MRAC’s Equity Response Grant Program for Disable Groups – U.S.
The Metro Regional Arts Council (MRAC) now seeks applications for its Equity Response Grant Program that provides resources for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC)-led, People with Disabilities (PWD)-led, and/or Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual/Agender, Two-Spirit (LGBTQIA2+)-led MRAC eligible groups.
Equity Response grants provide funding for targeted small-scale projects as a starting or transition point for groups to support their ability to provide access to the arts in a changing environment (COVID-19 and current social change realities).
Equity Response grants provides funding up to $2500.
Examples of eligible expense items:
Administrative & other personnel;
Supplies and/or capital purchases;
Accessibility-related costs (be specific);
Administrative overhead (be specific).
Fund does not Support
Projects that do not uphold applicable federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and ordinances in relation to the use of MRAC funds.
Attendance at training events/conferences outside the state of Minnesota.
Projects that are managed by another entity other than the applicant.
Projects and activities designed to raise funds/regrant/donate funds on behalf of another person, organization, or cause. MRAC funds cannot be contributed to another organization or person.
Projects that attempt to influence any state or federal legislation or appropriation; to support activities that are essentially for the religious socialization of the participants or audience; or discriminate against persons or groups.
Projects that include costs incurred before Earliest Grant Expenditure Date. All expenses included in the grant proposal must be incurred on or after this date. Including expenses incurred prior to this date may deem the entire application ineligible.
Projects for which any portion of activities take place after June 30 of the MRAC fiscal year following the one in which the award was issued are ineligible. The latest project end date is June 30, 2022. This means that the project is complete and all grant funds have been expended.
Projects budgets that include unrealized income such as scholarships or in-kind support.
Projects in which any portion of activities are located outside the seven-county metro area are ineligible. Exception: attendance at training/conference events may be outside of the seven-county metro area as long as they take place in Minnesota.
These dollars cannot substitute other state dollars. This includes:
Requests in which any portion of the project budget will be used to pay an artist or arts organization to provide essentially the same services that an ongoing teacher, teaching staff, or arts specialist previously provided or would be expected to provide in a school setting are ineligible.
Requests in which the project will replace discontinued or nonexistent arts programs that should be fulfilling the state’s arts curriculum requirements in schools are ineligible.
The purchase of real estate property.
Development of endowments.
Capital projects (facility improvements) to leased spaces that are not approved by the property owner are not eligible. No capital improvements can be made to homes. Written permission from the property owner of the space is required.
Debt reduction and building cash reserves.
Travel expenses to or from Minnesota. You may engage an out-of-state artist or consultant within your project, but their travel expense to get to or from Minnesota cannot be included in a MRAC request.
Expenses to purchase alcoholic beverages or to pay associated costs (servers, insurance, liquor licenses, etc.).
Costs for relocating the applicant’s legal address/residence outside the state of Minnesota.
Using these funds as a match requirement for other MRAC awarded grants.
Project expenses that are included in another MRAC grant.
Some examples of eligible projects could be, but are not restricted to:
Meet a group’s needs critical to its continued ability to provide arts activities to its community.
Advance the group’s journey through (re-)envisioning, planning, securing necessary materials, and/or piloting new ways of working.
Explore, initiate, or expand collaborations/strategic partnerships/resource sharing that supports a resilient arts ecosystem in the region.
This program funds IRS 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts and/or cultural organizations, non-arts nonprofits, and community education units with a history of arts programming, and informal/unincorporated arts groups applying with a nonprofit as a fiscal sponsor.
The applicant group and project must be located in the 7-county (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington) metropolitan region.
The applicant group’s annualized operating/arts programming expenses must be less than $400,000.
Fiscally Sponsored groups must have their own board of directors or advisory committee that provides input on the project and oversight of the grant funds.
Applicant groups cannot be:
Public, private, alternative, charter, transitional, or home schools (this includes school support organizations such as PTAs, PTOs, school foundations, etc.).
Organizations whose main purpose is to raise funds for another person, organization, or cause.
Review and Selection Process
Staff: MRAC staff review all applications for eligibility.
Panel: A peer review panel reviews all eligible applications. The panel reviews for FY21 will take place remotely. Panelists will receive training from MRAC staff and then will read and rate applications. Panel comments can be shared with applicants upon request.
MRAC Board of Directors: MRAC staff submits the panel recommendations to the MRAC board of directors who make the final decision on funding.
Appeal: Appeals must be made in writing within 30 days of the notification of the board decision. Contact MRAC for a copy of the appeal policy.
For more information, visit https://mrac.org/grants/equity-response/