The McKnight Foundation

August 29, 2017

The McKnight Foundation Arts Grantmaking

  • Focus on Minnesota-based organizations Give around $80 million annually
  • Around $8 million was designated for arts & culture in 2016. Median gift was $70,000 and most common denomination was $30,000.

Program Goal

To support working artists to create and contribute to vibrant communities. Minnesota thrives when its artists thrive.

Program Strategies

We fund organizations, programs, and projects that fuel exceptional and diverse artistic practice. Grantees advancing this strategy provide support structures for working artists to develop and share their work. We fund and leverage local and national collaborations, knowledge, and policies that maximize the value of artists' work in their communities. Grantees advancing this strategy provide support structures based on data and networks that bolster artists’ value inside and outside the arts sector.

Funding Opportunities

Learn more about McKnight’s priorities and grantmaking process here.


The McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation, seeks to improve the quality of life for present and future generations. We use all our resources to attend, unite, and empower those we serve.

The McKnight Foundation is unusual in being one of the country's largest foundations while remaining anchored in one state and still under the direction of the family board.

Program interests include regional economic and community development, Minnesota’s arts and artists, education equity, youth engagement, Midwest climate and energy, Mississippi River water quality, neuroscience research, international crop research, and rural livelihoods. Our primary geographic focus is the state of Minnesota, with significant support also directed to strategies throughout the U.S. and in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.

Founded in 1953 and independently endowed by William and Maude McKnight, the foundation had assets of approximately $2.2 billion and granted about $87 million in 2016.

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