Minnesota History: Building A Legacy

ACHF Framework

MINNESOTA
STATE OF INNOVATION

25-Year Vision, Framework, Guiding Principles and Ten-Year Goals for the Minnesota Legacy Amendment Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund

Submitted by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Planning Committee January 15, 2010 

Background

Minnesota voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2008 creating a new 3/8-cent sales tax to support outdoor heritage, clean waters, sustainable drinking water, parks and trails, arts, history and cultural heritage projects and activities. Of the total proceeds from the sales tax, 19.75% are dedicated to the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) to support “...arts, arts education and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.” Based on current sales tax revenue, the people of Minnesota will invest more than $1.2 billion in ACHF programs and projects over the 25- year life of the tax.

The 2009 Minnesota Legislature passed the first Legacy Amendment appropriations bill. This law requires that:

...programs and organizations funded through the arts and cultural heritage fund shall conduct a collaborative project to develop...a ten-year plan and a 25-year framework for use of the funding that includes goals and measurable outcomes and includes a vision for Minnesotans of what arts, history, and cultural heritage will look like in 25 years. [They] shall report to the legislature by January 15, 2010, on the results of the collaborative project.

The Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Minnesota Humanities Center formed a planning committee comprised of 13 representatives of interested communities and organizations, as designated in law. With the help of WJS Consulting Group, the planning committee conducted six listening sessions around Minnesota and solicited comments through a dedicated website. From this input the planning committee developed the following vision, framework, guiding principles and ten-year goals.

25-Year Vision: The State of Innovation

The investment of Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds over the next 25 years will transform the state, providing every Minnesotan lifelong access to programs and activities that engage him or her as innovator, historian, entrepreneur and creator of Minnesota’s future. Every Minnesotan will have a voice and be able to see the expression of his or her personal heritage in Minnesota’s arts, history and cultural heritage works. In this way, the investment of these funds will bolster Minnesota’s reputation as a center for creativity, innovation and imagination, contributing to the long-term vitality of our state.

While no one can predict Minnesota’s future, significant social and demographic changes are transforming the cultural and economic fabric of our communities. These changes require that arts, history and cultural heritage organizations adapt to meet the demands of a more diverse, connected and mobile population. New Minnesota businesses will spring up to tackle the opportunities created by this change and require a workforce that is culturally literate, technologically savvy, historically aware and beyond all things, creative.

A sustained ecosystem of individuals and organizations engaged in arts, history and cultural heritage across the state will give Minnesota a distinct advantage over other states as a wonderful place to live, learn, run a business and raise a family. It will add creativity, imagination and historical context to activities in educational settings, libraries and community centers; provide new opportunities to contribute one’s voice; engage Minnesotans in lifelong creative work; preserve our history, creating new windows into Minnesota’s past, present and future; develop ways for Minnesotans to access information and insight; and lead to new Minnesota-grown businesses that thrive in a state that invests in the creativity of its entire people.

Fund investments will support arts, history and cultural heritage organizations that are already a vital economic engine for the state and new activities that will enhance that economic impact, elevating Minnesota’s resourcefulness and increasing its creative capital. ACHF will provide the state and its people a positive return on their investment. Minnesota will continue to build a reputation nationally and internationally as a center for arts, history and cultural heritage and as a destination for artists, historians and cultural tourists. The environment for arts, history and cultural heritage will be transformed from one of uncertainty to one of stability and vitality.

25-Year Framework: Guiding Principles for the Fund

ACHF programming must be rooted in principles that guarantee the greatest positive impact with as many Minnesotans as possible and lead to the kind of social, cultural and economic development outlined in this vision. These principles are intended to inform decisions made by the Legislature regarding disbursement of the overall fund.

We propose the following principles guide the ACHF investments over the next twenty-five years:

Active Engagement: ACHF investments will substantially broaden access to performances, exhibits, programs and resources; foster long-distance participation through broadcasting, the internet and other technologies; actively engage Minnesotans in their history in creative and imaginative work; and create opportunities for all Minnesotans to get directly involved as artists, historians and critical thinkers in their communities.

Collaboration and Connection: Arts, history and cultural heritage programs will connect to one another and create new partnerships among individuals, organizations and communities throughout the state, extending reach and impact while reducing duplication. Wherever possible, content and information will be shared broadly, increasing the programs’ impact and leading to new and innovative ideas, projects and products.

Preservation and Access: ACHF investments will inventory, preserve and provide access to Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage resources.

Healthy, Sustainable Organizations: ACHF investments will strengthen the arts, history and cultural heritage community and organizations by allowing for a reasonable level of operating expenses, funding organizational development and program evaluation and supporting a balance of new and long-term programming.

Diversity: Arts, history and cultural heritage programs will engage our diverse communities from every corner of the state in celebrating the richness of our differences while building greater understanding and connection to the values that bind us together.

Lifelong Learning: Arts, history and cultural heritage programs will reach Minnesotans of all ages, engaging them for a lifetime in various forms of artistic appreciation, expression, and connection to their history, heritage and community.

Not-For-Profit, Open to the Public, for Minnesotans: ACHF funding is intended for non-profit organizations for work that is open to the public and conducted for the benefit of Minnesotans. It is not intended to fund for-profit enterprises.

Statewide Impact and Universal Access: To the greatest extent possible, barriers to participation in arts, history and cultural heritage programs will be minimized. Programming will take place throughout the state and will acknowledge the physical, language, economic and geographic limitations of potential audiences.

Innovation and Technology: Innovation and use of technology will be encouraged for purposes of extending the reach, effectiveness, efficiency and impact of programs.

Transparency: The ACHF decision-making process and funding will be public and the results will be measured and communicated.

Supplementing Existing Funding Sources: Funding decisions [both at the appropriations level as well as at the grant-making level] will respect the constitutional requirement that ACHF funds not be a substitute for traditional sources of funding, including public operating and capital funds, both state and local.

Ten-Year Plan: Use of Funding

In order to create momentum toward the accomplishment of the 25-year vision and support the values listed above, we recommend the following activities be given the highest priority for ACHF investment over the next ten years:

  • The creation, performance and exhibition of artistic works
  • The preservation and presentation of Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage from its earliest peoples to present day
  • The dissemination of programming and information about Minnesota’s arts, history and cultural heritage through technology and media
  • The public interpretation of our history and cultural heritage  Arts, history and cultural heritage learning opportunities for all ages*
  • Collaborations among arts, history and cultural heritage organizations

*In its six listening sessions around the state, the committee heard many heartfelt comments about the need for the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as an antidote to deep cuts in funding of arts in the schools. On this topic the planning committee wants to be clear: the public schools and the arts, history and cultural heritage sector must find creative ways to collaborate to support lifelong learning, but ACHF funding will not be used to supplant K-12 curricula or help close the public education funding gap.

Ten-Year Plan: Goals and Measureable Outcomes

It is crucial that the ACHF have a defined set of measurable goals that can be evaluated periodically to ensure the program is on track and effective. We propose the following ten-year goals and outcomes be evaluated on a biennial basis and reported to the Legislature:

Goals

  1. Support: Minnesotans express broad public support for arts, history and cultural heritage programs.
  2. Engagement: The number and diversity of children and adults actively engaged in lifelong learning in arts, history and cultural heritage programs has grown significantly.
  3. Access: Participation in arts, history and cultural heritage programs by Minnesotans in currently underserved areas and/or groups has increased significantly.
  4. Transparency: Minnesotans believe that the ACHF funding process has been public and transparent and that the results are being measured and communicated.
  5. Sustainability: The financial vitality of the arts, history and cultural heritage sector has improved.
  6. Collaboration: There are more, stronger and effective collaborations in the arts, history and cultural heritage sector.
  7. Funding Continuity: The Legislature supports long-term plans that will have impacts beyond the biennium.
  8. Destination: Minnesota is seen more favorably than other states as a place to live, learn, run a business and raise a family.

Measureable Outcomes

More time and baseline data are needed to establish measurable outcomes in the goal areas and to develop strategies for achieving them and tracking overall progress of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. In the interim, all recipients of ACHF funds should be asked to demonstrate how they are addressing the ten-year goals cited above.

Conclusion

The investment of Arts and Cultural Heritage Funds over the next 25 years will transform the state, providing every Minnesotan lifelong access to programs and activities that engage him or her as innovator, historian, entrepreneur and creator of Minnesota’s future. Every Minnesotan will have a voice and be able to see the expression of his or her personal heritage in Minnesota’s arts, history and cultural heritage works. In this way, the investment of these funds will bolster Minnesota’s reputation as a center for creativity, innovation and imagination, contributing to the long-term vitality of our state.

Appendix A: Definitions

When we say arts, we are speaking very broadly of visual, performing, media, literary, and interdisciplinary art forms through which we learn about, explore, shape, and express the human experience.

When we say history, we are talking primarily about preserving the evidence and telling the stories of human habitation and culture in the geographic area now known as Minnesota, from the earliest peoples to the present day.

When we say cultural heritage, we mean the values and traditions that serve to identify us collectively as Minnesotans, and the distinctive values and traditions of the many groups and institutions that make up Minnesota.

By 25-year framework, we mean to provide a vision and guiding principles that embody the intent of the constitutional amendment, supporting legislation and the voices of the people which, when taken together, express the results we hope to achieve and provide a guide for stewardship and investment of the funds.

Appendix B: The ACHF Planning Committee and Listening Sessions

  • Peggy Adelmann
  • Jennifer Bloom
  • Michael Garcia
  • Allen Harmon
  • Andrea Kajer
  • Patricia Mulso
  • Jeff Freeland Nelson
  • David O’Fallon
  • Rebecca Lynn Petersen
  • Brenda Raney
  • Mark Ranum
  • Stanley Romanstein
  • Pam Perri Weaver
  • Minnesota Zoo
  • Learning, Law and Democracy Foundation
  • Duluth Children’s Museum
  • Duluth-Superior Area Educational Television
  • Minnesota Historical Society
  • Freeborn County Historical Society
  • Minnesota Public Radio
  • MacPhail Center for Music
  • Fergus Falls Center for the Arts
  • Science Museum of Minnesota
  • Plum Creek Library System
  • Minnesota Humanities Center
  • Minnesota State Arts Board

Public listening sessions were conducted in Saint Paul, Chisholm, Fergus Falls, Rochester, Minneapolis and Marshall.

Submitted by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund Planning Committee January 15, 2010

This site is updated regularly with descriptions and data related to Legacy projects funded through the Minnesota Historical Society by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF).
Further information about the use and impact of all Legacy Funds can be found on the Minnesota Legislative Coordinating Commission's Minnesota's Legacy site.