Legacy Amendment

MELSA and the Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment

In November 2008, Minnesota voters approved a constitutional amendment to dedicate funds for Minnesota's Outdoor Heritage, Clean Water, Parks and Trails, and Arts and Cultural Heritage. Under the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund (ACHF) Minnesota's 300+ public libraries receive funding distributed through existing formulas to the 12 Minnesota Regional Library Systems to provide programs and services in four areas: arts (visual, performing and media), culture, literary and Minnesota history. The law states that these funds are intended "for regional programs and working with arts and cultural partners."

MELSA received:

  • $1,362,900 for FY1, July 2009–June 2010
  • $1,383,133 for FY2, July 2010–June 2011
  • $955,295 for FY3, July 2011–June 2012
  • $996,000 for FY4, July 2012–June 2013
  • $1,134,740.32 for FY5, July 2013–June 2014
  • $1,134,740.32 for FY6, July 2014–June 2015

The current MELSA allocation is divided into four areas:

  • 10% to statewide projects in cooperation with other regional library systems
  • 60% for local programs provided by the 8 MELSA library systems
  • 27.5% for regional programming
  • 2.5 % for administration

MELSA's Legacy Committee created a white paper outlining goals for the metropolitan region's libraries. The group recommends the following goals for the ACHF program:

  • Highlight the unique role/position of public libraries in the cultural life and heritage of our communities, region and state.
  • Develop sustainable partnerships between public libraries and other arts, cultural and educational organizations throughout the state.
  • Utilize the local talent within arts and cultural organizations throughout the state.
  • Develop innovative and exciting programs that our patrons want and use.
  • Create cultural opportunities to serve the diverse demographics of our residents
  • Be good stewards of a limited financial resource.