The Minnesota State Arts Board (Arts Board) is an executive branch agency in the State of Minnesota government that stimulates and encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts in the state. The State of Minnesota invests in the arts because the arts are good for Minnesota. The arts enhance our individual and collective quality of life. They promote health and well-being; they promote learning, creativity, and development for young people; they strengthen community bonds; they celebrate and bridge different cultures; and they contribute to the economic success of communities and the state overall. The Arts Board works to ensure that all Minnesota residents and communities can enjoy these benefits of the arts.
- Research shows that the arts increase academic achievement. Nontraditional learners or at-risk students often become high achievers in arts learning settings; this success becomes a bridge to learning in other areas.
- The arts stimulate 21st century work skills, including creativity, empathy, and collaboration which will be important characteristics of the jobs and the workforce of the future.
- The arts improve health and wellbeing of older adults and those dealing with mental illness.
- Arts bring people together. Residents of a community better understand their new immigrant neighbors after experiencing a traditional story or dance. A struggling downtown begins to hum with new energy on the evenings the community arts center offers a concert. Towns celebrate their identity and heritage through annual arts festivals. Artists and arts participation build social capital—the social bonds and civic engagement needed in a healthy, thriving society.
The Arts Board recognizes that access to the arts and to the benefits of the arts are not equally available to all Minnesotans. To address barriers or disparities that may exist based on geography, race/ethnicity, disability, age, income, or other factors, the Arts Board has begun an equity planning process. It has developed the following equity statement:
“The Minnesota State Arts Board believes that lives across the state are enriched by participating in the arts. The board is committed to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the arts in communities across Minnesota. Doing so will draw on the experiences and perspectives of all cultures, resulting in communities that are more welcoming, healthy, and vibrant. We recognize that achieving our vision for the arts will not be easy. For many of our fellow citizens, barriers caused by bias, discrimination, historic power imbalances, and privilege have prevented full access to arts funding and art enjoyment. We will work to create a balance that all Minnesotans can benefit and be rewarded by cultural differences and opportunities. We are dedicated to bringing change by:
▪ Working with representatives from diverse communities to understand the systemic barriers that inhibit the ability to engage and enjoy the arts.
▪ Developing and implementing grant-making strategies that increase opportunities for diverse artists and organizations to create and share art
▪ Supporting artistic endeavors by organizations and artists that increase opportunities for Minnesota’s diverse communities to experience the arts.
The intended outcome of this equity work is to discover the best possible way(s) to provide equity for the arts through the work of the Minnesota State Arts Board.”