In most counties, local arts councils have been nominated by their county governments and approved by the N.C. Arts Council as Designated County Partners (DCPs) to manage the Grassroots allotment. In order to maintain its designated status, a local arts council must:
- Maintain a history of managing the Grassroots allotment responsibly and according to requirements, including meeting the deadlines for applications and final reports.
- Provide support for quality programming in the performing, visual, literary and traditional arts throughout the county.
- Provide services and support to the county's arts organizations.
- Provide services and support to the county's artists and participate in the Regional Artists Project Grant program.
- Support arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists for pre-K–12 students.
- Demonstrate stability and fiscal responsibility through board and staff leadership, sound administrative practices and long-range planning. If staffed, arts councils must provide appropriate salaries and benefits.
- Demonstrate a commitment to racial and cultural diversity in governance, administration and programming, including hiring racially and culturally diverse artists.
A complete Designated County Partner guidebook is available for download:
Download the DCP guidebook »
DCPs may use up to 50 percent of their grant funds for general operating support; the remaining 50 percent must be used for arts programming as follows:
- DCPs with county populations above 50,000 are required to subgrant at least 50 percent of their allocations to other organizations to conduct arts programs.
- DCPs with county populations below 50,000 must use 50 percent of their funds for arts programs that they conduct OR for grants to other organizations to conduct arts programs.
Grassroots Arts Program Subgrant System Overview
DCPs with county populations above 50,000 are required to subgrant at least 50 percent of their allocations to other organizations in their county to conduct arts programs. If the DCP is not required to subgrant, but chooses to, these same guidelines must be followed.
Visit our forms page for the latest Schedule of Grassroots Arts Program County Allotments
Eligibility for Subgrants
Organizations must have been in operation for at least one year. While nonprofit 501(C)(3) status is preferred, organizations that are nonprofit in nature may also receive Grassroots Arts Program subgrants.
Priorities for Funding
The first priority for awarding subgrants is to provide program or operating support to qualified arts organizations (where they exist) including, theaters, symphonies, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, dance companies, folk arts societies, writers groups and arts festivals, among others. Grassroots funds are not generally awarded to arts organizations that receive funding through the Arts Council's State Arts Resources (SAR) Program. SAR organizations must receive prior approval from Arts Council staff before applying for Grassroots funds.
The second priority for subgranting grassroots funds is to support arts learning and arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in the schools, after school summer camps or adult arts learning classes. 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.
The third priority priority includes subgrants made to other community, civic and municipal organizations that provide quality experiences for the greater community. These programs must be conducted by qualified artists.
How to Apply
DCPs submit a full application for Grassroots funds every three years. In the off years of the three-year cycle, DCPs submit an update application. See the DCP application schedule »
Applicants must submit the form electronically through North Carolina ARTS Grants Online (AGO).
All DCPs will be required to provide some basic information about how the 2013–2014 Grassroots allocation will be spent. DCPs will also provide a list of 2012-13 subgrants and a description of how the multicultural requirement was met.
The following information will be requested of organizations required to submit a full application. These questions should be answered as they relate to the entire scope of the organization, not just as your role as a DCP. Make sure that the information you provide addresses the evaluation criteria. Organizations will also be asked to provide operating income and expense information for the last, current and upcoming fiscal years on the form provided.
- Briefly describe the county you serve, including population and demographics. Describe any notable economic, social and cultural changes in your county over the past three years.
Programs and Services
- Describe your key programs and activities for 2013–2014. List and describe the artists selected for your 2013–2014 programs, explain how and why they were chosen and state the rate of payment for their services.
- Describe the services you provide to arts organizations in your county.
- Describe the services you provide to individual artists in your county and your participation in and support of the Regional Artists Project Grant program.
- Describe the overall process your organization uses to subgrant Grassroots money to other groups in your county. Include information on how you communicate the availability of funds, assistance to applicants, your application review system, and the composition of your subgrant committee.
- Describe the arts in education programs you conduct and fund that benefit children and youth in your community.
- Describe the programs you conduct and fund that are racially and culturally diverse.
- State the names, titles and responsibilities of key staff members. Provide salary ranges and benefits for staff positions. Describe the system for evaluating staff.
- Describe your board of directors and its key responsibilities. Describe your board rotation policy and how new members are recruited and trained.
- Briefly describe the facilities in which your organization conducts its primary operations. Indicate whether you own, lease or occupy donated space.
- Describe your organization's financial condition. Include information about any debt, deficits, endowment, surpluses or cash reserves. Describe how your organization exercises effective fiscal control and accountability. Upload a financial statement or audit for your most recently completed fiscal year (2011-12).
- Describe your organization's planning process. Briefly summarize key goals and objectives of your current long-range plan.
- Work samples for the Grassroots application should convey the artistic quality of two or three artists that will be part of your programs planned for 2013–2014. For visual artists, submit 3 to 5 images using the tools in AGO. These images may be of a visual artist that will be featured in your gallery, an upcoming artist in residency program or other visual arts program. Do NOT send pictures of past events, festivals, fundraisers or your facility. For audio submit up to 5 digital files in AGO. For video samples of performing artists, you may submit a short video clip in AGO or send a DVD included with your application package. If you submit a DVD, please clearly label the selection or track you would like for us to present at the Grants Panel meeting using the Web Link Collection form.
The following information will be requested of DCPs required to submit an update application:
- Describe any significant changes in your organization (i.e. changes in staff, facilities, financial condition, organization structure) that have occurred since your last application.
- Attach a financial statement or audit for your most recently completed fiscal year (2011–2012).