In this issue:
  • SMAC Awards $30,476 to local organizations & artists

  • In the Gallery

  • Join SMAC in Litchfield for a Meeker County Arty Party!
Miniature sculpture vessels
  • Special Fundraising Campaign: Art Study Opportunity for Youth

  • SMAC welcomes new board member for Renville & seeks two more from Swift & Yellow Medicine counties

  • Looking Forward: SMAC Listening Sessions & Arts Needs Assessment for our region

  • Outreach: Annual Celebration Recap

  • Upcoming SMAC Grant Deadlines & Webinars
Pictured: Miniature vessels by artist Ellen Starr, who received a SMAC Individual Artist grant. (Quarter shown for scale.)
SMAC Awards $30,476 to local organizations and artists
The SMAC board met on September 27 and awarded a total of $7,170 in grant funds to two organizations and a total of $23,306 to six individual artists

The following organization was awarded a SMAC Art Project Grant. These 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.
  • The Calumet Players of Pipestone were awarded $4,670 for their production of Disney's "The Descendants". The musical is scheduled for June of 2023. The applicant explained that this production will lend itself creatively to fairy tale sets, costumes & props and will be popular for younger artists and demographic. They hope this production will help add new members to the Calumet Players, including actors, technical staff and artists.
The following organization has been awarded a SMAC Quick Support for Organizations grants. These grants provide organizations with up to $2,500 for activities such as planning for an Art Legacy project, strategic planning or board training, costs to apply for 501(c)(3) status, small equipment purchases, or small arts projects.
  • The Department of Public Transformation in Granite Falls was awarded $2,500 for a 9-month strategic planning project involving community members in future operations of the Yes! House The Yes! House is an in-progress creative community gathering space and multi-disciplinary arts venue in Granite Falls. The project plan was was designed by the organization's staff and board and the project vision will be created by a 7-member committee of local community members with input gathered from the public through planned creative events and activities. At the end of the process, there will be a vision statement that will inform the development of a 5-year planning document outlining the future operations and stewardship of The YES! House building. 
The following six artists were awarded SMAC Artist Growth grants. Artist growth grants provide up to up to $4,000 to artists at any career stage for projects that will advance their skills and artistic career.
Landscape photo with prairie flowers and mounts in the back
Headshot of artist with guitar
  • Kristi Link Fernholz of Appleton was awarded $4,000 to purchase new camera equipment and create a new body of work. Kristi plans to create at least ten new photo encaustic images to include in new gallery exhibits. For this process, photographs are printed and then encaustic is worked on top to present the photographs in a new way and add texture to the final work. (Photography pictured left)

  • Marija Heck of Bird Island has been awarded $3,500 to commission a 7-string guitar from "Minneapolis-based luthier Nikola Korovljev, an emerging artist from the Serbian/former Yugoslavian community." Marija explained that the instrument will enable them to study a broader range of study repertoire and musical programs. (pictured left)
  • John Kellen of Willmar was awarded $4,000 to expand his photography work into video and cinematography. He plans to take three online courses, as well as work with Pioneer PBS in Granite Falls and WRAC8 studios in Willmar to develop content, edit videos, and produce short video clips for online content.

  • Saara Myrene Raappana of Marshall has been awarded $4,000 for writing and revising four myth-stories based on the Finnish epic poem the Kalevala. Saara also plans to offer a four week workshop on how to write myths based in personal cultures & traditions. She'll perform a reading of some of her work and submit her stories for publication.

  • Mark Thode of Pipestone was awarded $3,806 to produce a portfolio of photography and graphic design work he's created for community theaters and performing arts centers in the past 15 years to showcase his work. The body of work consists of posters, playbills and other supporting design collateral used to create a brand for a performance or production, as well as production photography. Mark said, "The portfolio I am looking to assemble will be a website, a printed booklet, folio/rack cards and a collection of sample printouts of posters and playbills." Mark will build the website himself. Example of work for a production of "The Last Five Years" pictured below.
  • Jannet Walsh of Murdock has been awarded $4,000 to write a creative nonfiction quest narrative genre writing project to produce a new collection of her family history stories in Minnesota and Canada, focusing on the "Irish Diaspora, ethnic Irish living outside the island of Ireland." The collection of writing will be available on her website, offered to credible publications, and used to create her second book.
In the Gallery: Jammie Niemeyer
Diversity - An Eye on Our Growth
Stylized portrait with complex doodling in the background
Artist Jammie Niemeyer (left) and guest at Jammie's Artist Reception in Marshall.
Flo-Jo portrait by Jammie Niemeyer.
Jammie Niemeyer of Maynard (Chippewa County) is the first artist in SMAC's new gallery at 509 West Main Street in Marshall! Her exhibit, titled "Diversity - An Eye on Our Growth", will be in our gallery through October 28th, 2022. Jammie received a SMAC Artist Equity grant in 2021.

Jammie Niemeyer was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to a Caucasian mother and African-American father and moved to southwestern Minnesota at a young age to find herself in an area where she was the only African American. As a kid, Jammie was always doodling and drawing on everything and used art as a way to cope with mental health and self image issues. “I love art and how it can touch people” says Jammie about her connection to healing through art.

Jammie has never met her father or learned much about his cultural heritage growing up and so her work on the project titled, “Diversity an Eye on Our Growth,” has been a way for Jammie to intentionally reach into her African American roots to learn more about the people that influenced her life. The exhibit contains 44 artworks directly related to the project. Jammie chose to use the number 44 because it has taken 44 elected presidents of the United States of America until an African American president held the seat. “I feel it is important for all of us to see where we come from" says Jammie about the diversity project and the influence and impact this project has had on her.

Jammie is best known for her butterfly mural that is found at the riverfront in Granite Falls. Jammie loves trying new mediums like wood burning, sculpting, welding and metal sculpting. The medium she works in mostly is doodling, drawing, painting and her color palette is mainly black and white. Jammie also teaches doodle classes and is available for public speaking events on art and mental health.

Artist Jammie Niemeyer poses with 3 of her portraits hung in the gallery
Join us for a Virtual Reception!

Meeting ID: 849 1376 6476
Passcode: 415122

Clipart shape of person in a wheelchair actively moving forward. White shape on dark blue background.
Please let us know of any accommodations needed for you to enjoy any of our events, virtual or in-person: Visit SMAC's Access Page for more information and resources.
Watercolor of a man with umbrella
Next in the Gallery: Deb Meyer
Deb Meyer of Madison received a SMAC Individual Artist grant in 2021 to produce watercolor paintings using photographs from her time in Ski Lanka as a reference. Deb was part of a volunteer group from Minnesota that responded to the aftermath following a tsunami in December 2004. Deb's grant focused on producing, and professionally framing, her watercolor artworks.

Deb will be exhibiting in November & December. More details coming soon!
legacy logo
These activities are made possible by the voters of Minnesota thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. 

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.
You're invited to our Arty Party in Meeker County
Listening Session: clipart figure thinking of drama theatre masks and a painters palette
Simple mandalas done in marker
SMAC Meeker County Arty Party Tuesday, October 4th in Litchfield

You're invited to network with artists and arts supporters in the Meeker County area during this free event open to all! Join us at the Litchfield Opera House from 5-7 pm for some tasty treats, and networking with area artists and arts supporters.

Special features: SMAC will be hosting a listening session on regional arts needs! We will also provide the tools to make your own simple mandalas or simply color some already printed out. Take some time to relax and make casual art in a social setting.

SMAC staff will be available to connect with attendees and get the word out about who SMAC is, what we do, and what services and assistance we can offer for the community. Keep up to date about this event through our social media on Facebook and Instagram, or you can always email us for details:

This will be our eleventh program in our 18-county series of networking events for every county in our region.
Arty Party: Murray
Looking forward:
Our Murray County Arty Party will be happening in November! Keep on eye out for more details and if you have Murray county artists or arts activities to recommend, reach out to us. Each Arty Party is it's own unique event and we build it according to the specific strengths of the county!
Photo of student orchestra, a dancer, music notes, and a painter
For the first time, SMAC is running a Special Fundraising Campaign to raise funds for a specific grant!

SMAC youth to have the opportunity to further themselves in professional art education. Every child is worthy to learn about the arts. Every year SMAC only has the funding to award 8 grants in our Art Study Opportunity for Youth Grants but there are more than 8 children in SW MN who wish to pursue art!

What are our Art Study Opportunity for Youth Grants? These grants provide up to $500 to allow young artists entering grades 5 – 12 to attend an enrichment camp or specialty study. Costs for standard weekly lessons (such as piano or voice lessons) are allowed for students who qualify for the federal free or reduced lunch program.

Arts funding for schools continue to go down and schools have trouble funding arts programs. As a result, students aren't always getting what they need in traditional school settings. For students who want to expand their arts learning, there needs to be another option. Kids deserve exposure to the arts in the same way they deserve exposure to sports and other competitions and excellence pursuits! 

SMAC provides 8 youth art grants per year to help kids explore the arts. With your support, we can provide more opportunities for more kids. SMAC can say "yes" to every child.

Your gift of $100 or more by December 31st will help SMAC say "yes" to more kids who want to pursue the arts! If 15 donors gave $100 each, we could award 3 more students this spring. With 30 donors we could award 6 more students, and with 40 donors ($4,000) we could DOUBLE the amount of students awarded grants this spring! At just a $100 donation, skip an evening of eating out and instead feel the joy of supporting the arts for more kids in rural SW MN.
SMAC gives a sincere thank you to the SW Initiative Foundation for providing free coaching & consultation to SMAC Staff and Board to create this fundraising campaign by RaiseMN, a subset of GiveMN. SMAC encourages MN non-profits to look into each of these opportunities and what resources they may have for you. Remember, SMAC Quick Support for Organizations grants support arts organizations with strategic planning or board training, which could be applied to working with RaiseMN on fundraising strategies.
BONUS: Because this fundraising campaign goes until the end of December, all your Give to the Max Day donations of $5 or more, starting November 1st through November 17th, will be eligible for extra incentive prizes:

  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets (for donations made November 1st to 16th)

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 15 minutes for donations made on November 17th

  • $1,000 Hourly Golden tickets on November 17th

  • $10,000 Super-Sized Golden Ticket (for donations made November 1st-17th)
About Give to the Max Day
Give to the Max Day was created in 2009 to launch GiveMN, a collaborative venture led by Minnesota Community Foundation and many other organizations committed to helping make our state a better place. That initial spark touched off an outpouring of generosity — $14 million in 24 hours. Since then, Give to the Max Day has become Minnesota’s annual giving holiday, raising more than $250 million in its first 13 years. Every year, thousands of organizations and individuals generate donations and excitement for Minnesota causes that are working to improve the quality of life for all Minnesotans. Give to the Max Day has become a national model for giving days.
SMAC encourages our region's non-profits to take advantage of resources to help your organization fundraise, especially on this giving holiday!

To our constituents: Please help us show the generosity of Minnesotans and give generously if you are able to the organizations that mean so much to you. We can't do it without support!
Thank you for supporting the arts!
Headshot of Kiley in front of her pottery
SMAC welcomes new board member for Renville County

Please help SMAC welcome our newest board member, Kiley Rieke of Fairfax!

Kylie Rieke is a Ceramic Artist and Muralist, and recently opened her own pottery studio called Raydiant Clay Works. She graduated from Augsburg University with a BA in Studio Art and served in the Peace Corps El Salvador. She is a founding member of the T-Bird Community Arts and has served on the board since 2015. She participates in community theater productions for both the T-Bird Community Arts and the State Street Theater. She is also an active volunteer and violinist for the New Ulm Suzuki School of Music.
Kylie was a recipient of SMAC grants and Minnesota State Arts Board grants in her development as an artist, and is excited to give back by serving on the SMAC board. "I love bringing people together with the magic of art, music and theater, and using this power to unite our rural Minnesota communities."
SMAC seeks representatives from Swift & Yellow Medicine counties to sever on our board of directors

Do you live or work in one of these counties? Do you want to volunteer in a meaning way? Are you interested in helping your community? Are you passionate about arts awareness & funding and where & how those funds are distributed?
SMAC is seeking a representative from Swift county and Yellow Medicine county to serve on it’s Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday evening at the SMAC office in Marshall or on Zoom 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.
Other opportunities include serving on several grant panels a year to evaluate applications, attending a yearly board retreat in January, learning opportunities and trainings on Access, Equity, Inclusion & Diversity and more!

To learn more and to fill out an application visit SMAC's Become A Board Member Page. You can also schedule a meeting with our Executive Director, Nicole DeBoer, for further questions.
Yellow Medicine map with towns
Looking Forward: SMAC Listening Sessions & Arts Needs Assessment for our region
SMAC Listening Sessions & Needs Assessment
This month SMAC will start conducting our Needs Assessment initiatives to learn how we can better serve YOU and your community as YOUR regional arts council!

You can expect to see SMAC release a Needs Assessment Survey soon. This will be available and marketed through our social media on Facebook and Instagram, website, and emails, so be on the look out! In October and continuing through November, SMAC will be doing listening sessions with focus groups a crossed our region.
Many guests sit at tables in a social setting, smiling
Outside view of building with SMAC sign out front
Outside view of the building
Dancers mid-jump
Annual Celebration Recap

The 2022 SMAC Annual Celebration of Arts & Artists was held in Appleton (Swift County) at the historic city hall building on Saturday, September 24th, 2022.

Guests were invited to watch a dance class exhibition at the former opera hall on second floor (from Valley Dance District students), as well as walk over to the Appleton Arts and Culture center for a wonderful Art Show, AHS Memorabilia, Appleton Area Museum and quilt show. Appleton Arts & Culture frequently hold community arts classes.

Guests were also encouraged to tour multiple arts grant locations in Appleton, such as the 52 Wing Mural, Appleton City Park Mosaic Benches, and Window Murals in the old Electric building along the river, across from the City Park.

Happy Hour and and a delicious meal and dessert was provided by Plazita Restaurant!

The LqPV JH Guys Group (of Lac qui Parle Valley School), along with music teacher Chad Felton, performed multiple musical numbers. They sounded amazing and the crowd loved their performances!

2022 Prairie Star John Sterner joined the award ceremony via Zoom and 2022 Prairie Disciple Melanie Loy joined in-person.

What a wonderful celebration! Thanks for sharing it with us!
A special thanks to all the local businesses that helped us celebrate; we couldn't have done it without you! Valley Dance District & Plazita Restaurant!
Hanging gallery artworks
Nicole presents award to Melanie Loy
Group of junior high boys singing
Screen grab of John Sterner joining via zoom
Fiscal Year 2023 Grant Updates
including descriptions of the grants and funding amounts, deadlines, earliest project start dates, and webinar dates
Upcoming Grant Deadlines

Application Deadline: 1st of the month August 2022 through May 2023 by 4:40 pm Request staff to review application before submission: One week before application deadline. Earliest project start date: 1st day of the following month (after submission).
These deadlines apply to:

Application Deadline: October 5 by 4:30 pm
Request staff to review application before submission: September 21, 2022
Earliest project start date: December 1, 2022

Application Deadline: October 19 by 4:30 pm
(Only 1 grant round for this grant in fiscal year 2023)
Request staff to review application before submission: October 5, 2022
Earliest project start date: December 1, 2022

Application Deadline: November 9 by 4:30 pm
(Only 1 grant round for this grant in fiscal year 2023)
Request staff to review application before submission: October 26, 2022
Earliest project start date: February 1, 2023
  • Art Legacy Project Grant: Provide organizations in the SMAC region with up to $20,000 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. No cash match required this year.

Application Deadline: December 7 by 4:30 pm
Request staff to review application before submission: November 23, 2022
Earliest Project start date: February 1, 2023

Application Deadline: January 11 by 4:30 pm
Request staff to review application before submission: December 30, 2022
Earliest project start date: March 1, 2023

Application Deadline: January 25 by 4:30 pm
Request staff to review application before submission: January 11, 2023
Earliest project start date: March 1, 2023

Application Deadline: February 8 by 4:30 pm
Request staff to review application before submission: January 25, 2023
Earliest Project start date: April, 2023
Virtual SMAC Grants Q&A Sessions for Fiscal Year 2023
(July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023)

Join us for a virtual Grants Q&A Session to get questions answered about any of our grant programs. Dates include:

Virtual Grantwriting Webinars for Fiscal Year 2023
(July 1, 2022 - June 30, 2023)

Register for one of our online workshops to learn about our available grants. Grants administrator Caroline will cover guidelines, applications, and the granting process, along with taking time for questions about your specific projects.

including descriptions of the grants and funding amounts, deadlines, earliest project start dates, and webinar dates
Did you know...SMAC only has one round of Advanced Artist Fellowship grants this year. The deadline is October 19, 2022.
SMAC's Advanced Artist Fellowship grants are new this year; we will give out two awards but we only have one grant round. These grants provide up to $7,000 in project funds to established advanced artists who exhibit creative excellence, a substantial body of work, and significant recognition of their artistic accomplishments. The date to request staff draft review of your application is October 5, 2022. The application deadline is October 19, 2022 by 4:30 pm. Watch Individual Artist Grant Webinar Video Recording from July 7th, 2022
Other options for Grant Assistance
SW MN Arts Council grants administrator Caroline Koska is available to meet with you by phone, web conference or in person to answer your questions on grant eligibility and using the application system or to review a draft of your application. Schedule a time with Caroline Koska.

Now that our move is over, we've resuming our Open Office Hours for grant support every 2nd Tuesday of the month! The office hours are from 10 am to 2 pm, and the next one will take place Tuesday, October 11th. You can use this time with SW MN Arts Council staff to talk through project ideas or get help with finding the right grant program, filling out your application, preparing work samples or budgets, or completing your final report.

Call 800-622-5284 or email us with your questions. Please let us know of any accommodations needed for you to attend any of our events, virtual or in-person. View SMAC's Access page for more information.
We need you!
Would you like to help SMAC review and score grant applications?

The SMAC Board of Directors continually seeks panels of artists, arts administrators, arts volunteers, and arts appreciators representing multiple artistic disciplines from throughout the SMAC geographic region and from all our communities including BIPOC, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals. Being a grant panelist is a positive way to strengthen your grantwriting skills by understanding the process as a whole. It's also a great way to learn and support what exciting projects are happening in rural SW MN! Panelists are compensated $75 for a panel. More details on being a SMAC panelist
Clip art of a magnifying glass with a heart in it.
For more opportunities and resources be sure to check out our latest news posts (updated DAILY!) on SMAC's website
Screenshot of where to find the calendar on our website (right side of home page)

Regional arts calendar

We are continuing to post both in-person and virtual arts events in our region on our website calendar. If you have events to let us know about, please email the details to!
From September 1 to September 28, 2022

Contributors: Mary Meneely, Arco • Canby Area Arts Council, Canby • Gene Stukel Photography, Granite Falls • Sandra Saulsbury, New London • Bonnie Smith, Willmar •

Supporters: Kerry Ward, Glencoe • Clay Coyote Gallery & Pottery, Hutchinson • Rock County Arts Association, Luverne • Cindy Reverts, Luverne • Fred Cogelow, Willmar •

Sustainers: David KelseyBassett, Redwood Falls • Joyce Meyer, Canby •

Other Donations: Anonymous Donors • Klein Foods, Inc., Marshall • Debra Palmer •
Would you like to become a contributing member of SMAC or make a donation?
You can help by contributing online or by mail, for more information, visit Become a SMAC member!

Big Stone - Judy Beckman
Jackson - Gillian Singler
Lincoln - Mark Wilmes
Meeker - Darlene Kotelnicki
Pipestone - Erica Volkir
Rock - Shawn Kinsinger
Chippewa - Georgette Jones
Kandiyohi - Cheri Buzzeo
Lyon - Michele Knife Sterner
Murray - Jessica Welu
Redwood - David KelseyBassett
Swift - OPEN
Cottonwood - Anna Johannsen
Lac qui Parle - Kristine Shelstad
McLeod - Justin Beck
Nobles - Cheryl Avenel-Navara
Renville - Kylie Rieke
Yellow Medicine - OPEN
SW MN Arts Council STAFF
Executive Director - Nicole DeBoer
Grants & Financial Administrator - Caroline Koska
Accessibility & Marketing Coordinator - Krystl Louwagie