Tag Archives: advocacy

MN Citizens for the Arts: Action Alert!

Screen Shot 2015-01-20 at 4.53.25 PM

In a few days legislators will decide how much arts funding will be available for the next two years. It’s time to take action!

Two years ago the legislature dedicated 46% of the Legacy Arts and Culture Fund to the Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) and Regional Arts Councils (RAC), which went out in grants to every corner of the state. They also put into statute a new law that said, next time, (meaning this year) 47% of the fund should go to the MSAB and RACs.  The legislature is nearing the end of this year’s session and the Legacy Conference Committee will meet any minute. While the Senate has followed the 47% rule, the House has not! We need to ask legislators to support the Senate’s position of 47%.

MCA hopes you will help us ask legislators for following through on the promise of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment that dedicated funds to conservation and the arts.

Minnesotans overwhelmingly approved the measure, passing it by 56%, which increased the sales tax slightly to create four new dedicated funds for land, water, parks and arts in 2008.  In the past several years arts advocates and supportive legislators had to fight off legislative suggestions that the Arts & Culture Fund be used to build a stadium or be redirected to benefit pet projects in just one district.

We are asking that 47% of the Legacy Amendment’s Arts & Culture fund go through the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Council system because it ensures that citizens in all 87 counties will benefit. Even so, in the past two years the Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils could meet only about half of incoming requests for grants and services.

So, could you send a quick note to your legislators asking them to support 47% of the Legacy money to go to the right place?  Just follow the link below!

Click the link below to log in and send your message:


More Arts News & Advocacy Information from Minnesota Citizen For the Arts

Deadline Extended for Creative Minnesota City Studies to May 15, 2015

The Creative Minnesota team is offering local arts economic impact studies based on the recently released study that found $1.2 billion in impact from the arts and culture in Minnesota. (See the studies at www.creativemn.org).  For just $1500 a city, county or other geographic area may get an economic impact study of the arts and culture in your area that pulls from data already collected.

Due to requests from several potential partners the deadline for participation in the city studies has been EXTENDED TO MAY 15, 2015. If you cannot meet this new deadline but are still interested in participating, please contact us anyway, we may be able to help.

The new studies must be drawn from data already collected. To see which organizations in your area were a part of the statewide Creative Minnesota report and so would be part of the new round of studies, download the statewide report at www.creativemn.org and look at the list of participating organizations on pages 23-26.

For more information contact staff@mncitizensforthearts.org.

NWMAC Executive Director Recognized



Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Receives

Statewide Recognition

For Effective Use Of Legacy Funds


WARREN – Conservation Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts recognized the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council on Thursday, March 27, at Arts Advocacy Day at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul, MN for the impact the organization is having statewide utilizing funds provided by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.


In 2008, the voters of Minnesota overwhelmingly approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment which added 3/8 of one percent to the state’s sales tax, and dedicated the revenue to projects that would help preserve the state’s arts and outdoors legacy.


Since the legacy amendment was voted into existence, Conservation Minnesota and Minnesota Citizens for the Arts have traveled around the state highlighting the places in the state where the funds are best being put to use to serve the intent of the amendment. Be it with cleaner lakes, expanded trails or public art projects, every resident of Minnesota has benefited from the program.


The Minnesota State Arts Board and each of the eleven Regional Arts Councils will get “Legacy Partners” awards for effective and extensive use of public panels to make grant decisions. Between them, the twelve agencies worked with 768 people providing more than 34,000 volunteer hours of expertise on the best use of arts state dollars. These volunteers bring expertise in the arts and nonprofit management.

“Other agencies should look to the Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils on how to effectively use public input in decision making,” said Sheila Smith. “While no process is perfect, their work takes place in transparent, open meetings and has resulted in great impact in arts access statewide.”

“We have a great group of volunteers and board members serving in Northwest Minnesota so it is especially wonderful that they are getting recognition,” said Mara Wittman, Executive Director of the Arts Council.  “I am very proud of our efforts to always have public accountability.”


“For the past few years, our organizations have been singling out communities that have done a good job of utilizing Legacy funds, and this year, we decided to include the State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils and some other organizations as a nod to the tremendous work they are each doing,” said Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota.


This year, the organizations have also chosen to single out Ducks Unlimited, The Minnesota Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, The Three Rivers Park District and a number of municipalities for their exceptional work in utilizing Legacy funds for the betterment of the state.  Neither Conservation Minnesota nor the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts receives any funding from the Legacy Amendment.


The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council provides grants and services in the counties of Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, Roseau in Minnesota. These grants were funded by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund, and by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Minnesota Citizens for the Arts is a statewide arts advocacy organization whose mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA organizes the arts community and lobbies the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress on issues pertaining to the nonprofit arts and conducts original research. MCA works with over 42,000 arts advocates in Minnesota. www.mncitizensforthearts.org, @MNCitizen.


Formed in 1984 as the Minnesota League of Conservation Voters, Conservation Minnesota now exists as a collection of related organizations dedicated to helping connect Minnesotans who care about conservation with elected decision makers throughout the state.