Artists Respond: Combating Social Isolation is a state-wide call for artists to help people in their communities connect with one another while staying safe and healthy. This is an open call with a rolling deadline for artists with creative ideas, with $500 in project support available. This opportunity is supported by the Kresge Foundation and the Blandin Foundation. See more and the application: https://springboardforthearts.org/artists-respond/
The COVID crisis has resulted in increased levels of social isolation in our communities, particularly for higher-risk groups like the elderly or people with disabilities. This isolation can have devastating effects on individual health and well-being.
With this project, artists in Minnesota of all disciplines and career levels are invited to create moments of joy, solace, solidarity, sharing, and a sense of connection for those who are feeling most isolated in these pandemic times. Whether a virtual guided walk, a postcard swap, charades with folks inside nursing homes, poetry broadcast from a porch, or texted meditations in the morning, artists can play an important role right now to lift spirits, combat isolation and create camaraderie through shared experiences.
Projects with a focus on higher-risk groups, including but not limited to those in care facilities, elders living at home, new immigrant communities, families lacking access to broadband, and essential workers who may be self-isolating, will be prioritized for funding. Artists should already have a connection with or into the group – through themself, someone in their family or close network, or other existing relationship.
60 plus projects will be funded. These project funds are open to any artist in Minnesota and Springboard will prioritize artists and culture workers from communities that are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic crisis. Access to technology, the internet, and other systemic barriers may make it difficult for some artists to respond quickly to this call so we will start reviewing applications after at least 10 applications are submitted from priority groups. At least 70% of the project funds will go to artists who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color and/or Native; artists from outside the seven county metro area; artists from the disability community, including people with compromised immune systems; or LGBTQIA+ artists.
The NWMAC is currently awarding Quick Turn Around grants for COVID-19-related relief for artists in northwest Minnesota. These grants are for $500 for missed gigs and income due to the pandemic. Use the Quick Turn Around application in the Individual Artist grants.
Who is eligible? Performing artists, writers, media artists, fine craft artists, and visual artists can apply if they are a permanent resident of our seven county service area of Northwest Minnesota.
Please contact us with any questions at 218-745-9111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coronavirus is impacting every aspect of our lives. Are you creating art that speaks directly to what is happening in the world today — social distancing, shelter in place or anxiety around a new virus?
For example, artistic photographs of families playing games; paintings related to events not occurring; or journaling on coronavirus and then creating poetry, writing songs, painting, drawing, or capturing photos specifically based on your journal entry.
This can be a time to create art directly related to your feelings during this time of hardship, anxiety, sickness, isolation, or very challenging change. Stay tuned — if this creates a body of work to show, the NWMAC may create a future exhibit around this theme — and stay safe!
We are committed to the health and safety of our staff, the public, and the artists we serve. Thus, we have had to make changes to the way we do business.
Office Closing The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council office is closed and our staff will work from home until further notice. If you need to come to our office you will need to make an appointment. We are also available by phone or email. Please give us a call at 218-745-9111 and leave a message or email email@example.com. Please stay tuned for any changes or updates!
Routine Grant Activity We have received some inquiries about grants that had activities during this time. We know that some granted activity will need to be suspended, rescheduled, or canceled. As we field questions and requests from those planning changes to their granted projects and programs, our commitment is to find solutions that will result in the least amount of hardship for all involved. There are amendment forms within all the current grants. We are asking that grantees make amendments — some may be postponements, a few canceled events or outside the box thinking for deliverables. Please know that we will do our best to accommodate during this time. Reach out with questions or concerns.
In addition, we have added to our existing Quick Turn Around grants for artists questions related to COVID-19 disaster relief. These are for $500.00.
NW Annual Art Exhibit and Of the Year Awards Reception
At this time we have postponed our annual exhibit and reception. Please stay tuned for dates and information as it becomes available.
Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is anticipating taking a cut to our budget somewhere between 15-40%.
This is because we are largely funded by the Legacy Amendment, which is State sales tax, which will go down because of the downturn in the economy due to COVID-19. Our board has approved some tentative budgets that reflect this cut, but our actual funding will not be confirmed until the end of June.
Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants will be available. Deadline November 1st. No August 1st deadline due to uncertain funding.
If the decrease in funding is severe at 40% reduction, we will limit the ACH grants to only 501c3 non-profit arts organizations. Our priority will be to help arts organizations survive & adapt.
School Residency Grants of $2,100 will continue with an August 1 deadline.
Our Individual Artists grants will not be affected by the budget cuts, as they are funded by the McKnight Foundation.
We are offering a $500 disaster relief grant for artists on a first come, first served basis.
Minnesota State Arts Board Survey
The Minnesota State Arts Board wants to know COVID-19’s impact on the creative community & support needed. A message from the Minnesota State Arts Board: “The Minnesota State Arts Board and Minnesota’s regional arts councils know that people and organizations in our state’s arts and creative sector are being tested and challenged as never before. The physical, emotional, and financial toll that COVID-19 is taking is beyond our ability to measure, at this point. To help us get a handle on what’s happening and guide our immediate and longer-term responses to COVID-19, we need your input.”
Please take FIVE MINUTES to complete a very brief and simple survey. Take the survey here. They began reviewing the information on March 25, but the situation is evolving every day, so the survey will be kept live and new responses will continue to be reviewed as they are received.
Resources and Sources
The following links provide resources that may be helpful for artists and arts organizations going forward:
Forecast for the Arts: https://forecastpublicart.org/pro-bono-consulting-in-response-to-covid-19/
Forecast has launched pro bono consulting to support public artists and public art program administrators during this pandemic until May 31, 2020. They will provide up to one hour of consultation; where necessary, follow-up consultations may be available FREE of CHARGE. If you don’t need consulting support at this time but have experience, expertise, and time that you are willing to offer to help others, please contact Jen Krava at: firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions regarding this initiative: email@example.com.
They have also launched a toolkit on creative alternatives to in-person arts-based activities, for artists and administrators. The toolkit was created with artists, arts organizations, presenting organizations, and others collaborating with artists in mind. It contains strategies for adapting in-person arts-based activities during the COVID-19 pandemic. They will continue to develop it based on open-source input from you. To download the toolkit visit here.
Minnesota Council of Non-Profits (for information about unemployment): https://www.minnesotanonprofits.org/about-mcn/news-detail/2020/03/24/unemployment-insurance-information-and-updates.
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. Download a document with more info:
Arts Leaders, Promoters, and More: Capacity Interactive created a program to inspire and share ideas about ways to produce and promote the arts and art activities during the pandemic. It includes music, dancing, and other performances. The program was created online and recorded. Be warned, it lasts 4 1/2 hours! Watch it here: https://youtu.be/X2VyeLkDNSY
Online info for non-profits
Financial Management: Actions for Boards Governing in a Crisis. What is the role of the nonprofit board right now? Where is their leadership needed most to support the organization, its employees, and the recipients of its services? Info covering ten actions nonprofit boards can take in this time of unprecedented uncertainty.
Attention Artists! Springboard for the Arts has resources to assist you. Consider applying today!
Help individual artists whose income has been affected by cancellations due to COVID-19 precautions. Visit https://www.givemn.org/story/Epf3ag
Springboard for the Arts has created a Personal Emergency Relief Fund to help artists in Minnesota recover from personal emergencies by helping pay an unanticipated, emergency expense. Artists can request up to $500. Because of COVID-19 they are expanding their help. Please visit their website to learn more. Springboard for the Arts has committed an additional $10,000 from their budget to support this effort and is committed to working with partners to increase the fund based on demand.
UPDATE 3/13: Springboard for the Arts committed $10,000 of their budget to expanding the Personal Emergency Relief Fund, and in less than 24 hours, those funds were requested. They are actively fundraising and bringing on partners to expand the fund, and encourage requests to keep coming in. They will fulfill requests as they are able in the order they were received. Springboard for the Arts has set up a fundraiser to expand the Personal Emergency Relief Fund, so that they can continue to support artists, contractors, and freelancers in Minnesota who have lost income due to Coronavirus/COVID-19. Give online at https://www.givemn.org/story/Epf3ag or send a check to:
Springboard for the Arts
Attn: Individual Giving
262 University Avenue West
Saint Paul, MN 55103
To learn more and to apply please visit their webpage here.
As demand is also outpacing our total funds available, please go to their website to read the notes of clarification. If you would like help determining your own eligibility, please email firstname.lastname@example.org before applying.
Don’t qualify for Springboard’s Emergency Relief Fund or need additional assistance? Please consult this list of emergency resources [PDF].
Apply here Looking for the Community Emergency Relief Fund?Click here! Donate to the Emergency Relief Fund1
If you have any questions about individual giving, please contact Katie Hae Leo, Development Director, at katiehl@springboardforthearts, or 651-292-4381.