In this issue:

  • SMAC's first *Virtual* Annual Celebration!

  • NEW grant opportunity from SMAC for organizations dealing with disruptions from COVID-19

  • SMAC Gallery Update

  • SMAC Artist Equity Grant
  • SMAC introduces priority scoring in their grants

  • Upcoming Grant Deadlines & Workshops

  • SMAC seeks panelists for Fiscal Year 2021 & County Board Representatives for Lac qui Parle and Murray counties

Pictured: Participants from the Prairie Dance Alliance group for their 2019 "The Nutcracker", for which they received a SMAC Art Project grant and will be Lyon County's highlighted grant recipient at our 2020 Virtual Annual Celebration on September 26th. Learn more by clicking here!
SMAC Annual Celebration 2020:
A Virtual Meeting & Fundraising Event
Saturday, September 26th

Join the Fun! Enjoy case studies & stories that showcase one artist, arts organization or school grantee from each of our 18 counties. An exciting line-up of these featured grants will be released on our website at 1 pm on September 26! 
Schedule:

1 pm: Case Studies/Videos published for viewing! 

4:30 pm: Join us in a Virtual Social Hour!
**Look for a special "SMAC-tail" recipe coming soon!

5 pm: Annual Meeting: FY20 Recap, Executive Director Report and County Representative Elections & Retirements

5:30 pm: Prairie Star (Tom Wirt) & Prairie Disciple (Julia IversonAward Ceremony

7 pm: Spirit of the Region Raffle winners posted online

Pictured: AMP (Arts & Mentoring Project) received a SMAC Art Project grant for their production of "The Lion King Jr. Experience", which will be one of our feature showcases for Pipestone County released at 1 pm as part of SMAC's Annual Celebration.
How to join:
Please join our celebration from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (571) 317-3122
– One-touch: tel:+15713173122,605034389#

Access Code: 605-034-389

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/605034389
No tickets required ~ Donations Welcome!

The arts have suffered tremendously since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our arts organizations and individual artists have had to modify, postpone or cancel most, if not all of their projects and events, since March of this year. These closures mean lost income and lost opportunities. Although we will certainly see a reduction of funding from the state which comes from sales tax revenues, the SW MN Arts Council will continue working to support and fund arts access for the citizens of your county.
We need you to help us support the arts.

Our mission is to promote the arts in the 18 county region of southwest Minnesota. We are asking you to please contribute to the Southwest Minnesota Arts Council and help us continue to make a difference in the arts in our region. Contributions are tax deductible. Please donate online or send your check today to Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, PO Box 55, Marshall, MN 56258.
“Spirit of the Region”
Raffle tickets ON SALE NOW!

We have our “Spirit of the Region” Raffle tickets “in house” at the SMAC office, and they’ve been mailed to all our county board reps as well!

Each $10 ticket will get you a chance to win a basket with goods made in our SW MN 18 county region! Baskets could have anything from beer & wine, honey, fudge and apples to original artworks, handmade jewelry, pottery and more! MN rules prohibit us from selling raffle tickets online, so tickets must be paid for by cash or check. Stop into the office in Marshall (114 N 3rd St, downtown Marshall) to purchase or connect with your county's SMAC board member! Contact us if you don’t know your county representative. info@swmnarts.org, 800-622-5284.

Winners will be announced during our virtual Annual Celebration on September 26!
NEW grant opportunity from SMAC for organizations dealing with disruptions from COVID-19:
"Going Virtual" Equipment, Technology and Training Grant
~ Funded with MN Disaster Relief Funds ~
Grant Amount: up to $1000
This special grant program provides up to $1,000 to aid arts organizations in the SMAC Region with equipment or technology that will allow them to provide virtual events & programming. Applicants can also use the monies to participate in “go-virtual” training or consultations. One such training opportunity will be provided statewide through the FORUM of Regional Arts Councils and led by OPEN VOICES.
*Look for details of this training opportunity coming soon.

 No match requirements.

Applications open -- September 4
Application Deadlines -- First of the month for October, November and December or until funding runs out

Watch our website www.swmnarts.org for details.
In the Gallery: Lynn & Craig Edwards

"All Who Wander are Not Lost." This show features oil paintings & watercolors from Bali and the Gili Islands in Indonesia by Lynn Edwards and Nature inspired ceramic sculptures by Craig Edwards. We have a virtual video tour of this exhibit! View it here: https://youtu.be/Q4xu7wgEeEc.

The Edwards' exhibit will run through September 4, 2020. Currently the SMAC Gallery and offices are open, usually at our normal hours, but with limited staff. To ensure that we will be here when you visit, please schedule an appointment or call/email ahead. 800-622-5284 or info@swmnarts.org. Thank you!
Pictured: Lynn Edwards, Gili Island...Lost in Paradise, oil, $800.
Next in the Gallery: Jessica Bak

Jessica Bak of Windom will be next in our gallery! Jessica received a Developing Individual Artist grant (now called Emerging Artist grant) in 2017 to prepare for her first exhibit, Hidden Nature, at the Remick Gallery for the Cottonwood County Historical Society in Windom. Her show will run from September 17 to October 30, 2020. Join us in welcoming her with a virtual artist reception & artist talk on Thursday, September 17 at 5:30 pm! See details on how at the end of this article! SMAC will also publish a virtual tour of the exhibit on Thursday, September 17th. Watch for details on our website and Facebook!

Learn more about the artist: Jessica Bak is a professional photographer and social media specialist at Cottonwood county historical society in Windom. She is originally from the small town of Bedford, KY. She says, "Photography has always been a part of my life by looking up to my dad when he takes cameras wherever we goes and being part of yearbook club in high school. So they inspired me and from that moment I knew being a photographer was the ultimate dream job." She attended Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Visual Media, a combination of basic graphic design and photography. Jessica then continued studies to receive a master’s degree in business, focusing on marketing and art gallery management. In 2012 Jessica moved to Windom, MN and started her photography business in the summer of 2013.
On her exhibit, Hidden Nature Photography: "My hope is that you will experience nature through my eyes. My photographs portray the beauty that surround us but is often taken for granted. We simply forget to stop, look around, and say ‘Breathtaking!’ Take a moment to breathe and absorb the sighting around you. This is my passion; one that I would like to share with the world. There are so many unique moments that can be captured in nature. So come, take a journey through the nature, and find the beauty in these photographs. I hope someday you will find your own journey!"

Join us in welcoming her with a virtual artist reception & talk on Thursday, September 17 at 5:30 pm!
Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:
You can also dial in using your phone. United States: +1 (571) 317-3122. Access Code: 623-395-245
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/623395245
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 Artist Equity Grant

SMAC Staff and Board are so proud to announce a new grant program that provides committed funding to aid Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other artists of color with projects that will advance their skills and artistic careers. SMAC acknowledges that systems currently in place have historically marginalized and underserved indigenous people of the Americas and communities of color. We are committed to closing access gaps in the arts, breaking down barriers, and building bridges across communities. It is vital that we support artists in writing their own narratives, and we hope to do so by providing dedicated resources and recognition to artists of color in our region. Watch the Artist Equity Webinar video here: https://youtu.be/zg-IZQ0gQzc

Pictured: Moccasins by Eileen O’Keefe of Morton, MN.

Applicants to the Artist Equity grant program may be at any stage of their artistic career. All arts disciplines are accepted.

Projects may include but are not limited to:
  • Creation of cultural or traditional art
  • Purchase of supplies necessary to complete a body of work
  • Compensated time for work on a specific body of work
  • Day care costs while working on a specific body of work
  • One-on-one study with a mentor
  • Attendance at workshops or conferences for professional or artistic development
  • Rental of facilities for presenting work or for studio space
  • Research
  • Portfolio production
  • Framing
  • Recording
  • Editing or other costs related to publishing

Eligibility: The Artist Equity grant program is open to indigenous artists and artists of color, including those who are:
  • Native American
  • Black/African/African American
  • Afro Latino
  • Caribbean
  • Chicano/Mexican
  • Central American
  • South American
  • Middle Eastern/North African
  • Southeast Asian/Asian/Pacific Islander
  • Immigrants
  • Refugees

Applicants must be permanent residents within the eighteen counties of the SMAC service region (Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lac qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties) or on tribal lands within our service area. We acknowledge that this region occupies the traditional, ancestral, and contemporary lands of the Dakota people, who have been stewards of these lands throughout the generations.

Apply todayApplication deadlines are ongoing, September 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021 or until funding for the year has been expended. Applications received by the 1st of the month will be reviewed and acted on by the end of that month. Watch the Artist Equity Webinar video here: https://youtu.be/zg-IZQ0gQzc
**NEW** PRIORITY SCORING to be implemented in FY21 grant programs

In continuing efforts to address equity and remove systematic barriers to the arts, the SMAC Board voted in June and August to implement priority scoring for applicants from or specifically supporting underserved and historically marginalized communities. Our board set priorities where eligible grant applications will receive bonus points in the scoring process. Bonus points will be given for being a first time applicant, underserved applicant (BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+, and people living with a disability) and those applicants from counties in our SW MN region suffering from art scarcity. Currently this priority scoring impacts the Art Project, Art Legacy Project, "Going Virtual" Equipment/Tech, Equipment/Facilities Improvement, Emerging Artist and Established Career Artist grant programs.
Artist Equity Grants: Applications accepted September 1, 2020 through May 1, 2021
  • Provides up to $4,000 to aid Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other artists of color with projects that will advance their skills and artistic career. No match requirements.

Art Project Grants: Applications due September 9, 4:30 pm
  • Provides 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 theatre residencies limited to $2,500). No cash match required this year.

Arts in the Schools Grants: Applications due October 14, 4:30 pm
  • Grants to schools for artist residencies or field trips that include educator training and community involvement; juried student art exhibits; and prepackaged theater experiences. Up to $4,000 (artist residencies) or $2,500 (field trips, juried exhibits, or prepackaged theatre). No cash match required. **Grantwriting Webinar: September 3, 5:30-6:30 pm. Register here!**

Art Project Grants: Applications due December 9, 4:30 pm
  • Provides 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 theatre residencies limited to $2,500). No cash match required this year. **Grantwriting Webinar: October 29, Noon-1 pm. Register here!**
September 3, 5:30-6:30 pm: Arts in the Schools Grants Webinar
  • Grants to schools for artist residencies or field trips that include educator training and community involvement; juried student art exhibits; and prepackaged theater experiences. Up to $4,000 (artist residencies) or $2,500 (field trips, juried exhibits, or prepackaged theatre). No cash match required. Next application deadline: October 14, 2021.**Grantwriting Webinar: September 3, 5:30-6:30 pm. Register here!**

October 29, 12-1 pm: Art Project Grants Webinar
  • Provides 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 theatre residencies limited to $2,500). No cash match required this year. Next application deadline: December 9, 2020.**Grantwriting Webinar: October 29, 12-1 pm. Register here!**

December 3, 12-1 pm: Individual Artists Grants Webinar
  • Individual Emerging Artist Grants provide up to $2,500 to aid emerging artists at an early stage of their career development with projects that will advance their career. No match requirements. Next application deadline: January 13, 2021.

  • Individual Established Career Grants provide up to $7,000 to aid established career artists in the advanced stage of their career development with projects that will advance their career. No match requirements. Next application deadline: January 13, 2021.

  • Individual Artist with 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. Next application deadline: January 13, 2021.

December 15, 5:30-6:30 pm: Arts in the Schools Grants Webinar
  • Grants to schools for artist residencies or field trips that include educator training and community involvement; juried student art exhibits; and prepackaged theater experiences. Up to $4,000 (artist residencies) or $2,500 (field trips, juried exhibits, or prepackaged theatre). No cash match required.Next application deadline: January 27, 2021. **Grantwriting Webinar: December 15, 5:30-6:30 pm. Register here!**
For more opportunities and resources be sure to check our the latest news posts (updated DAILY!) on SMAC's website:

Grant Support *Virtual* Open Office:: the second Tuesday of the month

NEXT EVENT: Tuesday, September 8, 2020
SW MN Arts Council hosts grant support open office hours the second Tuesday of each month. While we continue to take COVID-19 precautions, these open office hours will be virtual via GoToMeeting, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. 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. Join the virtual meeting here: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/834770973

As always, feel free to call (800-622-5284) or email us (info@swmnarts.org) any time with your questions if this option doesn’t work for you.
Meet With SMAC Staff

We have added a new way for you to reach us! You can easily schedule time to meet with a SMAC staff member by choosing a date and time on their calendar. Just look for the scheduling links on the grants pages of our website, within our grant applications, and in our contact information. Currently, staff members are available to meet by phone or by web conference. We look forward to hearing from you!

Click on the names to check out out availability:
Nicole DeBoer, Executive Director:
General Inquiries and Grant Project Changes

Caroline Koksa, Financial/Grants Administrator: Grant eligibility, using the application system, and/or review application drafts.

Krystl Louwagie, Marketing Coordinator/Receptionist:
Marketing, social media and artist promotion.
Keeping up with SMAC:

The SMAC office is being staffed by only by one staff member at a time (usually for our "normal business hours but there have been exceptions). For this reason, it is important to use our general email (info@swmnarts.org) to communicate or call ahead before a visit: 800-622-5284.

We encourage any grantee that has had to change plans because of COVID-19 to contact us immediately to talk about changing the details of their grant to allow them more flexibility in how they use the funds. We plan to be as flexible as possible in this regard. We will work with any grantee to find appropriate solutions to the extent that the law will allow.

SMAC offers a couple ways to share your art and art-related events. On our website (swmnarts.org) we have an ARTS CALENDAR that showcases both in-person and virtual arts events. SMAC also offers an Artist Registry and an Arts Organization Registry that allows artists and organizations to have their own ‘webpage’ for sharing who they are and what they offer. It is free to take advantage of these opportunities and if you have questions, simply contact SMAC staff (info@swmnarts.org).
A predecessor to Southwest Minnesota Arts Council, the Southwest Women's Association of Fine Arts and Humanities (SWAFAH), was formed in 1968. SWAFAH had chapters throughout southwestern Minnesota and together they planned shared tours of arts presentations and other arts activities in order to share costs and promote arts experiences in southwestern Minnesota. SWAFAH merged with SMAC (then called SMAHC, Southwest Minnesota Arts and Humanities Council) in 1974. In 1974, with the help of the Countryside Council (an area non-profit study group with funding from the Kellogg Foundation) an arts task force recommended incorporation and the design of a regionalized arts organization, with a funding system from the State of Minnesota. The new organization became SMAHC. It was the first professionally staffed, rural regional arts and humanities alliance in the nation! Help SMAC celebrate our 50+ year history with the arts and artists of Southwest Minnesota by taking part in our Annual Celebration this September! It will be a virtual celebration and fundraising event taking place on Saturday, September 26th. The fun starts at 1 pm and will continue throughout the afternoon and evening. To learn more, click here!


***Bonus***

Did you know that SMAC has copies of all our newsletters, including reaching back all the way to the SWAFA newsletters?

We invite you to visit the office and look through the history of SWAFA, SMAHC, & SMAC. You might be surprised at what you find or who you know!
SMAC Monthly Virtual Conversations for Organizations, Artists & Creatives dealing with the arts
You are invited to join our next monthly conversations for organizations on Tuesday, September 15 at 3 pm. We will plan our main topic to be SMAC's new "GOING VIRTUAL" Special Equipment/Technology grant! We will discuss the grant guidelines and application while welcoming any questions you may have about this new opportunity and how it can help advance your arts organization's goals during this unique time.

See details of how to join below!
Our monthly conversation for individuals will be on Thursday, September 17th at 5:30 pm and our guest artist will be Jessica Bak, our next featured artist in the SMAC Gallery! Jessica will share her artistic vision and process, as well as her experience with her grant from SMAC and answer your questions! She can also speak to her knowledge as a professional photographer (view her website here: www.bakphotos.com). As always, you will be able to network, share, find inspiration, and more through connecting with other area artists. We'd love to "see" you there!
How to join:

Please join our meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:


You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (571) 317-3122
– One-touch: tel:+15713173122,,623395245#
Access Code: 623-395-245

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/623395245

*If you would like a reminder email to be sent on the morning of the meeting, please let our marketing coordinator know at krystl@swmnwarts.org
What's coming up next for our conversations? Look forward to guest artist speakers and organizations being featured during our conversations:

  • Learn more of what our region has to offer
  • Individual artists processes, current works & services
  • Organization's initiatives, resources & services for our communities
  • Hear advice from previous or current grantees
  • Themes for artists to share on: favorite tools, favorite instructional materials, and more!

Would your organization be interested in sharing and being a part of our conversations as a featured guests? We want to hear from you!
Contact us: info@swmnarts.org, 800-622-5284
Going Virtual in the Rural: Can SMAC Help?

Do you or your organization need to meet or present virtually but you're not sure how?

If you're interested in knowing how SMAC can assist or host virtual events for you or your organization, please contact us! info@swmnarts.org
For more opportunities and resources be sure to check our the
latest news posts on our website (updated DAILY!):
SMAC Grant Panelists Needed

For grant programs in fiscal year 2021 (July 2020 – June 2021), 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 and from all our communities including BIPOC, people with disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+ individuals.

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

Grant review panel dates for 2020-2021

  • Conference Calls/Virtual Meetings, 3rd Tuesday of the month, 6 pm. Starting September 2020.

Art Projects Grant Review Panel
  • Round I: Saturday, October 3, 2020, 9 am (Virtual meeting)
  • Round II: Saturday, January 9, 2021, 9 am (In person or virtual, TBD)
  • Round III: Saturday, April 17, 2021, 9 am (In person or virtual, TBD)

  • Saturday, March 20, 2021, 9 am (Virtual meeting)

  • Saturday, March 6, 2021, 9 am (Virtual meeting)

  • Saturday, November 7, 2020, 9 am (Virtual meeting)
  • Saturday, February 21, 2021, 9 am (Virtual meeting)
  • Art Study Opportunity for Youth: Tuesday, April 20, 2021, afternoon (Virtual meeting)

Individual Artists (Emerging) (Career) Grant Review Panel
  • Saturday, September 12, 9 am (Virtual meeting)
  • Round II: Saturday, October 7, 9 am (Virtual meeting)

TO APPLY:
  1. Read about Grant Panel Responsibilities below, or download here: Grant Panel Responsibilities.
  2. Read and sign our Conflict of Interest policy.
  3. Download and fill out a copy of the Panelist Application (PDF or Word doc) or fill out the online form at the bottom of this link: https://swmnarts.org/about/become-a-grant-panelist/
  4. Submit your completed application, resume, and signed Conflict of Interest document by using the submit button on the linked site or by: emailing them to info@swmnarts.org, or mailing them to SW MN Arts Council, PO Box 55, Marshall, MN 56258

Find all information and documents here: https://swmnarts.org/about/become-a-grant-panelist/
Thank you for supporting the arts in SW MN!
Southwest Minnesota Arts Council Seeks Board Representatives

SMAC is seeking a representative from Lac qui Parle County and Murray County to serve on it’s Board of Directors. The Board meets monthly on the 4th Tuesday evening, currently virtually, 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 www.swmnarts.org/about/become-a-board-member/
 Memberships
From July 27 to August 28, 2020

Contributors: Mary Meneely, Arco • Lois Haak, Echo • Craig & Holly Dapper, Hutchinson • Rhythm of the River, Jackson • Raymond & Alice Thull, Lucan • Glen & Jackie Herfurth, Montevideo • Anna Johannsen, Windom • 

Supporters: Milan Village Arts School, Milan • Shirley Espeland, St. Paul •

Patron: Blue Mound Area Theatre, Luverne •

Would you like to become a contributing member of SMAC or make a donation?
The arts have suffered tremendously since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our arts organizations and individual artists have had to modify, postpone or cancel most, if not all of their projects and events, since March of this year. These closures mean lost income and lost opportunities. Although we will certainly see a reduction of funding from our state funding which comes from sales tax revenues, the SW MN Arts Council will continue working to support and fund arts access for the citizens of your county. We need you to help us support the arts.

You help by contributing online or by mail, for more information, visit:

THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE ARTS!


Check out our regional arts calendar!

We are continuing to post virtual arts events in our region on our website calendar. If you have events to let us know about, please email the details to info@swmnarts.org!
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 - Cheri Buzzeo
Lyon - Michele Knife Sterner
Murray - Carisa Clarke
Redwood - David KelseyBassett
Swift - Alison Nelson
Cottonwood - Anna Johannsen
Lac qui Parle - Lauren Carlson
McLeod - Greg Jodzio
Nobles - Brett Lehman
Renville-Anne O'Keefe-Jackson
Yellow Medicine-Betsy Pardick
SW MN Arts Council STAFF
Executive Director - Nicole DeBoer
Grants/Financial Administrator - Caroline Koska
Marketing Coordinator/Receptionist - Krystl Louwagie