The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council has announced that funding is available for a new category of arts activity, public art projects in this region.

The council has created this special category this year for Arts Legacy Grants and Arts Project Grants, said Mara Hanel, director, in a news release. The deadline to apply is May 1. Individual artists, arts organizations and communities may apply.

Funding from the Arts Legacy Grants program is available to support artistic activity within the council’s seven-county service region. Funds for the program come from the Minnesota State Legislature through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. Grants, which may total up to $10,000, require a cash match.

Funds from the Arts Project Grants program are used primarily for small-budget arts projects. Grants up to $3,000 require a cash match and have substantially less reporting requirements than Legacy grants.

Applications funded through these two grant programs include public art projects that improve the quality of life of people in this region, Hanel said.

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Creating art in public spaces requires a different skill set than creating art for private commissions, she said. It requires the artist to work with the city, the community, or the neighborhood in collaboration to determine the subject matter, look and timeline.

The artist needs to recognize and adhere to zoning and building codes, she said, and must be transparent at times with an entire committee on the design, installation and lighting requirements for public safety.

“Often it requires working at a large scale and understanding whether your art can handle our extreme weather,” Hanel said. “It can be very rewarding and fun.”

Applicants must reside in the council’s service region which covers Kittson, Marshall, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau counties. To start an application, go to the grants portal on the home page of the council’s website, www.NWArtsCouncil.org .

For more information, visit the council’s website, send an email to director@NWArtsCouncil, or call (218) 745-8886 during regular business hours.