Banner photo: The USO of North Carolina’s Warrior Reset program uses the arts in its resiliency training program working with Black Box Dance Theatre with funding from the N.C. Arts Council’s Military and Veterans Healing Arts Grant program.

Founded in 1967 with the democratic vision of “arts for all citizens,” the North Carolina Arts Council sustains and grows the arts for the benefit of North Carolinians and their communities.

The North Carolina Arts Council strives to deliver resources for arts development to all 100 counties of the state through programs that are fair, transparent and accountable.

The Arts Council is an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. A 24-member citizen board, appointed by the Governor, advises the Secretary of the Department on policies, programs, and research that supports arts development across North Carolina.

Core values

The arts creatively express ideas, concepts, and emotions that deepen our understanding of the world and of the human condition as well as challenge us to discuss and debate the important issues of our time. This belief in the intrinsic value of the arts lies at the core of our work.

A conviction that the arts are essential to the growth and well-being of our state’s communities also inspires our programs and initiatives. The North Carolina Arts Council delivers resources to arts organizations and artists to support projects and programs of public value—including revitalizing downtowns, helping our youth succeed through creative approaches to education in and beyond the classroom, healing the wounds of war for active military service members and veterans, and fueling a thriving non-profit creative sector that generates over $2 billion in annual direct economic activity in our communities.

Statewide leadership

Achieving the mission of “arts for all people” challenges the board and staff of the North Carolina Arts Council to hold the interest of the state above all other criteria when making policy, creating programs, or providing support for the arts. Specifically, the N.C. Arts Council demonstrates leadership by:

  • Creating and promoting best practices for how the arts are utilized for public benefit.
  • Providing a statewide vision that sustains and develops the arts in all 100 counties.
  • Undertaking regional and statewide initiatives to enhance our economy, education, and the well-being of our citizens and their communities.  
  • Offering grants and technical assistance through a competitive, fair, and transparent process.

Through its leadership, the Arts Council is working to ensure that North Carolina is a state that meets challenges and realizes its potential through the arts.

Our funding

The North Carolina Arts Council receives annual appropriations from the North Carolina General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Arts Council grants leverage up to $18 in matching funds for every $1 dollar of state or federal investment. In addition, the North Carolina Arts Foundation raises funds from the private sector to support specific programs and initiatives.