Cultural STAR

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.


The Cultural STAR program has two application periods per year. All applications must be completed by 4:00 p.m. on the deadline date. Incomplete or inaccurate materials may result in your application being ineligible. Application assistance is available at information sessions held during the open application period or by contacting Cultural STAR staff.

The 2020 Round One application period is open through Friday, February 28, 2020 at 4 p.m. Information sessions begin Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

Learn More Apply Now 2019 Awards


There are two 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.

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.

Capital Project Guidelines Special Projects and Organizational Development Guidelines


The Cultural STAR Board reviews all applications and makes funding recommendations to the Mayor and City Council. Board members are also asked to help promote the program to arts and cultural organizations, neighborhood and business groups, and others that may be interested.

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