Legacy Amendment funds – where are they now?

Minnesota Citizens for the Arts » Blog Archive » arts alert: Where are Amendment Dollars Now?

This is a great summary of what is happening with the Legacy Funding being used for the arts acrosss Minnesota. Sheila Smith, from the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts,  has posted this on their Arts Alert blog. Below is an excerpt from the blog post. It includes information and links to what libraries, as well as the other arts groups, are planning with their anticipated funds.

1. Where is the Amendment Money?

Access Points For Amendment Resources:

The Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, passed by the voters in November, 2008, created new resources for land conservation, water conservation, parks and arts.

The agencies and programs that received legislative appropriations from the four funds are scrambling now to create programs to make grants across the state. Many of these plans are not yet finalized, but a road map is now emerging for arts and culture organizations and artists in terms of how to access the resources in the Arts and Culture Fund. Because the funds have gone to multiple agencies, artists and arts organizations would be well advised to pay attention to these mulitple “Access Points” for Arts and Culture Fund dollars. I have included a quick description of where each agency is in their planning process.

The Minnesota State Arts Board and Regional Arts Councils

Minnesota’s state arts funding system includes a state agency (MSAB) that does statewide programming and grant-making, and 11 regional arts councils (RACs) which each serve a set of counties with local grants and services. Collectively, they received $21,650,000 for grants and services for 1. Arts, and Arts Access, 2. Arts Education, 3. Arts and Cultural Heritage.

STATEWIDE: MINNESOTA STATE ARTS BOARD: In addition to some administrative money, 70% of the MSAB/RAC appropriation goes to the MSAB for statewide projects and services. After a lengthy and exhaustive set of regional meetings and public input, the MSAB has nearly completed its plan to get grants out to Minnesota communities. Right now it looks like they will be doing a combination of beefing up current programs for artists and arts organizations, and creating new programs to promote arts education partnerships, to fund touring and festivals, to fund free public access to arts events, and to fund new opportunities for artists. Once finalized (within a month or two), they will be posted on www.arts.state.mn.us. I will send out updates as more specific information becomes available.

REGIONAL ARTS COUNCILS: The RACs are receiving 30% of the appropriation, and each RAC is determining independently the new programs it will create in their region based on local community input. For various reasons they are each on a different timeline, for example, Region 9 in Mankato will start making their grants in November, 2009. Region 2, in Bemidji, will be launching in May, 2010. To find out what opportunities are available in your area, contact your local Regional Arts Council. Contact info. can be found at http://www.arts.state.mn.us/racs/index.htm


All public TV stations in MN have received money to do more arts and cultural programming with their amendment funds. To find out what the stations in your area are planning, and to potentially partner with them, call your local station:

  • Twin Cities Public Television, Minneapolis / St. Paul, 651-222-1717, www.tpt.org
  • WDSE-TV  Channel 8, Duluth / Superior & Hibbing, 218-724-8567, www.wdse.org
  • Lakeland Public Television, Bemidji / Brainerd, 800-292-0922, www.lakelandptv.org
  • Pioneer Public Television, Appleton / Worthington / Fergus Falls, 800-726-3178, www.pioneer.org
  • KSMQ-TV, Austin / Rochester, 800-658-2539, www.ksmq.org
  • Prairie Public Television, Moorhead / Crookston, 800-359-6900, www.prairiepublic.org 


The state’s twelve regional library systems have received $4.25 million to provide arts and culture activities. All of the systems are looking for partnerships that will connect libraries, historical societies, arts organizations, and literacy.  The library Legacy money must be spent in 4 categories: 1. Arts 2. Culture 3. Literary 4. MN History. If you want to partner with the libraries to provide programming, then you should get on the phone with your regional library system asap. Some of them are very unfamiliar with local artists and arts organizations. More information about their Legacy Fund planning, and contact information for each of the regional library systems can be found at: www.crplsa.info.  Suzanne Miller, State Librarian, Minnesota Department of Education can also provide additional information.  She can be reached at:  651-582-8791 or suzanne.miller@state.mn.us. There is also a blog where the libraries are tracking their activity with Legacy funds at: http://www.crplsa.info/pages/viewrecentblogposts.action?key=CRPLSA.

STATEWIDE: All twelve regional library systems have set aside 10% of their allocation for a statewide initiative.  While not confirmed, it looks like it will be used for a Greatest Generation program in partnership with the State Historical Society.

THE TWELVE REGIONAL LIBRARY SYSTEMS: The other 90% will be split between the twelve regional library systems. (The allocation for each of the regional library systems is based on the existing “Regional Library Basic System Support” formula which is used to distribute the state’s appropriation for libraries, which includes factors for population and geographical area).  

METRO AREA:  The seven metro counties and the City of St. Paul each have a regional library system. Collectively, the Metropolitan Library Service Agency (MELSA) covers them all.  They have decided to hire Melinda Ludwiczak melinda@melsa.org from the Hennepin County Library to coordinate the Legacy Fund efforts for the whole metro area.  MELSA will use approximately 40% of their funds to create programs and partnerships on a metro-wide level. The remaining 50% will be allocated by population to each of the eight member systems to enhance partnerships with local community agencies and provide arts, cultural heritage, literary and Minnesota history activities.

GREATER MN:  The remaining regional library systems are each determining their own programming.

  • The Traverse des Sioux Regional Library, headquartered in Mankato, will partner with the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council to get the money distributed. 
  • In Duluth, the Executive Director of the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council is on the committee to help the library system  (Arrowhead Library System) determine how best to utilize their funds.
  • The East Central MN Library system has posted a web page where they will post their plans: http://eastcentrallibraries.blogspot.com/2009/08/arts-and-culture-in-library.html


The Minnesota Historical Society has created a web page to describe their plans and promote potential grant opportunities for local historical sites and organizations: http://www.mnhs.org/about/grants/legacy/index.htm.


As of this writing, I don’t have any advice except to call your local station and ask them what their plans are.


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