February 10 – March 10
2021

GENERAL OPERATING SUPPORT PROGRAM:

In recognition of Laura Jane Musser’s life-long commitment to excellence in the arts, and with awareness that pivotal and life-changing experience can occur for individuals through introduction to and participation in the arts, the Laura Jane Musser Fund hopes to encourage and excite a wider population to appreciate, learn, and participate in the arts.

The Musser Fund hopes to assist nonprofit arts organizations in rural communities to develop, implement or sustain exceptional artistic opportunities for adults and children in the areas of literary, visual, music, and performing arts.

PRIORITY IS PLACED ON ORGANIZATIONS THAT:

  • Increase access to the arts through scholarships, hands-on activities, community venues, workshops, discounts and other innovations
  • Demonstrate capacity to engage their community in the creation of art
  • Demonstrate support from their community (through volunteerism, membership, in-kind, or other types of support)

ORGANIZATIONS THAT MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA ARE ELIGIBLE FOR SUPPORT:

  • Arts organizations that are physically located in rural communities with populations of less than 20,000. (Arts organizations that support programs in rural areas but are not physically located in those rural areas are not eligible. Organizations that are not primarily arts organizations but provide some arts programming are also not eligible.)
  • Arts organizations with organizational budgets less than $750,000
  • Nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. (Organizations with fiscal sponsors are not eligible.)
  • Organizations that have been in existence for at least one year at the time of application

LIMITS OF GEOGRAPHY: 

Arts organizations must be physically located in rural communities (population 20,000 or less) in the following geographic areas:

  • Colorado – All counties
  • Hawaii – All counties
  • Wyoming – All counties
  • Minnesota – Aitkin, Becker, Cass, Clay, Clearwater, Hubbard, Itasca, Koochiching, Mahnomen, Todd, and Wadena Counties.
  • New York – Delaware, Green, Otsego, Schoharie, Sullivan, and Ulster counties.
  • Texas – Rio Grande River Valley (Cameron, Hidalgo, Starr, and Willacy counties), Deep East Texas (Angelina, Houston, Jasper, Nacogdoches, Newton, Polk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Trinity, and Tyler counties), and the Brazos Valley (Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, and Washington counties).

WHAT RURAL ARTS FUNDING WILL COVER:

  • Grants up to $10,000 per year
  • Applications are accepted for one year of funding at a time. It is possible for organizations to apply for and receive funding for up to three consecutive years. Grantees may not reapply for funding for at least two years after three consecutive years of funding.

Grantees that request second and third years of support will be asked to report on their progress toward the goals they articulated in their previous year’s application, especially in the following areas:

  • Increasing access to their services
  • Increasing their organizational sustainability
  • Increasing support from their community

WHAT WILL NOT BE FUNDED: 

  • Capital Campaigns
  • Arts Festivals and Conferences
  • Advocacy

Decisions will be announced July 2021.

Learn more or apply here.