining 501(c)3 tax exempt status for arts organizations or groups with a mission and purpose focused solely on the arts, to prepare organizations for increased arts programming.

Want to have an idea of how your grant will be scored? CAS Scoring Rubric

Sample Application Form for download
Community Arts Support Grant 2022-2024 Application (Sample only – cannot be submitted – only online submissions are accepted)

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