Cultural STAR provides grants and loans to Saint Paul cultural projects and organizations. Most projects are located in the Saint Paul Cultural District (bordered by I-94 to the north, Lafayette Bridge to the east, Mississippi River to the south, and Chestnut Road to the west).  Cultural STAR grows Saint Paul's economy by strengthening the arts and cultural sector and supporting Downtown as a vital cultural center.

The four major goals of Cultural STAR are:

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

Cultural STAR is funded by Saint Paul's half-cent sales tax.

2020 Applications and Guidelines

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Cultural STAR program will only provide general operations grants to Saint Paul-based arts or cultural organizations. This is intended to be a one-time emergency relief program and does not reflect a permanent change to Cultural STAR.

2020 Round One has been canceled, and filed applications will not be considered for capital or special project funding. 2020 Round One applicants will need to fill out a 2020 General Operating application to be considered.

2020 Cultural STAR General Operating applications are closed.

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2019 Awardees and Guidelines

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.

2019 Cultural STAR awards can not be transitioned to fund general operations.

2019 Awards


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.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis until all seats are filled.

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Last Edited: January 20, 2021