The North Carolina Arts Council recognizes and honors the work of African American artists and arts organizations that shape our state’s culture. With Black History Month and the 2023–2024 grant application season coinciding, we celebrate some of the Black-led organizations that have received a grant from us recently. If you have a story you’d like us to share, please reach out to us.
Hayti Heritage Center/St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation (SJHF)
Durham; State Arts Resources and Spark the Arts grant
The Hayti Heritage Center opened in 1975 under the management of the SJHF in Durham’s historic Hayti community. The center is a cultural enrichment and arts education facility that promotes cultural understanding through diverse events, activities, and programs that preserve the heritage and embrace the experiences of Americans of African descent.
Charlotte; Spark the Arts and Organizational Support grants
JazzArts Charlotte is a nonprofit organization made up of educators, cultural arts patrons, students, musicians, and individuals dedicated to the continued development of Charlotte’s arts heritage. The organization provides access for and to world-class musicians, ensuring that jazz has a home in Charlotte. JazzArts was also recently recognized by South Arts as part of their Southern Cultural Treasures initiative. They join a cohort made up of 17 organizations that represent BIPOC arts and community-driven stewardship throughout the Southeast.
Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet
Greensboro; Spark the Arts and Organizational support grants
Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet is a nonprofit dance production company that provides high-quality dance education to students as young as two years old in various disciplines. Through RE-OPEN (Royal Expressions Outreach Program and Education Network), the company aims to serve at-risk youth and the elderly, using dance as a therapeutic measure.
Winston-Salem; Organizational Support grant, Keys for Kids
Authoring Action offers year-round youth programs and community workshops. Its programming is devoted to building youth as authors, community leaders, and advocates of social change, redefining learning through the arts and supporting stronger communities.
DREAMS of Wilmington
Wilmington; State Arts Resources and Spark the Arts grants
Established in 1997, DREAMS of Wilmington is a youth development organization dedicated to creating a culture of confidence for youth and teens through equitable access to arts education. It offers arts programming free of charge to more than 600 young people and their families each year, with more than 40 classes per week at six sites in the Wilmington area.
Theatre of Movement
Greensboro; LEAD Scholarship grant
Theatre of Movement is a performing and visual art collective that creates artworks informed by research into Black American and Caribbean histories and imagery. It is committed to creating and curating events that center on equitable visibility and inclusion to underrepresented groups and individuals.
Durham; State Arts Resources and Spark the Arts grants, Keys for Kids
Kidznotes catalyzes social change by providing comprehensive music education, leadership opportunities, and character-building experiences to children who have the fewest resources and the greatest need. It sees music as a way to counter some of the economic disadvantages faced by the community it serves, building strong relationships through orchestral performance.