Upcoming Grant Deadlines
For Organizations

Coming Up Soon!
Cultural Traditions in the Arts Grant 
Grant Deadline: December 15, 2018
Maximum Award: $3,000 
(25% Cash Match for equipment purchases only)


Around the Corner
Arts Access Grant 
Grant Deadline: January 15, 2019
Maximum Award: $6,000

Arts Access Grants are open to non-profits, schools, government or tribal offices, or groups with a fiscal sponsor. These grants can support creation, production, and presentation of high-quality arts activities, as well as projects that help overcome barriers to accessing high-quality arts activities, and projects that help instill the arts into the community and public life in our region. 

All applications are online at  r2arts.org

Region 2 Arts Council Cultural Traditions in the Arts Grants and Arts Access Grants are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative  appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Region 2 Arts Council Office is open M-F 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact us or stop by anytime to set up an individual appointment.
We are here to help!

Region 2 Arts Council Office
505 Bemidji Ave., N.
(inside Watermark Art Center)
Bemidji MN 56601
Upcoming Grant Deadlines
For Individuals

Around the Corner
Individual Artist Grant 
Grant Deadline: February 15, 2019
Maximum Award: $2,000 (25% Cash Match on equipment.)

The R2AC Individual Artist Grant Program is open to artists in all arts disciplines. This grant offers funding for costs associated with the exhibition, performance, or production of a creative work; purchase of materials or equipment necessary for a creative work; educational opportunities; mentorships; and proposals for career-enhancing projects or opportunities. 

The Individual Artist Grant is made possible by the Region 2 Arts Council and with funding from the McKnight Foundation.

Young Artist Grant 
Grant Deadline: February 15, 2019
Maximum Award: $600

The Young Artist Grant is o pen to 8th - 12th grade students who wish to work one-on-one with an established artist, or attend an arts class, workshop or camp in the state of Minnesota, to stretch themselves artistically. Grant recipients receive up to $600 to attend an arts class, camp, or workshop or are reimbursed up to $600 for work with a mentor artist or instructor.

The Region 2 Arts Council Young Artist Grant is made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the 
Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

All applications are online at  r2arts.org

Region 2 Arts Council Cultural Traditions in the Arts Grants and Arts Access Grants are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative  appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.

Region 2 Arts Council Office is open M-F 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Contact us or stop by anytime to set up an individual appointment.
We are here to help!

Region 2 Arts Council Office
505 Bemidji Ave., N.
(inside Watermark Art Center)
Bemidji MN 56601
Image: Shawl Dancer by David Ben White

Anishinaabe Arts Initiative
(AAI)  Exhibit

Closing Reception
December 8
10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Region 2 Arts Council
505 Bemidji Ave. N., Bemidji

Please join us to celebrate the closing of the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative (AAI) exhibit, a show exhibiting traditional and contemporary artwork by AAI grant recipients, AAI Council members, and other Native American artists who have received, or been a part of, a Region 2 Arts Council grant. The exhibit is currently open for viewing Monday-Friday  9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Future grant deadlines for area Native Artists:
March 2019, November 2019


This activity is made possible, in part, by the Anishinaabe Arts Initiative through support from the Region 2 Arts Council 
and with funding from the McKnight Foundation.

R2AC Artist Fellows

The Region 2 Arts Council is excited to announce the recipients of the 2018-2019 Artist Fellowship, awarded to Bemidji-based painter Paula J. Swenson, and Bemidji State University poet and professor Dr. Carol Ann Russell.

Paula Swenson: "After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I struggled to find my own artistic voice. It took me many years, many workshops and many teachers. Around 1991 I found my  way to the Women's Art Registry of Minnesota. There I found support and fellowship and discovered not how to paint but how I paint. After finding a subject, I research that subject, gather resource materials and meditate on what it all means. By using symbols and colors and shapes I tell stories or portray a landscape all the while being mindful of unintended 'happy accidents.' Stars turn into birds, trees into creatures, moons into fishing holes. I call my style Surrealistic for lack of a better term. Mostly I want my paintings to make people happy, including me."

Dr. Carol Ann Russell is the author of four books of poetry, including The Red Envelope (Florida 1985), Silver Dollar (New Mexico 1995), and Gypsy Taxi (Nebraska 2005). Russell was chosen to receive the 1999 Distinguished Alumni Award by St. Cloud State University, and has taught creative writing at Bemidji State University since 1988, where she is Professor of English.
Russell holds M.A. and M.F.A. degrees from University of Montana, and a Ph.D. from University of Nebraska. Russell's poetry has been published in over a hundred literary journals, including Poetry International, Missouri Review, Ploughshares, Malahat Review, Quarterly West, Georgia State Review, Columbia, Poetry Northwest, Portland Review, Louisville Review, Sonora Review, Ohio Review, and Hawaii Review. Her poems have been included in more than 13 anthologies representing poets from Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, and the Pacific Northwest. Most recently, Russell's poetry appeared in The Backwaters Press 20th Anniversary Anthology (2017). Russell has received many grants, awards, and residencies including the Jerome Foundation, the American Academy in Rome and Villa Vergiliana, Italy, the Australian Centre at Melbourne University in Australia, Studium Scholar at St. Benedict's Monastery, and the Ragdale Foundation. Poet Carol Ann Russell was elected to P.E.N. International in New York City in 1993.

The Region 2 Arts Council Board of Directors and Staff would like to thank each of the Artist Fellowship applicants and congratulate Paula J. Swenson and Dr. Carol Ann Russell as the 2018-2019 Artist Fellows!
The Region 2 Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award is made possible through the generous support of the McKnight Foundation.
Region 2 Arts Council Logo
Seeking One Board Member
from Mahnomen County!

Region 2 Arts Council is still seeking to fill one more Board of Directors position for an arts appreciator and/or artist from Mahnomen county. This position will begin as soon as filled. Eligible applicants must be 18 years or older, have a strong interest in the arts, and have the desire to be an ambassador for Region 2 Arts Council.
This is a great opportunity to understand the workings of the arts granting process, to be more involved with the arts and artists of our region, and to enjoy camaraderie with others who appreciate the arts.
Excerpt from a recent letter to the editor by Nancy Cole, former LOW board member:
I was a representative for four years. I learned a lot about areas of art that I was not as familiar with, also sharing what I know with others. I met interesting people and interesting ideas. Taking my turn evaluating granted arts projects led me to events I might have otherwise passed by, sometimes enriching my life in surprising ways.
Region 2 Arts Council covers round trip mileage at the current IRS rate for attending board activities. Time commitment involves board meetings, committee work, and 5-8 hours per month reviewing grant applications, along with attending selected funded arts events. Summers are relatively free of board obligations.
E-mail us with questions at staff@r2arts.org
Region 2 Arts Council Logo

R2AC Biennial Planning
Surveys are now online
We want to hear from you! 

Let us know your thoughts!

Public Listening Sessions
in January
Join Region 2 Arts Council staff and board members for an open discussion about Region 2 Arts Council's grants, programs, and services. Lights snacks provided. 
Your feedback is important!
The following listening sessions are currently scheduled
Lake of the Woods County:
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday, January 8, 2019
Lake of the Woods County Historical Society
Located 1 block south of Hwy 11 on 8th Ave SE., Baudette
Clearwater County:
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. Monday, January 7, 2019
Clearwaters Life Center, in the library classroom
256 2nd Ave, Clearbrook
Mahnomen County:
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 10, 2019
Gizhiigin Arts Incubator
701 E. Jefferson Ave., Mahnomen

And a reminder...
R2AC Office will be closed
December 24 & 25
R2AC staff will not be in the office Monday and Tuesday, December 24 & 25, in observance of Christmas. 
May you all enjoy a safe holiday!
Region 2 Arts Council
505 Bemidji Ave. N
Bemidji, MN 56601

Be sure to check out our
Holiday Shopping Guide towards the end of this newsletter to learn about
great opportunities to purchase
area artwork!


Art Club
December 6, 13, 20
4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Enjoy a fun and supportive environment while gaining mad art skills. Participants will learn from guest artists, explore local art on field trips, and prepare art exhibits. Our goal is to provide an informal, safe and supportive atmosphere while offering high quality art instruction and mentorship. Open to grades 3-6. Space is limited to first 20 participants.

Headwaters Music & Arts
519 Minnesota Ave. NW
Bemidji MN 56601

Percussion Ensemble
December 6
7:30 p.m.
Bangsberg Recital Hall

Bemidji Choir Winter Concert
December 15
7:30 p.m.
900 Bemidji Ave. N

Bemidji State University
Bemidji, MN 56601
First Friday Art Walk in Bemidji
December 7
Dunn Brothers Coffee   6am - 7pm
501 Paul Bunyan Dr SE
Featuring artwork by Madi Stone.
Neilson Place   8am - 8pm
1000 Anne Street NW
Featuring artwork by Bob Panther.
The Bemidji Library  9am - 5pm
509 America Ave NW
Featuring mixed media artwork by Gallery North artists.
Gallery North  10am - 5pm
310 4th St NW
Featuring artwork by Les Sanders.
"Holiday Boutique" First Friday reception from 2-6pm.

Wild Hare Bistro & Coffeehouse  7am - 5pm
523 Minnesota Ave. 3:30 pm - 5 pm.
Featuring artwork by Marlon Davidson and Don Knudson.

Northwest Indian Community Development Center  3 - 7pm
1819 Bemidji Ave N.
Featuring artwork by over 15 Native American artists.
This Art & Craft Show extends into Saturday 9am - 4pm.

Watermark Art Center  10am - 6pm
505 Bemidji Ave N
Holiday Open House weekend with lots of special events.

Butch Holden Studio
1104 Minnesota Ave (entrance in back alley)
Featuring artwork by Butch Holden.
Artwork will be available for sale 3pm - 6pm.


Holiday Open House

Mazinigwaaso - She Stitches Fancy
"Meet the Artists"
December 8
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Robyn Van Wert, Cari Tabor and Pamela Iceman will be demonstrating bead and quill work. 
Meet these award-winning artists and learn more about their process.

Second Saturday Kids Art Class
December 8
1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

This month's project, kids 6 and older, will participate in a snowflake workshop creating a variety of snowflake decorations using several common products, including paper, beads, pipe cleaners and clothespins.

First Anniversary Celebration
December 9
11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Help Watermark celebrate one year in their new building. 
Enjoy food and drinks at this ticketed event 

Watermark Art Center
505 Bemidji Ave. N
Bemidji MN 56601

Park Rapids Area High School Drama Department presents "Treasure Island"
December 7 & 8, 7:00 p.m.
Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium

Magical Medora Christmas
December 13, 7:30 p.m.
Park Rapids Area High School Auditorium

Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council
Park Rapids MN

First Friday
December 7
2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
"Holiday Boutique" features specific artwork handmade by Gallery North members.
Featured artist is wood carver Les Sanders.

Creative Cafe
December 11
4:00 p.m - 6:00 p.m.

Three of our artists take you on a hands-on adventure into the arts. Sip, nibble goodies, connect, make art if you choose or just come hang out. No registration required.

310 4th St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601
Bemidji Contra Dance
December 8

Musician & Caller Workshops
Headwaters Music & Arts
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Free - pre registration encouraged

Community Contra Dance
Rail River Folk School
7:00 p.m. - 10 p.m.
  Suggested donation

 Featuring live music and workshop facilitation by Sugar on the Roof, from the Duluth area, and calling by Bemidji caller Wendy Greenberg. This project builds Contra Dance through music and caller workshops, and Community Contra Dance events with live music.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Region 2 Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund. 

Bemidji, MN 56601
BSO Logo
"Let there be Peace on Earth"
Featuring Guest Soloist 
Emily Walter
December 11
7:00 p.m.
Bemidji High School Auditorium
The Snowman  is an Academy Award-nominated animation based on Raymond Briggs' classic children's book of the same name. It tells the endearing story of a young boy who builds a snowman that magically comes to life, and the two go soaring through the sky on an unforgettable enchanted adventure. The BSO performs Howard Blake's beautiful soundtrack live with the film

Welcome vocalist Emily Walter  as we enjoy a variety of selections that celebrate the holiday season!

All Concerts Held at:
Bemidji High School Auditorium
2900 Division Street West
Bemidji, MN 56601
Park Rapids 
Arts & Culture Advisory Commission
Share your Arts 'Wish List' Session

December 18
6:00 p.m.
Park Rapids City Council Chambers
212 2nd St. W

The Park Rapids Arts & Culture Advisory Commission welcomes your ideas about how the arts can help create a more vital and prosperous community. The Advisory Commission will use your ideas and input to update goals in the city Arts and Culture Plan approved in June 2017.

If you are unable to attend Dec. 18, you are invited to participate in an online survey. Results will be shared with the Advisory Commission.

For more information call Ryan Zemek at  (218) 333-6541 or via email

Park Rapids Arts & Culture Advisory Commission
City of Park Rapids
212 West Second Street
Park Rapids, MN  56470-1507

Foundations 2019
December 18
1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Northwest MN Foundation
Bemidji, MN

Minnesota Foundations 2019 will provide you with specific information about the trends, staffing, program shifts and financial outlooks of the most active and important foundations giving in Northwest Minnesota. You'll learn frank, current information about significant changes taking place in Minnesota's foundation community.
Whether you're an executive director, a board member involved in fundraising or a fund development staff person, this workshop is a great way to jump start your funding prospects for 2019.
This forward-looking workshop offers a great opportunity for you and your colleagues to build your list of foundation prospects for the coming year. It is also a great way to connect to trends in the sector while uncovering the resources necessary to implement your fundraising plan.

MN Council of Nonprofits
2314 University Ave. W, Suite 20
St. Paul, MN 55114
2019 Emerging Artists Grants
for MN Artists with Disabilities

Deadline for Submission: February 1, 2019

If you are:
* a Minnesota artist with disabilities,
* early (emerging or reemerging) in your artistic career, and
* want to create new work,
YOU are likely eligible for a $2,000 grant from VSA Minnesota!

This year's changes in guidelines are that NO previous grant recipients are eligible, and applicants must say what they wish to pursue in their new artwork/writing/etc. 

VSA Minnesota is a statewide, nonprofit organization whose mission is to create a community where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and access the arts. The Jerome Foundation seeks to contribute to a dynamic and evolving culture by supporting the creation, development and production of new works by emerging artists.

Call VSA directly  (612) 332-3888 with questions or for copies of application/guidelines

VSA Minnesota
The Cowles Center
528 Hennepin Avenue, Suite 305
Minneapolis MN 55403

Bell Museum
Residency Program

2018-2020 Resident Artist Research Project
Submission Deadline: December 30, 2018

The Bell Museum is seeking four resident artists for the next round of its Resident Artist Research Project. This program invites dynamic candidates from all disciplines to investigate artistic practice as a lens for science discovery, and offers a unique opportunity to engage with Bell curators and staff, University of Minnesota researchers, scientific collections, as well as the greater community.  Open to artists who live and work in Minnesota

Interested artists living and working in Minnesota will be asked to consider their work in the context of the following "Big Ideas:"
  • Frontiers of Discovery
  • Collecting & Curating
  • Ways of Knowing
  • Immersive Experience

Bell Museum
2088 Larpenteur Ave W
St Paul, MN 55113
Blandin Foundation Mural
Call to Artists!

Submission Deadline: January 3, 2019

 Blandin Foundation has contracted with Forecast Public Art to facilitate a call for an artist/team to design and create a mural on the outside of the Blandin Foundation building. Artists are hereby invited to submit qualifications to be considered to participate in the design phase for the public art opportunity described below.

Blandin Foundation would like to use this public art initiative to reflect the values on which it is based, honor the communities it serves, and reflect the identities of smaller, rural communities.  One artist/team will be commissioned to create a mural which will be located on the outside of the building.

Call 218-326-7626 or email with questions
2300 Myrtle Ave. Ste. 160
St. Paul, MN 55114

Centennial Library
Circle Pines, MN
Call for Artworks

Submission Deadline: January 7, 2019

 Forecast Public Art is assisting Anoka County Libraries to exhibit a variety of original artworks inside the new Centennial Library in Circle Pines, Minnesota. Artworks will be inspired by the categories of the Dewey Decimal system.  The expanded and modernized Centennial Library will serve as a A knowledge park, a space for community where creativity and opportunity thrive.  Up to ten artworks will be selected by a panel of creative professionals.  Artists based in Minnesota age 16 and older are invited to apply. Artists can submit more than one artwork for consideration.

Call 218-326-7626 or email with questions
Centennial Library
Circle Pines, MN 55014
Call for Artists: 
Sculpt Siouxland

Submission Deadline: January 31, 2019

Sculpt Siouxland is a joint project of the Sioux City Art Center and Sculpt Siouxland, Inc. The purpose of Sculpt Siouxland is to bring seven outstanding outdoor sculptures to highly visible locations in downtown Sioux City for a year-long exhibition. The sculptures each have an opportunity to join the growing number of pieces that form the permanent collection of Sculpt Siouxland to remain on permanent display. There is no application fee and artist may submit up to 3 sculptures for review.

Call 712-279-6272 ext. 200 with questions
Sioux City Art Center
225 Nebraska Street
Sioux City, Iowa 51101-1712

Call for Artists!

'Spitting Image' Self-Portrait
Group Exhibition

Submission Deadline: January 2, 2019

Lanesboro Arts is inviting artists to submit an application for inclusion in the upcoming 'Spitting Image' exhibition, a juried self-portrait group show which will run February 9 - April 6, 2019. Visual artists working in a variety of mediums, such as sculpture, painting, drawing and photography, are welcome to apply. Both 2D and 3D entries will also be accepted.

Entries for 
2021 Exhibition Gallery

Submission Deadline: January 31, 2019

Exhibitions are approximately eight weeks in length and artists working in all visual arts mediums are encouraged to apply.  The Lanesboro Arts Exhibition Gallery seeks artworks that enrich both artist and community by initiating discussion and connection. These works should exhibit a unique vision and original voice, quality craftsmanship, and should be diverse and accessible to individuals from all walks of life. Both traditional and contemporary art styles are accepted.

Contact Gallery Director Robbie Brokken with any questions 
Lanesboro Arts
PO Box 152
Lanesboro MN 55949

"Holiday Boutique"
December 7
2:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
"Holiday Boutique"  will feature specific artwork handmade by Gallery North members, many items 50% off! So, if you need a "Secret Santa" gift or a special gift for that special someone, stop by our open house reception.

310 4th St. NW
Bemidji, MN 56601

Northwest Indian Community Development Center
Winter Arts & Crafts Show

December 7
3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

December 8
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Over 25 artists and
crafters including:
* Anita Gibbs
* Blue Crane Arts and
* Caricatures by Michael
* Char Benson
* E. Jourdain
* Robyn Vanwert
* Sharon Nordrum
* Theresa Huhta Vance
* Vicki Swan
* Wenona Kingbird
* Wesley May Arts

Proceeds going to Awesiinyag Ozhawenimigowaan Mikwagamiwizaag`iganing Anishinaaben

1819 Bemidji Ave N
Bemidji MN 56601

Holiday Events and 
Shopping Opportunities

Tree Ornament Fundraiser
December 7

Handmade ornaments created by local artists will be available for sale in the gallery shop. These ornaments will continue to be for sale as long as inventory lasts. 
New this year: block-printed tea towels.  During the recent Art Family Style night at Watermark, local families created block-printed tea towels to include in the annual fundraiser. The tag for each tea towel includes the name of the family who stamped it, as well as the local artist who created the design.

Gourmet Bake Sale
and Artist Showcase
December 15-16

Purchase goodies and a warm drink. Take a bag home, or enjoy a few treats while you shop! Several artists will be present throughout the weekend offering demos and visiting with shoppers.

Last-Minute Shopping Weekend
December 22-23

The art center will be open normal business hours to accommodate any last minute gift needs. Shopping specials will be offered, including half-price tree ornaments.

Watermark Art Center
505 Bemidji Ave. N
Bemidji MN 56601

Jewelry Holiday Sale
December 8
Wild Hare Bistro, Bemidji

Join Seven Sister Design in the Wild Hare's cozy back room for a beautiful display of new and classic jewelry! Hattie Peterson will join Monica Hansmeyer this year, with her new stone and silver jewelry!

Wild Hare Bistro
523 Minnesota Ave.
Bemidji MN 56601

2018 Bush Prize for 
Community Innovation
Area Winners

The Bush Prize celebrates organizations that are extraordinary not only in what they do but in how they do it. This year's winners are recognized for working inclusively, in partnership with others, to make their communities better for all.

Saint Paul and Fergus Falls, MN 

Congratulations on behalf of 
Region 2 Arts Council!

Bush Foundation
101 Fifth Street East, Suite 2400
Saint Paul, MN 55101

The BCT Caroliers are
Now Taking Bookings!

Would you like to have Victorian caroliers in period costumes perform traditional holiday music for your company holiday party, service organization, or other event? The Caroliers will customize the length and style of perfomance or interactive sing-along to your requirements. Thirty to sixty minutes is average.
Please call Carla Norris-Raynbird at 218-760-5277.
The BCT Caroliers is partially sponsored through a grant from a Beltrami Electric Round Up Gr

New Space has a Name!

The new space will now be officially referred to as 
the Bemidji Community Theater Performing Arts Center
or HQ (short for Headquarters).

Bemidji Community Theater
316 Beltrami Ave.
Bemidji, MN 56601
Public Opinion Poll
Americans Speak Out about the Arts
Americans for the Arts released  Americans Speak Out About the Arts in 2018 , one of the largest national public opinion surveys of American perceptions and attitudes towards the arts and arts funding. 

Key findings include:
  • Americans show overwhelming support for arts education.
  • The arts give the nation's communities identity and unity.
  • Americans are highly engaged in the arts and experience them in unexpected places.
  • The arts improve personal well-being and provide meaning to citizens' lives.
  • Government funding for the arts is viewed favorably.

Creative People Power
Springboard for the Arts and Helicon Collaborative are excited to launch Creative People Power, a new report and framework for combining creativity-centered and people-centered development to build strong, healthy, and resilient communities.

"This research has helped us understand more deeply that, collectively, we need to build a new system that tends to the health of our creative people and that allows us to tap into the power they create.

We hope that this report is a catalyst for you in your work to identify, more broadly and inclusively, the cultural assets in your community and to build your own system to plug into your  creative people power."

201 West Lincoln Ave.
Fergus Falls, MN 56537
This newsletter is made possible by the voters of Minnesota, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.

Send submissions for our January newsletter by December 28 to: