Call for Artists: Creative Response Funds Available for Community-Based Artists to Support Community Well Being

The Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy invites applications for the Creative Response Fund- Community Well-Being grant opportunity. Community based artists in Minnesota are invited to gather a team and apply for Creative Response Fund grants of up to $15,000 per project, 13 projects will be awarded in 2021.

In 2020, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police and the subsequent community uprisings, the Office of Arts, Culture and the Creative Economy (ACCE) in the City of Minneapolis repurposed resources provided by the Kresge Foundation in order to support the work of local artists and designers on urgently needed community healing focused projects. ACCE funded 10 project teams and supported  a total of 63 artists. The funded projects ranged in nature from pop-up healing and beauty stations, filmed performances projected onto damaged and destroyed spaces, painted murals that share native medicinal knowledge, community healing through artmaking, and engagement events involving storytelling and deep dialogue.( Learn more about the 2020 projects here)

ACCE is pleased to continue to offer Creative Response Funding to Minnesota resident community-based artists working teams in 2021 for projects that provide creative healing and support to Minneapolis communities who continue to be directly impacted and affected by the stress and trauma of the past year.  Along with the lasting effects of the pandemic, communities are coping with the trial and conviction of Derek Chauvin, the upcoming trials of three other former Minneapolis police officers, the killing of Daunte Wright, and news of continued police violence in other states.

These projects are intended to provide creative healing and support to communities directly impacted and affected by the trauma, stress and violence caused as a result of the long and painful history of police brutality disproportionately experienced by Black communities for generations. These grant dollars are also intended to recognize the often-unpaid labor of artists as they respond to multiple health and racism emergencies and mobilize their creative resources to address community needs.

Artists are invited to gather a team and apply for Creative Response Fund grants of up to $15,000 per project, 13 projects will be awarded in 2021. As these grants provide support to community-based artists who are in turn responding to community needs, we look to artists to define what healing and support looks like in their work based on their response to the communities they are seeking to support.

Due to geographic restrictions related to the source of funds, applicants are asked to consider the location and intended community for their work, and select the category that best fits the location and community they are centering with their project.

Applicants have two impacted geographies to choose from:

1. General support – for work that is intended for implementation anywhere in the city of Minneapolis and virtual projects; and
2. Cultural district support – for work that is intended to be implemented in one or more of the city’s 7 designated cultural districts.

Applicants must apply to implement a project in one of these impacted geography categories. Please review the descriptions below for further details on impacted geographies.

We ask artists to consider where, and the ways in which healing and support is most needed and recognize that there may be a desire to focus work in areas of the city devastated by violence during community protests such as 38th and Chicago, North Minneapolis and East Lake Street. These locations are also in the city’s 7 cultural districts. Find more information about cultural districts here:

We also encourage artists to consider programming benefiting broader communities of color that may or may not have direct physical ties to these noted impacted geographies but are nonetheless traumatized by the disparities and incidents of the past year and months. Artists are therefore asked to consider the following locations as they develop their project proposals:

1. Any location within the city of Minneapolis that is located outside of the 7 cultural districts or is virtual, please apply to project category #1 – General Support.

2. The city has 7 designated cultural districts located in the following commercial corridors: 38th Street South, Cedar Avenue South, Central Avenue, East Lake Street, Franklin Avenue East, West Broadway, and Lowry Avenue North. See if your project fits the boundaries of a cultural district here ( If your project is intended for any of these locations, please apply to project category #2 – Cultural District Support.

As noted: project activities must have the intention to benefit Minneapolis residents and communities and physical project activities must abide by current COVID 19 social distancing rules ( and take place within the borders of the city of Minneapolis.

*For the purposes of this application, a ‘team’ constitutes 2 or more artists and/or organizations such as nonprofits, informal collectives, community groups, or community partners.

ACCE’s criteria for eligibility acknowledges that community emergencies rise out of historical institutional practices of discrimination that have disproportionately impacted BIPOC and lower-income communities. As our funding resources are limited, the following priorities will guide the allocation of grant dollars:

1. All Minnesota resident artists are eligible with priority given to artists who either live in and/or work in one of the city’s 7 Council designated cultural districts,

2. We are seeking artists whose portfolio, work history and grounded experience includes working with communities that have historically experienced the stress and trauma of racial discrimination,

3. Artists whose work centers around creative healing practices within marginalized communities,

4. Artists with cultural competency and authentic connections to the communities most directly impacted and affected by the trauma, stress and violence caused as a result of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, and the inequities highlighted and exacerbated by the past year’s health pandemic.

1. Demonstrated live/work connections in one of the city’s 7 cultural districts and the communities that live and work in them,

2. Demonstrated experience with communities that have historically experienced the stress and trauma of racial discrimination,

3. Demonstrated work experience using creative healing within marginalized communities,

4. Potential of project proposal to provide support and healing to marginalized communities.

Applications will initially be reviewed by ACCE staff for eligibility and completion. Incomplete and ineligible applications will be removed from the selection pool. All complete and eligible applications will be forwarded to a panel for review and selection using the criteria above. The selection panel will consist of:

1. Representatives from nonprofit, non-arts organizations serving priority communities,
2. Community arts experts,
3. Formerly funded artists, and
4. Members of the Minneapolis Arts Commission.

JUNE 30th, 2021 at 11:59PM CST.

The earliest project start date is August 1, 2021 and all projects must be completed by August 31st, 2022. Please state the anticipated beginning and end date of your project in the application.

For questions on the application, please visit the FAQs or email

As the aim of this funding is to recognize and employ the unique and specialized skills of artists to engage with and expand the impact of healing and community supportive efforts; all projects must include and be driven by a primary creative component. See examples of projects funded through the Creative Response Fund in 2020 here :

Below is a summary of the type of work that this fund is intended to support (note: this list is not exhaustive and is meant as a guide to assist you in framing your proposals):

1. Artist driven, hosted and led collaborative engagement sessions and/or community dialogues around, for example, community experience of racism and healing, community safety around efforts to foster and grow necessary allyship, or community planning and rebuilding.

2. Artist led and created permanent art forms such as murals or sculpture located on private property (Note: this program is not intended to fund or engage with the City’s ongoing public art programming).

3. Artist led collaborations with a church or neighborhood group, for example, in conjunction with a community resource drive or racial healing event targeted to local residents.

4. Artist led collaboration with a community action activity, for example, designing shirts or gear for safety patrols, or other design efforts in support of community engagement or representation.

5. Artist created outdoor spaces on private property for community gathering and healing in impacted communities throughout the city.

6. Artist led gatherings to support community stress relief and therapeutic creative projects.

Because the aim of this funding program is to center the specialized skills of artists, there are actions/activities the program will not fund such as: donating to fundraisers or campaigns, paying for labor or materials used in projects that have already been completed, paying for purchases of non-arts related materials such as buying items for food drives or buying items for personal and household drives.

For more questions around project eligibility, check the FAQ section below or send an email to:

Applicants who need technical assistance with formatting, translation, or have questions or concerns can schedule a half-hour call by emailing

For any other inquiries, the Creative CityMaking Project Manager will be available on Wednesday June 16 from 10am to 11am and Wednesday June 23 from 3pm to 4pm vis Zoom. To join the call, please email


All projects must be completed by AUGUST 31st, 2022. Please state the anticipated end date of your project in the application.