In 1975, the Montana Legislature set aside a percentage of the Coal Tax to restore murals in the Capitol and support other cultural and aesthetic projects. This unique funding source is a Cultural Trust, with grant money allocated every two years. Grant funds are derived from the interest earned on the Cultural Trust.
In 1983, the Legislature established a Cultural and Aesthetic Projects Advisory Committee with 16 members, half appointed by the Montana Arts Council and half by the Montana Historical Society. The committee reviews all grant proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Legislature, which determines who will receive grant funds. The Montana Arts Council administers the program for the Legislature.
Applications must be for cultural and aesthetic projects including, but not limited to:
- Visual Arts
- Performing Arts
- Literary Arts
- Media Arts
- Historic Preservation and Construction
- Renovation of Cultural Facilities
Applications are encouraged for applicants serving rural communities, racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, institutionalized populations, youth and the aging.
Sample Guidelines from 2016
Grant Application and Reporting
Call for Nominations to Cultural Trust Grant Committee
Volume 7 of the Governor's Budget