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Program Support

Grants to North Carolina Arts Nonprofits and
IHEs to Support Community Arts Programs

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North Carolina Arts Council

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Grants ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 to North Carolina nonprofit arts organizations and IHEs for community arts activities focused on interpretation, education, or outreach. Grant activities must provide high-quality programs involving professional artists. Community arts organizations such as community theaters, symphonies, and choral groups may apply, as well as university-based programs that focus on audiences outside the university community.

Organizations may apply for support for an exemplary arts program such as:

- A single exhibition, performance, or 2 to 3 related events, such as a reading series.
- An annually or regularly recurring event, such as a festival.
- An artist residency or commission.
- A literary publication.
- A program that features North Carolina's traditional arts and artists.

Grant funds may be used for artist fees, marketing, interpretive materials, contractual fees (including contractual personnel) and other related costs. With the exception of colleges and universities, organizations may use up to 25 percent of the grant amount for administrative expenses including salaries that are directly related to the project.

Evaluation Criteria:

- Artistic quality of the program;
- Benefit of the program for the audience, participants, and broader community and relevance to applicant’s audience development goals;
- Inclusiveness of racially, culturally, and economically diverse participants as appropriate to the program;
- Strength of management, and organizational capacity to implement program.

The Arts Council recognizes that more than one-fourth of the state’s population is African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American people. The Arts Council strives to provide a representative portion of grant funds for arts programming that reflects the racial and ethnic diversity of the state. In reviewing grant applications, the Arts Council takes into account all state funds to which an applicant has access or which the applicant has received.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182805

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant Amounts range from $5,000 to $15,000. Organizations may not apply for more than 10-percent of the prior-year cash operating expenses. Organizations with prior-year expenses between $20,000 and $50,000 are eligible to apply for $5,000, the minimum grant award.

Term of Contract:

Activities and must take place between July 1, 2018, and June 30, 2019.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

To be eligible for Arts Council funding, organizations:

1) Must be a nonprofit organization (or an organization that has applied for non-profit status using a fiscal agent*);
2) Must have been producing quality arts programs for at least two consecutive years;
3) Must have prior-year organizational cash operating expenses of at least $20,000.

All applicants are required to have a DUNS number. Click here for instructions:

Community arts organizations such as community theaters, symphonies, and choral groups may apply for programs involving professional artists.

University-based programs must focus on audiences outside the university community and be part of an overall effort to reach audiences outside the university. Grants may not support the institution’s internal programs.

Tribal organizations must represent North Carolina or federally-recognized tribes.

The Arts Council makes lateral grants to other state government organizations on a limited basis for distinctly innovative projects.

A non-profit organization with tax-exempt status may act as a fiscal agent for an applicant organization that has applied for, but not yet received its tax-exempt status. In cases where a grantee is using a fiscal agent, the fiscal agent, and the grantee organization, is fiscally and legally responsible for all grant requirements.

The following are not eligible for support through this category:

- Organizations that receive State Arts Resources grants and Statewide Service Organizations grants
- Local arts councils, with the exception of those in Tier 1 counties
- Projects that take place primarily in schools or focus on children.

Grant funds may not be used for the following expenditures:

- Deficit reduction
- Capital expenditures
- Contingency funds
- Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
- Fundraising events
- Art sales events and auctions
- Interest on loans, fines, or litigation costs
- Lobbying expenses
- Tuition for academic study
- Indirect Costs

All programs funded by the Arts Council must be accessible to people with disabilities and in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). Applicants may include costs for making programs more accessible (i.e. sign language interpreters, and audio descriptive services) in their application budgets.

Pre-Application Information:

The 2018-19 deadline is Thursday, March 1, 2018. The application will be available online on January 8, 2018.

All grants to organizations must be matched dollar for dollar except for applicants from rural, low-wealth counties designated Tier 1, which are eligible for 75 percent to 100 percent funding. Organizations must make a strong case for financial need if the cash match is less than one-to-one.

Applicants in or serving counties designated as Tier 1 by the N.C. Department of Commerce are not required to provide a one-to-one match in certain grant categories and may request 75 percent to 100 percent funding of their project costs. These applicants must make a strong case for financial need in their proposal narratives. The 2018 designated counties are: Alleghany, Anson, Ashe, Bertie, Bladen, Camden, Caswell, Cherokee, Chowan, Clay, Columbus, Edgecombe, Gates, Graham, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde, Jackson, Jones, Lenoir, Macon, Martin, McDowell, Mitchell, Montgomery, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Person, Richmond, Robeson, Scotland, Swain, Tyrrell, Vance, Warren, Washington, Yadkin, and Yancey.

Accessibility for People With Disabilities: Arts Council staff can arrange to meet with applicants with disabilities either in our offices, which are wheelchair accessible, or in another location that may be more convenient. Guidelines are available upon request in alternative formats.

General Eligibility:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

The online application will be available online on January 8, 2018. Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO-Smart portal:

Staff Contacts:

For dance, either producing or presenting, contact:
Anjanée Bell

For literary and theater programs, either producing or presenting, contact:
David Potorti
(919) 807-6512

For traditional arts programs, contact:
Sally Peterson
(919) 807-6507

For visual arts, film, and music programs, contact:
Jeff Pettus
(919) 807-6513

For general inquiries:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: North Carolina