Tuesday, November 28, 2023

North Carolina Arts Council Announces $16 Million in 2023-24 Grants

Nov 28, 2023

Today the North Carolina Arts Council announced $16 million in grants for fiscal year 2023-24. This includes an increase of $2.5 million in annual funding for the statewide Grassroots Arts Program, a cornerstone program which distributes funds to all 100 counties through an extensive network of local arts councils and other partners.  

"Our state’s investments in arts and culture are critical for our communities and our economy,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “These grants will help make communities across North Carolina more attractive while enabling arts organizations to serve more people, teach more children, and be better prepared for the future.”

“We are grateful to Governor Cooper and the state legislature for their strategic investment in the arts and for recognizing the cultural and economic value of the arts in our communities,” said Jeff Bell, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “The return of arts programming has been central to our statewide economic recovery, and it has created spaces for inspiration, creativity, and community healing. The grants announced today are a big step forward for our agency’s mission of ensuring that all North Carolinians—no matter their age, background, or ability—have opportunities to engage with the transformative power of the arts.”

“This historic level of funding for the arts and culture sector in North Carolina not only supports the incredible work being done by artists, arts organizations, local governments, and educators, it enriches people’s lives and builds communities in all 100 counties,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Reid Wilson.  

Five hundred and eighty-one nonprofit arts organizations, schools, and municipalities will receive grants ranging from $1,000 to $500,000. Funding priorities for FY 2023-24 include:

     • Arts in education. Grant recipients are working on a range of in-school and after-school programs, including GRAMMY® nominated artist Pierce Freelon, who will have an artist residency at Greene County Intermediate School and will also work with artists from BlackSpace, a digital makerspace, on a "Beat Making Lab” for Chatham County students in grades 6-8. 
     • Capacity building. These investments focus on the improvement of overall capacity and professional development to strengthen nonprofit arts organizations like Black Mountain Swannanoa Center for the Arts, which is a community hub for exhibits, concerts, theater, special events, and a myriad of classes for all ages in music, theater, dance, and visual arts. 
     • Audience reengagement and expansion. These grants support organizations working to diversify, regain, and attract audiences. One of these is Cape Fear Regional Theatre in Fayetteville, who will use grant funds to commission a new play and expand their community outreach to include more teens, young adults, and members of underserved communities.
     • Grassroots Arts Program: This program provides funding to local arts councils and community arts partners in all 100 counties, to support arts programming that ensures all North Carolinians can experience the arts in their own communities.  

This year’s funding includes the final allocation of federal COVID-19 relief funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.  

For a complete list of FY 2023-24 grant recipients, visit our website.

About the North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The N.C. Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.23 billion in annual direct economic activity. We sustain diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The N.C. Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. www.ncarts.org

About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.

The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.dncr.nc.gov.

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