In this Newsletter:

  • Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Awards $13,166 to local organizations

  • Give to the Max Day

  • Next in the Gallery: Kerry Kolke-Bonk

  • Grant information session

  • Recap: SMAC Annual Meeting & Celebration of our regions Arts & Artists

Image: Linda Clarksean, 2019 SMAC Prairie Disciple at SMAC's annual meeting & celebration with her nominator Kathy Fransen and SMAC Executive Director, Nicole DeBoer.
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Awards $13,166 to local organizations

Equipment & Facilities Improvement 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.

  • Reading Community Theatre, Reading, $666 to upgrade their sound system in the theatre. Previously many peices of equipment have been borrowed or rented. The theatre also said that many of their attendees are senior citizens, adding extra incentive to have a high quality sound system with additional equipment and updated microphones and speakers. Funding will go towards a seismic audio low profile circuit board snake cable, hanging condenser microphone, two turbo sound passive speakers, and a Behringer USB mixer.

  • The Barn Theatre, Willmar, $10,000 to purchase new equipment, such as new chairs, tables, table covers, phones, computers and associated software to upgrade their current systems. The applicant said the update on tables and chairs is needed primarily because of safety and accessibility issues. The new equipment will aid with the ease of set up and meeting the communities needs. The current phone system is fifteen years old and will be replaced by a system that is easier for volunteers to use. The new computers and software will ensure that patron data is kept secured, as the previous system is becoming too outdated to do so.

Art Legacy Project Planning grants provide organizations in the SMAC region 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. 20% cash match required.

  • The Department of Public Transformation, Granite Falls, $2,500 to support their group, Women's Empowerment Creative Action Network (WE CAN!), on a retreat for planning for their first year of events. In the words of the applicant, "The Department of Public Transformation (DoPT) requests funds to support the planning of the pilot year of the WE CAN! Event Series: a “courageous cultural calendar” of art exhibitions, new media projects, performances, creative workshops, and artist networking events that are initiated, organized, and led by DoPT's Women’s Empowerment Creative Action Network (WE CAN!)...The events of the series will be selected to support and activate artistic development and civic participation in underserved and underrepresented communities - specifically women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, new American and Indigenous community members - and will utilize high-quality arts experiences to promote cross-cultural exchange and a creative platform for dialogue related to pressing issues facing our region." Funding will go towards artist fees for time spent planning and promoting, transportation to the planning event, supplies/materials, rental of retreat space, food/hospitality, and publicity for the cost of designing and printing multi-lingual posters for their first public kick-off event.
If you plan on applying for an art project or art legacy project grant that will take place in the summer or fall of 2020, it's a good idea to apply for the December round. It's not too early to start planning for your next project! Plus, it's possible that if your project is not awarded the grant in the December round, you could try again with the same project for our March deadline-effectively giving you TWO chances, as long as your project timeline allows for it. Please contact our office at any time during the application process with questions or concerns-we love hearing new art project ideas and are here to help you achieve them!, 800-622-5284. To get started, visit:
The giving starts now...

Give to the Max Day 2019 is Thursday, November 14! Even though it isn't technically until November 14th, you can donate starting November 1st through the 14th for a chance to turn YOUR donation into something even more! GiveMN is once again giving extra incentive s:

  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets sponsored by Bush Foundation 
Give to the Max Day Early Giving takes place from November 1-13, and one randomly selected donation from each of these days will receive a $500 Early Giving Golden Ticket!

  • $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket
Back for another year, the $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket will be drawn at the end of Give to the Max Day from all donations made from November 1-14.

Exclusively on November 14:

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 15 minutes! sponsored by Bush Foundation
$500 added to a donation every 15 minutes!

  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets sponsored by Bush Foundation
At the end of each hour on November 14, randomly drawn donations from that hour will have $1,000 added to their total!

Plan to join GiveMN and thousands of Minnesota nonprofits and schools as we raise millions of dollars together for the organizations which make our communities stronger. We are excited to show the nation the generosity of Minnesotans! Please consider donating to SMAC and becoming one of our members (or continuing your yearly membership), as well as showing your support to the other arts organizations in our region.
What to learn more about Give to the Max Day? Click here!

Visit and donate to SMAC's GiveMN page here:

Thank you for supporting the arts and your communities!
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 II: January 4, 2020
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.
Next in the gallery: Kerry Kolke-Bonk

Kerry Kolke-Bonk of Appleton received a SMAC Individual Developing Artist Grant (now called our Emerging Artist Grant) in 2017 to support exhibiting her pieces in a solo show, which included framing her recent water color pieces. She has since shown her solo exhibit in multiple galleries, including the Willmar Education & Arts Center (WEAC) and Marshall Area Fine Arts Council (MAFAC) gallery. After the grant and her show, Kerry said "I now feel more comfortable in saying that my occupation is art and that I am a professional artist." Please join us in welcoming Kerry to our gallery at her artist reception on Thursday, November 7th from 5-7 pm. Enjoy live music from 5:30-6:30 from Lee Kanten (pictured left) of Ortonville! To learn more about Kerry and this exhibit, continue reading here.
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.
At the end of October a SMAC staff member attended a presentation at the Arts Center of Saint Peter, MN titled "Welcoming All: Accessibility Design for Festival Settings"*, led by Diane Nutting. The space and removable chairs allowed for a variety of mobility access, there was an American Sign Language Interpreter, an open caption screen with live captioning, every person who spoke used a microphone, and an assisted listening system was available for use. The purpose of attending was not only to gain knowledge and be aware of what SMAC can reach towards as an organization supporting accessibility, but also to gain ideas and inspiration to pass onto the organizations in our region to further their accessibility efforts as well. This is a topic SMAC plans to focus on in the next year and beyond, so please watch for opportunities to learn more, like at this year's Organization Summit near the end of May! Until then, check out these resources:

Also, remember that SMAC has grants where funds can be directly devoted to accessibility costs, goals, and outcomes. Equipment and Facilities Improvement grants can be used to finance more accessible seating, ramps, hand-rails, elevators/lifts, construction of wider walkways, making bathrooms accessible, equipment that can be used to aid with hearing impairments: portable mics and open or closed captioning equipment. Equipment to help individuals with low to no vision can also be purchased, such as personal listening devices for audio descriptions. Arts Organization Development grants could finance research, workshops/conferences, or consultants working with arts organizations to asses the disability needs of the region and the ways to address them; funds could also go towards training staff and volunteers to recognize, address and aid participants and/or audiences with disabilities. Our Art Project grants and Art Legacy Project grants could incorporate one time expenses for projects, such as hiring American Sign Language interpreters, audio describers, or captioners to aid in the accessibility of a project. These are all just examples! If you have questions whether something is eligible for a grant, please reach out to our staff:, 800-622-5284.

*This activity was made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.
SW MN Arts Council (SMAC) is offering a free grant information session in Hutchinson soon. The session will include an overview of all SMAC grant programs for the current year (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020). We will introduce you to our grant opportunities for organizations, schools, and individuals, walk you through our grant application process, and answer any questions you may have.
Thursday, November 7
5:30-7:30 pm
15 Franklin St SW, Hutchinson
Although this session is free, registration is required.
Registration is easy! To register online, click on the link above. You may also register by calling the SMAC office at 800-622-5284 or emailing your intention to attend and contact information to:
We look forward to seeing you!
Upcoming Grant Webinars

November 26, 2019: Webinar – Individual Artists (Emerging, Established Career, & Community Collaboration), 12:00-1:00 pm REGISTER HERE

December 10, 2019: Webinar – Arts in the Schools, 5:30-6:30 pm REGISTER HERE
The Fiscal Year 2020 Grant Calendar is HERE!
November 1, 4:30 pm, 2019 & January 1, 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.

December 11, 4:30 pm, 2019: Art Project & Art Legacy Project Grants Deadline
Art Project Grants provide organizations in the SMAC region with up to $7,000 in matching funds to stimulate and encourage the creation, performance and appreciation of the arts (pre-packaged theater residencies limited to $2,500). 20% cash match required .

Art Legacy Project Grants provide organizations in the SMAC region with up to $25,000 in matching funds to stimulate and encourage the creation, performance and appreciation of the arts through large-scale projects that will leave an arts legacy in southwest Minnesota. 20% cash match required.

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
Recap: SMAC Annual Meeting & Celebration of our regional Arts & Artists

From arts attractions in downtown Olivia and surrounding communities to the annual SMAC meeting, awards ceremony, meal, spirit of the region raffle baskets, and, of course, arts entertainment and a catered meal from Max's Grill in Olivia, we had a wonderful night, thanks for celebrating with us!
The monthly segment where you can hear from SMAC grantees, participants, and members about their experiences. The grantee also elaborated, "The project went extremely well and accomplished more than we had hoped. There had been discussion of discontinuing the monthly exhibition due to lack of funds. The financial help of this grant allowed for 5 months of exhibition expenses to be covered, and helped to grow the Centre’s audience. The comments of artists and visitors has been gratifying." This project was made possible through a SMAC Art Project grant. The next deadline for Art Project and Art Legacy Project Grants is December 11, 2019.
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
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 .

Above: Worthington Area Symphony Orchestra 9th Anniversary Concert, which was supported by a SMAC Art Project grant. The next deadline for Art Project and Art Legacy Project Grants is December 11, 2019.
Continue to keep up with news about the arts in our region!
Click the links below to read about:

Above: Image from Parker Steinke, a SMAC Art Study Opportunity for Youth grant recipient who used the grant to attend The Upper Midwest String Camp. To learn more about these grants, click here !
From September 27, 2019 through October 25th, 2019

Contributors: Betsy Pardick, Clarkfield • Greg & Anne Isaackson, Cottonwood • Mary Gillespie, Granite Falls • Deb Ahmann, Marshall • Nicole DeBoer, Marshall • Helen Pedersen, Marshall • Erica Volkir, Pipestone • Lynn Peterson, Windom

Supporters: Dassel Area Historical Society, Dassel Bill Krinke, Ehco LaVonne Saquilan, Granite Falls • Kristen Kuipers, Jackson • Marshall Area Fine Arts Council, Marshall • Michele Knife Sterner, Marshall • Liz Rackl, Ortonville •

Sustainers: Fred Cogelow, Willmar • Beth Habicht, Worthington •

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
Yellow Medicine - Claire Swanson
Chippewa - Georgette Jones
Kandiyohi - Janet Olney
Lyon - Michele Knife Sterner
Murray - Carisa Clarke
Redwood - David KelseyBassett
Swift - Alison Nelson &
Lynette Swenson
Cottonwood - Anna Johannsen
Lac qui Parle - Joyce Meyer
McLeod - Lisa Hill
Nobles - Brett Lehman
Renville - Anne O'Keefe-Jackson
SW MN Arts Council STAFF
Executive Director - Nicole DeBoer
Grants/Financial Administrator - Caroline Koska
Marketing Coordinator/Receptionist - Krystl Louwagie