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Watauga Arts Council Offering Final Round of Grassroots Grants, Packets Due April 5, Workshop Held Wednesday

March 25, 2013. The Watauga County Arts Council has announced that they are offering organizations planning arts-related activities a final opportunity to apply for Grassroots Grants for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. 

Watauga Co. Arts Council logoThe Grassroots Arts Program of the North Carolina Arts Council is a long-standing program through which the North Carolina Legislature and the North Carolina Arts Council are able to fund local arts-related programming.  In each county a Local Distributing Agent (LDA) is appointed to accept applications for Grassroots Grants from their community and a panel of local representatives reviews those applications and awards funding in accordance with the criteria set forth by the North Carolina Arts Council. In Watauga County, the appointed LDA is the Watauga County Arts Council. 

Projects which are eligible for this grant program are those artistic and cultural activities sponsored by any non-profit community based organization.  In accordance with state guidelines, emphasis will be placed upon the projects of qualified arts organizations (e.g. theaters, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, musical organizations, dance companies, writers groups, arts festivals), the support of arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists which take place in school settings, after school, or through summer programs (however, grassroots funds may not be used for activities associated with a school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or student arts competitions and publications), and arts programs provided to the community by other community organizations. These programs should be conducted by qualified artists.

All projects which receive funding must take place prior to May 30, 2013. All grant awards must be matched by at least an equal cash match from the applicant organization and may not be matched by funds from the state of North Carolina.  Applications for up to $1000 (and possibly slightly more) will be considered. The amount of money available for each grant is dependent upon the total Grassroots allotment from the North Carolina General Assembly to the North Carolina Arts Council.  These funds are then reallocated to the Watauga County Arts Council on a per capita basis.  This state and local partnership is the North Carolina Arts Council’s single largest category of funding and the strongest supporter of local arts organizations and programs.

Criteria for selection will include:

  • strong community support;
  • involvement of racial and ethnic minorities and other traditionally under served segments of the community;
  • responsiveness to community cultural needs;
  • involvement of local professional artists;
  • the organization’s administrative ability and financial stability;
  • the organization’s ability to develop sufficient funding for the project.

Organizations must be non-profit and community based to be eligible to apply. 

Cherry Johnson, Executive Director of the Watauga County Arts Council, compares Grassroots Grants funding to a ripple effect saying, “When you drop a pebble into a pool of water, little ripples waft out from the center and stretch far away to the outermost parts of the pool. That’s the effect that I feel the Watauga County Arts Council’s Grassroots Grants Program has upon Watauga County. The pebble is the funding sent to us each year via the North Carolina Arts Council from the North Carolina General Assembly.  The ripples are felt all through our community.”  She goes on to add,  “We are delighted to be able to bring this program back to Watauga County and we are extraordinarily grateful to our local representatives and senators who represent our community in the North Carolina General Assembly.  Their support has made it possible not only for the Arts Council to provide a wealth of quality arts programming throughout our community but, through this sub-granting program, we are able to extend the reach of the arts even deeper into the community through our sub-granting partner agencies.” 

Applications are due to the Watauga County Arts Council’s office and gallery at 783 West King Street in Boone by 5 p.m. on April 5, 2013.  A free workshop is being offered to advise and assist applicants.  The workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 27, at 4 pm at the Watauga County Arts Council’s gallery, located at 783 West King Street in downtown Boone.  Applicants may call 828-264-1789 or email wcac@watauga-arts.org for assistance as well.   Complete information, application forms, and guidelines are available on the Watauga Arts Council’s website. For more information, click to www.watauga-arts.org or you may contact their office at 264-1789.