Seeding Cultural Treasures
Seeding Cultural Treasures is an initiative to nourish and cultivate the landscape of emerging arts and culture organizations run by and for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC). This initiative provides unrestricted general operating grants and technical assistance support and learning opportunities through 2025 for emerging BIPOC-led-and-serving arts and culture organizations. Unrestricted grants and engagement in the program are essential to building trusting relationships. Propel will provide technical assistance to grantees in financial administration and other nonprofit finance, strategy, and governance areas, and there will be peer-to-peer learning opportunities and optional workshops.
An initial round of unrestricted general operating grants were distributed to 501(c)(3) and fiscally sponsored organizations, and/or units of the 11 tribal governments in Minnesota, in 2022 (see information about our 2022 grantees here). In partnership with First Peoples Fund and The Waterers, 12 organizations and 56 individual artists and culture bearers in North and South Dakota have also received unrestricted general operating grants and access to trainings, convenings, and technical assistance through 2025.
A funding round for Minnesota organizations closed on August 24, 2023. This round of the SCT initiative is providing funds and technical assistance for arts and culture organizations that have 501(c)(3) status, are fiscally sponsored, and/or are units of tribal government in Minnesota and/or the 11 Tribal Nations within its border AND are located in and serving Greater Minnesota communities (outside of the 7-County Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro geographic area). We are aiming to widen the reach of the SCT program to arts and culture organizations serving Greater Minnesota, and this focused Request for Proposals (RFP) will help us achieve that goal.
Seeding Cultural Treasures Grant Program
2023 Request for Proposals
Applications for this round of funding closed on August 24, 2023.
FAQ & Glossary
Review common questions and terms that will help you fill out your application.
Grant Design and Selection Process
Propel is grateful for the guidance and recommendations of the 34 arts and cultures leaders for serving on the Design Team and/or Selection Committee for Seeding Cultural Treasures.
These two groups provided input that led to the inclusion of elements we hoped represented the needs and wants of the groups we were aiming to work with through this cohort opportunity. Those included, but were not limited to:
- A long application period with flexible deadlines, and multiple touchpoints for conversation with grant staff including technical assistance days and informational webinars.
- The creation of an inclusive and accessible Request for Proposals. Read the RFP here to learn more.
- Inclusion of the opportunity for interviews if needed to clarify information in the application. (The Selection Committee ultimately decided interviews were not necessary to clarify the applications for those they selected to participate in the cohort.)
- Provide enough funding to truly make a difference in moving organizations from surviving to thriving. We committed to making grants starting at $40,000.
- Focus on developing all the other elements of the cohort that can nurture the organizations (networking, convenings, learning labs, technical assistance) and not only the funding.
- Offer optional, ongoing nonfunding opportunities (learning labs, technical assistance, networking) to all applicants and not only organizations selected for the cohort.
- Provide scoring and comments by the Selection Committee for each application, if requested.
- Share learnings with funders to impact the philanthropic systems.
All applications were reviewed by 3 members of the Selection Committee. The Committee was provided training on how to avoid unintended bias in their application review, and reviewed each application based on its own merits.