Conservation Minnesota

Legacy Funding is Having a Big Impact


Now entering its fifth year, the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment is starting to hit its stride. Passed overwhelmingly by the voters of Minnesota in 2008, the amendment constitutionally dedicates 3/8 of one percent of tax revenue to projects that preserve the state’s outdoors and arts legacy.

Since its inception, Conservation Minnesota, along with the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts, have been monitoring the Legacy Amendment and its distributions to identify the successes and challenges created by the new program. Neither of the organizations receives Legacy funds.

This year, one of the biggest success stories identified by the group was the positive impact that the Minnesota State Arts Board and its eleven regional arts councils are having as they assist with distribution of legacy funds to artists around the state.

The State Arts Board and the Regional Councils exemplify everything that is good about the Legacy Amendment. They are soliciting compelling grant requests from artists throughout the state, and helping ensure that Minnesota’s history of artistic expression remains vibrant.

Be it helping stage theatrical productions at regional theaters around the state, funding public art or helping provide concerts for the whole community to enjoy, there are all sorts of arts projects that are benefiting from the legacy amendment and the leadership of the state arts board and the regional arts councils.

As a part of the recent Arts Advocacy Day at the StateCapitol, the State Arts Board and the Regional Arts Councils were singled out for their exemplary work, and were given Legacy Partner Awards from Conservation Minnesota and the Minnesota Citizens For The Arts.

At the award presentation, it was announced that the organizations had worked with 788 people, and provided more than 34,000 volunteer hours of expertise in determining which projects would most benefit the state.

This is a perfect example of how residents are feeling the Legacy Amendment’s impact, and how truly good things are resulting from the decision by the voters to prioritize the things that are important to all Minnesotans.

More information on the Legacy Amendment is available at

About Paul Austin

Paul Austin

Paul Austin has 23 years of public service as an elected leader, advocate and political strategist, Paul Austin brings a rare combination of skills and experience to his position as Executive Director. At age 25, Paul was elected Mayor of Clinton, Connecticut – the youngest in state history. Paul has served as Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota since 2004.

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