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ECRAC Essential Artist Award (formerly ECRAC Fellowship Grant)

Contact ECRAC Program Officer Katina Eklund at 320-396-2337 x 2 or by email at  with any grant related questions.  You also may want to check the online ECRAC calendar for upcoming grant workshops.  For the online Individual Artist Grant Info session go to:



These application materials have been revised - please read closely!


-This is now an online only application.  

-Revised application questions.

-Revised guidelines.

- Artists are no longer required to give a 10 minute presentation during the grant review.

-Artists can only have one active ECRAC grant at a time.


The East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) Essential Artist Award program is designed with McKnight Foundation funding to recognize, reward, and encourage outstanding professional artists. The Council will fund artists at various stages in their professional careers. These Awards will allow artists to set aside time to work, purchase supplies and materials, undertake advanced study (not related to a degree) or to pursue other career goals. The Essential Artist Award program is open to artists in all artistic mediums. This is not a program for college credits.

Each Award is for the amount of $7,000 and up to three are awarded each year. The Award applicant may be any professional artist who is a permanent resident (for at least 6 months) in one of the five Minnesota counties of:  Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, or Pine. The applicant must be at least 18 years of age.  

The Essential Artist Award project should start on, or after, May 15 and must be completed within a year.


To apply you will need the following:

  1. FY 2019 ECRAC Essential Artist Award Guidelines (pdf) - read this before applying to understand the grant funding guidelines and to find the application instructions. You will find this pdf for download at the bottom of this page when it is available about 4 weeks before the deadline.

  2. Additional materials as explained in both the instructions and in the online application.  These items ensure the eligibility of your proposal and help to establish that the grant project fits the guidelines and the grant review criteria.

  3. The online ECRAC grant application portal.  See below for details.  


How to Apply With the ECRAC Grant Portal 

The East Central Regional Arts Council has moved to an online granting system!  All applications going forward must be submitted through the ECRAC Grant Portal.  Please refer to the tips below to help you navigate the new system.

 Links for each grant program application will only become available in the system about 4 weeks prior to each grant deadline.


Getting Started:

On your first visit to the ECRAC Grant Portal, you will need to create a new account for yourself with a username and password. Please be sure to keep this information as you will need it again to access the Portal for grant requirements and for all future requests.


Returning to an Application:

Your application does not need to be completed in one session and can be returned to and edited until you formally submit the application. Please be sure to save your application often while working on it and before you exit the system. To return to your application, you can access the ECRAC Grant Portal through the Manage My Grant page. There you may logon using the email address and password you created the first time you entered.


Uploading Information:

There are fields in the application that will require you to upload information (documents, media, etc.). Please note that your information may not be completely uploaded until you click “Save”. Be sure to save your application often so as not to lose any progress or information.


Submitting an Application:

Once you have completed and reviewed your application, you may submit the application for funding consideration. Once an application has been submitted you will be able to view the application, but not edit or make any changes to it.


                                              ECRAC Grant Portal Link


For more assistance in navigating the ECRAC Grant Portal, please refer to this tutorial:  ECRAC Grant Portal Tutorial – video link 


If you need further assistance navigating the ECRAC Grant Portal or have any other questions, please feel free to contact the ECRAC by emailing or by calling (320)396-2337.


Each Essential Artist Award is for the amount of $7,000


March 1