Grand Forks sets stricter guidelines for art grant money

Several nonprofits in Grand Forks will have to secure money for arts activities from sources other than a city-funded program after a Monday night City Council decision.

The council directed the North Valley Arts Council to follow eligibility requirements more strictly than in past years when it comes to giving away city money through its Arts Re-Grant Program.

“For the past one or two years, NoVAC has been using a loose interpretation,” council member Dana Sande said. “We’re asking the requirements be applied a little more strictly.”

List of organizations and amount of funding received from the Arts Re-Grant Program for 2012-2013. Highlighted organizations do not have arts-based missions. Photo credit: North Valley Arts Council.

The program is intended to provide an opportunity for nonprofits with an arts-based mission to apply for grant money. The money comes from sales tax raised by the city and is distributed through a committee selected by NoVAC.

In the past few years, some non-art organizations such a nursing home and mental health center sought and received funding from the program for activities such as art therapy or theater productions.

A more stringent interpretation of the program’s eligibility requirements would leave out past grant recipients.

There are still options for those now left out of the program, according to NoVAC’s Executive Director Marie Strinden.

One of those is the art council’s Healthy Living Through Art program. It would serve a purpose similar to art therapy programs, but does cost money for an organization to host.

Strinden said another option would be to find other funding sources outside of her organization.

You can take a look at the program application to see a full list of requirements.

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