Tag Archives: NWMAC

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

Upcoming Grant and other Deadlines

Individual Artist Grants for $1,500 — Due February 10

The NWMAC is has extended our deadline for individuals to ask for $1,500 grants.  The deadline now is February 10! This is the main category that individuals use to support their artistic business or advice their technical skills. This category is for non-hobby artists. Support for Individual Artist Grants comes from the McKnight Foundation.

Public Art Projects — Due February 10

The NWMAC would like to fund some public art projects.  Do you have experience with Public Art? Let us know by February 10 if you are interested in projects in our area.  We will be gathering information from interested artists, including examples of your work and budgets. We plan to share this information with interested organizations like cities and schools.  Let’s create some public art!

Arts Legacy Grants, Arts Project Grants and Arts Equipment for the Schools — Due March 1

There is a March 1 deadline for Arts Legacy Grants and Arts Project Grants, as well as for Arts Equipment for the Schools.

Northwest Minnesota Art Exhibit Sign

This year, the deadline for the NW MN Art Exhibit has been extended until April 15 due to June dates for the showcase.  The exhibit will take place in Warroad.  This allows more time for artists to create work.  The application is open online for you to submit work whenever you are ready.  The Artist of the Year deadline will be extended until April 15, as well. 

Peonies & Players: A Photography Exhibition Featuring the Work of Kathryn Rynning and Scott DCamp

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce Peonies & Players: A Photography Exhibit featuring the work of Kathryn Rynning and Scott DCamp.

This exhibit allows you to follow Kathi’s life changing trip through the People’s Republic of China in search of peonies and experience athletic moments through Scott.

The exhibit is open from Wednesday, January 13 until February 28 at the NWMAC Gallery at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls.

Scott resides in Thief River Falls. His years as an athlete and of professional photography work are evident as he captures the perfect moment in his series of athletes in action. He explains, “Photography goes hand-in-hand with my career as a print journalist and it has been a part of my life for more than 20 years. What began in college as a required class in black and white photography has evolved into a passion. I have an appreciation for all types of photography, but I truly love sports.”

Scott’s photos in this collection were all taken since 2017, when he was promoted to sports editor of the Thief River Falls Times. These photos represent a sampling of his work during his first four years as sports editor.

Photographer Scott DCamp — Walkoff Celebration

“For this show, I chose photos that show emotion and action. 
There are challenges that are unique to each sport such as depth of field and lighting. Much like the athletes competing, I improve as the season moves along and do my best work in the postseason. “

Photographer Kathryn Rynning

Kathryn lives in Kennedy, Minnesota. When asked about how this collection came to be Kathryn explained, “this photo exhibit was the culmination of a lifetime of desires. As a child I admired my grandmother’s peony garden and helped her care for it. I also read many books by Pearl S Buck about China and thought I could go there as a missionary, like my mother’s cousin who served in Nepal. Well, that didn’t quite work out, but….”

About her photography journey, “Of my parents 6 children, I was the one most often wanting to take photos on the family brownie camera, a dinosaur next to my camera of today. I am in retirement with a little more time to go back to those desires of my youth. I have a lovely camera with a micro lens, and printer, so I am in control of the color, size, cropping, etc. of my work. My passion for flowers is satisfied as a volunteer gardener for my church and our community garden and of course my flower gardens at home. Thus, I often grow my photo subjects. I have been very fortunate to travel, and always wondering what is over the next hill, has given me many subjects as well. Thus, a journey to China/Tibet to look for peonies in the wild was a fulfillment of many dreams.”

You won’t want to miss this photography exhibit!

The NWMAC Gallery is located at Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls. The gallery hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30-5 PM and at other times when events are held at the college. Enter through Door A. Visitor parking is free and at this time in the large end lot.  

For more information about our exhibits look to our website at www.NWArtsCouncil.org, or if you are an artist interested in exhibiting a body of work with NWMAC, please contact Trey Everett at (218) 280-4917 or email NWArtsCouncil@gmail.com.  This exhibit is made possible with funding from The McKnight Foundation. Please sign up for our e-newsletter on our website home page to see the latest news and grant announcements.  Email director@NWArtsCouncil.org or call 218-745-8886 to reach our office during regular business hours.

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

It is time for the NWMAC to update our Biennial Plan for FY22-23. We need your feedback and ideas!

We will be asking you to take time to share your experience with our programs and your needs as an artist.

We will be posting a draft biennial plan and then holding a public meeting in late February to gather input. Stay tuned for details. Can’t make the meeting? We also welcome emails or other forms of communication that work best for you.

This is an opportunity to influence the arts in our region!

Please reach out to Mara (at director@nwartscouncil.org or 218-745-8886) with questions or comments.