October 2017- Volume XV, Number 10
Compiled & edited by Deb Miller Slipek, Ann Treacy, and Jane Leonard
Visit the online version: http://wp.me/pkVGJ-7E



— November 1, 2017, 11:59 p.m., is the East Central Regional Arts Council (ECRAC) grant deadline for:

  •  Art in Our Schools Grants: School districts may apply for arts-related funding up to $3,000.
  • Small/Art Project Assistance Grants: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $500-$5,000.
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Organizations: Nonprofit organizations, art groups, school districts, and local units of government may apply for arts-related funding ranging from $5,000-$15,000.
  • Arts and Cultural Heritage Grants for Individuals: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $2,500. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E.
  • ECRAC Individual Artist Grants: Individual artists may apply for arts-related funding up to $1,000. Eligible applicants must be permanent residents of Region 7E.

For the grant application materials, information on past grants, and the link to the online grant portal go to: www.ecrac.org/grants

— Laura Jane Musser Fund  Rural Initiative Grants – Deadline: November 2, 2017 DETAILS

–The purpose of the Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program is to provide funds that assist small rural hospitals a) develop strategic plans that preserve or enhance access to health services, or b) implement transition projects to modify the type and extent of services provided, based on an existing strategic plan. The application is due November 3. For more information contact Craig Baarson at 651-201-3840.

–DEED Accepting Proposals for Competitive Grants.  The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is accepting requests for proposals for competitive grant programs designed to increase economic opportunities for people of color, women, youth, people with disabilities and/or veterans.  Organizations may submit grant proposals for one or more of the following programs:

Capacity Building Competitive Grant Program
The program assists nonprofit organizations offering or seeking to offer workforce development and economic development programming deliver their mission and perform effectively by providing funding to improve organizational capacity.

Southeast Asian Economic Disparities Relief Competitive Grant Program
The program will address economic disparities in the Southeast Asian communities through workforce recruitment and development, job creation, increased capacity of smaller organizations and outreach.

Support Services Competitive Grant Program
The program will focus on low-income communities, young adults from low-income families and communities of color, offering job training, employment preparation, internships, job assistance to fathers, financial literacy, academic and behavioral intervention for low-performing students and youth intervention.

Requests for proposals (RFPs) are posted on the DEED website. Applicants must submit their proposals to DEED by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 8 via email toAdultCompetitiveGrants.DEED@state.mn.us.

–Annie’s Grants for Gardens offers grants to develop edible garden projects that help connect kids to nutritious food. Geographic coverage: Nationwide. Deadline: 11/11/2017. Click here to visit the website for funding details.

Whole Kids School Garden Grant Program Grants to support new or existing edible gardens at K-12 schools and nonprofit organizations. Application Deadline: Nov 15, 2017.

–The Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples is offering funding in the following program areas: Arts and Creativity, Health and Well-Being, Rights of Mother Earth, Sustainable Communities and Economies, Leadership Development, and Rights, Equity, and Justice. Grants from $250 to $10,000, with an average of $5,000, are provided to Native communities that address one or more of the Fund’s program areas. The remaining postmark deadline for 2017 is 12/1/2017. (Mini-grants of up to $500 are reviewed throughout the year.) Application guidelines and forms are available on the Fund’s website http://www.7genfund.org/apply-grant

Smart Rural Community Collaboration Challenge provides funding to support the development and implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to support rural commerce, healthcare, public safety, economic development, education, energy, or other community-oriented initiatives. Application Deadline: Dec 1, 2017.

— USDA’s Rural Housing Service is accepting pre-applications for the Multifamily Preservation and Revitalization program. Properties serving census tracts in persistent poverty counties or other areas with special housing needs will get extra points. Pre-applications requesting multiple MPR funding tools are due 12/1/2017. Funding guidelines are available in the Federal Register notice here.

— USDA and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture are offering grants to plan or implement food projects designed to meet the needs of low-income individuals and increase community self-reliance concerning food and nutrition. Deadline: 12/4/2017. Click here to review funding guidelines.

— The Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) has announced that it will be accepting applications for its Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program through December 6, 2017. Successful awardees will receive up to $200,000 a year for three years to improve healthcare access in rural communities by implementing evidence-based or promising practice models. Applicants may apply under the regular Outreach track for projects that focus on any health-related topic, or under the newly created track addressing cardiovascular disease called Health Improvement Special Project (HISP).

Farm to School Grant Program Grants to plan, establish, or sustain a Farm to School program that improves access to local foods in schools. Application Deadline: Dec 8, 2017.

Youth Garden Grant  Awards funding and gardening supplies to schools and community organizations with youth-centered garden programs.  Application Deadline: Dec 8, 2017.

Community Food Projects Technical Assistance One-on-one technical assistance, educational resources, and professional development opportunities for current grantees and potential applicants of the USDA Community Food Projects grant program.
Applications accepted on an ongoing basis.
USDA Value Added Producer Grants (VAPG) Program is taking applications.  The VAPG program helps agricultural producers enter into value-added activities related to the processing and/or marketing of new products. The grant covers 50 percent of the total project costs. Applications are due January 31, 2018.  Additional details are available at: https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/value-added-producer-grants


Emergency and Crisis Management for Festivals and Events  the University of Minnesota Tourism Center is offering an online course on emergency and crisis management for festivals and events.

–2017 Border to Border Broadband Conference.  Mark your calendar for the fall broadband conference October 25-26 at Madden’s on Gull Lake. The theme this year is Bridging the Gaps – Expanding the Impact. http://wp.me/p3if7-48o

–The Rural Health Information Hub (RHIhub) and the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis will present the Rural HIV/AIDS Prevention and Treatment Toolkit designed to help rural communities plan, implement, and sustain rural HIV/AIDS programs. Developed by NORC on behalf of the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP), the toolkit identifies model programs and resources that will benefit rural communities seeking to implement HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment programs. This webinar will feature examples of successful programs, including lessons learned. It will beThursday, November 2, 2017 at 12:00 pm Central Time.

–The Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association (MnSEIA) announced recently that it will hold the fourth-annual “MnSEIA – Midwest Gateway to Solar” Conference in Bloomington, Minn., on Nov. 14-15. This year’s conference will provide educational opportunities, networking, and exhibits. Read more to register and for more information.

–Save the date for the SciMathMN and Ignite Afterschool 2nd Biennial joint conference at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center on November 29-30.   Workshops will investigate, connect, and advance formal and informal STEM education and workforce development. Learn more.

–Mark your calendar now to attend the 2018 Explore Minnesota Tourism Conference, March 6-7, 2018, at the Verizon Wireless Center in downtown Mankato. If you are interested in being a sponsor or having a booth in the Marketplace, contact Lisa Havelka at 888-975-6766 or lisa.havelka@state.mn.us.  For additional conference questions, contact Lori Peterson at 651-757-1876 or lori.a.peterson@state.mn.us

–Save the Date!  Minnesota Campus Compact 2018 Summit and Awards Ceremony will be April 19, 2018 at Hamline University.


–Got a broadband tool to share?  Blandin Foundation is looking to collect tools, templates, instructions that would be useful to other communities as they try to get/use better broadband. If you have a tool to share please contact Ann Treacy atreacy@treacyinfo.com.

— The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is awarding up to ten $25,000 Culture of Health Prizes to honor collaborative, community-based efforts that are prioritizing health and empowering people in the community to live healthier lives. Awards will honor entire communities, not single organizations or initiatives. The prize is intended to shine a light on communities that have created powerful partnerships and deep commitments to make changes that will lead to longer, healthier lives for community members. Eligible communities must be either a town, city, county, federally-recognized tribe, Native Hawaiian organization serving and representing the interests of Native Hawaiians in Hawaii, or region (contiguous towns, cities or counties). Deadline: Applicants must submit a brief, introductory essay by 11/3/2017. Click here to learn more and to apply.

NACCHO’s Model Practices Award  The National Association of County and City Health Officials recognizes outstanding local health officials and practices in the United States.  Application Deadline: Dec 6, 2017.

— Learn more about: National Rural Health Day and rural health care in America. Over 60 million Americans live in rural and frontier communities. Rural communities are wonderful places to live and work, but these communities also have unique health care needs, which is why the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health sets aside the third Thursday of every November – November 16, 2017 – to celebrate National Rural Health Day!  Ways to Celebrate & Resources

Explore Minnesota Seeking Proposals to Host the 2019 Governor’s Fishing Opener To submit an application as a host community for the 2019 Governor’s Fishing Opener, please download the RFP and application here. Deadline for submissions is Friday, Nov. 17.  Please contact Nicole Lalum at 218-316-3330 or nicole.lalum@state.mn.us with questions.

Now Accepting Nominations for the Excellence in Tourism Awards The Excellence in Tourism Awards celebrate the people, events, marketing efforts, attractions and activities that make Minnesota a premier travel destination.

–November 22 is the nomination deadline for MN Excellence in Economic Development Awardshttp://wp.me/p3if7-4hD

— The First Nations Development Institute, through its Native Agriculture and Food Systems College Scholarship Program, is offering five $1,000 scholarships to encourage Native American college students to enter careers in agriculture and agriculture-related fields, with the ultimate goal of increasing food production, improving health and nutrition, and eliminating food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities. Applicants must: be a full-time undergraduate or graduate student majoring in agriculture or an agricultural-related field, be able to provide documentation of tribal affiliation, have at least a 2.75 GPA, and demonstrate a commitment to helping communities reclaim local food system control. Deadline: 11/28/2017. To learn more and to apply, click here.

Udall Scholarship offers scholarships to Native Americans and Alaska Native students pursuing careers related to tribal public policy, self-governance, native health, or the environment.  Application Deadline: Mar 8, 2018

2017-2018 Student Essay Contest  The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis announces the 30th Annual Student Essay Contest open to all high school students in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Essays due April 20, 2018.

–Grant Reviewers Needed ECRAC (East Central Regional Arts Council) is a Minnesota Regional Arts Council serves Region 7E the counties of Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine) will be using more grant review panels this year.  If you are interested in assisting in the grant review process please contact us to volunteer! The time commitment is usually less then 10 hours and the learning opportunity is priceless.  Contact us at www.ecrac.org or 320.396.2337.


County older adult population growing  Today, at least one in five residents is an older adult in 39 of Minnesota’s 87 counties. It will be 59 counties by 2020 and 80 counties by 2030, according to projections. Read now.

New data on Minnesota Compass   Minnesota Compass has new data on health care coverage, poverty, median income, cost-burdened housing, immigration trends, proportion of adults working, crime rates, population trends by race, children and youth population trends, 8th grade math, and 3rd grade reading. To see highlights and analysis of the new data, go to New Data.

On the road with Minnesota Compass  Minnesota Compass staff have been on the road across Minnesota to hear from communities about the information and tools they need to better understand the opportunities and challenges facing their regions. Read now.

— New Research from the Carsey School of Public Policy on “Employment, Poverty, and Public Assistance in the Rural United States” provides a glimpse of the economic and demographic characteristics of life in the rural United States. Using data from the American Community Survey, they compare those living in low- and lower-middle-income counties to those living in upper-middle- and high-income counties. Get the brief here.

–“Heartache, Pain, and Hope: Rural Communities, Older People and the Opioid Crisis” is a report from Grantmakers in Aging that focuses attention on the opioid epidemic’s damage to rural communities, particularly the lives of older people, and describing providing program, innovative partnerships, policy recommendations, and scientific and medical responses for governments, communities, nonprofits, and philanthropies. Get the report here.

Rural Hospice and Palliative Care This guide has been updated to include new information and frequently asked questions including challenges faced by the hospice and palliative care workforce and how rural providers compare on quality of care and patient satisfaction measures. Also links to resources and funding related to hospice and palliative care.

— HUD has published in the Federal Register its list of 2018 qualified census tracts (QCTs) and difficult development areas (DDAs), which are eligible for as much as a 30 percent boost in basis while receiving low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs). Get the list here.

— The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s agencies of Rural Development and the Agricultural Marketing Service recently released “Harvesting Opportunity: The Power of Regional Food System Investments to Transform Communities.” This publication explores insights into the potential for regional food systems to promote economic growth for both rural and urban communities through the creation or enhancement of jobs and businesses. It also highlights how appropriately targeted policies and support can harness regional food system investments to advance the economic and financial security of low- and moderate-income households and communities. Get the publication here.

Food Environment Atlas The Food Environment Atlas is a web-based mapping tool developed by ERS that allows users to compare U.S. counties in terms of their food environment indicators that help determine and reflect a community’s access to affordable, healthy food. Food environment factors such as store/restaurant proximity, food prices, food and nutrition assistance programs, and community characteristics interact to influence food choices and diet quality. The Atlas currently includes over 275 indicators of the food environment. The year and geographic level of the indicators vary to better accommodate data from a variety of sources. The most recent county-level, State, or regional data are used whenever possible.

Public Transportation’s Impact on Rural and Small Towns: A Vital Mobility Link
Presents a report on rural and small-town public transportation. Looks at specific groups of non-drivers that require some form of public transportation, as well as the different types of transit and the advantages they present to small, rural communities. Provides several case studies and discusses a number of myths about public transportation in rural areas.

Rural Transportation Toolkit This new toolkit, developed by the NORC Walsh Center for Rural Health Analysis, provides information, strategies, and resources to help rural communities implement transportation programs. Browse program models and examples and learn how to implement, evaluate, and sustain a program in your community.

Toolkit for Operating a Rural Transportation Voucher Program  Discusses elements needed for a transportation voucher program. Identifies key players, examines ways to develop partnerships, acquire funding, develop policies, and publicize programs. Includes appendices with statistics on sample programs in 10 states, policy guidelines, a sample workbook, and transportation resources.

Rural Manufacturing Survival and Its Role in the Rural Economy (Amber Wavesfeature article) Manufacturing provides more jobs and higher earnings in rural areas than many other sectors. Manufacturing is also relatively more important to the rural than urban economy. However, U.S. manufacturing employment has been declining since the 1950s. A better understanding of the factors affecting the survival of rural manufacturing plants may help develop strategies to retain these jobs.


— Executive Director, Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, University of Minnesota

Deadline: Open until filled DETAILS

EDITORS’ NOTE: As always — please send us items to post, comments, ideas, etc. You can send them to Jane Leonard at minntwin@comcast.net. And thanks for getting to the end of this month’s issue!