Press Releases

Raleigh, N.C. (September 21, 2018) —The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the North Carolina Arts Council have teamed up to present the North Carolina Stage at the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 in downtown Raleigh.

The North Carolina Stage, located on Davie Street, will focus on musicians and groups that exemplify why North Carolina plays such a large role in shaping the bluegrass sound and the story of traditional music in America.

Raleigh, N.C. (September 18, 2018) — Twenty artists living and working in North Carolina are recipients of the 2018-2019 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Awards and two additional artists were awarded the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency.

Artist Fellowships were awarded in the categories of choreography (3 awards), craft (3 awards), film and video (3 awards), and visual arts (11 awards) to some of the best artists working in these art disciplines in our state today.

Raleigh, N.C. (Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2018) — The North Carolina Poet Laureate Ceremony, scheduled for Wed., Sept. 19 in Raleigh, has been postponed due to the uncertainty of Hurricane Florence and its aftermath.

Jaki Shelton Green was appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in June. She succeeds Shelby Stephenson, who was named poet laureate Feb. 2, 2015.

A new date for the public induction ceremony will be announced on www.NCArts.org.

Raleigh, N.C. (Sept. 6, 2018) — Grants totaling more than $7.2 million have been awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to support arts programs in all 100 counties, the North Carolina Arts Council announced today. 

During 2018–19 an additional $300,000 from the N.C. Legislature will support the Grassroots Arts Program, a nationally-recognized program that provides per capita funding for the arts in every county.  

Greensboro, N.C., August 21, 2018 — North Carolina Folk Festival organizers today announced the North Carolina artists who will showcase their talents at the 2018 North Carolina Folk Festival – a free admission, three-day weekend celebration of America’s roots & heritage in downtown Greensboro, Friday, Sept 7 to Sunday, Sept. 9. 

The North Carolina program is produced with support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.  

Raleigh, N.C. (August 13, 2018) — Jaki Shelton Green will be installed as North Carolina’s ninth Poet Laureate on Wed., Sept. 19 in a ceremony at the State Capitol.

The ceremony starts at 4:15 p.m. in the old House Chamber at the State Capitol, located at One East Edenton St. in downtown Raleigh. This is a free event, but reservations are needed to attend.

Governor Roy Cooper announced Green’s appointment last month. She will succeed Shelby Stephenson, who was named poet laureate in early 2015.

Atlanta – South Arts, a nonprofit regional arts organization, has awarded North Carolina organizations 15 grants totaling $57,047 to support the presentation of touring, performing, and literary artists in public performances and readings along with educational activities throughout North Carolina.

In total SouthArts awarded $276,949 to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

North Carolina organizations that received funding include:

Governor Roy Cooper today announced that poet, teacher, and community arts advocate Jaki Shelton Green will serve as North Carolina’s ninth poet laureate.

“Jaki Shelton Green brings a deep appreciation of our state’s diverse communities to her role as an ambassador of North Carolina literature,” Governor Cooper said. “Jaki’s appointment is a wonderful new chapter in North Carolina’s rich literary history."

Raleigh, N.C. (April 23, 2018) — The North Carolina Arts Council, The Arts Council of Wilson, and the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park will present a free concert, The Jazz Revival Project, Thursday, June 7 at the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park in Wilson.

The Jazz Revival Project is a new effort that recognizes and celebrates the jazz heritage of Wilson, which is part of the African American Music Trails.

Raleigh, N.C. (May 8, 2018) —  Six-time Tony Award-winning costume designer William Ivey Long says all roads lead to North Carolina. That will be the case on Wednesday, May 16 when Long visits Raleigh for a talk about his career and a preview of four costumes inspired by French paintings for a one-night-only event.

Presented by the North Carolina Arts Council and Museum of History, the evening kicks off at 7 p.m. with a talk with Long, who grew up in Seaboard, N.C., and Bobbi Owen, author of the recently published book, “The Designs of William Ivey Long.”

A limited-edition poster that celebrates the 2018 North Carolina Heritage Award recipients is now available in advance of the May 23 ceremony and concert in Raleigh.

Created by artist Katy G. Collier, the screen-printed poster is the first-ever commissioned to celebrate the N.C. Heritage Award.

Raleigh, N.C. (April 23, 2018) — The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources will sponsor performances by N. C. musicians at MerleFest on April 27 to April 29, including four-time Grammy winner David Holt and Grammy nominee Josh Goforth.

Tony Williamson, renowned mandolin player from Chatham County, will perform on Saturday. He is a recipient of a 2018 N.C. Heritage Award, and was only 15 when he won the first-place “world champion” title for mandolin at the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention.

Raleigh, N.C. (Feb 26, 2018) — The North Carolina Arts Council’s Artist Fellowship Exhibition opens Saturday, March 3 at the Cameron Art Museum (CAM) in Wilmington with the works of 17 contemporary artists.

The artists participating in the show include ten visual artists, three craft artists, two film/video artists, and two choreographers — all were recipients of the 2016-2017 Artist Fellowship awards.

Raleigh, N.C. (February 19, 2018) —The North Carolina Arts Council, the Jacksonville/Onslow County Arts Council, Coastal Carolina Community College, and Camp Lejeune will host an arts and military conference on March 9 and 10 in Jacksonville as part of Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network.

Raleigh, N.C. (February 19, 2018) — Three free bluegrass and old-time music concerts performed by students, alums, and instructors in the Junior Appalachian Musicians program are planned this spring as part of the 50th -anniversary celebration of the North Carolina Arts Council.

The popular Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) after-school program provides a growing number of North Carolina students with the opportunity to learn the music of their region from master players.

Raleigh, N.C. (February 18) — North Carolina high school students from 26 districts across the state will take the stage on Saturday, March 3, in Greensboro, to compete in the annual statewide Poetry Out Loud competition

More than 75 schools participated in Poetry Out Loud with classroom lessons, classroom competitions, and district competitions beginning early last fall. Students from these schools vied to make it to the state semi-finals and finals. The state winner will advance to the national Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C. on April 23.

Information Sessions for Potential 2019 Schools Set in March

Raleigh, N.C.  February 12, 2018 — A+ Schools of North Carolina announced today that it has accepted seven new schools to join A+ Schools Network. A+ Schools of North Carolina is one of the longest-running and most successful arts-based school reform models in the country.

The seven new schools, located in Charlotte, China Grove, Fayetteville, Kannapolis, Mebane, and Raleigh, will join the A+ Network following a five-day institute that will be held this July. 

Raleigh, N.C. (Jan. 23, 2018) — Artists in North Carolina have until Thursday, March 15 to apply for the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency, a $12,500 grant designed to support innovative art projects that impact communities.

The funds will support the selected artist’s planning and implementation costs related to the proposed project. 

The grant honors Mary Regan’s four decades of leadership as executive director at the N.C. Arts Council and her long-held beliefs in the importance of artists and the transformative potential of creativity to community life.

Raleigh, N.C. (January 9, 2018) — The North Carolina Arts Council’s 2018 grant guidelines for nonprofit arts organizations are now available at www.NCArts.org. The deadline for submitting applications is Thursday, March 1.

The N.C. Arts Council’s grant programs are designed to sustain and advance the arts infrastructure that reaches into all 100 N.C. counties, to enhance the education of children and youth, and to ensure that all North Carolinians have access to a wide range of high quality arts programs. 

Raleigh, N.C. (December 18, 2017) — The North Carolina Arts Council has awarded $75,000 in grants to support four arts programs that will serve military personnel, veterans and their families in the state.

“We are grateful that the North Carolina General Assembly funded this new program to support the men and women who make sacrifices every day while serving in the military," said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “This reoccurring appropriation allows us to provide specific arts outreach to our military and veterans communities.” 

Raleigh, N.C (December 5, 2017) —Six traditional artists from across the state will receive North Carolina Heritage Awards on May 23, 2018 for their contributions to our state’s cultural vitality, Governor Roy Cooper announced today.

The 2018 North Carolina Arts Council Heritage Award winners are:

Celebrate authentic North Carolina for the holidays by supporting your local arts council where galleries showcase distinctive gifts of glass, clay, fiber, leather, metal, paper, wood and more! Local arts councils play an important role in communities, sponsoring and supporting arts programming and local arts.

Raleigh, N.C. (November 13, 2017) — Nominations for the state's next poet laureate, the ambassador of North Carolina literature, will be accepted from Wednesday, Nov. 15 to Friday, Dec. 8 online at www.NCArts.org.

The public is invited to nominate any North Carolina poet, or themselves, if they feel they are best suited for the position. Only current North Carolina residents are eligible to be nominated. Judging will be based on the following criteria:

• A North Carolinian with deep connections to the cultural life of the state;

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park Features 30 Whimsical & Massive Works in downtown Wilson

Raleigh, N.C. (October 17, 2017) — A new destination park in historic downtown Wilson filled with kinetic, colorful whirligigs created by North Carolina’s own world-renowned folk artist Vollis Simpson will be officially dedicated and opened on Thursday, Nov. 2.

The two-acre park, located at 301 Goldsboro Street South, is an arts-driven economic development project that has already spurred $25 million in private investment in Wilson's historic downtown.

Arts and cultural organizations in all 100 North Carolina counties will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council in October through music, dance, visual arts, theater, literature and other art forms presented across the state.

The North Carolina Arts Council will kick-off a fall season of 50th anniversary arts events on Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30 when it sponsors a stage at the Wide Open Bluegrass StreetFest, featuring musicians that showcase Blue Ridge Mountains traditional music.

The N.C. Arts Council will present the Davie Street Stage in downtown Raleigh, one of seven music stages for the two-day free musical festival, to focus on musicians and groups that exemplify why North Carolina plays such a large role in shaping the bluegrass sound and the story of traditional music in America.

Nineteen artists living and working in North Carolina are recipients of the 2017 – 2018 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the categories of literature, musical composition and songwriting.

Artists receive a $10,000 fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

With a boost in state appropriations, the North Carolina Arts Council will launch two new programs this year and provide additional support for arts programs in all 100 N.C. counties with more than $6.5 million in grants.

During 2017–18 an additional $650,000 will support the Grassroots Arts Program, a new touring program for rural areas and a new military and veterans healing program.

CONTACT: Liz Auclair (NEA), auclaire@arts.gov, 202-682-5744

Washington, DC –Jane Chu, chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), will visit Burnsville, Penland, Asheville, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Wilson, and Durham, North Carolina, August 21–23, 2017. While in the state, she will visit arts organizations funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and the North Carolina Arts Council, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and give remarks at a public event in Asheville.

The North Carolina Folklife Area at the National Folk Festival in September will celebrate North Carolina traditions that are flourishing in the hands of millennial artists, officials announced today.

“North Carolina has always recognized and celebrated its cultural heritage and our traditional artists,” Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi H. Hamilton said. “Generation Now! is a wonderful opportunity for visitors and residents to experience our state’s rich traditions as interpreted by talented young artists.”

A study released today by Americans for the Arts, in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, shows that the nonprofit arts and culture sector in North Carolina generated $2.12 billion in direct economic activity and supported almost 72,000 full-time equivalent jobs in 2015.
 
“Not only do the arts fuel the mind and spirit, they fuel our economy,” Governor Roy Cooper said. “This study confirms that the arts bring jobs, income and visitors to North Carolina, and underscores the important role the North Carolina Arts Council plays in nurturing our creative economy.”

Raleigh native Charles R. “Chuck” Davis, who became one of the world’s foremost teachers and choreographers of African dance, is being remembered across North Carolina and the country today for his artistry, his contributions to American dance and his ability to use art to promote peace and healing.

Lori Cozzi, Executive Director of ArtSpace Charter School in Swannanoa, was named the 2017 Gerry D. Howell A+ Educator of the Year at an A+ Network webinar on Thursday, May 4. The award recognizes an A+ educator who best exemplifies the values of A+ Schools of North Carolina and its philosophies.

Raleigh, N.C., March 1, 2017 — Nominations are open for the North Carolina Heritage Award, the state’s highest honor for traditional artists, until Monday, May 1.

Craft, music and storytelling artists, who help preserve North Carolina’s unique folkways through the traditional arts of their communities, may be nominated for the award.

Raleigh, N.C. (February 21, 2017) — North Carolina high school students from 30 school districts across the state will take the stage on Saturday, March 4, in Greensboro, to compete in the annual statewide Poetry Out Loud Semifinals and Final Competition. The state winner will advance to the Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C. this April.

The 2017 grant application season has launched and guidelines and applications for the North Carolina Arts Council’s seven grant programs for organizations are now available.  

The deadline for receiving 2017-18 grant applications is Wednesday, March 1 and applications must be completed electronically through the North Carolina Arts Council’s online portal

Grants from the North Carolina Arts Council are one of the ways the state’s extensive infrastructure of arts organizations is sustained and advanced.

A collaboration with universities across the state will bring music from 11 countries in east Africa, all connected by the Nile River, to North Carolina for a series of musical celebrations.

A cross-cultural collaboration, the Nile Project features artists who collaborate on new songs that combine the rich diversity of one of the oldest places on earth that represent more than 450 million people. The first U.S. tour was in 2015.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced today that 16 nonprofit organizations and one artist in North Carolina will receive $452,500 for fiscal year 2017.

In total, the NEA plans to award $30 million to nonprofit organizations and individuals across the country to promote opportunities for people in communities across America to experience the arts and exercise their creativity. 

The Arts Council of Henderson County, in collaboration with the Transylvania Community Arts Council, and the Tryon Fine Arts Center in Polk County, announces the Regional Artist Project Grantees for 2016-17. These grants are awarded to artists planning projects that have artistic merit and promise to advance the career of the artist or collaborating group. The grants are open to emerging and established artists.

A three-month ceramics exhibit at the Western Carolina University Fine Art Museum, Contemporary Clay, a Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics, that features the work of 25 artists runs through Friday, Dec. 16.

Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network Launches New Sites and Programs

Bethesda, MD (October 25, 2016)— The Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C. is one of five new clinical sites for expansion of the Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network, a partnership of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the Department of Defense (DoD).

Raleigh, N.C. (October 11, 2016) — Jackson Martin, Jason Adams, Jaydan Moore, and Andrew Hayes, all of the Asheville area, have a received a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Award in the category of visual art or craft.

The four artists are among 17 from across the state to receive the 2016–2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

Raleigh, N.C. (October 11, 2016) — Shannon Silva of Wilmington has received a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the category of film and video.

She is among 17 from across the state to receive the 2016–2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a $10,000 fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

Raleigh, N.C. (October 12, 2016) — Sheryl Oring, Helen Simoneau, and Robin Gee, artists working and living in the Triad area, have received a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Award in the category of visual art or choreography.

The three artists are among 17 from across the state to receive the 2016 – 2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

Raleigh, N.C. (October 12, 2016) — Andrea Vail, John W. Love, Jr., Stephanie J. Woods, and Thomas Schmidt all of the Charlotte area, have a received a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the category of visual art or craft.

The artists are among 17 from across the state to receive the 2016 – 2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

Raleigh, N.C. (October 12, 2016) — Harriet Hoover, Katina Parker, Jina Valentine and Lien Truong, all of the Triangle area, have a received a North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the category of visual art or film.

The artists are among 17 from across the state to receive the 2016 – 2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.

Raleigh, N.C. (October 12, 2016) — John Huneycutt of Oakboro in Stanly County has received a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship Award in the category of visual art.

Huneycutt is among 17 artists from across the state to receive the 2016 – 2017 North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award. Artists receive a fellowship to support creative development and the creation of new work. Recipients were selected by panels comprised of artists and arts professionals with expertise in each discipline.


Durham artist Stacey Kirby won the Eighth Annual ArtPrize Award for the performance installation The Bureau of Personal Belonging. A N.C. Arts Council Fellowship recipient she is pictured here with Harriet Hoover (right), Heather Gordon (left) and Warren Hicks (back), who have also received a Fellowship award. Photo by Alex Maness of Durham.

Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed the week of Sept. 11 –17, 2015 as Arts in Education Week in North Carolina.   

“Arts education is an essential element of a complete and well-rounded education for all students,” said North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory. “Arts education contributes to increased attendance and graduation rates; elevates academic achievement; and prepares students for college, career and citizenship readiness.”

Raleigh, N.C. (September 6, 2016) — One State: Many Worlds, presented by the North Carolina Arts Council this weekend at the National Folk Festival, will feature two days of music, dance, food and craft from the state’s diverse immigrant communities.

Artists from around the world, who now make their home in the Tar Heel State, will share artwork and crafts as well as musical and culinary traditions from their homelands from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11 in downtown Greensboro.

Raleigh, N.C. -- A vision six years ago by Wilson community leaders to restore and preserve the gigantic wind-driven kinetic sculptures created by one of North Carolina's most recognized artists took a giant leap toward completion with the announcement this week of a Kohler Foundation gift.

Organizers of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park announced that a new partnership with the Kohler Foundation will complete the restoration of the balance of Vollis Simpson's kinetic sculptures, set to top-off the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park & Museum, located in downtown Wilson.

Raleigh, N.C. -- The new budget signed by Governor Pat McCrory will allow the North Carolina Arts Council to support an extensive arts infrastructure across North Carolina, including arts programs in all 100 counties funded through the Grassroots Arts Program, with more than $7.1 million in grants.

The deadline to apply for the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency award is set for Tuesday, March 15, 2016.

This is the second cycle for the grant that honors Ms. Regan's four decades of leadership as executive director at the N.C. Arts Council and her long-held beliefs in the importance of the contributions of artists and the transformative potential of creativity to community life.

Raleigh, N.C. (January 12, 2016) — The North Carolina Arts Council announced today that it will participate in a national research study, Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, to measure the economic impact of nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences. The study is being conducted by Americans for the Arts, the leading nonprofit arts organization for advancing the arts in the United States.

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced that sixteen nonprofit organizations in North Carolina will receive $320,000 from two grant categories for fiscal year 2016.

Words from veterans across North Carolina were transformed into the acclaimed theatrical production Deployed and now are the focus of a new video released by the North Carolina Arts Council. This video celebrates the service of veterans of all ages as Veterans Day is observed on Wednesday, November 11.