Increase in state arts funding

With a boost in state appropriations, the North Carolina Arts Council will launch two new programs this year and provide additional support for arts programs in all 100 N.C. counties with more than $6.5 million in grants.

During 2017–18 an additional $700,000 will support the Grassroots Arts Program, a new touring program for rural areas and a new military and veterans healing program.

“These investments across North Carolina shape the character, vibrancy, and growth of our changing towns and cities, and help us ensure that all citizens have opportunities to engage the arts,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi H. Hamilton. 

In fiscal year 2017-18, N.C. Arts Council grants will support more than 800 arts organizations, schools and other nonprofit groups that sponsor arts programs or arts-driven economic development projects. Grant funds come from both state legislative appropriation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Additional appropriations this year will support:

• $500,000 in recurring funds for the Grassroots Arts Program. Nationally recognized for its per capita distribution formula that allows local decision-making on arts programming, the Grassroots funds of $2.8 million supports the sustainability of a network of local arts councils across the state.

• $125,000 in recurring funds to support Statewide Arts Resources for a new touring program expanded into Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties.

• $125,000 in recurring funds for a new Military Arts Program to support arts projects focused on serving North Carolina’s military service men and women, veterans, and their families. 

“For 50 years, the North Carolina Arts Council has supported arts as an economic catalyst,” said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council. “Approximately 80 percent of our funds flow directly to arts organizations and artists, allowing communities to revitalize downtowns, develop innovative education programs and provide citizens with abundant, high quality arts programming.”

For every dollar invested by the state there is a return of almost $20 in private, matching funds. The state, local and private support provides the opportunity for almost six million school children and N.C. residents to participate in arts opportunities funded by the N.C. Arts Council.

Grant awards are recommended by panels of civic leaders and arts experts based on artistic merit, benefit of the project to the state’s citizens, and the applicant’s organizational strength and capacity.

Recommendations are reviewed by the North Carolina Arts Council Board and approved by Secretary Susi Hamilton.

For more information about the N.C. Arts Council visit

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