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Going Beyond Grants – for Artists of Color and Native Artists

In an effort to close the economic gap, and increase access to arts funding for people of color and Native people, Springboard for the Arts is launching a workshop series that will provide seasoned tips and tools on how to (1) navigate different funding options for artists of color and Native artists and (2) work collectively and collaboratively towards a more equitable, diverse and inclusive ecosystem. These two workshops are reserved for artists of color and Native artists only. A third and final installment will be a day-long event held this fall and open to all.

In part two of this series, we will look closer at the fundraising landscape, examine the limitations of grant-based funding and explore how artists of color and Native artists can go beyond grants to more sustainable, regenerative and community-driven options such as crowdfunding, microfinance and earned income strategies. Refreshments provided.


Me'Lea Connelly is the director of development for Village Financial Cooperative, a Black-led credit union that combats oppression by building equity and access to resources. Me'Lea's vision and leadership of the first Black-led financial cooperative in Minnesota comes with deep knowledge of the financial cooperative industry, community organizing and the creative economy (she being a recording artist herself).

Tricia Heuring is the co-director and curator at Public Functionary, an exhibition and social space where communities diverse in disciplines, ethnicities, and backgrounds can (and often do) go to intermingle. Tricia is a visionary in the arts space and constantly challenges her peers to rethink their culture of financial support. In June, she and her PFunc partners launched a fundraising campaign to raise money not from wealthy donors, but from folks who understand the importance of the space and benefit from them being there. Through her work, Tricia also helps artists find a marketable niche for their art and reach paying audiences.

Bo Thao-Urabe is the Executive and Network Director of the Coalition for Asian American Leaders (CAAL) and focuses on creating community-centered, asset-based solutions that result in meaningful progress for those who are most impacted. In addition to CAAL, Bo co-founded Building More Philanthropy with Purpose (BMPP) Giving Circle that has a mission to use their financial resources to celebrate, learn about, and raise more money to fuel the change they wanted to see in the world.

Mary Anne Quiroz is a performance artist and co-founder/director of Indigenous Roots Cultural Arts Center, an incubator space for artists and organizers dedicated to building, supporting and cultivating opportunities for Indigenous peoples and communities of color. Mary Anne's story of overcoming barriers, conflicts and lack of resources in order to open the cultural arts center is enlightening and demonstrates that with community, hard work, collective mind set/structure and people power we can make anything happen.

Seitu Jones has had an extensive career as a visual artist whose large scale permanent works appear all over Minnesota including on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Green Line transit system. Seitu has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships, and has made a successful life as an independent artist by following his path, being persistent, understanding the local arts economy, and opening up space for the next generation.

Ricardo Levins Morales is an artist-organizer whose work has long supported global grassroots movements. Through the store at RLM Art Studio, Ricardo sells original social justice, political and educational artwork. As a life-long organizer, Ricardo sees his practice as means to address individual, collective and historical trauma. As a career artist, Ricardo's carved out a pathway to self generate revenue for himself, staff and community.

Date Changed To: Tuesday, September 4, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Location: SpringBOX, 262 University W, Saint Paul, MN
Presenter: Springboard for the Arts staff, with a panel of experts
Tuition: Free. Register by completing the form below. If you have any questions, please call 651-292-4381 or email