Cultural STAR

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

2019 Awardees

If you are unable to complete your project as planned, the following changes have been approved:

  • Paperwork Deadline Extension: Payments will be issued upon receipt of the signed payment request form. Supporting documentation and reporting must be received 30 days after receipt of payment.
  • Contract Extensions: All approved projects can receive a one-year contract extension. If a further extension is needed, contact your assigned project manager.
    • Round One awards (Grant numbers 19-5XX) have a contract period of July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020. Upon request, the contract will be extended to June 30, 2021.
    • Round Two awards (Grant Numbers 19-6xx) have a contract period of January 1, 2020 - December 31, 2020. Upon request, the contract will be extended to December 31, 2021.
  • Virtual Events: Live streaming and other virtual formats of approved projects are an eligible use of your Cultural STAR award.
  • Canceled Events: Expenses incurred from canceled events, including but not limited to venue, artist or contract fees, are an eligible use of your Cultural STAR award.

Contact your assigned project manager or Nora Riemenschneider ( to request any of the above changes, or with any other questions. Other flexible arrangements may be possible.

Cultural STAR awards can not be transitioned to fund general operations.

2020 Applicants

Round One interviews will not be rescheduled from April 2020. Further details on program decisions will be shared directly with applicants when available. 

The Round Two application cycle is currently on hold as City staff evaluate the new and unanticipated needs of the arts and cultural community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 Two application cycle is currently on hold.

Learn More 2019 Awards


There are two sets of adopted Cultural STAR guidelines. Separate applications must be completed for each project.

  • Capital Grant Program: Grants for physical improvements and/or equipment/material purchases
  • Special Projects and/or Organizational Development Program: Grants for quality arts activities, in any discipline, within the geographic boundaries of the City of Saint Paul and/or for organization operations improvements

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.

Learn More