About The Author

David Grabitske

David Grabitske is the manager of outreach services at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Input is sought on Legacy Grants available through the Minnesota Historical Society. Facilitated meetings will gather valuable information to shape the grant program. Please provide constructive comments on specific proposals about what excites, concerns, or confuses you.

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15 Responses to Legacy Grants Comments Area

  1. Mary Warner says:

    Having attended the Anoka meeting, I now know the direction the program is headed, but am concerned that more people don’t seem to be weighing in. This is tax money, a HUGE amount of tax money, that will be dispersed through the Legacy Grants. The process MHS is now going through – the facilitated meetings and gathering input – is critical to shaping how this money is distributed. If you’ve got thoughts, now is the time to express them so that your ideas are incorporated into the program.

    Also, maybe I missed this, but is it possible to post the PowerPoint slides on the MHS legacy website? I see there is a brief outline of the Legacy Grant program, but I think the PowerPoint is more robust.


  2. Kathy Klehr says:

    I also attended the Anoka meeting, and there was quite a bit of feedback. Mary is right, with the large amount of cash, we need to share our ideas and thoughts now!

    Here’s my two-cents worth:
    1) I’m concerned about a percieved need to serve up a “wow” project to the legislature in order to secure funding after this biennium. What defines a “wow” project? For us little guys a “wow” project may be securing archival boxes and shelving.
    2) As mentioned in the Anoka meeting, I’d like clarification on what defines a partnership, and support increasing the Fast Track funding to at least $5,000, and would like to see it at $7,500.

    The availability of these funds is extremely exciting! I urge others to express their thoughts and ideas too!


  3. Darlene Kotelnicki says:

    I attended the Willmar meeting and I was impressed with the crowd of about 50 people. I felt they represented the public and private sectors well. I too would like to see the small grants raised to $5000 or $7500. Like I said at the meeting, no one hardly picks up a phone anymore for less that $5000.
    As for getting the word out. I look to those of us who attended the meetings to tell others. I have told anyone remotely connected to historical work about this. We are planning quite a group to attend the grant writing workshop. Partnerships are being talked about…grant plans of several sizes… I look forward to the nest phase and Litchfield/Meeker county will be ready!!! Please let us know dates and locations ASAP for the grant writing workshops. Darlene


  4. James Lundgren says:

    The Rochester meeting was also well attended. Participants representing a number of area cultural organizations as well as HPC’s, consultants and the general public. The general comments mirrored what I heard from the other locations.

    The size of the minimum level was brought up. I agree that it could and should be larger. I also brought up that while the legislature does not want these funds to go towards general operations, that many small organizations could leverage operational funding to make permanent improvements that dramatically increase their overall capacity. This could be done without creating a situation where organizations return year after year looking for the same funding. It can be tied to new and the respective wow factors.


  5. Chad Roberts says:

    I am curious whether any decision has been made or a consensus reached regarding the following items:
    1. Size of the tier I grants: $5,000 or $7,500 or ?? 2. Proportion of funds available at each tier – substantial funding for larger projects is critical.

    Also, is anyone else concerned that the lack of matching requirements or any real limits on the number of applications you can submit will result in MHS being simply buried in paper? I am worried that processing the volume of requests will result in delays. Does anyone know if there is a plan to address this? (perhaps applicants submitting more than one request per tier could be asked to rank their own applications by priority?)


  6. Mary DeRoos says:

    I serve as a volunteer Director for a small county museum that is operated totally by volunteers.
    As with many smaller museums throughout the state, we have very limited resources that we do much with in preserving our state’s history. And we are very grateful for the grant program with Minnesota Historical Society. Without them, we could not accomplish what we have done in building preservation.
    My concern with the planned disbursement of the Legacy Funds is that small museums like ours will not be able to access these funds on a level playing field with museums that have paid staff and larger financial resources from which to generate matching funds.
    I would like to suggest that consideration be made for different grant match levels dependent on annual income, etc. For example, a facility operating with under $20,000.00 annual budget might be required to match only 25% for a qualified project they are applying for.
    This suggestion might be applied to the different tier levels, as well.


    Chad Roberts reply on August 14th, 2009:


    I have heard many people talking about some kind of scaled matching requirement. I’m fairly certain most of the history community is on board with that and I’m sure the HRAC will keep that in mind as they work out long range plans. However, in the short term my understanding is that you won’t need to worry about providing matching funds for the first year or two of the program.

    From what we have bee told, the small (tier I) grants process should be simple for all institutions, regardless of size.


    Ben reply on August 19th, 2009:

    Chad, I have a couple of thoughts in response to your thoughts about matching requirements. It is my understanding that the legislature did not include a match in the legislative language, so one can not be required. Secondly, in conversations I have had with many local organizations, it is my opinion that most do not favor a match (which appears to be a moot point anyway). I think there are many ways to show investment and support for a project that do not hinge on the size of a cash match.


    Chad Roberts reply on August 25th, 2009:


    To clarify:
    1. Of course most organizations don’t want a match requirement – it is easier to work without them. The context of the question was: if a match was required, could smaller institutions with fewer available resources receive more favorable terms? – and everyone I know thinks that makes sense on some level. But I’m with you in hoping it is a moot point.

    2. I don’t know if the omission of a matching requirement by the legislature in some specific line of a bill means one cannot be required. Given other state laws regarding match requirements and other places in the enacting legislation itself, I would feel like I was making an assumption to say that no match would ever/could ever be required. MHS has specified that they may not/will not require a match for the funds currently allocated – that’s good enough for me. I won’t be assuming that this will continue beyond the current legislation however.


  7. Darlene Kotelnicki says:

    I am wondering about this issue of matching funds. Are the property and water departments requiring matching funds for buying up lakeshore and cleaning the water? I just think we need a level playing field with state tax dollars and I worry that a large grant, like $100,000 or more, that requires matching funds pretty much puts outstate non-profits out of the picture. Also, the competition for private grants and donations, already fierce, will be much worse with every group trying to get projects done!
    We have two big projects ready to go but with local employeers facing lay offs there is not a lot of cash for donations in this part of the state.
    A level playing feild for tax dollars will also help when going to the legislature in 2011. If we, in small town MN, have to wait on a project to fundraise our elected officials will know it. I have not checked any property or water plans. I do know the arts are also considering some form of matching funds. The larger grants, many of which are the structural projects, are the hardest to get done and need the most assistance. Hope to find out soon when the training sessions are!
    Thanks for all the work so far. Darlene


  8. Ann Merriman says:

    Hello. Firstly, I would suggest that the HRAC consider allowing Legacy Amendment funds to be used to digitize historical documents pertaining to Minnesota’s history and archaeological heritage that are held outside the state; at, for example, the National Archives in Washington, Chicago, and Kansas City, or the Naval Academy in Annapolis.

    Secondly, I would also suggest that the HRAC consider allowing one-time purchases of equipment that would be used for multiple projects in the coming years and could also be loaned out to other non-profits in a cooperative manner. An example would be a portable digitization system and appropriate laptop that would be used for an untold number of digitization projects (MHM has 6 digitization projects right now that we could move on with the proper equipment and funding) – very loanable when not being used by the owner. Other pieces of equipment that would be used for years on multiple projects would be, for Maritime Heritage Minnesota at least, a side-imaging sonar unit with a transponder, a very sensitive hand-held GPS, high quality underwater camera, a rugged outdoor laptop, external computer hard drives for data storage, etc.

    Thanks for your time.


  9. Mary Warner says:

    This comment is aimed at the people who will be working on the long-range plans/goals for Legacy Amendment funds (the 10 and 25-year plans). When it comes to the history community, there is a national study that can be used as a benchmark for measuring our progress. It is the Heritage Health Index, a project of Heritage Preservation with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

    As the language of the Legacy Amendment appropriation requires objective measurement for use of the funds, history-related projects that are funded through the competitive grants process can be compared to the Heritage Health Index to see the amount of progress made.

    Here’s the link for the Heritage Health Index: http://www.heritagepreservation.org/hhi/


  10. How do you feel about doing “webinars” or “Go to Meeting”? Living in Greater Minnesota means that we do not have the luxury of attending some of the MNHS functions or training. Using Legacy funding to set up a program like this would benefit those who lived in the northern areas of the state and could be more efficient for MNHS.


  11. Mary Warner says:

    I’ve just started the online survey for the long-range planning for the Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund & there is a problem. All of the questions require so much thought that they are difficult to answer in an online survey. Is there some way these survey questions can be posted so that we can read them before we answer them online?


  12. Mary Warner says:

    The Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund survey no longer appears online. Don’t know if this is a glitch or if it’s been pulled because time’s up for giving input.

    I’ve posted the survey questions and my answers to them on my personal blog, in case the committee is still taking feedback.



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