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ADA Improvement Grants

Who can apply?

Nonprofit arts organizations in seven counties served by the Metro Regional Arts Council can apply for grants from VSA Minnesota to help make arts programming, activities and facilities more accessible to people with disabilities.

This funding is made possible by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, which voters approved in 2008.

The grants are intended for projects with significant or long-term potential to involve more people with disabilities as participants or patrons in arts programs. Organizations may pursue shorter-term projects with a maximum grant of $7,500 (compared to $15,000).

Organizations eligible must be located in the Twin Cities (in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington counties) and have an ongoing budgeted arts program. Applicants that applied by May 1, 2018, will be reviewed on June 1 and recipients announced the first week of June. The next deadline will be in late October, 2018. Guidelines will be updated and then made available at Resources for Arts Organizations – Grant Opportunities. For every $4 requested, an organization must provide a cash match from other sources of at least $1 (a $15,000 grant requires a match of at least $3,750).

To receive notice of the new grant opportunity by email or other formats, contact VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888, or access@vsamn.org.

Metro Region Grants

In the Twin Cities metro area, VSA Minnesota administers ADA Access Improvement Grants of up to $15,000 each for the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC). Since 2010, 130 projects by 67 different organizations have been funded, totaling $1,508,744.

Maximum grant size is $15,000. Grant recipients from 2017 are listed under News. Grant recipients from early 2018 are also in a recent News post. Summaries of all the grants awarded since 2010 are in a file on this website: Metro ADA Access Grant Recipients.

To arrange a meeting to learn more about options for the grant for your organization (or several organizations), contact VSA Minnesota at 612-332-3888 or access@vsamn.org.

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Recent Grant Recipients

Four metro nonprofits received ADA Access Improvement Grants in February 2018. They are:

Mixed Precipitation, St. Paul — $3,244
Mixed Precipitation will improve accessibility and build relationships with the Deaf community through outreach by a Deaf ASL coordinator, evaluation by a reinvigorated access advisory panel, and services by a team of Deaf and hearing interpreters.

Artability, St. Paul — $7,500
Artability encourages mental health through visual and written artistic expression, providing workshops free of charge to clients of People Incorporated and members of the public with mental illness. The program features the annual Artability Show & Sale, where artists with mental illness exhibit and sell visual pieces and an anthology of written works.

Minnesota Fringe Festival, Minneapolis — $15,000
Fringe will continue to provide ASL and audio-description services for dozens of performances during the annual Minnesota Fringe Festival; introduce a new Family Fringe establishing an exciting benchmark of 100% of shows serviced with interpretive services; and investigate new initiatives to improve access including transit assistance for patrons with visual impairments, and offering Relaxed Performance opportunities accommodating individuals on the Autism spectrum and others.

Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul — $15,000
The Minnesota Museum of American Art is embarking on an extensive expansion of its facility, opening Phase One in fall 2018, and Phase Two in 2019. This project will increase its ability to make the M accessible to all Minnesotans, and build staff knowledge and capacity to continue to make improvements. The project will pilot an accessibility plan with the opening of Phase One, evaluate and revise for scaling up for Phase Two.