IND Fellowship Grant Guidelines

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IND Fellowship Guidelines 2014

Artist Fellowship Grant

Deadline: January 9, 2015

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council

109 S Minnesota Street, Warren, MN  56762        218-745-9111

Northwest Minnesota Arts Council

Artist Fellowship Guidelines


The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is one of eleven regional arts councils in the State of Minnesota. The regional arts council system provides a decentralized mechanism for the distribution of arts funding.

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council offers granting programs, information services, technical assistance, and arts programs to residents of the seven counties of northwestern Minnesota. The seven-county area includes Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau Counties.

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council developed the Northwest Artist Fellowship program with McKnight Foundation funding to provide financial support to artists committed to advancing their careers.

This program provides deserving artists with small but critical grants for specific projects that contribute directly to their creative growth and development as professionals, especially if the project expands the artist’s present work in a specific way. Applications are encouraged in all disciplines:

Dance – Performing Literature – Poetry / Prose
– Choreography – Fiction
– Creative non-fiction
Media Arts – Photography (not journalism)
– Film and Video
Theater Arts – Acting
Music – Performing – Directing
– Conducting – Composing
– Composing – Costume design
– Playwriting
Visual Arts – 2 and 3 dimensional art -Screenwriting


• An applicant must be a resident of Minnesota and have resided in the seven-county northwestern Minnesota area for at least one year prior to the deadline date of the application.
• An applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
• Artists are not eligible to receive a grant two consecutive years. Artists who have never received a fellowship grant might be given priority during the review session.


• Three grants will be awarded for $1,500.00 and two grants will be awarded for $5,000.00.
• No amount of the grant may be used to cover expenses incurred before the “Earliest Starting Date” described on the enclosed Application Schedule on page 5.
• An individual may not receive more than one fellowship within two fiscal years (July 1 to June 30).
• Requests from individuals whose final report for a previous grant is overdue will not be considered.
• Requests from individuals listed as project directors on organizational grants with final reports overdue to the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council will not be considered.
• Individuals who have received funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board are not eligible for funding from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council for the same project.


The project must be able to be completed within the next calendar year as described on the Application Schedule on page 5.

The grant must support a specific main project which will contribute significantly to the artist’s growth, as opposed to unrestricted support. The following examples of projects are not meant to be limiting or all inclusive:

Production and Presentation:
– preparations for a specific visual art show
– portfolio production relating to a specific project
– production of a composer or musician demonstration tape for a specific audition or performance
– videocassette production for a specific presentation
– editorial assistance related to a concrete project
– development of a promotional brochure relating to a specific project

– Includes advanced training, apprenticeship with a professional artist, and career counseling.
– Costs of regular college or university courses are not eligible for funding.
– Applications to general workshops must demonstrate how creative development will occur as a result of attendance.
– supplies and materials necessary for the completion or production of new work
– studio set-up costs (as long as the project also includes the creation of new work)
It is required that the applicant solicit and document more than one quote or estimate for a single piece of equipment valued at more than $300.00. While it is not necessary to accept the lowest quote, the applicant should indicate why the accepted quote was selected.
– Includes rental of facilities for the presentation of new work.
– Fees to a professional framing studio


An application must include the following for consideration for funding:

1. Application Form

Applications must be submitted on the NWMAC/McKnight Northwest Minnesota Artist Fellowship Grant Application form. The content, accuracy, and completeness of an application are solely the responsibility of the applicant.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council office early in the planning process at which time the staff can provide the most assistance. Such assistance in no way implies that a grant request will be funded.

2. Artist Resume or Vita

Typed, and no longer than two pages, the artist’s resume or vita must be submitted which includes information on:
– education and/or training – commissions
– arts related employment record – honors and awards
– exhibitions, publications, or performances – other applicable biographical data

3. Work Samples

Samples of the artist’s work should be submitted as indicated:

Dancers and Theater Artists and Media Artists – A 5-minute DVD. Please include short sections of two contrasting works.

Musicians – A 5-minute sample on CD or DVD. Please include short sections of two contrasting works.

Visual Artists, Set Designers, Costume Designers and Photographers – Color photographs of at least five pieces of work. Each photo should be labeled with the artist’s name, title of the work, the date it was completed and which end is up.  A DVD can be submitted also.  Digital jpg format is also acceptable.

Writers and Playwriters – Fifteen page sample, must be original work, typewritten.

4. Description of Work Samples

A maximum of one typewritten page describing all of the work samples must be submitted. Any information pertinent to better understand the work samples should be included. For visual artists, the information must include the size of the work and the medium used.

5. Letter of Recommendation

Letter of recommendation from one or more professional sources in the applicant’s arts discipline must be submitted. Note: We are looking for an individual who can speak on your behalf that you complete projects on time with a high degree of commitment and professionalism.


• The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Director will review the applications for accuracy, completeness, and eligibility.
• Council members with a conflict of interest in regard to a specific applicant or project, declare such and comply with the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Policies and Procedures.
• Applications will be reviewed solely on the application form and supporting materials submitted.
• In reviewing the applications, the Council members will first determine the eligibility of the application, based both on the individual’s eligibility and the project restrictions. Any projects which are determined to be ineligible shall be eliminated from the review process.
• Through majority vote, the Council will make a recommendation for full funding, partial funding, or denial of funding based on the following review criteria:
a. overall excellence of the artist’s work and demonstration of exceptional talent as demonstrated by the work samples;
b. evidence of serious professional commitment as demonstrated in the application form, the resume, and letters of recommendation,
c. the project’s contribution to the artist’s creative and professional growth as demonstrated in the application form and the letters of recommendation.
d. evidence that the artist will share this activity with the public as demonstrated in the application form.
• If an application is recommended for funding, the Council will then rate the application.
• Applications will be ranked in descending numerical order. A copy of the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council’s Rating Form is available upon request.
• Grants are awarded to the extent of funds available. If two applications receive identical ratings, the application with the earliest receipt date will be given first priority. Applicants should be aware that even though an application may be recommended for funding, its ranking may fall below the line of available funds.
• If the funds available are insufficient to cover the lower- ranked request, the applicant will be offered partial funding. If accepted, a revised project description and budget must be submitted within thirty days of notification. The revised budget is required to illustrate the project’s potential for completion as stated with reduced funding. Failure to provide the required documents within the prescribed time can result in the cancellation of a grant commitment.
• All applicants will receive a notification letter of acceptance or rejection within 20 days after final review of the application by the NWMAC, except when a revised budget and/or project description is necessary.


Any applicant who can show cause that established grant review procedures were not followed may file an appeal according to NWMAC policies which are available upon request. There is no right of appeal for dispute of decision of the NWMAC with respect to artistic quality, artistic excellence, the quality of the artistic activity, or the work of an individual artist.


If a grant is received, the grantee must:

1. Sign and submit to the NWMAC within 45 days of receiving the funding notice, the contract and a request for payment form.

2. Agree that the project will be carried out within the project calendar year. Any changes must be requested and approved, in writing and in advance, with the Arts Council office.

3. Include the following credit line in all publicity, advertising, news releases, printed programs, and promotional material:
“This activity is funded by a grant from the McKnight Foundation through the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council.”

4. Insure that access to participation in the project will not be limited on the basis of national origin, race, religion, age or sex.

5. Be legally responsible for the completion of the project and for the proper management of the grant funds.

6. Submit the final report form along with supporting materials and documentation of expenses within sixty (60) days of the project’s completion to ensure no future penalty.

7. Permit the NWMAC reasonable access to all activities supported by the NWMAC for purposes of an audit or evaluation. The NWMAC shall have access to any books, documents, papers, and records regarding the granted project. These records and supporting documents shall be retained for a period of three (3) years following the completion of the project.

8. Return the entire grant award to the NWMAC in the event the project cannot be completed as stated in the application.
If necessary, additional but clearly outlined conditions will be added to the contract.


Payment of 50% (or up to $590.00) of the grant award will be sent to the grantee within forty-five (45) days after the signed NWMAC/McKnight Individual Artists Grant Contract and Request for Payment are received by the NWRDC office.

The grantee may claim an additional 40% of the grant award by submitting receipts for the first half of the funding (some exceptions might be made on a case by case basis). Your final report will be due within (60) days of your project’s completion date as stated on question 2 of your application but no later than March 1 after your project year is completed. The final payment of the last 10% of your grant will occur after your project has been completed and your final report including all your receipts has been approved.

The final report is an extremely important document. If the project has been carefully managed, the project description and budget in the original application and the final report should be very similar.

The Arts Council is aware that as some projects develop, some minor differences may arise, but applicants should take every precaution to insure implementation, operation and evaluation of the project as described on the application.

Applicants who fail to submit the final report within the prescribed time without good cause, subject to NWMAC approval, will automatically be considered ineligible for future funding.


A grant may be terminated at any time under the following circumstances:

a. by mutual written consent of the NWMAC and the recipient;

b. upon the written request of the recipient, but such termination shall not necessarily relieve the recipient of its responsibilities as set forth in the Individual Artist Grant Contract;

c. by the NWMAC upon the failure of the recipient to comply with one or more of the conditions of the Individual Artists Grant Contract. Such termination shall be effective upon receipt of written notice by the recipient.

If termination occurs after funds have been distributed, the entire amount of the distributed grant award must be returned to the NWMAC.


Applications must be post marked by deadline date to be eligible for consideration. Late applications will not be considered.

October 15, 2013 Dec. 2013 Jan. 1, 2014
October 15, 2014 Dec. 2014 Jan. 1, 2015
 January 9, 2015  Jan. 2015  TBD

The review dates are based on regular meeting dates of the Arts Council. Consult the Arts Council Director regarding the availability of funds and potential changes in meeting dates.


Serving Artists and Arts Organizations