With the purpose to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms, the Minnesota Festival Support grant program funds festival experiences throughout the state each year.

    With the purpose to provide meaningful arts experiences to Minnesotans through festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms, the Minnesota Festival Support grant program funds festival experiences throughout the state each year.

    This year, Crookston Chamber & Visitors Bureau Director Amanda Lien is sitting on the State Support Panel in St. Paul June 12-13 with the Minnesota Start Arts Board, a state agency that stimulates and encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state.

     The goal of the Minnesota Festival Support program is that Minnesota citizens, artists, and communities will experience meaningful change as a result of participating in festivals and Lien is part of a seven person panel that scores on the following outcomes:

    1. Minnesotans have meaningful arts experiences through festivals
    2. Minnesota communities are strengthened or enriched by arts festivals
    3. Minnesota artists expand their public profile or audiences by participating in Minnesota festivals

     The Minnesota State Arts Board is the primary distributor of state funds to art organizations and artists and gives out several million dollars each year although amounts granted to northwest region of the state are minimal.           

     Applicants of the support program are required to have presented the proposed festival at least once prior to the date applications were submitted and grant amounts are from $5,000 - $75,000 with at 25 percent match required.

     “This is a tremendous opportunity for our community and our region. In speaking with both our state and regional arts boards while in my position, it became apparent that we needed to equip ourselves with the necessary tools to bring these types of funding streams to our community in NW MN to employ such vital outcomes,” Lien explained. “This – networking in St. Paul and diving fully into the in-depth application and review process leading up to the panel – is an excellent way to do that. I am excited and honored to be representing our part of the state and the Crookston Chamber & Visitors Bureau in St. Paul, and hopefully helping our community to apply for a grant in the future.”

     According to Creative Minnesota’s comprehensive report, “The Impact and Health of the Nonprofit Arts & Culture Sector,” nearly 19 million people attend nonprofit arts and cultural events annually and spend more than any other visitors, helping our communities and state attract new dollars. This sector provides attractions that draw visitors from outside the state and the economic impact of the arts also help to retain talent and serve students with arts and cultural experiences.

     Further information about the impact from the nonprofit arts and culture sector and our regional profile can be found at www.creativemn.org.