Artists respond to State Arts Board grant restrictions, part two

Yesterday artists were up in arms over the news that the Minnesota State Arts Board can no longer give grant money for travel outside the state.

It turns out there’s another new restriction; MSAB grant money can no longer be used to bring artists to Minnesota to teach or collaborate.

You can read the full details of the grant restrictions here.

For choreographer Rosy Simas, the change is a blow:

I am one of only a handful of Native American contemporary choreographers in the US.  I need to work with other Native contemporary trained dancers. There are very few such dancers in North America and I have to bring in artists from Canada and other parts of the US. This is essential to my artistic growth and my work. This benefits MN audiences who would NOT have the chance to see Native contemporary dance if I could not bring these artists here to dance in my work.

Such restrictions on travel have always been in place for grants funded by the arts and cultural heritage fund. This year, the restriction was expanded to apply to all Arts Board grants.



  • LouAnn Shepard Muhm

    So, as a writer, I can no longer access State Arts Board funds travel out of state to attend professional-level conferences and workshops. Great. I’ll attend such conferences in Minnesota.. Oh-wait. Minnesota conferences and workshops can no longer use the funds to bring in teachers or presenters from out of state. We are squeezed from both sides in this, and the current extremely high quality of art made by Minnesota artists will suffer.

  • Andrew Wykes

    Malcolm Muggeridge once
    said, “Travel, of course, narrows the mind.” As a painter I have received two
    Minnesota State Arts Board, Artist Initiative awards in recent years, both for
    travel to Ireland (both awards were taxed). I have also been a panel member reviewing hundreds of applicants
    on the board. The awards are highly competitive, the review process is fair and
    deserving, judged an 8 member panel made up of professional artists and arts
    administrates (who also pay their taxes). Many artist rely on grants,
    commissions and shows etc, to make ends meet. We are not all Damien Hurst’s. It
    would seem to me that those on the panel, are more qualified to judge the
    significance and benefit to a artist and their community what this award can
    give. The ‘ART CRITIC’: Sen. Michelle Benson, a member of the old right wing,
    grinding away in the background, is just carrying on the regretful, narrow
    minded, anti diversity, neo-isolationist tradition in America.

    Unlike Malcolm Muggeridge I subscribe to the
    following quotes:

    “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong
    about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

  • Andrew Wykes

    I think we need to push MPR to do a slot on this, perhaps Mid Morning. Kerry Miller?