Valley Arts Initiative

Last spring, the St. Croix Valley Foundation awarded $28,475 to nine nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  Funded projects range from the Carnival of Animals family-friendly concert to a therapeutic artist-in-residence program serving youth in mental health treatment – from a summertime film and music festival to a writing program at Washington County Jail.

The St. Croix Valley Foundation’s Valley Arts Initiative is built on a combination of public funds and private contributions.  In 2018, SCVF received a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, and we matched that with contributions from individuals in the region interested in the arts.  In addition, this year the SCVF received funding from the Hugh J. Andersen Foundation to support this worthwhile program.
A list of grant recipients follows:

Valley Arts Initiative Grants Awarded 2018 


Project Title

Grant Award


Square Lake Film & Music

2018 Square Lake Film & Music Festival



Canvas Health Inc

Jammin’ Arts



Compas Inc

Women’s Writing Program



Metropolitan Symphony Orchestral Association

MSO Presents ‘Royal Invitation (Homage to the Queen of Tonga)’



Music Saint Croix

Carnival of the Animals



Northwest Passage Limited

Schaefer Cabin Artist in Residence Program



Phipps Center For The Arts Inc

What We Need is Here Artist Seminars and Related Projects


St. Croix

St. Croix Festival Theatre

Touring Holiday Production of “Miracle on 34th Street”




StoryArk Youth Festival: What’s Your Story? How Are You Going to Tell It?






The Valley Arts Initiative is a grant program designed to increase public understanding of and access to artistic activities of local organizations. Each year the SCVF receives a Wisconsin Arts Board award and matches this award with funds from foundations or individual donors. In recognition of the rich variety of St. Croix Valley arts activity, proposals are accepted in the following categories:

1) Arts with a Public Impact Grants

Bring a wider audience to understanding, experiencing or appreciating an artistic or cultural experience. We seek to support arts activities that reach beyond the presenting organization and artists, bringing the benefits of high-quality arts experiences to a continually larger portion of the St. Croix Valley.

2) Arts in Healthcare and Social Service Grants

Recognize the power of the arts for serving patients and clients of health care and social service organizations.


Grant funds must be used for artistic activity that occurs within or benefits the St. Croix Valley, to organizations located in Washington and Chisago counties in Minnesota and Pierce, Polk, Burnett, and St. Croix counties in Wisconsin. The applicant must be a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Applicants may also designate a 501(c)(3) organization as a fiscal sponsor. Applicants must also have no outstanding final reports due to the SCVF for previous arts grants. In addition, the Wisconsin Arts Board has three requirements, which apply to applications in the “Arts for a Public Audience” (I) and “Arts in Healthcare and Social Service” (II) categories: 1) Cash Match. Applicants must match the amount requested with cash or in-kind contributions. Of this match, 50% must be cash. For example, if an applicant requests $1,000, applicants must show a $1,000 match of which $500 is cash coming from ticket sales, other grants or individual contributions. 2) Public Service Activity. A funded project must perform a public service activity such as a concert, exhibition, etc. The activity must be: a) announced to the entire community; and b) held in a setting accessible to persons with disabilities. An admission fee can be charged. 3) Applicants may not use funds from the arts board as part of their matching contribution.

Grant Range

Grants range from $250 up to $5,000. Proposals may be awarded partial funding.

Eligible Expenses

Grant funds must be expended within one year from the date of the award. Grants cannot be used for uniforms or for expenses already incurred by the applicant.