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Grants for individuals

These are grants available to individual artists living and working in Minnesota.

Springboard Staff

Artist Resources Director

State agencies

Minnesota State Arts Board – A state agency that stimulates and encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state.

The current grant program for individual artists beginning in FY24 are listed here. They are:

Arts Education—Project grants to help Minnesotans develop personal relationships with an art form(s) by supporting learning experiences for individuals of all ages and abilities. Project grant funds may be used for age-appropriate classes, workshops, camps, after-school programs, online education programs, community arts education, school residences or partnerships, etc.

Arts Experiences—Project grants to support individuals and organizations in providing meaningful arts experiences for Minnesotans within their communities. Funds may be used for a variety of arts programming such as creating and/or presenting concerts, plays, tours, exhibitions, arts festivals, public art, or other kinds of activities that provide Minnesotans opportunities to engage in arts activities that are instilled into community or public life.

Cultural Expression—Project grants to support activities that share, explore, pass on, express, or celebrate culture through the arts. Culture may be defined by a common ethnicity, tribal affiliation, geographic or regional identity, occupation, language, or recreation. Traditional and contemporary forms of cultural expression may be funded in this program. Funds could be used to support practicing a cultural art form; presenting cultural festivals, community celebrations, performances, media or exhibitions; offering demonstrations, etc. Funds could also be used to deepen or pass on cultural traditions through apprenticeships or documentation.

Creative Individuals—Project grants to help individual artists and culture bearers develop or sustain their creative practices and meaningfully engage with Minnesotans. Grantees may use funds to support their creative practice and meaningfully connect to and engage with audiences, participants, students, and/or communities during the grant period.

Regional Arts Councils - Minnesota's unique, decentralized system of eleven regional arts councils.

The RACs disseminate state and other funding for individual artists, as well as other local arts activities in each region of the state. Check the map for your region.

NWMAC (Region 1) - Applications are generally due in October, March, and on a monthly basis. Serving Kittson, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau counties. Five available grant categories with rolling, monthly, and annual application deadlines, including Legacy, Artist projects and quarterly "Quick Turn Around" grant on a first come first serve basis.

Region 2 - Grant deadlines available August through March. Serving Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Lake of the Woods, and Mahnomen counties. Four available grant categories, though some have been suspended for 2020-21, including the R2AC fellowship. Region 2 offers a COVID-related relief grant for eligible artists whose income has been impacted by the pandemic.

Arrowhead Regional Arts (Region 3) - Five available grant categories with deadlines in October, January, March, April, and July as well as rolling deadlines, though programs are temporarily on hold for FY21. Serving Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and Saint Louis counties. A COVID-19 emergency relief grant has been offered in 2020; check back for more information.

Lake Region Arts Council (Region 4) -Five available grant categories. Serving Becker, Clay, Douglas, Grant, Otter Tail, Pope, Stevens, Traverse, and Wilkin counties.

Five Wings Art Council (Region 5) - Deadlines in January, April, July, October, monthly, and ongoing in three available grant categories. Serving Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd, and Wadena counties.

Southwest Minnesota Arts Council (Regions 6 & 8) - Four available grant categories. Serving Big Stone, Chippewa, Cottonwood, Jackson, Kandiyohi, Lincoln, Lac qui Parle, Lyon, McLeod, Meeker, Murray, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Swift, and Yellow Medicine counties.

East Central Arts Council (Region 7E) - Application deadlines for five grant categories, November 1st, February 1st, April 1st, and March 1st. Serving Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties.

Central Minnesota Arts Board (Region 7W) - Five available grant categories. Serving Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, and Wright counties.

Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council (Region 9) - Four available grant categories. Serving Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Sibley, Waseca, and Watonwan counties.

Southeast Minnesota Arts Council (Region 10) - Three available grant categories. Deadlines in October, April, July, February, and on an ongoing basis. Serving Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Olmsted, Mower, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona counties.

Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (Region 11) - Serving Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties. Two individual artist grant, the Next Step Fund and Arts Impact for Individuals.

Selected emergency grants

This is a listing of primarily national funders and service organizations providing assistance for artists facing medical, financial and disaster-related emergencies, or other unanticipated expenses, with no membership to the granting organization required. This list is by no means complete, and a listing does not constitute a direct endorsement from Springboard. See this PDF for a more complete listing of resources.

Literary arts

PEN American administers two emergency funds: the PEN Writers’ Emergency Fund and the PEN Fund for Writers and Editors with HIV/AIDS. (New York)

The Writers Emergency Assistance Fund helps established freelance writers across the country who, because of “advanced age, illness, disability, a natural disaster, or an extraordinary professional crisis are unable to work.” (New York)

Performing Arts

The Actors Fund also offers an Entertainment Assistance Program, which functions as an entryway and guide through The Fund’s many programs when facing personal or work-related problems. It is also a conduit for emergency financial assistance in times of pressing need or in response to catastrophic events. The Fund also offers a Dancers Resources Program that provides aid and resources for dancers in the event of significant injury. (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles)

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers an Emergency Grant program for performing artists who have sudden opportunities to publicly present work without enough time to seek other funding or “incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses” for works that are almost completed and have showing dates. (New York)

Rauschenberg Dancer Emergency Grants are one-time grants of up to $5,000 to professional dancers who have experienced dire financial emergencies due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences, including lack or imminent endangerment of essentials such as housing, medicine/healthcare, utilities, and food.

Visual Arts

The Foundation for Contemporary Arts offers an Emergency Grant program for visual artists who have sudden opportunities to publicly present work without enough time to seek other funding or “incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses” for works that are almost completed and have showing dates. (New York)

Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Inc. has an Emergency Grant program that is intended to provide qualified artists with one-time interim financial assistance in the event of an unforeseen, catastrophic event. (New York)

The Artists' Fellowship, Inc. is a private, charitable foundation that "assists professional fine artists (painters, graphic artists, printmakers, sculptors) and their families in times of emergency, disability, or bereavement.” (New York)

CERF+ has an emergency assistance program that includes grants and/or brokered assistance, such as booth fee waivers and discounts or donations on supplies and equipment to artists facing recent, career threatening emergency, such as an illness, accident, fire or natural disaster. CERF+ also has a wide variety of emergency resources for artists. (Vermont)

The Pollock-Krasner Foundation offers grants to artists based on "recognizable artistic merit and demonstrable financial need, whether professional, personal or both.” (New York)

Artists+ Material Grant from Visual AIDS is for artists living with HIV in need of financial assistance for materials to create their work. Must be a member to apply. (New York)

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) Rauschenberg Medical Emergency Grants are up to $5,000 support direct treatment expenses for medical, dental or mental health emergencies. Choreographers, those creating in the visual arts, and those creating in the film/video/electronic/digital arts are eligible.


The Opry Trust Fund provides qualified individuals with financial assistance in times of “extraordinary need, emergency or catastrophe.” Qualified individuals include anyone who has been “employed full-time in some facet of the country music industry (i.e. performer, songwriter, publisher, radio, session musician, etc.).” (Nashville)

Jazz Musicians Emergency Fund through the Jazz Foundation of America helps “save musicians from eviction and provide emergency living expenses.” (New York)

MusiCares provides a “safety net of critical assistance for music people "struggling with financial, medical, or personal crises." (New York, Nashville, Southern California)

The Musicians Foundation helps professional musicians by providing “crisis relief to musicians in the wake of unexpected hardship or natural disaster.” (New York)

Music Maker Relief Foundation offers a Musician Sustenance program that includes an emergency needs funding program for income-eligible artists over the age of 55 facing an unexpected situation such as theft, illness, or natural disaster.

Society of Singers helps singers who have financial needs resulting from personal, medical, or financial crises. Qualified individuals are “any individual who has derived his/her primary income as a professional singer for 5 years and more.” (Southern California)

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund provides financial assistance to all types of career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems.”

Private foundations

Jerome Foundation - Provides grants for artists in Minnesota and New York City.

Jerome Hill Artist Fellowships: 60 early career artists (10 each in the disciplines of dance, film/new media, literature, music, theater and visual arts) will be awarded two-year Fellowships of $20,000 per year. Applications will open in 2020.

Film, Video, and Digital Production Grants:Production grants of up to $30,000 to early career film, video and digital production directors from Minnesota or New York City.

McKnight Foundation - Provides fiscal support focusing on the state of Minnesota, with grant funding for working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities.

Book Artists: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Book Artists at Minnesota Center for Book Arts

Ceramic Artists: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Ceramic Artists at Northern Clay Center

Choreography: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Choreographers at The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts

Composers: McKnight Composers Fellowship at the American Composers Forum and the McKnight Visiting Composer Residency at the American Composers Forum

Community-Engaged Artists: McKnight Community-Engaged Artists Fellowship at Pillsbury House + Theater

Dancers: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Dancers at The Cowles Center for Dance & The Performing Arts

Fiber Artists: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Fiber Artists at the Textile Center

Media Artists: McKnight Media Artist Fellowship at Film North

Musicians: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Musicians and the MacPhail Center for Music

Playwrights: Mid-Career Artists McKnight Advancement Grants and the Advanced Artists McKnight National Residency and Commission, administered by the Playwrights’ Center

Printmakers: McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships, at the Highpoint Center for Printmaking

Theater Artists: McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships, at the Playwrights’ Center

Visual Artists: McKnight Artist Fellowships for Visual Artists at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Writers: The McKnight Artist Fellowships for Writers at the Loft Literary Center

Joyce Foundation - The Joyce Award is the only regional program dedicated to supporting artists of color in major Great Lakes cities, including Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Each award of $75,000 supports an artist in the creation and production of a new work and provides the commissioning organization with the resources needed to engage audiences, new partners, and their surrounding communities at large. Registration is due September 6, 2021 for the 2022 awards.

Forecast Public Art - Forecast supports public artists through funding and training. Grants, technical assistance, learning opportunities and resources advance artists of all skill levels.

Forecast Public Art offers a Mid-Career Project Grant, a Mid-Career Professional Development Grant, an Early-Career Artist Project Grant, and an Early-Career Artist Research & Development Grant. Applications typically open in late summer for a grant period of 11 months the following year.

Visual Arts Fund - A grant program established by Midway Contemporary Art with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. 

The Visual Arts Fund awards five $5,000 and three $10,000 grants to artists in the Twin Cities metro region. The VAF supports the development of experimental projects and/or new initiatives that engage the public with visual art. 


Minnesota Quilters - A nonprofit with the mission to further the preservation of quilting, educate, and document the art and craft of quilting in Minnesota.

Minnesota Quilters, Inc. provides educational and service project grants as well as donations to promote interest and education in quilting, in amounts ranging from $50 to $500. They accept grant application each year between July 1 and September 16.

Selected national individual grants

A Blade of Grass Supports seven to ten socially engaged artists working in close partnerships with a community. Letter of Interest due mid-November, full application due mid-January.

Aaron Siskind Fund - $10,000 grant awarded to photographers and photo-based artists. Applications due at the end of May. ($20 application fee).

Asian Cultural Council - A process-oriented grant for artists and scholars living in Asia or the USA. Projects must be exploration, not exhibition-based, and take place outside of one's home country, also either in Asia or the USA. Applications due in early November. 

Awesome Foundation - A global community "advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time." Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. In the Upper Midwest, there are chapters in North Minneapolis, Minnesota and Madison Wisconsin.

Creative Capital - Open application process to artists of all disciplines ages 25 years or older with 5 years professional experience. On a seven year cycle, and accepting new applications in 2018. 

GRAMMY Museum Grant Program - Awards grants each year to organizations and individuals for audio preservation projects, as well as scientific research efforts. Letters of inquiry typically due in October.

Guggenheim Fellowship - Award exceptional mid career artists with a grant intended to support their ability to freely work for six months to a year. Applications due in September. 

National Association of Latino Arts and Culture Master Artist Grant - Project-based grants and mentorship grants for US-based Latino artists across multiple disciplines. Annual fall deadline for application. 

Native Arts and Cultures Foundation - Fellowship of $20,000 to individual practicing Native artists in Traditional Arts, Music, Visual Arts, Artistic Innovation, and Literature. Application due in mid-March.

Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Artist as Activist - Fellowship supporting artists whose work explores racial justice with a particular focus on mass incarceration. Annual December deadline for application.

Other Microgrants Nadia Eghbal, the founder of the former Helium grants program, created a list of other microgrants here.

More resources

Foundation Grants to Individuals Online – A service of Candid that offers information on funders that provide scholarships, fellowships, grants, and a wide range of financial support to individuals. This resource has free access at many locations across the country.

New York Foundation for the Arts / NYFA Source – NYFA Source is a free searchable database for individual artist funding nationwide.

College Board Scholarship Search – Scholarship Search is a free searchable database for academic scholarships, financial aid and internships from more than 2,200 programs, totaling nearly $6 billion.


See this FAQ to learn more about crowdfunding platforms, including GoFundMeIndieGoGoKickstarter and Patreon.

For emergency funding resources

If you are an artist facing an emergency situation, please refer to this list for local and national emergency funding resources by artistic discipline [PDF].