Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota

General Information

The Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota is a competitive grant program, funded by the State’s Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. It is a significant opportunity. It will support statewide historic and cultural grants to cultural community organizations, historical organizations, and veterans organizations. These grants are specifically for activities to commemorate 50 years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota, a momentous occasion in our state's history. 

Purpose:A statewide historic and cultural grants program to cultural community organizations, historical organizations, and veterans organizations for activities to commemorate 50 years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota.
Availability of Funding:One grant round (pre-application and final application) will be offered.
Grant Range:Minimum $10,001 and maximum is $100,000. 
Match Requirement:  A funding match is not required. Match, however, is always encouraged.
Eligible Applicants: 

An eligible organizational applicant must be both of the following:

a. An organization, entity, or group that is:

  • A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization; or
  • A unit of state, local, or tribal government; or
  • A cultural community organization, historical organization, or veterans organization without 501(c)(3) status must apply with a fiscal sponsor. The fiscal sponsor must be the applicant. The fiscal sponsor can request access for the sponsored organization to access their account. A fiscal sponsor agreement (or equivalent) must be submitted. 

b. Physically located in Minnesota. The Grants Office reserves the right to request documentation demonstrating physical presence in Minnesota.

Eligible Projects Categories

Projects must be for activities related to the commemoration of 50 years of Southeast Asian history in Minnesota. If your planned activities do not fit a category or you are unsure which category applies, contact the Grants Office at A Minnesota-based organization or institution must hold the final product(s) and make them available to the public. Remember that these are guidelines, not a catalog of all possible projects. 

The project types below can be combined. For example, Research and Writing projects can be combined with Public Education or Publications. 

  • Oral History: Interview elders or language preservation.
  • Oral History Transcription: Transcribe oral history projects undertaken in the past.
  • Research and writing: research materials to lay the groundwork for solid history, draft text for exhibits, books, websites, or film scripts.
  • Interpretive Programs: create an exhibit interpretive plan, produce a film/documentary or podcast, website development, or historical markers. 
  • Public Education: plan and host a program, workshop, or event. 
  • Publications: publish a book or articles.
  • Collection Care and Management: establish an archive or collections inventory and cataloging. 
  • Museum Environment and Conservation: conservation treatment or collections survey. 
  • Digital Conservation and Reproduction: conversion of video, film, negatives, audio, photos, and paper-based formats into archival and access-based digital formats.
  • National Register Nomination and Local Designation: National Register nomination form for an individual property or landscape.
  • Historic Preservation survey, identification, and evaluation: develop a context study through analysis of the community's history, Reconnaissance Survey (Phase I), or Intensive Survey (Phase II)

You are invited to attend a virtual information meeting!

MNHS Grants Office will host two one-hour webinar meetings via Zoom on August 8, 2024 from 1-2pm and August 13, 2024 from 6-7pm to assist applicants in preparing an application. All prospective applicants are encouraged to attend one of these informational meetings, but attendance is not required. No RSVP required. 

Thursday, August 8, 2024 at 1:00 pm meeting: 

Tuesday, August 13 at 6:00 pm meeting:


There is one application grant cycle with two deadlines: pre-application and final application. Pre-applications are required.  A pre-application is a draft application using the Commemorate 50 years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota form. It is critical that you complete the application as thoroughly as possible. The more specific you are in the pre-application, the better the advice from subject experts will be and the better able you will be to prepare a solid final application. 

Final applications will not be accepted from applicants who did not participate in the pre-application phase.

Grant cycle dates are: 
Pre-applications (required):  Friday, Aug 23, 2024
Final Applications: Friday, Oct 4, 2024
Historic Resources Advisory Committee meeting: November 2024 (The specific time will be shared with all applicants who submitted an eligible final application so that they may listen to the committee’s conversation.)
Anticipated project start date: January 1, 2025

Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm on the date indicated to be eligible for consideration. Applications are accessible through the Minnesota Historical Society’s on-line grants portal.

Application Materials

Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota - Grant Request for Proposal (GRFP)

This GRFP establishes the requirements for the Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota (SEA50) program, which is administered through the Grants Office located in the Heritage Preservation Department at the Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) and funded by the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution.

On-Line Application

The portal provides access to everything you'll need in administering a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society, from the pre-application stage through reporting on the completion of a project. Here you will be able to track where an application is in the review process as well as have access to information about previous grants you have received. The portal allows you to save your work on an application and come back to finish it later.

Go to the Grants Portal and click on "Create an account now" Complete and submit the form. Within two business days, the Grants Office reviews your request for an account you will receive an email either approving or rejecting your request, or requesting clarification of or additional information. If approved, you will receive a username (your email) and a randomly-created password to access the grants portal. Save the login information in a safe place. Once registered, you will be able to log in and complete the application.

Please allow sufficient time to activate an account and to draft an application for submittal. We recommend requesting an account no later than two weeks prior to the pre-application deadline.

Previous grantees, who have an active account, can log in to access the application.


The Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota program is a competitive process involving application review by Grants Office staff, the Historic Resource Advisory Committee (HRAC), and the Minnesota Historical Society’s Executive Council. Evaluation of grant applications is based on whether the proposal:

  • Fills a demonstrated need 
  • Creates a publicly accessible product of enduring value
  • Describes the project’s public benefit and access
  • Is sustainable 
  • Demonstrates diversity and inclusion

For more details and definitions, see the GRFP.


  • Pre-applications are submitted through the on-line grant portal. Eligible pre-applications are reviewed by Grants Office staff and other Minnesota Historical Society subject area experts. Constructive feedback will be provided to the applicant in order to strengthen the final application. 
  • Final applications are reviewed by Grants Office staff and other Minnesota Historical Society subject area experts.  Final Applications, along with reviewer comments, are then sent to the Historic Resource Advisory Committee (HRAC) for consideration at a public meeting. Applicant will receive advance notice of the meeting.
  • Based on their evaluation and the review criteria, the HRAC recommends approval or denial of each application and forwards their recommendations to Minnesota Historical Society Executive Council for final action. You will be notified of their decision in writing. In some cases, special conditions may be required on approved projects; the conditions will be outlined in your grant contract. Once awarded, grants are subject to increased fiscal oversight and ongoing monitoring by Grants Office staff.
  • Notifications letters are sent out approximately 12 weeks after final application deadline.

Grant Program FAQ

How do I submit an application?
Applications are accessed and managed though an online grants portal at  In order to submit a grant application, you must have an active account. The Grants Office only accepts grant proposals submitted through the grant portal.  

If you do not already have an account, you will need to request one by providing basic information about the organization when you complete for an account form. If your organization already has an account, disregard this step in the process. The request for an account form is not an application.  The Grant Office can take up to 2 business days to set up an organization’s account.  After you are emailed your log in information, you can start filling out the Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota Grants Program application.

If the organization has an account, you can start completing the Commemorate 50 Years of Southeast Asians in Minnesota Grants Program application.

Are there any other documents that need to be included with the application?
The State of Minnesota Grants Policy (# 08-06) requires a review of the financial stability of nongovernmental organizations applying for grants of more than $25,000. Applicants must submit the most recent IRS Form 990 or EZ, certified financial audit, or board-reviewed financial statement as part of the application.

After your preapplication review, Reviewers may encourage you to upload an attachment with the final application. Material sent by any other means cannot be accepted or considered.

How is the Pre-Application different from the Final Application?
The pre-application and final application uses the same form. The pre-application is a required draft application.  Once you submit the pre-application, Grants Office staff will email comments to the project director named in the application. After the project director receives the pre-application review comments, you will be able to edit and revise the application which will become the final application. Once the Final Application is submitted, you will not be able to amend your application.

How do I improve my organization’s chances of success?

  • Read the grant request for proposal before filling out the application. 
  • Contact the Grants Office ( well in advance of the deadlines to ask questions. 
  • Plan ahead.  Last minute haste prior to deadlines often causes avoidable errors.
  • Complete the pre-application as thoroughly as possible. The more specific you are in the pre-application, the better the advice from subject experts will be and the better able you will be to prepare a solid final application.  
  • Write clearly and concisely.  Your application must convey your proposal quickly and easily to reviewers. Avoid wordiness and extraneous information.
  • Answer all questions thoroughly. 
  • Write your proposal as if reviewers are not familiar with your organization and/or proposal.
  • Be realistic.  Does the organization have the capacity to take on the proposed project? Can it be accomplished with in 12 to 18 months? Did you accurately reflect the organization, its staff/volunteers, and its budget? 
  • Have a person less familiar with the project proofread the application to check for spelling, grammar, comprehension, and inaccuracies.

Contact Information

Please send questions to or contact Gillian Maguire at, 651-259-3460 or Carolyn Veeser-Egbide at, 651-259-3469.