Irish Arts Minnesota offers merit-based educational grants to help students of any age pursue their interest in the traditional arts of Ireland. Our goal is to help people who love Irish music, dance, visual arts, language, or storytelling to continue their studies, move to the next level of mastery, and share their interests with others. Recipients of IAM Educational Grants can continue their studies long into the future and, in so doing, enrich the cultural life of our community. Providing these educational grants is a core purpose of our organization because it invests in future generations of Irish artists.
Since its start in 2006, the program has granted musicians, dancers, dance teachers, students of the Irish (Gaelic) language, and a costume designer. Recipients have used their grants for travel expenses, to help purchase an instrument, and for supplies and classes. The options are as broad as the ideas of the applicants. Grant recipients come back and perform at future IAM events throughout the year to share their crafts with our community.
IAM funds the Educational Grant Program with proceeds from its annual St. Patrick’s Day Irish Celebration and Day of Irish Dance at Landmark Center, ‘IAM Honors’ events, IAM’s Irish Dancer T-shirts, private donations, and other events during the year.
The ideal candidate will have demonstrated a commitment over time to developing mastery in their field of study, a willingness to help or teach others, and a generosity in sharing their skills in performance in a range of settings (if applicable).
Applicants should complete an application and submit it along with a letter of recommendation by April. Applications will be reviewed and selections made by June 1st. Funds will be available by July.
Grant recipients must commit to spending their grant by the end of the calendar year and to providing documentation of their expenses to the Irish Arts Minnesota by January 31st, the following year.
Donate to the Educational Grant Program
100% of your gift to the Educational Grant Program is used to help aspiring musicians, dancers and other students of Ireland’s traditional arts. Your donation is also 100% tax-deductible.
Written proposals for the 2024 grant program will be accepted via email through 11:59 pm on November 15, 2023. Proposals and questions should be sent to Grants@irishartsmn.org.
In March of 2018, the IAM added a new cross-cultural component to its programming for its Landmark Center activities on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. The IAM believes that exposure to the music, dance, and customs of ethnic groups other than one’s own can help bridge gaps, foster understanding, and promote mutual respect. The IAM Cross-Cultural Grant aims to provide funding for unique, collaborative projects that showcase the rich traditions of communities the world over.
The maximum award amount is $1500. Groups must complete the income/expense worksheet for their application to be considered complete.
Each proposal should identify one or two principal contact persons and include the name, mailing address, email address, and phone number of each such person. Proposals (and questions, if any, about proposal requirements) should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each proposal must involve (a) at least one local person or group that performs primarily Irish music, dance, or other performance-based piece and (b) at least one local person or group that performs primarily in a cultural style other than Irish/Celtic, including music, dance or other performance-based arts, especially that of an American ethnic minority or ethnicity from a South American, African, Arabic or Asian country or culture.
Each proposal must describe or explain what each participant (or participant group) will do as part of the joint performance piece.
The proposed performance piece must be between 15 and 30 minutes long.
The IAM will review all proposals and select the winning proposal. The IAM reserves the right to contact any proposer to seek additional information. The IAM also reserves the right not to select a winning proposal if the IAM determines that no proposal will adequately achieve its cross-cultural objectives.
Grant recipients must perform their piece at the IAM’s Day of Irish dance and/or St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations at Landmark Center. The IAM will work to provide additional opportunities for performances at other events throughout the year as we are able.
(Non-Irish individuals/groups that are seeking potential “co-proposal partners” from the local Irish-American community are encouraged to consult the directory that can be found in our resource section, especially the “Irish Dance Performance Groups,” “Irish Dance Schools” and “Irish Musicians” sections thereof.)
Decade of Dance Award
The Decade of Dance Award recognizes the significant commitment required to be a student, performer, or competitor of Irish Dance. The dancers who receive this award have studied Irish dance for at least ten years – for most, it represents the majority of their young lives – and receive a personalized certificate and medal to honor their dedication and contribution.
2023 marked the 18th year the Decade of Dance Award has been offered, and more than 260 dancers have received the honor. They have shared a very special element of Irish culture with audiences in various settings, from community festivals and concert halls to nursing homes and schools. Along the way, they delight audiences, make friends, and serve as delightful and engaging ambassadors for Irish culture to the greater community.
The awards are presented at the Day of Irish Dance at the Landmark Center each March.
Please send any questions to DecadeofDance@IrishArtsMN.org.
Each fall, Irish Arts Minnesota honors someone in the Twin Cities who has made significant commitment to studying and performing Irish arts throughout their lifetime, and whose contributions have impacted the larger community.