Glossary of Terms

ADA Access Plan

All organizations receiving public funding from SEMAC are required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and federal Section 504 Regulations to work with people with disabilities to facilitate access to their projects, either access to a facility or access to the content of the project. An access plan describes your accomplishments related to compliance with the ADA, and outlines future goals for making your facilities, programs, or services accessible to persons with disabilities.

Applicant

The main arts organization, government entity or school organizing, implementing, and committing resources to the proposal. If two groups are involved please select one to be the lead and therefore the applicant. The other group shall be designated the Partner Organization. All applicants must be located within the SEMAC Region. For additional information see Eligibility.

Authorizing Official

That person empowered to enter into contracts for the applicant organization. This is usually the board chairperson, president or executive director. Authorizing officials certify that their Board of Directors supports the operating budget as described in the application, resolves to carry out the budget as described therein, and that the programming does not duplicate funding from any previous grant.

Capstone Event

All proposals funded by SEMAC must include a public component to benefit the citizens of southeastern Minnesota (see SEMAC Region). In other words, the project must culminate in a capstone event that is accessible, open to the public, and held in the SEMAC region. Examples of a capstone event include performances, gallery openings, and other events that showcase the arts.

Eligibility

The primary focus of all proposals must be the fine arts, i.e., the development, education, performance and/or showcasing of the arts.

The following individuals and groups are eligible to apply for SEMAC funding as long as they meet all other eligibility standards.  See Grant Categories for specific information about the grants that SEMAC offers.

Arts Organization whose primary mission is the arts  
  1. Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant
  2. General Operating Support
  3. Presenter/Production Assistance
  4. Small Towns/Rural Areas Grant*
Individual Artists  
  1. Emerging Artist Grant of $2,500
  2. Established Artist Grant of $5,000
Local Government Entity  
  1. Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant
  2. Small Towns/Rural Areas Grant*
Nonprofit Organization whose mission is not the arts  
  • Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant
Public or non-religious Private School  
  1. School Residency Grant (K-12 only)
  2. Arts & Cultural Heritage Grant
  3. Small Towns/Rural Areas Grant*
 * Small Towns/Rural Areas Grants are limited to applicants in communities with populations under 7,500.

Fiscal Agent

The non-profit organization legally responsible for the proper use of grant funds when an applicant organization is not yet eligible for federal tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) or comparable status under the Internal Revenue Code. An authorizing official of the fiscal agent organization must sign the Fiscal Agent Agreement (see application).

Grant Coordinator

The person designated by the applicant organization to oversee the implementation of the grant proposal. This person is responsible for the timely submission of all required forms and reports to SEMAC. This person should be knowledgeable in all aspects of the proposed project since SEMAC may need to contact this person with questions specific to the proposal narrative and budget. Please note that all SEMAC correspondence regarding this proposal will be directed to the grant coordinator.

Grant Review

After an eligibility review by SEMAC staff, the grant coordinator will receive a letter of acknowledgement by postal mail with an invitation to attend the Grant Review, typically held approximately thirty days after the deadline. At the Grant Review, the SEMAC Arts Advisory Panel will openly discuss and then rank each application. All rankings will be based on the written proposals using our established Review Criteria.

In-Kind Contributions

To be considered in-kind, donated goods or services must be necessary to the proposal, i.e., these goods and services would be purchased if they had not been donated. Professional services must be donated by a professional working in that profession and valued at the provider’s professional rate. In-kind contributions must be itemized and accompanied by receipts or letters of verification for goods and services to be provided. Volunteers cannot be calculated as in-kind services. An applicant or partner organization may not provide in-kind donations to its own proposed project.

Matching Funds

The portion of the proposed project that the applicant plans to fund from non-SEMAC sources. Presenter/Production Assistance and Small Towns/Rural Areas Grants require a full one-to-one match, i.e., at least 50% of the project expenses must be provided by alternate means. Although not required, in-kind items or services for which a fee would normally be paid, and are provided to the applicant at no cost, may be included for up to 25% of total support.  For Arts & Cultural Heritage Grants, matching funds must make up at least 20% of project expenses, with not more than 10% as in-kind contributions.

Partner Organization

The nonprofit organization, educational institution, or local government entity who participates in, and provides resources for, the proposed project with the grant ApplicantOutside talent, a venue provider or a Fiscal Agent is not considered a partner. For questions, or if the proposed partner is not tax-exempt, contact the SEMAC office.

Review Criteria

SEMAC uses the following three review standards (called Review Criteria) in ranking all applications. Applicants shall address each of these standards in the Proposal Narrative section of the grant application. Click on Grant Review for specifics. 

  1. Artistic merit and quality of the project or program.
  2. Demand or need for the project or program by the applicant or by the constituents served.
  3. Ability of the applicant to accomplish the project or program they describe or the organizational goals as presented.

SEMAC Region

The eleven-county area of southeastern Minnesota in which all applicants must be located, which includes Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona Counties. The Capstone Event must also be held in the SEMAC Region. See Who We Serve

SMART Model Evaluation Method

Answers to the application questions will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of proposals. Refer to this SMART model evaluation method when completing the application.

S = Specific M = Measurable A = Achievable R = Realistic T = Time Bound

Start and End Dates

To be eligible for funding, the proposed project (which includes preparation time) must begin at least sixty days after the grant deadline. Calculate start date as the day you will begin committing physical resources to the project, not when the programming itself commences. The end date (when all aspects of the project will be finished, including wrapping up the budget) cannot be more than one calendar year after the start date. For administrative projects, the end date may coincide with the end of your fiscal year.

Out of State Travel

During a recent budget session, the State Legislature expanded a restriction on use of funds that affects key grant programs. SEMAC is not able to provide funding for activities or travel that take place outside the state of Minnesota. Under no circumstances will out of state travel by the applicant be paid using SEMAC funds. Should your project require out of state travel, it must be paid by one of your other funding sources. With the exception of Arts & Cultural Heritage grants, no more than 10% of the total grant may be spent on costs to bring in presenters from out of state.

Work Samples

All materials in support of your project must be posted electronically. For example, many artists and organizations have their own Web sites, facebook pages, YouTube videos, etc. Also, mnartists.org is a free service that allows artists, regardless of discipline, to post recent work. To use these or similar media tools in your proposal, simply provide a Web address or URL in your application. If you wish to submit work samples or other support material but do not have access to electronic media, a limited number of work samples may be uploaded to the online application form.