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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
Minnesota State Arts Board Guidance to the Arts Community: http://www.arts.state.mn.us/news/COVID-19.htm
Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Corona Virus Resource Center: http://artsmn.org/coronavirus/
Springboard for the Arts Corona Virus resource page for artists, creatives, and organizations: https://springboardforthearts.org/coronavirus/
Minnesota Employment and Economic Development; response for workers and employers: https://mn.gov/deed/newscenter/covid/
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: email@example.com. For questions regarding this initiative: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 Department of Health:
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:
Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses:
Good explainers online: “Dear Non-Profits, Small Businesses, Artists, Freelancers, Gig Workers, Self-Employers, Part-Timers, and Solo Shop Warriors Wondering What’s Next: This Money is For You. Please Take It.” https://medium.com/@amandalkool/dear-non-profits-small-businesses-freelancers-etc-this-money-is-for-you-please-take-it-b853196005ce
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.
Other Nonprofit Workshops by Propel Nonprofits, Minneapolis. https://www.propelnonprofits.org/resources/scenario-budgetplanning-template/ https://www.propelnonprofits.org/upcoming-trainings/