Category Archives: Resources

2018 Arts Expo and Annual Art Exhibit

The NWMAC Invites You to Attend the 2018 Arts Expo & the Annual Art Exhibit

This year the annual Art Exhibit will be in Thief River Falls at the Engelstad Arena and runs from April 18 through April 28, 2018.

Annual Art Exhibit. Artists, adult and students, from our 7 county service region have entered into this art exhibit and will be competing for $2300.00 in cash awards. Exhibit cash award winners will be chosen while the exhibit is on display by a qualified juror.  They will be recognized and receive their check at the Artist Reception on Saturday, April 28. The exhibit opens at 9:30 am that day with the reception at 2:00 pm. Exhibit and Of the Year Awards will be presented at 2:30 pm.

Arts Expo. The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is hosting an Arts Expo on Saturday, April 28 at the Ralph Engelstad Arena in Thief River Falls. The event will include presentations from representatives from a variety of arts organizations. These representatives will also be staffing tables to meet with attendees, answer questions and provide information about their organizations and services.

Saturday, April 28 Schedule:

9:30                Art Show in Lobby (open all day)

10:00              Registration

11:00              VSA Presentation in Dakota Room:  For artists with disabilities as well as Arts Leaders or other organizations trying to provide access to people with disabilities.

Noon-2:00     Round Table presentations in Imperial Room

2:00                 Artists’ Reception

2:30-3:30        Exhibit and Of the Year Awards Presentation

Organizations at the Arts Expo and their representatives include this amazing line-up!

  • MCA (Minnesota Citizens for the Arts): Sheila Smith, Executive Director
  • VSA Minnesota (The state organization on Arts and Disability):  Craig Dunn, Executive Director
  • Springboard for the Arts:  (office in Fergus Falls and St Paul) Dominic Facio

Foundations and Organizations that give grants to artists and arts organizations, cities, etc…

  • Minnesota State Arts Board in St Paul: Sue Gens, Executive Director
  • Northwest Minnesota Arts Council in Warren: Mara Hanel, Executive Director
  • Playwright Center: Julia Brown and Alayna Barnes *
  • Northern Clay Center: Kyle Rudy-Kohlhepp *
  • Jerome Foundation in St. Paul:  Ben Cameron

Playwright Center and Northern Clay administer McKnight Fellowships will be on hand to answer questions on these larger fellowships and talk about their own programming for residents of Minnesota.

A few more key arts organizations from the Twin Cities area!

  • Minnesota Music Coalition: Ellen Stanley
  • MN Assn of Songwriters:  Carl Unbehahn
  • MN Theater Alliance: Joanna Snedman
  • MN Fringe Festival: Dawn Bentley
  • Nemeth Art Center: Michael Dagen and Dawn Rossback
  • Women’s Art Institute:  Anna Garski

Local experts will speak on resources that serve the state:

  • MN Arts Online: Therese Masters Jacobson
  • Explore MN Tourism: Dave Bergman
  • Teaching Artist Roster Program Artists (in NW Minnesota): Misti Koop, Stephanie Olson


McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists Deadline March 30

McKnight Fellowship for Visual Artists

Apply Today for an Award of $25,000 — Deadline March 30

2018 McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships
Administered by the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD)

The McKnight Foundation’s Arts program is one of the oldest and largest of its kind in the country. Established in 1981, the McKnight Artist Fellowships provide annual, unrestricted cash awards to outstanding mid-career Minnesota artists in ten areas. Eight arts organizations oversee the administration of the fellowships and structure their own programs to respond to the unique challenges of different creative disciplines.

The Arts program supports the conviction that the arts cannot flourish or enhance community life without the ideas, energy, and drive of individual artists, and that artists cannot make these contributions without unfettered creative time.

The goal of the McKnight Visual Artist Fellowships program is to identify talented Minnesota visual artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage that is beyond emerging. The fellowship program supports established artists by providing significant financial assistance, by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a McKnight Discussion Series featuring the fellows and invited critics, and by working with the fellows to create an individualized professional development plan.

Eight $25,000 grants are awarded annually. Fellowship funding may be used to enhance any aspect of the artist’s life, such as overhead costs, the purchase of materials, travel, and other living expenses. Awards are subject to state and federal income tax guidelines.

Application site with link to guidelines:
Deadline: Friday, March 30 at noon

For more information contact Kerry Morgan, Program Director


Melanie Pankau, Fellowship Coordinator

Upcoming Grant Deadlines — Apply Today

Grant Deadlines March 1

Arts Legacy GRANTS up to $10,000.00, Arts Project GRANTS up to $3,000.00                                                     

The Arts Legacy Grants is a main category for funding artistic activity within the seven county service region.  Funding for the grants comes from the Minnesota State Legislature through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

Arts Project Grants are used primarily for small budget arts projects and the sponsorship of performances of touring companies and artists. These grants are a maximum of $3,000.00 with a required cash match.  This grant programs have substantially less reporting requirements than Legacy grants.

Applications funded through these two very important grant opportunities include festivals, community theatre projects, folk music entertainment, sponsorship of visual demonstrations, creative writing workshops and many other activities that improve the quality of life of people in our communities.

To learn more about these grant programs and start an application visit, click on the Current Grants Forms under the Grants Tab. The grant application process is completely online and NWMAC’s Executive Director Mara Hanel 218-745-9111 can help walk you through the process of using the grants portal to get accustomed to it.

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Contact Mara for support and to review your application.  Mara can also provide a copy of the application and guidelines for you to review prior to starting your on-line application.

Artist Project Grants: Artists must be 18 years and older and reside in the seven-county Northwest Minnesota area at least six months out of the calendar year. Individual Artist Grants provide financial assistance for the exhibition, performance, or production of a specific creative work, mentoring with a more experienced artist, participation in not-for-credit arts experiences.

What is a typical project?  Often, grant proposals are to buy items that directly relate to your art like upgrading an instrument or replacing worn out visual art equipment.  Sometimes proposals are to attend a workshop that is important for your artistic growth then create a new body of work as a result of that learning.  Some grants are to allow artists to create a new body of work, then promote and showcase the result.

What is hard to get funded?  It is difficult to receive funding for items that are part of daily life like computers, printers, cameras, cell phones, etc.  It is also difficult to receive funding to travel to destinations for art training that have the appearance of a vacation.  It is difficult to receive funds to start a new arts medium since your current work sample is important to the application process and must show work within the medium you are applying.

Can I pay myself while I work on my project?  Yes, the McKnight Foundation, encourages established artists to be able to use grant funds to pay themselves to work on the project.  If awarded a grant however careful tracking needs to occur on the form provided.  If awarded all receipts for expenses need to accompany the final report or full or partial funding will be returned including the completed time tracking form.

Support for our Fellowship program comes from the McKnight Foundation. The McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis awards the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council $70,000 annually to provide grants and services to artists. Please see the McKnight page on our website that provides a summary and links to this programming. To see if you quality for this grant visit the grants link at or call 218-745-9111 or email

Grants are awarded to nonprofit arts organizations, communities, schools, individuals and other nonprofit organizations.  Applications are being accepted from our seven county Minnesota service area including Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau counties.

Individual adult artists can apply for an Arts Legacy Grant of up to $10,000 if their project has a very strong community focus.  Performing artists, visual artists, media artists, creative writing artists are all welcome to apply.

One Day Memoir Writing Workshop in Shevlin

Clearwater County Historical Society offers a one-day writing workshop with Angela Foster March 21


Do you have a memory that shimmers in your mind? One that begs to be written? Do you find it difficult to get started? Through the use of prompts and free writes during this workshop you will get those memories on paper. We’ll talk about the basics of memoir and the details that bring them to life. You’ll leave this class with at least three works in-progress and ideas for many more.

Instructor: Angela Foster teaches memoir at the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN and holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Creative Nonfiction from Pine Manor College in Boston, MA.

Date: March 21st Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Location: The History Center in Shevlin

Fee $25.00

Deadline to sign up is March 17th

Payable to Clearwater County Historical Society

PO Box 241 Bagley MN 56621

Call to Media Artists: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Media Artists Program is Open

Apply Today

McKnight Artist Fellowships for Media Artists

Four $25,000 Fellowships Available Each Year to Filmmakers, Screenwriters, & Other Media Artists

The goal of the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Media Artists program is to identify talented Minnesota media artists whose work is of exceptional artistic merit and who are at a career stage beyond emerging. The fellowship program supports established artists by providing significant financial assistance, by creating opportunities to meet with local and national art professionals, by organizing a public discussion panel featuring the fellows, by providing assistance to attend a professional conference in New York or Los Angeles, and by offering four free classes through FilmNorth during the fellowship year. FilmNorth administers the McKnight Artist Fellowships for Media Artists on behalf of the McKnight Foundation. They grant four $25,000 fellowships each year to filmmakers, screenwriters, and other media artists.

The application deadline is March 12th. To learn more visit:

For questions about the fellowships or the application process, contact Eric Mueller, Program Administrator, FilmNorth, 651-644-1912,

This is only one of 10 programs that McKnight has for artists; you can find out about all the other organizations that handle fellowships on behalf of McKnight here (each has its own guidelines and deadline).