SEMAC announces April 1 grant application deadline

Published 6:15 am Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) has announced a call for proposals from qualified organizations that provide arts programming.  All proposed projects must begin no earlier than June 1, 2020 and be completed within 12 months, culminating in a capstone event that is accessible and open to the public. 

Online applications will be available throughout March. The LOI stage of the application must be completed by March 25, with an April 1, 2020, submission deadline.

Arts & Cultural Heritage Grants – $3,000 to $10,000

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The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund supports arts focused activities in three key areas:

  • Arts and Arts Access
  • Arts Education
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage 

SEMAC encourages applicants to research and develop proposals that incorporate two or more of the key areas with an emphasis on creating lasting partnerships among regional nonprofit arts organizations and other nonprofit groups. In addition to eligible arts organizations, nonprofits that do not have arts as a primary focus, such as schools, senior centers, community education, cultural groups and colleges are invited to apply.

Future funding of Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants depends on appropriate use of current funding. SEMAC urges arts organizations, non-arts organizations with an arts component, and government entities to apply. Due to the larger awards available, this is a highly competitive category.

Presenter/Production Assistance Grants – $3,000

Presenter Assistance grants are intended to help regional arts organizations and educational institutions sponsor appearances by touring artists or companies who have demonstrated high levels of artistic quality. These grants are not for local productions or artist residencies in schools.

Production Assistance grants support activities by arts organizations directly involved in the creation, performance, publication, and exhibition of art. The two distinct subcategories within Production Assistance grants are:

  • Arts Production Projects
  • Administrative Support Projects.

Small Towns/Rural Areas Grants – $3,000

SEMAC wishes to support and encourage the creation and development of art and arts organizations in communities with populations under 7,500. This support may be used for assistance in activities that directly involve the creation, performance, publication, or exhibition of art. Applicants may include arts organizations, government entities and public or non-religious private schools, either individually or in cooperation. These grants cannot be used to cover the costs of school residencies.

All categories require at least 20 percent in matching funds. Individual artists are not eligible to apply.

SEMAC, a non-profit arts agency, is designated by the State of Minnesota Arts Board as the regional arts council for Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona Counties.

For information about the grant application process, eligibility, or assistance setting up an online account, contact the SEMAC office at 2778 D Commerce Dr. NW, Rochester, MN 55901, or call 507-281-4848.  Information may also be found at

With limited funding available each fiscal year, every SEMAC grant category is competitive and includes an LOI stage used as an initial screening for eligibility.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.