Grants available for local art projects: CCCAC offers instruction on how to apply for funding

Kali Katerberg/Daily Mining Gazette Cynthia Cote walks Deb Mann through the process of applying for a mini-grant at the Calumet Art Center Tuesday.

CALUMET — If you can dream it, the Michigan Council of Arts and Cultural Affairs (MCACA) may help you fund it.

Since 1997 the MCACA has provided grants for Michigan art projects. The grants cover two different areas, art project grants are intended for nonprofits, schools and municipalities while the professional/organizational development grants help cover training, consultation and conferences. These grants are available to Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties.

Art grant applicants can receive up to $4,000 in funding, matched one-to-one cash or in-kind and can be applied to a range of art projects, including readings, festivals, restorations and film productions.

For other projects, development grants go up to $1,500 and require a 25 percent cash or in-kind match. To receive funding, grant applicants must apply online by the Jan 15 deadline at

Following submission, grant applications are reviewed by a panel of representatives from each of the six counties.

“The grants don’t compete with each other, they just try to get the highest score to get into a funding category…Some people think ‘Oh, we are in competition with so and so,’ but that’s not true, you’re really just in competition with yourself,” said Cynthia Cote, executive director of the Copper Country Community Arts Center (CCCAC).

Art grants, in particular, give points for artistic/cultural merit, community impact, implementation/management and supplemental material, all scored on a 100 point scale.

“It is very in-depth,” said grant applicant Deb Mann at the Tuesday CCCAC workshop held to teach people how to apply for grants. Mann applied for a grant last year but did not receive funding after missing some details in her application.

“I did not realize…that point system and how much goes into it, and I didn’t put enough emphasis on the artist and the artist’s dream or perception of the project, so I learned from Cynthia when we met last, that I need to put more detail in the plan, so that’s why I’m here,” said Mann.

In these situations, Cote is there to assist with the application process.

“Up here people have someone they can call on and meet with and improve their grant writing,” said Cote.

Part of the process is learning how to write grants well.

“It really helps organizations develop their projects too because you really need to think through every step of it,” Cote said.

For interested groups or individuals, the CCCAC can provide more information and grant application assistance. Cote will be holding another workshop at 7 p.m. on Dec 7 at the Portage Lake District Library.

Application guidelines are available on