The Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning.
North Carolina’s creative economy is an economic driver and an educational benefit to every community in the state, and Arts Council’s programs are designed to build sustainable place-based economic development strategies, enhance student learning by putting artists in the classrooms and in after school programs, and expand the range of opportunities for North Carolinians to experience the arts.
The Arts Council provides leadership, guidance, planning assistance, information resources, technical support, and funding to artists, arts and civic organizations, learning institutions, government agencies and the general public. The Arts Council promotes excellence in the many forms of artistic expression, supports the exemplary artists and organizations that make up the state’s robust arts industry.
The Arts Council achieves its mission through four main programs:
Artists and Organizations: Works directly with artists and arts organizations in film, literary, performing and visual arts to build capacity and encourage development of high quality artistic productions and services. Provides funding, resources, and technical support. Develops and administers opportunities, such as the Poet Laureate program, that highlight the state’s artistic assets.
Community Arts Development: Integrates arts and living traditions into local and regional planning efforts statewide, working from the grassroots level up. Initiatives strengthen community identity, and support sustainable place-based economic development. The team consults in a variety of technical assistance areas including organizational development, arts traditions, heritage and cultural tourism development, facility planning, exhibit conceptualization and design, and partnership and resource identification.
Arts Participation and Learning: Creates opportunities for citizens to participate in the arts by providing programs and technical and financial resources to arts
organizations and learning institutions. Advances life-long learning experiences
through arts in education for pre K-12, adult learning, accessibility for people with
disabilities, and audience development. The team manages the A+ Schools Program, the Lincoln Center Institute partnerships, and other arts in education partnerships.
Marketing: Provides citizens and visitors opportunities to learn about the state's rich arts and cultural assets through www.ncarts.org and www.NCArtsEveryday.org, which provides seasonal itineraries, Artful Trips, Museums in a Minute video series and www.ncartstrails.org, a portal to a variety of web based cultural trails. These include Blue Ridge Music, Cherokee Heritage, Literary North Carolina, Historic Happy Valley and Performing Arts. Conducts research on the Creative economy and studies documenting the strength of the state’s creative economy. A Creative Economy web portal contains up-to-date arts research and 25 creative industry worker profiles that put a face on our occupation data. Artists, arts administrators and the general public can opt in to three e-newsletters, friend us on Facebook, see videos on YouTube and follow our tweets.
Recent Program Highlights
- The 2010 General Assembly authorized a State Board of Education Task Force charged with creating a Comprehensive Arts Education Development Plan for the public schools in N.C. (The Executive Director of the N.C. Arts Council co-chairs this committee.)
- The N.C. Department of Transportation awarded more than $500,000 for three placed-based, economic development projects that support the creation of public art projects in the Upper Yadkin River Valley in Caldwell and Wilkes counties, an update of the Blue Ridge Music Trails Guidebook for 28 N.C. western counties, and the creation of a new guidebook, visitor kiosks and public art for the African American Music Trails project in eight eastern N.C. counties.
- Through partnerships with the N.C. Arts Council, the City of Wilson and others, downtown Wilson will become home to a public park exhibiting 29 large-scale whirligig sculptures created by Vollis Simpson, one of the state’s most recognized artists. The goal of the project is to “transform Wilson's downtown and contribute to its revitalization efforts as well as anchor the development of an arts district. The park will be a major destination for cultural travelers worldwide and a unique gathering place and public green space for Wilson County.”
- A statewide SmART Cities/SmART Towns Task Force has been appointed by the Secretary of Cultural Resources to consider arts-driven economic development models and recommend implementation at the local and state level.