Cultural STAR

2019 Round 1 deadline  Friday, February 22, 2019 at 4 p.m.
2019 Round 2 deadline : Friday, August 23, 2019 at 4 p.m.

Please check back on January 11th for the new guideline changes and link to the application for Round 1.

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The Saint Paul City Council has designated ten percent of the total tax revenue from the STAR program to grants and loans for cultural projects. The Cultural STAR Program was created to promote economic growth in Saint Paul by strengthening the arts and cultural sector and by supporting Downtown as a vital cultural center.

At least eighty percent of Cultural STAR funds are invested in projects located within a targeted area known as the Cultural District (defined as the geographic area bordered by Interstate 94 to the North, the Lafayette Bridge to the East, the Mississippi river to the South, and Chestnut Road to the West). The remaining funds are allocated to projects located within the legal limits of the city of Saint Paul. 

There are four major goals of the Cultural STAR Program:

  • Build and diversify audiences;
  • Promote a broad range of cultural offerings;
  • Produce a long-term impact; and
  • Leverage additional financial support.

Cultural STAR Awards

There are three types of Cultural STAR awards that applicants can apply for. If you are interested in applying for funding for multiple projects, a separate application must be completed for each of them. 

Capital Grant Program: This program offers grants for physical improvements to facilities or to purchase equipment and /or materials for a cultural project.

2018 Capital Project Guidelines

Special Projects and/or Organizational Development Program: Special Project grants are made to groups wishing to offer quality arts activities, in any discipline, within the geographic boundaries of the City of Saint Paul. Organizational Development grants are to strengthen the operations of cultural organizations.

2018 Special Projects and/or Organizational Development Guidelines

Loan Program: This program offers low-interest loans for capital or organizational development projects. Cultural STAR awards are not being dispersed through loans during either round of 2018 funding.


 Applications must be submitted through   ZoomGrants™ by 4 p.m. on the deadline date. Applications not received by this time will not be accepted.

Applications are reviewed by the Cultural STAR Board and are chosen based on how strongly the proposed project will:

  • Attract audiences to Saint Paul;
  • Develop and improve local cultural facilities; and
  • Build capacity of artists and cultural organizations in Saint Paul.

To learn more about tips and tools for creating, submitting, and managing your applications please follow this How-To Guide for applicants on ZoomGrants:

Technical ZoomGrants questions may be sent to The Technical Support desk can be reached at (866)323-5404 x2 and is staffed from 9am - 6pm CST.


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2018 Application Schedule

Round 1 - the deadline for Round 2 has passed. You can view grant winners for Round 1 here.

Round 2

  • July 16: Applications go live via  ZoomGrants™
  • August 24:
  •   Application deadline
  • October 10 & 11: Applicant Interviews: 2018 Interview Schedule Updated 9-24-18.pdf
  • November: Recommendations forwarded to the Mayor and City Council