Grants for African-American Artists for Career Development

Grants to Minnesota minority artists in eligible counties for career development. Funding is intended to serve Indigenous, Black, Latinx, and other artists of color. The purpose of this program is to advance artistic skills and to further career goals. Artists must be located in one of the following counties: Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift and Yellow Medicine counties.

Projects may include but are not limited to:

  • Creation of cultural or traditional art
  • Purchase of supplies necessary to complete a body of work
  • Compensated time for work on a specific body of work
  • Day care costs while working on a specific body of work
  • One-on-one study with a mentor
  • Attendance at workshops or conferences for professional or artistic development 
  • Rental of facilities for presenting work or for studio space
  • Research
  • Portfolio production 
  • Framing
  • Recording
  • Editing or other costs related to publishing

Applicants to the Artist Equity grant program may be at any stage of their artistic career. All arts disciplines are accepted.

The Artist Equity grant program is open to indigenous artists and artists of color, including those who are:
-Native American
-Black/African/African American
-Afro Latino
-Caribbean
-Chicano/Mexican
-Central American
-South American
-Middle Eastern/North African
-Southeast Asian/Asian/Pacific Islander
-Immigrants
-Refugees
and who are permanent residents within the eighteen counties of the SMAC service region (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties) or on tribal lands within the service area. The Foundation acknowledges that this region occupies the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of the Dakota people, who have stewarded these lands throughout the generations.

Applicants must be a region resident for at least six months prior to submitting an application and remain a resident throughout the contract period. Applicants may be asked to provide proof of residency, which must be demonstrated by the following, each showing an eligible address: 1) A valid MN state ID/driver’s license or other federally recognized documentation and 2) Bills for utilities or mortgage/rent.

Applicants must be at least 18 years old by the time of signing their grant contract. Applicants must also have no outstanding final reports due to SMAC. An artist may not apply for a second project that runs concurrently with another SMAC-funded individual artist grant project.

Grant panelists who will be reviewing grants for this program in the current fiscal year and immediate family members of SMAC Board and staff members are ineligible to apply for this grant program. SMAC board members are not eligible to apply for this program during their tenure on the Board or until two years following their resignation from the Board.

In addition to the restrictions listed in SMAC’s general grant guidelines, the following are not eligible for Artist Equity grants:

  • Equipment requests not specifically tied to the proposed project.
  • Credits or materials necessary to fulfill degree requirements for students, including tuition, class projects, and school-related exhibits, performances, or shows.
  • Projects that primarily involve developing curriculum plans, teaching materials, or other related activities intended to advance your professional teaching career; or applications that are primarily educational projects within a school system.
  • Applications that support strictly commercial activities; projects intended for mass-market distribution or those that have profit as the primary motive.
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