Minnesota Citizens for the Arts (MCA) is a statewide arts advocacy organization that organizes the arts community to lobby the Minnesota State Legislature and Congress. Our mission is to ensure opportunity for all people to have access to and involvement in the arts.

MCA’s successes include increasing the state’s appropriation for the arts from no financial commitment to a high point of over $40.7 million annually, preventing substantial decreases in arts funding, securing and protecting the tax exemptions that benefit philanthropic and nonprofit arts organizations in Minnesota, and working on behalf of nonprofit arts organizations with Minnesota’s Congressional delegation.

Our biggest success to date came with passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008, which put dedicated funding for the arts into Minnesota’s Constitution for the next 25 years.

MCA also has gained the support of most of Minnesota’s federal Congressional delegation for the arts and culture on the federal level.

MCA has worked in recent years with other nonprofit partners to fight off attempts to tax nonprofits and to pass the Minnesota Charitable Giving Relief Act, which allows non-itemizers to get a tax deduction of 50% of their contributions of over $500 per year to charities.

MCA received the Sally Irvine Ordway Award for Commitment in 2002 and was rated as a Top Nonprofit by Guidestar and Philanthropedia in 2012.

Read More About The History of the MCA

Our Goals:

    • To ensure access to the arts for all Minnesotans by working to protect, and if possible increase, state appropriations to the arts in Minnesota
    • Recognizing and encouraging the public’s engagement with and support of nonprofits by working to promote and maintain tax policies beneficial to charitable giving, arts philanthropy and nonprofit arts organizations
    • To support the inclusion of arts as a basic requirement in Minnesota school
    • To support federal funding of the arts and enlightened national tax policies for charities
  • To support a state role in providing resources to create cultural infrastructure in Minnesota

How Do You Fit In?

MCA is a grassroots advocacy organization. This means that we organize members of the arts community, including the arts supporting public, to demonstrate to our legislators the importance of the arts in Minnesota and to affect the outcome of legislative decisions by making sure that our elected officials hear the voices of the arts community. Our coalition includes artists, audiences, arts educators, and arts organizations, big and small, and the general public in metro and rural areas who believe, as we do, that the arts contribute in positive ways to communities statewide.

Although the state legislature meets every year, the budget is usually created every odd-numbered year. In addition, the political climate constantly changes as new parties take control of the legislature, the Governor’s office and Congress, and new legislators are elected to serve the public.

The most important piece of this puzzle is YOU.

Your input is important to your legislators, whether it be letters, meetings, phone calls, or even a simple postcard. We succeed because thousands of arts advocates in the state of Minnesota, organized by MCA, make their voices heard year after year. We are here to help you be effective!