Contributed photos
Kristi Kuder presents a textile art workshop at the Henning Landmark Center in 2017. Legacy Funding has sponsored many artistic workshops in the region. 

Legacy grant to award $101,700

On November 16, members of the Lake Region Arts Council (LRAC) Board will gather to decide which individual, organization and local government applicants will be awarded a portion of about $101,700 that is available through Legacy Grants this fall. 

Minnesota has long been a strong proponent of the arts within the state and considers the arts part of our heritage and legacy. In fact, last year, Minnesota spent more than $6 per person on arts funding! Minnesota is the top ranked state in the country for arts funding per capita, coming in almost $2 ahead of the next state (Hawaii). 

In 2008, Minnesota legislators passed the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy amendment to the State Constitution. This amendment allowed for the creation of funding pools to preserve the natural beauty and accessibility of our state, ensure the cleanliness of our water, and increase Minnesotan’s access to the arts. This arts fund, known today as the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF), serves as the beating heart that channels the lifeblood of state funding into the arts throughout the state. These ACHF funds are distributed by a number of trusted organizations, including LRAC. At LRAC, these funds are awarded in two grant rounds in the fall and spring, known as the Legacy Grant rounds, and include categories meant to accommodate just about anyone interested in getting funding for their art pursuits.

The overall fall funding is split, with $18,351 available for individuals, $73,405 available for qualified organizations, and $10,000 available for a local government. LRAC has been able to increase the amount available for Legacy Grants this year because of an increase in Fiscal Year 2022 funding from the State Legislature, as well as the State Legislature releasing $76,444 in Fiscal Year 2021 funding in June 2021, which they based on a favorable forecast of state revenue collection. 

“Decisions by the State Legislature to release funds and to increase Fiscal Year 2022 funding have resulted in an additional $100,402 for the 2021-22 Fall and Spring Legacy grant rounds,” LRAC Executive Director, Maxine Adams explained. “Total available this year is $305,854 compared to $205,452 last year. There has never been a better time to apply for a Legacy Organizational or Individual Artist grant.” 

The online applications are still open for all three categories, and remain open until October 7 at 5 p.m. 

Guidelines for eligibility for each category can be found at www.lrac4.org.

Dozens of individual Legacy Individual Grant recipients have expanded their horizons, offered workshops to the community, and produced plays in the region. Local organizations have used their Legacy funding to expand their capacity to host events, bring prominent artists to the area, sponsor traveling exhibits and much more. 

Local governments have used Legacy funds on a variety of projects, from re-designing a water tower, to providing a free public summer arts camp, to commissioning public art sculptures that double as bike racks. Each project that has been funded over the years is unique, and has contributed to the arts culture of our Lake Region. 

Looking to the future, there are more LRAC Legacy funds on the horizon. The Spring Legacy Grant round will open in January, and will have even more money than the Fall round, with a total of $214,401 to award between the individual and organization categories (the local government Legacy grant will only be available for Spring if not awarded in the Fall). Interested parties who miss the fall deadline can apply in the spring.

The LRAC office staff will help with an applicaiton. For those with questions about applying for a grant, contact the office via phone at (888) 735-9622 or email at lrac4@lracgrants.com. In-person and virtual meetings are also an option.

Molly Johnston, DanceBARN Collective, leads participants during their annual dance festival in 2017. Legacy Grant Funds supports several arts festivals in the region.