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$15,000 in Art Grants Awarded!

Authored on
February 19, 2020

On February 18, 2020, the East Central Regional Arts Council Board of Directors allocated almost $15,000 in grants to artists, an art organization, and schools.  These grants are for the creation and production of arts activities that will benefit residents in the five-county region. 


Mid-Career Artist Grant Program - This grant is generously supported by The McKnight Foundation.  The funding provides financial support to artists committed to personal artistic growth. Applications are encouraged from artists in all artistic disciplines. Mid-career artists are recognized by their peers and arts professionals, have produced an independent body of work and have a record of commissions, projects, or exhibitions.  The next grant deadline will be April 1, 2020.  For details on this grant go to:

  • Cindy Fuerstenberg of Pine City received a grant of $2,500.  During this project, she will work with her mentor Deborah Foutch, a Minneapolis based fiber artist, to continue her study of mixed media and fiber arts. The mentorship will allow the artist to develop a body of work integrating weaving and fiber techniques with those of mixed media onto canvas using natural materials and processes focusing on fiber to create texture. The project will culminate in the creation of three to four larger art pieces.
  • Robert DesJarlait of Onamia received a grant of $1,254.  During this project, the artist will focus on the creation of new work as well as the matting and framing of his art to complete a series of work that will be on exhibition at the American Indian Community Housing Organization Galleries in Duluth, MN from June 1 to August 28, 2020. The artist will complete eight additional paintings for the exhibition as well as mat and frame the completed series of art depicting scenes that provide a glimpse into the life of the Ojibwe people. This exhibition will inform and educate observers about an indigenous population that lives among them.


Small/Art Project Grant Program - This grant category provides support to organizations for a wide variety of arts projects involving the creation, sponsorship, publication, performance, and/or exhibition of art. Arts producing activities or services for artists or arts organizations should result from the project. ECRAC funds requests from $500 to $5,000 in this category. These funds are made possible by an appropriation of the Minnesota State Legislature from its general fund. There are two more application deadlines this year for the program, April 1 and October 1, 2020.  For grant details go to:

  • Franconia Sculpture Park of Shafer received a grant in the amount of $5,000 for Film @ Franconia.  During this project, the Park will launch a summer film series featuring free, outdoor films on Saturday evenings highlighting the best in art cinema. This series will provide an opportunity for audiences to expand their knowledge and understanding of diverse global perspectives and new ideas that visitors might not otherwise have access to. Films will begin at 9pm at the Franconia Amphitheatre located at 29836 St. Croix Trail in Shafer, MN.  The series will include a June 6, 2020, showing of The Holy Mountain; July 18 will feature Kusama, Infinity and Post-Infinity; August 1 featuring Fantastic Fungi and Fly Amanita by David Fenster; and finally, September 5 featuring Liquid Sky.
  • Braham Area Schools received a grant of $3,259 to host a residency with instrumentalist Todd Green from October 6th through the 10th, 2020. During this residency Todd Green will provide two 50-minute lecture demonstrations to elementary students as well as residents of the Elmhurst Commons Assisted Living facility in Braham. He will then provide a more advanced lecture demonstration to the High School students. This residency will also include time for the artist to work with the Senior High band students to provide them with a master class of hands-on demonstrations, as well as the opportunity to perform improvisations together. This residency concludes with a public concert on October 10th at 6 p.m. featuring original music.  Admission prices are aimed at making attendance to the concert affordable for all community members and will be $5 for adults and $3 for seniors. 


Art In Our Schools Grant Program - The purpose of this grant is to enhance the existing arts curriculum in educational facilities throughout the region. The standard for the program is artistic excellence for students. This program supplements the existing school arts curriculum with such programs as artistic residencies, arts related field trips, or special arts events or projects. Grants of up to $3,000 are available. This program is made possible with funds appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature from its general fund. There are two more application deadlines this year for the program, April 1 and October 1. To learn more about this grant program go to:

  • Onamia Community Education will receive a grant of $2,740 for a student residency.  During this project, the school will host a residency with native artist Charmaine Xianna Shivers. And focuses on creating PowWow Regalia is a mode of cultural expression combining traditional and modern Native dress while also embodying personal and cultural identities. Students grade 4-12 will be invited to participate in two 3-day workshops. These core groups of students will create 10 Jingle Dresses, 10 Fancy Shawls, and 15 Grass Dance Regalia for children 2 to 8 years old.  The completed regalia will be on display, at the “Kids Create Regalia” booth during the Mille Lacs Band’s Annual Pow Wow on August 22, 2020. The regalia will be available to children to borrow for the day.