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Call for Board Members — Become a NWMAC Board Member Apply Today

Support the Arts in Your County and Our Region 

Become a Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Board Member 

Would you like to be more involved in the arts in northwest Minnesota? Consider becoming an Arts Council Board Member! The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is looking to fill a number of open positions on our board.

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council has openings for representatives from these counties —   Roseau, Kittson, Pennington, Red Lake and Norman. We are also looking for three at-large members who can be from any of our seven counties of Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau. Board members will serve for a three-year term from this fall until Fall 2024 with the option to add an additional three-year term afterwards.

As part of the Arts Council, you will become familiar with arts groups and individuals who are making the arts happen throughout our seven-county service area in northwest Minnesota. You will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you have contributed to the vitality of the arts in our part of Minnesota.

The Arts Council meets five times a year usually in Warren or virtually and reviews and approves arts grants and arts policy and arts services for seven counties in Minnesota. You must be confident on a computer and have internet access to be a board member to communicate between meetings.

For more information and to receive a nomination form for yourself or a friend, contact Mara Hanel, NWMAC, at 218-745-8886; or email her at General information on the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council, including the nomination form, can be viewed at in the About Us section.

Attention Writers! MOLLYHOUSE is looking for poems, stories & Essays

MOLLYHOUSE is looking for your new poems, stories, and essays.

Prepare no more than five poems or a prose piece (5K words max) in a single Word file (.doc, .docx, or .rtf). Place your name and email address on top. No haikus or oddly-formatted poems (due to ebook formatting limitations). Simultaneous submissions are acceptable. NO REPRINTS (your work cannot have appeared previously on Facebook, blogs, etc.).

State in your cover letter whether you identify as:

– D/deaf and/or disabled
– LGBTQ+ (or queer)
– Female or nonbinary
– African-American, LatinX, Asian-American, Pacific Islander, or Arab-American
– Indigenous (or Native American)

International writers working in English are also welcome.

Include a short bio in the third person (100 words max) in the body of your email. Add your social media handle(s) or web site URL at the end in brackets. [Like this!]

Specify in the subject field of your email whether it’s POETRY, FICTION, or NONFICTION, and add your last name after that, as in POETRY Jones.

Send your work to mollyhouselit _at_ gmail _dot_ com between May 16, 2021 – June 7, 2021.

If you’ve appeared in the most recent issue of Mollyhouse, please wait for the next reading period to submit your work. (Thanks!)

Mollyhouse will be available as a free ebook via Smashwords and Apple Books. As this will be an internationally free publication with no budget for advertising, marketing, or Submittable (so no reading fees either!), we unfortunately don’t have the funds to pay anyone. All writers will retain copyright to their own work. Please acknowledge Mollyhouse if you reprint your work elsewhere.

For more info, please check out

Daily World Fest

World Fest — Connecting Midwestern communities to international musicians to foster an understanding of and appreciation for global uniqueness and differences. 

Daily World Fest

Get creative with daily activities inspired by Arts Midwest’s World Fest Artists. Sign up for free emails here, and they’ll send you quick 1-5 minute at-home daily activity prompts each weekday in February, including:

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Language Lessons
  • Dances
  • Easy At-Home Music Tutorials

Sign Up

Activities are perfect for elementary and middle school students, but are fun for all ages. It’s free to sign up and there’s no commitment, so you can always take a look! You can subscribe here.

 World Fest Online features performance and education content from three international music ensembles whose in-person tours have been postponed: Paulo Padilha e Bando from Brazil, Hadar Maoz from Israel, and Hikaru from Japan. Visit our website for free, downloadable materials including:

  • Concert, workshop, and documentary videos from each of the bands (15-40 minutes)
  • Study guides about Brazilian, Israeli, and Japanese culture and music
  • Activity guides corresponding to the videos

Funders + Supporters

A program of Arts Midwest, the 2019–2021 World Fest cycle is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, 3Mgives, the Kaufman Family Fund for Israeli Cultural Exchange, the Japan Foundation through the Performing Arts JAPAN program, and BNSFRailway Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China for Choor, and by the Consulate General of Israel to the Midwest, the Israel Lottery Council for Culture & Arts, and Music Port for Hadar Maoz. Hadar Maoz activities are also made possible with support from the Howard B. and Ruth F. Brin Jewish Arts Endowment, a fund of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation’s Community Foundation.

These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Arts Midwest is also generously supported by Illinois Arts Council Agency, Indiana Arts Commission, Iowa Arts Council, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Minnesota State Arts Board, North Dakota Council on the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, South Dakota Arts Council, and Wisconsin Arts Board.

Contact ArtsMidwest

Ken Carlson
Senior Program Director

Katie Ortman
Program Associate

Virtual Arts Advocacy Day February 16-19, 2021

Why Virtual Arts Advocacy Day?


Minnesota’s premiere arts gathering has moved online! You are needed to help “rally the troupes,” recognize this community’s resilience, and make our voice heard at the State Capitol.

With your action – online and as part of Zoom calls with legislators –  we can help legislators understand the importance of the arts to guarantee funding at this critical time. We may be at our own computers this year, but we can still connect and work together to advance our community. (And hey, we won’t need to worry about the annual Advocacy Day snowstorm!)

MCA is a recognized national leader is arts advocacy. Arts Action Week helps to preserve our Legacy Amendment and state grant funds.

Attend Arts Advocacy Day and help protect the arts funding you love.

What is Arts Advocacy Day/Week?

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts works to increase arts funding by bringing arts advocates together with their legislators about the importance of the arts to our lives and our economy. Every year about 500-1000 arts advocates join together for a rally at the Minnesota History Center Auditorium in the morning, split up into teams with experienced leaders and walk together to legislator offices to educate them about the arts in their communities and ask them to support arts funding. Because of Covid, we are expanding the day to a week (to give us more time to set up zooms) and will be completely online with a short rally, brief trainings, and then zoom meetings with legislators.

Who Goes to Arts Advocacy Day?

Attendees include painters, tenors, dancers, cellists, French horn players and other artists of all kinds, arts administrators and representatives from every arts organization statewide from the big organizations to the smallest all volunteer choir on the northern border, joining together to show the strength of Minnesota’s arts community. Where else could you go to be with 500-1,000 people who agree with you?

Why Should I Go?

Through this big day, we show the strength of Minnesota’s statewide arts community. Previous Arts Advocacy Days have resulted in significant increases in state arts funding (that goes out in grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils). The Legacy Amendment, which tripled arts funding in 2008, was passed on Arts Advocacy Day! Past participants have repeatedly shared their favorite parts of the day:

  1. They feel empowered by gathering together with like-minded people.
  2. They say that Arts Advocacy Day is the best arts networking event of the year, as it’s the only time that arts lovers of all kinds come together in one place.

What are the Important Issues This Year?

Covid has hit the arts harder than almost every other sector. At the same time the state of MN has a budget deficit so we will be fighting off cuts to arts funding.

Legislators need to hear about the importance of the arts to their districts and the impact the MSAB and RAC grants are having in their hometowns.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the Legacy Amendment in 2008, passing it by 56%, which created four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts. In the last several years arts advocates and supportive legislators had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Legacy Arts & Culture Fund be diverted away from the arts. With this uncertain political climate and increased polarization, we need to show a unified front to ensure that arts funding continues to be protected.

What is the Typical Arts Advocacy Day Like?

Watch a video from a previous Arts Advocacy Day.

Watch the video from the Lakes Regional Arts Council about their experiences at Arts Advocacy Day.

How do I join this year?

  1. Sign Up for Arts Action Week Here
  2. Attend/Watch the Opening Rally Webinar. (Info to watch live or on-demand will be emailed to you closer to the event.
  3. Attend meetings with your legislators. (Info for those meetings will be sent to you the week of the event.)

Can’t attend this year? Send your legislator a message about the importance of arts funding.

Arts Action Week Schedule:

Download Last Year’s (2020) Arts Advocacy Day Handbook

Opportunity to influence arts programming in NW Minnesota — We are updating our Biennial Plan

It is time for the NWMAC to create our Biennial Plan for FY22-23. We need your feedback on our programs and services.

From July 2021 – June 2023 we will be focusing on five priorities. Grants, promotions, showcases, trainings, and leadership. We strive to provide professional staff, office space and Board members. These next two years will continue to focus on listening to our residents and striving towards equity and inclusion.

At the end of this post are the pages of our plan that relate to our five priority areas. Read them over and provide feedback in a couple ways.

  1. Attend our public meeting on February 17 at 5:00 within our monthly Tending the Creative Soul: Rise out of the Phoenix online networking session. Those attending, from our region, will become a focus group to talk about our biennial plan. We will give all regional participants a gift in the mail, and one lucky participant will win the art door prize that night!
  2. Attend our virtual public meeting on February 19 at Noon on Zoom while you eat your lunch. Please only attend if you live within our service region. Those attending will become a focus group to talk about our biennial plan. We will give all participants a gift in the mail, and one lucky participant will win the art door prize that day!
  3. Click into this link to comment and become registered for our door prize. We hope you think that we are on the right track with our programs and services! If so you can easily say “Keep up the good work” under each priority area, and then register to receive (in the mail) a participation gift and for a chance to win the third art door prize! Survey link will stay open throughout all of February 2021. Only respond to the survey if you live within our service area and are an advocate for arts programs and services.

Three chances to win a door prize of an original piece of art!!

  • Planning Timeline:
    • Dec 16, 2020 NWMAC Board Meeting with planning focus
    • Jan 13, 2021 NWMAC Staff Meeting with planning focus
    • Jan 27, 2021 NWMAC Planning Committee Meeting
    • Feb 3, 2021 Draft plan posted to website and available for comment
    • Feb 10, 2021 NWMAC Staff Meeting with planning focus
    • Feb 17, 2021 Public Meeting at 5:00
    • Feb 19, 2021 Public Meeting at 12:00
    • Feb 28, 2021 Public comment closes
    • March 12, 2021 NWMAC Planning Committee deadline for changes
    • March 25, 2021 NWMAC Board Meeting
    • April 1, 2021 NWMAC Biennial Plan Submission deadline

The Planning committee will review and consider all the comments and make revisions to the plan by March 12, 2021. Each public meeting will be recorded and the recording will be kept for one year. All written comments will be kept for one year.

The NWMAC Board of Directors will meet on March 25, 2021 to approve the Biennial Plan for FY 2022-23. Staff will submit the plan to the Minnesota State Arts Board on April 1, 2021.

Can’t make the meeting? Can’t get the survey to open? We also welcome emails or other forms of communication that work best for you during the month of February 2021.

Our full draft plan is available on our website in the About Us section and can be mailed or emailed to residents in our service region.

Please reach out to Mara (at or 218-745-8886 with questions or comments.


NWMAC BIENNIAL PLAN FY 2022-2023 Priority Section


Priority 1: Re-grant funds for arts activity in our northwestern region with state funds in five categories. 

GOALS: Award fourteen Arts Legacy grants to arts organizations, schools, and communities. Award eight Arts Project Grants to arts organizations and communities with general funds. Award eight Arts Equipment Grants to schools with general funds.

 Measurable Outcome: The variety and diversity of applicants and participants increases, as they enrich the ways they connect to their communities through the arts. 

Plan for measuring results: Evaluation will occur through asking needs assessment and demographic questions to all applicants, grantees, focus groups, and panelists.

Success will be measured by an increased percentage of people stating that they were enriched through arts in community, and our office documenting at least four different types of applicants including nonprofit arts organizations, schools, cities, and other nonprofit organizations.


Priority 2:  Provide professional stewardship through executive and contract staffing, board orientation and equity training, and accessible office space. 

GOAL: Provide Arts Council Director staffing to the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council in FY 2022 and FY 2023 to ensure work functions related to planning and procedure are met and progress is made on equity training within board and staff.

Measurable Outcome: Regional residents experience increased access to the arts via a reduction in cultural and/or physical barriers. 

Plan for measuring results: Evaluation will occur through our needs assessment and focus groups.   

Success will be measured by Board, staff, and volunteer personnel reflecting the demographic of our area in terms of age distribution and race.  Respondents say that they are highly satisfied with service and our office/showcase spaces.


Priority 3:  Showcasing artists and arts organizations from our northwest region primarily through our annual NW Art Exhibt and our gallery exhibits.  

GOALS: Organize and implement the Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibition in 2022 and 2023 funding the Student portions with State Funds. Schedule four exhibits with McKnight funds including one featuring artists of color, and two exhibits with State funding.

Measurable Outcome: Minnesotans participate in the arts as creators and those interested gain inspiration, support, and encouragement to create new pieces of art and sell their art.  (percentage increases)

Plan for measuring results: Evaluation form completed by artists who display work in our gallery and evaluation on-line by artists who show pieces in our annual exhibit.

Artists state in the form that our showcasing opportunities stimulate an increase of atleast 10% in new creations and report sales occurring during our showcases. 


Priority 4: Promotion and marketing of artists and arts activities in northwest Minnesota primarily through our e-newsletter, website, and podcast interviews. 

GOALS: Focus on podcasts, website posts, and e-newsletters that feature 1/3 artists, 1/3 arts organizational leaders, and 1/3 staff and board members within our various promotional activities.

Measurable Outcome: Minnesotans value and view participation in our promotion and marketing efforts as enhancing their organization and individual careers.  Featured Arts involved public report having used or knowledge of our programs and services. 

Plan for measuring results: Survey participants in our booklet and podcasts to chart both the facet of community life and the population that they represent.     

Success will show different facets of community life and diverse populations participating at an increased rate from last biennium.        


Priority 5: Training and networking of creative people, artists, and arts leaders in our northwest region through in person and online workshops. 

GOALS: Provide monthly training and networking experiences that appeal to and are attended by a diverse group of creative people.    

Measurable Outcome: Minnesotans study/develop skills in the arts and make connections through networking that increase their ability to create freely with less self-judgement while not losing any quality to their work. 

Plan for measuring results: Survey all participants who are involved in workshops, trainings, and networking with demographic questions and feedback on their ability to create freely, their growth in skills, and their increased connections in the arts community.

At least 80% of participants will say they had specific growth as they participated in our NWMAC training or networking session.