In this issue:

  • SMAC response to COVID-19

  • Important update on annual SMAC Artist Retreat

  • SMAC Awards $47,159 to Local Artists & Arts Organizations

  • SMAC Grant Support Virtual "Open Office" Hours

  • SMAC Gallery Updates

  • New Board Member for McLeod County

Pictured: The Barn Theatre in Willmar's production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which they received a SMAC Art Project Grant to support.
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council's Response to COVID-19

We are committed to assisting artists and arts organizations in our region as we respond to the COVID-19 health situation. We also believe that the arts are an important element in helping our communities during the next few months.
 
We encourage any grantee that has had to change plans because of the current uncertainty to contact us to talk about changing the details of their grant to allow them to work without undue hardship. We plan to be as flexible as possible in this regard. We understand that some events may need to be cancelled and we will work with any grantee to find appropriate solutions.
 
Our offices are currently closed to the public, but we are continuing to work and can be reached via email: info@swmnarts.org .
 
SMAC will continue to communicate about our own changes and updates due to COVID-19 through social media channels ( Facebook and Instagram ), email and our website .

We also encourage you to utilize the the Springboard for the Arts Resource page at: https://springboardforthearts.org/coronavirus/. Lists of helpful online resources for the Minnesota arts community can also be found on our webpage as well as by searching " Resources " on our News & Events posts on our website: https://swmnarts.org/category/resources/.
It is possible for extensions to be granted for events to happen at a later date or money reassigned to fit an evolving need, such as providing something virtually instead of in person, etc. Please email any concerns, questions or changes for your grant to our Executive Director, Nicole DeBoer at: nicole@swmnats.org.
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Cancels Annual Artist Retreat for 2020

Unfortunately the SMAC Board needed to make the decision to cancel our annual Artist Retreat this year, originally scheduled for May 1 & 2, 2020. Please know that we took the decision to cancel very seriously. The option of postponing the event had its own set of problems, but know that was also a consideration put to the SMAC Board. The entire SMAC staff and board members are extremely disappointed about missing the awesome-ness that happens at this retreat. Let’s look forward positively to future retreats and artist gatherings!
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council awards local artists and arts organizations $47,159

SMAC awards $10,000 to local individual artist
On February 25, 2020 the SW MN Arts Council Board awarded an Individual Artist Community Collaboration grant to  Agnes Alsgaard Lien  of Rushmore for 10,000.  Individual Artist Community Collaboration grants  provide up to $10,000 to artists to create a major new work, while collaborating with the community, introducing community members to the arts in a new way. No match requirements.

 Please note that at the time of application and awards precautions for COVID-19 were not present and some grants may now need to be adjusted to accommodate these changes.
Agnes' collaboration project is to create four mural paintings (at 4x8 feet each) with the Rushmore Community and the Southwest Mn Arts Council artists that attend the May artist Retreat. Three of four murals will be placed in the City Park in Rushmore, Minnesota, the fourth mural will be installed in the Rushmore Community Gym. Agnes will conduct painting workshops at community events in the City of Rushmore and events sponsored by the Rushmore Booster Club. Two of the four mural paintings will be completed at these events. One of the four murals will be collaboratively painted at the SW Minnesota Arts Council Artist Retreat, typically held in May. A group discussion about Public Art and the impact it has in communities will be held prior to the mural painting workshop at the retreat. The fourth mural will be completed in her own art studio.  Pictured is a mural project lead by Agnes in a Rushmore city park. This is on the inside of fence and measures 12x8 feet.
SMAC Awards $37,159 to local arts organizations

On February 25, 2020 the SW MN Arts Council Board awarded the following five arts organizations Equipment & Facilities Improvement grants . These grants provide up to $10,000 in matching funds to arts organizations for the purchase of equipment items and facilities improvements that will strengthen the organization’s capacity to serve the arts needs of the SMAC region. 20% cash match required.

  • Blue Mound Area Theatre, Luverne, $3,995 to replace a set of torn curtains on for their theater stage. The curtains were torn during a theater rental when a guest in the facility attempted to manipulate the curtains without realizing some of the panels were stationary. This project will replace the torn curtain and provide staff time of a mandatory training for guests who rent the facility. This way there will be plans in place to proactively prevent similar mistakes from happening in the future.

  • Dawson-Boyd Arts Association, Dawson, $10,000 to replace a major stage curtain, the Olio Traveler, and related equipment at their Memorial Auditorium. The existing curtain was installed in 1954 and is now obsolescent and no longer able to be repaired. The applicant explained that "over time, according to curtain vendors, its fire-retardant capabilities have diminished and are ineffective or absent". 

  • Department of Public Transformation, Granite Falls, $9,802 for professional lighting, projection and sound system for their new performance venue at The YES! House in Granite Falls. It is their plan that through this equipment they can offer high-quality live arts events for residents of our region. The applicant said, "Through a year-long Creative Community Design Build process, we have incorporated the ideas of hundreds of residents and dozens of community partners into the design of The YES! House - a radically welcoming creative community gathering space. Based on our community’s input, The YES! House will include a high-quality performance venue, among many other facilities." Funds will be used to purchase the equipment needed to make their performance space ready for such events as theater performances, concerts, open mic nights, film screenings, and other community-centered events.

  • Lac qui Parle Players, Madison, $3,362 to to purchase new wireless microphones. Due to the FCC decision to sell the 600 mHz frequencies to cell phone companies, their current systems will soon become illegal to operate. The applicant explained, "because of regulations beyond our control we are forced to replace this currently functioning equipment with new compliant technology."

  • Pipestone Performing Arts Center, Pipestone, $10,000 to purchase 9 LED light instruments to replace older ones that are nearing the end of their use. The grant will go towards the cost of the instruments and the labor to install them.
Grant Support *Virtual* Open Office:: the second Tuesday of the month

NEXT EVENT:  Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Email the SMAC office, info@swmnarts.org, to setup a time to meet via phone or web conference anytime between 10 am to 2 pm for assistance with any grant-related questions. We can also accommodate group meetings digitally. These monthly events are a chance to get some work done and possibly talk with others in the arts community. Receive one-on-one guidance in: finding the right program, learning how to apply, preparing work samples, preparing budgets for proposals and more.

Plan to share your ideas or questions with us! SMAC staff will be available to help with any questions related to your applications, projects, final reports, or eligibility.
In the gallery: Jessica Gorman

Jessica Gorman's multimedia and photography series titled " Prohibited Acts" is currently at the gallery through May 1, 2020. Pictured above is gallery attendants discussing Jessica's works at the opening reception. To continue reading to learn more about this show, visit: https://swmnarts.org/gallery/

Since the SMAC Gallery isn't currently open for visitors due to COVID-19, we've created a virtual tour video of still photos for you to experience this current exhibit. The video gives larger gallery views as well as "close-ups" of each piece. We certainly enjoyed looking closely at each piece while putting this together and we hope you will, too! The video is posted on our Facebook by clicking here as well as on our YouTube channel : https://youtu.be/hujS-tyK_pk

Prohibited Acts was supported by a SMAC Individual Artist Community Collaboration Grant between Jessica Gorman, the Granite Falls Community and the Granite Area Arts Council.
Next in the gallery: Danielle Wedeking

Danielle received a SMAC Developing Individual Artist Grant (now called an Emerging Individual Artist Grant) to professionally frame her multimedia drawings. Danielle's exhibit will run from May 14th to July 2nd, 2020.

Currently the artist reception is set for Thursday, May 14th from 5-7 pm. We will continue to post if changes are made due to COVID-19 precautions.

Image: "Opposed Associates", Graphite and Gold Leaf on Paper, 11x17 inches, 2017 
legacy logo


These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. Additional funding provided by the McKnight Foundation. Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive. The McKnight Foundation supports working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities.
New SMAC Board representative for McLeod County

Please help Southwest Minnesota Arts Council welcome new Board Member and representative for McLeod County, Greg Jodzio! Greg has a somewhat unconventional bio, but we think you'll enjoy:

It’s funny where hot dogs can lead. For Greg, they led to the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF). After 30 plus years working in advertising, marketing and sales, he retired early. That didn’t last. In 2009, he came out of retirement and opened the first Chicago hot dog cart south of the South Fork of the Crow River in northern downtown Hutchinson, with help from a SWIF loan. Soon he became the ‘poster senior’ of SWIF’s newly created Encore Entrepreneur program. He later helped guide entrepreneurs of all ages in their Microenterprise Loan Program. Today, still at SWIF, he works in fundraising.

Greg holds a master’s in business communications, an associate degree in photography and a PHD (Proprietor of Hot Dogs) from Vienna Beef’s Hot Dog University.
In addition to the SMAC board, he serves on the board of the Hutchinson Center for the Arts and is a member of the Hutchinson Public Arts Commission and Hutchinson Rotary.
A self-described “very happy kid,” he likes to laugh with his wife Betty – the funniest person he knows. Greg says when you mix in grandkids, friends and a little golf, life is good.
The Prairie Star and Prairie Disciple applications are STILL OPEN!

Who will you nominate? Applications are due April 15, 2020.


******Prairie Star Award******
Every other year, the Prairie Star Award ($5,000) recognizes an individual artist whose body of work has made a significant contribution to the arts over an extended period of time, who has been recognized by his or her artistic peers, and who has best exemplified the highest quality of work in the SMAC region. In recognizing these individuals publicly, the awards will raise the profile of the arts in their communities and throughout the SMAC region.

***Prairie Disciple Award***
The Prairie Disciple Award ($1,000) provides awareness and recognition of one individual per year from southwest Minnesota, whose activities and involvement have substantially contributed to the arts over an extended period of time. The accomplishments of arts advocates working in the region are often not widely known or appreciated. In recognizing these individuals publicly, the awards will raise the profile of the arts in their community and throughout the SMAC region. In 2020, SMAC is accepting nominations of teachers/educators only.
Learn more or start your nominations here: https://swmnarts.org/grants/smac-special-awards/
Two SMAC staff members attended Minnesota Council of Nonprofits' Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit, held in Marshall, MN at Southwest Minnesota State University. The theme of the summit was Bright Futures, Vital Communities. SMAC staff made important networking connections as well as participated in a day of learning how we can be a better non-profit organization from board education to financial stability. Staff also attended sessions such as Creating an Inclusive Workplace Culture, Outreach & Inclusion Strategies, Building Empathy & Understanding for the Economically Disadvantaged, and more!

The Fiscal Year 2021 Grant Calendar is here!!
The Fiscal Year 2020 Grant Calendar
April 1, 4:30 pm, 2020: Monthly Arts Organization Grants (Art Legacy Project Planning Grants, Arts Organization Development Grants & Arts Organization Start Up Grants) Applications Due  
Monthly Arts Organization grants are on a first-come, first served monthly deadline until all funds have been expended. Deadline is the 1st of each month, 4:30 pm, August-November 2018 & January-April 2019. Earliest project start date is the first day of the following month after board action.
 
Art Legacy Project Planning grants provide organizations with up to $2,500 to plan for a specific large-scale project or activity that will create or advance a strong arts legacy in Minnesota.
 
Arts Organization Development grants provide arts organization in the SMAC region with up to $5,000 in matching funds to increase their long-term stability and capacity through organizational development and management projects.
 
Arts Organization Start Up grants provide arts organizations with at least two years of programming up to $2,000 to develop articles of incorporation, by-laws, and apply for their 501(c)(3) status.

April 1, 4:30 pm, 2020: Art Study Opportunity for Youth Grants Due
Art Study Opportunity for Youth grants provide up to $500 to allow young artists entering grades 5 – 12 to attend an enrichment camp or specialty study. Standard weekly lessons (such as piano or voice lessons) are allowed only for those students who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program. Arts supplies costs are allowed for students attending a MN public arts high school.  No match requirements.

April 15, 4:30 pm, 2020: Prairie Star & Prairie Disciple Nominations Due
The Prairie Star ($5,000) is awarded every other year. The award recognizes an individual artist whose body of work has made a significant contribution to the arts over an extended period of time, who has been recognized by his or her artistic peers, and who has best exemplified the highest quality of work in the SMAC region. In recognizing these individuals publicly, the awards will raise the profile of the arts in their communities and throughout the SMAC region.

The Prairie Disciple ($1,000) is awarded every year. The award provides awareness and recognition of one individual per year from southwest Minnesota, whose activities and involvement have substantially contributed to the arts over an extended period of time. The accomplishments of arts advocates working in the region are often not widely known or appreciated. In recognizing these individuals publicly, the awards will raise the profile of the arts in their community and throughout the SMAC region. In 2020, SMAC is accepting nominations of teachers/educators only.
Click on the links for more information
  Memberships
From February 28th to March 27th, 2020

Contributors: Tokheim Stoneware, Dawson Take Note, Marshall • Mary Jane Striegel, Marshall • Pipestone Area Chamber of Commerce & CVB, Pipestone • Dr. & Mrs. WM. Yseth, Pipestone • Margaret Hurlbut Vosburgh, Worthington
Supporters: Paul Jones & Lori Grote, Jackson • Carol Purrington, Marshall • Marvin & Jane Link, Milan • Brent Olson, Ortonville • Jan Craig Nelson, Redwood Falls • Nobles County Art Center, Worthington •
Sustainers:   John & Leanna Ginocchio, Marshall • Verna K. Patrick, New London
Patron: Farmers & Merchants State Bank, Appleton
Benefactor: Daren Gislason, Minneota

Would you like to become a contributing member of SMAC or renew your membership?
You can do so online or by mail, for an individual membership, business membership, or organizational membership. For more information, visit:
2020 SW MN Arts Council BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Big Stone - John White
Jackson - Kristen Kuipers
Lincoln - Mark Wilmes
Meeker - OPEN
Pipestone - Erica Volkir
Rock - Shawn Kinsinger &
Louella Voigt
Chippewa - Georgette Jones
Kandiyohi - Janet Olney
Lyon - Michele Knife Sterner
Murray - Carisa Clarke
Redwood - David KelseyBassett
Swift - Alison Nelson
Cottonwood - Anna Johannsen
Lac qui Parle - Joyce Meyer
McLeod - Greg Jodzio
Nobles - Brett Lehman
Renville - Anne O'Keefe-Jackson
Yellow Medicine - Claire Swanson
SW MN Arts Council STAFF
Executive Director - Nicole DeBoer
Grants/Financial Administrator - Caroline Koska
Marketing Coordinator/Receptionist - Krystl Louwagie