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Watauga County Arts Council Grant Deadlines

Sept. 9, 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 from the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The 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 nonprofit 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 the school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or student arts competitions and publications), and the 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 $1,000 (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 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 nonprofit and community based to be eligible to apply. 

Cherry Johnson, Executive Director of the Watauga 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 out community. 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 Arts Council’s office and gallery at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone by 5 p.m. on  Sept. 27. A free workshop is being offered to assist and advise applicants. The workshop will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 18, at 4 p.m. at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace. Applicants may call 828-264-1789 or email wcac@watauga-arts.org for assistance. 

The deadline for the Regional Artist Project Grant Applications and Workshop has also been extended. Artists living in Watauga, Ashe, Alleghany and Wilkes Counties are encouraged applications for this year’s Regional Artist Project Grants. This year’s application deadline, which was originally set for Sept. 13, has now been extended to Sept. 20 to allow artists a bit more time to apply.

The Regional Artists Project of Northwest North Carolina Grants Program is a partnership between the arts councils of Alleghany, Ashe, Watauga and Wilkes Counties and the North Carolina Arts Council. It is intended to provide project support to a broad range of visual, performing, literary, and inter-disciplinary artists that will have a significant impact on the advancement of their career. Regional artist applicants are exceptionally talented individuas persuing their career in the arts and have completed the basic education in their respective art form. The grants provide financial support to developing professionals by funding a project pivotal to the advancement of their career as artists. Grant awards generally range from $200-$1,000.

An informational workshop has been scheduled to help artists better understand the application process. Tips for creating a competitive application, grant guidelines and how-to information will be shared. The workshop is free and will be conducted on Tuesday, Sept. 10, at 5:30 p.m. at the Blue Ridge ArtSpae i Boone. It will be conducted by Cherry Johnson, WCAC Executive Director. To ensure that we have enough handouts, artists are asked to please pre-register by calling 264-1789 or email wcac@watauga-arts.org.

Applications and appropriate documentation material must be mailed or hand delivered to the Ashe County Arts Council in West Jefferson by Friday, Sept. 20. However, grant applications will also be accepted in the Watauga County Arts Council Offices at the Blue Ridge ArtSpace in Boone through Thursday, Sept. 19.

Applications are available on www.watauga-arts.org, as well as on the websites of partnering arts councils. Contact your county’s arts council for more information. The Watauga County Arts Council can be reached at 828-264-1789.