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 https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PW6R9HC 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 director@nwartscouncil.org 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.