In this issue:

  • Next in the SMAC Gallery

  • SMAC introduces Grant Support Open Office Hours

  • SMAC Welcomes new board members

  • Prairie Star & Prairie Disciple applications now OPEN

  • SMAC Executive Director joins Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Board

  • Minnesota Arts Advocacy Day: Plan to attend & save the date!

  • Upcoming webinars & grant deadlines

Pictured: The Pottery Olympics at the 2019 Minnesota Pottery Festival in Hutchinson. The Minnesota Pottery Festival received a SMAC Art Project grant for this event. The next deadline for Art Project and Art Legacy Project grants is March 25, 2020.
Next in the gallery: Kylie Rieke

Kylie Rieke of Fairfax will be exhibiting in the SMAC Gallery January 16 through February 28, 2020. Join SW MN Arts Council in welcoming Kylie to our gallery in Marshall on Thursday, January 16th from 5-7 pm. Live music will be featured from Kevin & Lacee Johnson from 5:30-6:30 pm.

Kylie is a ceramic artist who lives and works on her family farm near Fairfax, Minnesota. She is currently employed as a Production Potter for the Clay Coyote Pottery Studio in Hutchinson. She volunteers her time painting murals in local public schools, and was commissioned to paint a mural for the Fairfax Municipal Swimming Pool in 2019. Kylie is a founding member of the T-Bird Community Arts Board and currently serves as the Vice President. In 2018 she was awarded a Developing Artist Grant (now called an Emerging Artist Grant ) from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council. Kylie served in the Peace Corps El Salvador for two years, where she incorporated art into projects focused on general health and sanitation. She graduated from Augsburg University in 2001 with a B.A. in Studio Art.

On her artwork and this exhibit, Kylie said, “Trees have a way of showing up in my artwork and it’s hard to explain why. Perhaps it's their symbolism: family, community, environment, seasons, etc. Or maybe it's how they manage to be useful in so many ways and ask nothing in return. Or maybe it's because I am constantly in awe of their size, strength and history. But I think more than anything else I love their beautiful shapes. For a while I tried to fight the urge to create them in clay because I prefer ceramic pieces that I can use for everyday life. But this past year I allowed myself to let go and let my hands create what they wanted. All of the artwork in this show has been created on the potters' wheel. I love pottery because the creation process is as mesmerizing as the finished piece.”
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.
Introducing: Grant Support Open Office:: every second Tuesday of the month

NEXT EVENT:  Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Visit the SMAC offices from 10 am to 2 pm for assistance with any grant-related questions. These monthly events are a chance to get some work done, enjoy a free cup of coffee or tea, and 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.
Come with ideas or questions, or come to learn from others. SMAC staff will be available to help with any questions related to your applications, projects, final reports, or eligibility.

These are casual events. Drop in for 30 minutes or stay the whole time. There is no presentation, so you can come and leave at your leisure. You can come planning to get work done, desiring to meet new people, have some specific questions addressed, or just sit and drink free coffee or tea.
No RSVPs are necessary. Feel free to stop by if your schedule allows.
The monthly segment where you can hear from SMAC grantees, participants, and members about their experiences. Lauren is a SMAC grantee and the new board representative for Lac qui Parle County. This was part of her response when asked why she supports SMAC and her interest in serving as a board member. If you are interested in becoming a supporting member of SMAC, please click here . If you live in Lincoln, Meeker, or Rock county and you are interested in becoming a SMAC board member, click here !
3 SMAC Board Members retire & 3 Newly Elected Board Members

At the end of December, three SMAC board members retired: Joyce Meyer of Canby as the Lac qui Parle County representative; Janet Olney of Willmar as the Kandiyohi representative; and Claire Swanson of Granite Falls as the Yellow Medicine County representative. Joyce served two full terms, totaling 6 years; Janet served one partial and two full terms, equaling 7 years; Claire Swanson served one full term. We would also like to acknowledge Joyce Aakre of Dassel for serving a partial term as our Meeker County representative, Lyn Swenson of DeGraff for serving a partial term as co-county representative for Swift County, and Scott Wessels of Luverne for serving a partial term for Rock County. Please join us in thanking these members for their time, expertise, and enthusiasm they have contributed to the SW MN Arts Council and their communities!

Help us welcome three new SMAC board members:
Cherri Buzzeo of Willmar will be representing Kandiyohi County. Cherri is the Production Coordinator at the Willmar Community Theatre/The Barn Theatre and is an arts advocate and supporter. She has served on grant review panels for SMAC for many years, attended many MN Arts Advocacy days at the capitol in St. Paul, communicated information about our grants to her communities, supported many annual SMAC fundraisers and attended many arts events hosted by SMAC. When asked why she was interested in serving on the board, Cherri said "working at the theatre gives me the opportunity to continue to raise awareness, opportunity and support of the arts bringing balance and harmony to a community in many aspects. The SMAC board and its staff have been tremendous in educating and supporting me, the theatre and all of our region. I find serving on panels provides an opportunity for me to give back to this organization and to grow, support, mentor and learn with veterans and first time panelists, through the grant applications and discussions."
Lauren K. Carlson of Dawson will be representing Lac qui Parle County . Lauren is a poet and writer, mother and wife living in rural Dawson Minnesota with her husband and three school-age sons. Her chapbook Animals I Have Killed won Comstock Review's 2018 chapbook contest. She has received financial support for her writing from the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, Artplace America, the Collegeville Institute, the Loft Literary Center, Sewanee Writers' Conference and the Warren Wilson MFA Program for writers. For more see When asked why she was interested in serving on the SMAC board she said, "As someone who has been supported by several SMAC grants, is a published poet, a member of the Dawson Boyd Arts Association, has participated in shows at the Prairie Arts Center, attended the Arts Meander, and is actively involved with various arts organizations, I think my experience with SMAC, the arts, and connection to the local arts community demonstrate my deep and sustained interest in my community and the arts. I'm excited about representing my county! As a parent with three children, I want to help sustain our arts community and its opportunities for future generations."
Betsy Pardick of Clarkfield will be representing Yellow Medicine County. Betsy is a long-time musician and leads the bi-weekly "Open Mic" on Fridays (7pm) and weekly Sunday (4 pm) "Open Jam" sessions at the Bluenose Gopher Public House in Granite Falls. When explaining why she is part of our board she said, "I am happy to serve on the board for SMAC because it gives me an opportunity to help connect people within the region to the arts, and to share the different grants that are available with them. As someone who comes from the area, it is nice to see that there are outside resources that can be received through grant funding with SMAC on their side. This provides a way for individuals and organizations to create without so much financial restraints, because they may not have had the ability to do so otherwise."
SMAC is still seeking board representatives for Lincoln, Meeker, and Rock counties. See information below if interested!
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Seeks Board Representatives

SMAC is seeking representatives from Meeker County, Rock County, and Lincoln County to serve on it’s Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday evening at the SMAC office in Marshall to set policies, make final decisions on grant awards with input from grant review panels, share ideas and information from their representative counties, and to design programs that enable SMAC to best serve our communities. To learn more and to fill out an application, go to
The Prairie Star and Prairie Disciple applications are now 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:
The Forum of Regional Arts Councils of Minnesota is a 501(c)(3) organization whose board is made up of the executive director of each of the eleven regional arts councils.  The mission statement is as follows: “The Forum of Regional Arts provides continuous improvement of the councils through implementation of best practices in programming, management and leadership development, and information for Minnesota artists and organizations.” SMAC Executive Director Nicole DeBoer recently attended a retreat with the other 10 directors and presenting guests Ashley Hanson and Anna Clauson in Hinckley, MN (pictured below).
The allocation of arts money that comes to the RAC system from the State General Fund and Arts & Cultural Heritage Funds (Legacy) is then divided among the individual RACs by the formula: 5% of the total allocation is distributed based on geographical size, and the remainder is distributed based on population.
SMAC Executive Director joins Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Board
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council's Executive Director, Nicole DeBoer, has joined Minnesota Citizens for the Arts Board of Directors. The photo to the left shows Larry Redmond presenting at their latest meeting.

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is a statewide arts advocacy organization that organizes the arts community to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress. Their mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts. MCA’s successes include increasing the state’s appropriation for the arts from no financial commitment to a high point of over $40.7 million annually, preventing substantial decreases in arts funding, securing and protecting the tax exemptions that benefit philanthropic and nonprofit arts organizations in Minnesota, and working on behalf of nonprofit arts organizations with Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.
Arts Advocacy Day in MN

One of MCA's most important projects is promoting and organizing Arts Advocacy Day in Minnesota.

Join your fellow Arts Advocates from across Minnesota for the Arts Community's Annual Day of Action!

Meeting with Senator Andrew Lang in 2019.

WHEN: Thursday, March 19, 2020: 8 am- 2 pm
WHERE: At the Minnesota History Center & State Capitol Complex in Saint Paul

Arts Advocacy Day is an opportunity to educate and connect with new friends of the arts at the State Capitol. To guarantee arts funding remains safe, we need to help ensure legislators understand the importance of the arts. That's where we need you! The more representatives from our region of Southwest Minnesota, the better. Our legislators are meant to serve the interests and objectives of their constituents: that's you! Ensure that your voice and support of the arts is heard; we must show our legislators what it means to US.

Minnesota's Legacy Amendment and the unprecedented achievement of constitutionally guaranteed arts funding is recognized as the national leader in arts advocacy. Every year, you and all the arts advocates work together and prove the strength of Minnesota's arts community.
Plan to attend Arts Advocacy Day and help protect the arts funding you love.
Pre-Register by March 15th at ARTSMN.ORG

Stay tuned for more information about what SMAC can do to help you attend Arts Advocacy Day at the Capitol, including transportation, hotel stay and meals.
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council seeks panelists to review grants

For grant programs in fiscal year 2020 (July 2019 - June 2020), the SMAC Board of Directors seeks panels of artists, arts administrators, arts volunteers, and arts appreciators representing multiple artistic disciplines from throughout the SMAC geographic region.

You may apply to serve on one or more of the following panels:

Remaining Grant review panel dates for FY2020

Round III: April 18, 2020

Round II: March 7, 2020

Arts in the Schools Round II: February 15, 2020
Art Study Opportunity for Youth: April 21 (Tuesday Evening)

Round II: February 1, 2020
  1. Please read the Grant Panel Responsibilities.
  2. Read and sign our Conflict of Interest policy.
  3. Download, print, or fill out a copy of the Grant Review Panelist Application (pdf) or word document (you can also fill out an online form here).
  4. Email your completed application, resume, and signed Conflict of Interest document to or use the submit button below, or mail to SW MN Arts Council, PO Box 55, Marshall, MN 56258.
SMAC staff attended the Granite Falls City Artist in Residence Conversation Series lead by The Department of Public Transformation (DoPT). DoPT received an Art Legacy Project Planning grant to help get this project started, and SMAC hopes to work with them to develop a toolkit for other rural towns in the southwest region to understand the possibilities and processes of implementing City Artist in Residence programs.
Upcoming Grant Webinars

  • February 13, 2020: Webinar – Art Projects & Art Legacy Projects, 12:00-1:00 pm REGISTER HERE

  • February 20, 2020: Webinar – Art Study Opportunity for Youth, 5:30-6:30 pm REGISTER HERE

To see the Webinars for the rest of our fiscal year 2020, visit:
The Fiscal Year 2020 Grant Calendar is HERE!
February 1, March 1, 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.

January 8, 4:30 pm, 2020: Individual Emerging Artist Grants & Individual Established Career Artist Grants
Individual Artist grants for Emerging Artists provide up to $2,500 to aid emerging artists at an early stage of their career development with projects that will advance their career. Grantwriting webinar: November 26, 2019, for more information click here
Individual Artist grants for Established Artists provide up to $7,000 to aid established career artists with the advanced stage of their career development with projects that will advance their career. Grantwriting webinar: November 26, 2019, for more information click here

January 22, 4:30 pm, 2020: Arts in the Schools Grant Applications Due
Arts in the Schools Grants provide grants to schools for artist residencies or field trips that include educator training and community involvement, juried student art exhibits, and prepackaged theatre experiences. Up to $2,500 (field trips, juried exhibits, or prepackaged theatre), or $4,000 (artist residencies). Grantwriting webinar: December 10, 2019, for more information click here

February 12, 4:30 pm, 2020: Equipment/Facilities Improvement Grant Applications Due
Equipment/Facilities grants provide arts organizations with up to $10,000 in matching funds for the purchase of equipment items and specific improvement that will strengthen the organization's capacity to serve the arts needs of the SMAC region. Grantwriting webinar: January 2, 2020, for more information click here

Click on the links for more information
Remember to check out our regional arts calendar!
Click here to see the many arts events happening in our community! 
If you would like your arts event to be listed on our calendar, submit here .

Right: FungusAmongus Players "Man of La Mancha", which was supported by a SMAC Art Project grant. The next deadline for Art Project and Art Legacy Project grants is March 25, 2020.
Continue to keep up with news about the arts in our region!
Click the links below to read about:

Left: Photo by Erica Dischino, from her " Rural Refugee Photography Project ", which she received a SMAC Emerging Artist grant for. The next deadline for Individual Artist grants is January 8th, 2020 by 4:30 pm. Erica explains the photo, " Kosar and fellow women mosque members pray in the evening after fasting May 17, 2018 at the Islamic Society of Willmar. A middle room separates men and women prayer rooms."
From November 25 through December 26, 2019

Contributors: Granite Area Arts Council, Granite Falls Hendricks Norwegian Heritage Committee, Hendricks Marilyn Leach, Marshall Carol Reuvers, Marshall • Crow River Players/The Little Theatre, New London • Friends of the Arts, Renville • Mary & Dan Snobl, Tracy • Duane & Pam Blake, Tyler • Cottonwood County Historical Society, Windom • Cheryl Avenel-Navara

Supporters: Ginger Homme, Granite Falls • Hendricks Community Hospital & Nursing Home, Hendricks • LuAnn Drazkowski, Hutchinson • Business Arts & Recreation Center, Windom •  Prairie Arts Continuum, Windom • Cheryl Hanson, Windom • Timothy Krause & Robert Dell, Portland OH

Benefactor: Raeanna & Walt Gislason, Wayzata

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:
Big Stone - John White
Jackson - Kristen Kuipers
Lincoln - OPEN
Meeker - OPEN
Pipestone - Erica Volkir
Rock - OPEN
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 - Lisa Hill
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