Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency

Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency

In honor of former Executive Director Mary B. Regan’s 39 years of service to the arts and artists of North Carolina, the North Carolina Arts Council Board established the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency, a grant designed to support innovative artist-in-residence projects in communities in North Carolina.

The award was conceived to honor Mary’s long-held beliefs in the importance of the contributions of artists and the transformative potential of creativity to community life.

To learn more about the 2013 Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency recipient, Frank Brannon, click here.

Grant information and guidelines are for reference only and will be updated when the next Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency grant deadline is determined.

Program Description

Applicants will propose up to a one-year project that engages a North Carolina community in a meaningful way involving targeted groups in extended activities and culminating in public events and/or the creation of artwork(s) sited in public settings. Projects may address local or regional issues, or be exclusively aesthetically focused, but should not focus primarily on school-age children as the audience.

Initial proposals must demonstrate a clear project idea, articulate achievable goals, and summarize the applicant’s qualifications and interest in the project. Finalists will be invited to interview and be asked to provide more detailed plans, including proposed partnerships, a timeline and budget for implementation of the project, desired outcomes, and additional sources of support or fundraising strategies, as necessary.

The residency award will be $12,500. Artists are encouraged to develop partnerships with nonprofit organizations and raise additional funds for the project to supplement the award.

Who May Apply

Artists in all disciplines are eligible to apply for the March 15, 2016 deadline.  Artists may submit only one application in the category. For collaborations and artist groups, only one member of the collaborative team or group should submit the application on behalf of the collective; however, the names of all collaborating members must be included in the application and all collaborators must meet the eligibility guidelines. Artists may apply for both the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency and the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship in the same year, but may not receive both awards.


Residency applicants must certify on the application form that they:

  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are a U.S. citizen or holder of permanent resident alien status
  • Have been a year-round resident of N.C. for at least one year immediately prior to the application deadline
  • Will remain an N.C. resident during the grant period and be physically present in the state the majority of the grant period
  • Are not enrolled at the time of application and will not be enrolled during the grant period in an academic or degree-granting program.

The artist(s) recommended for a community artist residency will be required to supply proof of current N.C. residency status and to sign a contract pledging compliance with the eligibility rules listed above. Nonprofit organizations are not eligible to apply in this category.

Artists may apply for both the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Fellowship and the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency in the same year. However, an artist may not receive both in the same year.

Artists applying as a team should submit only one application. The names and résumés of all collaborating members must be included in the application and all collaborators must meet the eligibility guidelines.

What We Fund

A community artist fellowship in the amount of $12,500 supports planning and implementation costs related to the proposed project. Residency funds may be used to:

  • Support the artist’s time and travel related to the project
  • Buy relevant materials, supplies, and equipment
  • Hire assistants or contractors
  • Purchase liability and other appropriate insurance
  • Pay for documentation or other project expenses

How We Make Funding Decisions

Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Artistic merit of the applicant’s work
  • Strength of the project concept
  • Experience in community-based work
  • Thoroughness of planning and project design and involvement of relevant partners
  • Articulation of desired outcomes and potential to impact the community

The selection process will involve a preliminary review for artistic merit by qualified professionals and a final assessment by a multidisciplinary panel to determine the recommended artist.

Deadline and Project Period

The deadline for submission of the online application is TBD. We do not accept applications sent by mail, fax, or email. All grant-related activities must take place between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.


The Application Process

Applications for the Community Artist Residency will be reviewed using a two-stage process. For the first round, artists will submit a statement of interest and summary of the project idea, along with work samples, résumé, and optional supporting materials. After a panel review, finalists will be invited to develop a more thorough presentation of their residency concept, including a budget, timeline, and other evidence of their plans, and respond to questions by the panel during an interview. One artist or artist team will be recommended for the award.

How to Apply

You will submit your application electronically using Arts Grants Online (AGO), an electronic application website. The system will accept all of your application materials, including work samples. No hard copy of the application is required.

Online submissions must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on March 15, 2016.

The AGO site includes step-by-step instructions on how to apply. However, we have highlighted a few important points below that you will want to consider.

AGO works best if you use Mozilla Firefox as your browser, though other browsers, including Chrome and Internet Explorer, are also functional. If you don’t have a computer at home, all public libraries have computers available for public use. Here is the link to the statewide library directory.

A complete residency application will have the following components:

  • Applicant profile
  • Narrative
  • Résumé
  • Work samples
  • Work sample descriptions
  • Support materials (optional)

Applicant Profile

This page provides us with your basic information, such as your name and ways to contact you during and at the conclusion of the process.

If you are new to our online application system, you will need to create a profile. Make sure to check “Individual” when creating your profile. In the Primary Contact Information fields, enter your name the way you would like to be listed on our database and in our application records. If you go by your middle name, you may enter it in the field for middle initial. Your record will be alphabetized by the first letter of the name you enter in the Last Name field, so if you have a hyphenated or double last name, be sure to enter it in its entirety here.

If you have applied previously using the AGO online system, please review your profile and update information, as needed. Should any of your contact information change during the course of the review, please correct your profile in AGO and let us know so we can update your records on our database.

At the bottom of the profile on the Web Address line, enter your own website address, if you have one; otherwise, leave it blank.

Once your profile is complete, go to Current Programs and Applications and click on Start Application below the heading for Community Artist Residency 2016–17.

Narrative Section

Please respond to the identifying questions at the top of the page before you proceed to the narrative.

  • Name: The name you enter here should correspond to the name you entered in the Primary Contact Information fields in the profile.
  • Discipline: Select the discipline that most closely describes the project focus.
  • Genre/medium: The genre/medium should describe the work samples you submit.

You will also indicate if your application is a collaboration with one or more other artists. Only one member of an artist team should submit an application for the group. Work samples should represent work by the current members of the collaborative team or, ideally, work done as a team. The résumé document should represent all collaborators. Members of a team may not also submit separate residency applications to support their own projects. Eligibility requirements apply to all members of the team.

Project Idea and Qualifications
The narrative questions are your opportunity to present your residency idea, explain why you are interested in the residency, and describe your qualifications to undertake and complete it successfully.

Your narrative must address the following questions:

  • Provide a concise summary of your community artist project idea and overall goals.
  • Briefly explain what the term “community artist” means to you and why you are interested in the residency.
  • Describe your qualifications to undertake a community artist residency.

Each question will be answered in a separate text box, with a specified character limit. No budget is required at this stage of the process, but panelists will consider whether your project idea is feasible with the grant award ($12,500) and any other matching or in-kind resources you plan to contribute.


You will upload a PDF of your résumé with information about your education, employment and accomplishments, with an emphasis on activities related to your artistic discipline. Include any other pertinent biographical details. You should also include information about your exhibitions, commissions, residencies, and honors and provide a select bibliography of articles and publications written about your work. Please limit the length of your résumé to no more than five pages. We recommend that you highlight similar or related work you have done as an artist in a community setting. Collaborative applications should include information on all artists.

Work Samples

Work samples are an important part of your application. Artistic merit is the first criterion panelists will consider and your work samples are the only means panelists have to assess it. Your work samples can also show the relevance of your experience to the proposed project. In order to give yourself the best chance for a competitive application, you will need to be thoughtful about the selection of your work samples and spend the time necessary to prepare them to be viewed by the panel. 

For digital video submissions, we strongly recommend using the Web Link Collection form as opposed to video uploads.

Composers, Musicians, and Songwriters
Upload samples of at least two recent original works and no more than four works total in the order you would like them presented to the panel. Samples may be complete works or excerpts that conform to the size and format requirements of the electronic application, or links to full works that are found on the web. All samples must be in MP3 format for uploading to the AGO site. The total listening time of the samples should not exceed 15 minutes and each file should not be more than 15 megabytes.

(Applicants may choose to submit video samples instead; follow instructions for dance artists below. For web link submissions, identify the principal artists or performance, date, and venue on the Web Link Collection form.)

For composers and songwriters submitting original work, the following supporting material should be uploaded to the Support Materials page to supplement the recordings you submit online: 

    • For chamber, electronic, experimental, or symphonic music, the score (in PDF format) for each recorded work you submit
    • For jazz compositions, a lead sheet (in PDF format) for each recorded work you submit
    • For song submissions, the lyrics (in PDF format) for each uploaded song.

Include at least one complete work among your submitted works.

Craft Artists and Visual Artists
For the great majority of applicants, you will upload up to 15 JPEGs of recent work following the instructions on the AGO site. AGO has specific image formatting and size requirements to facilitate uploads to the site. You should read the tutorial Image Preparation for detailed information about how to prepare your images before attempting to upload them to the AGO site.

Performance artists and artists working in time-based media may present their work in digital video instead of with JPEG images. Work samples should be concise; five minutes or less total running time (all samples) is recommended (200 megabytes maximum). All samples must be in MP4 format for uploading to the AGO site. For web link submissions, give the title, description of materials and other relevant information, date, and venue of the exhibit or performance on the Web Link Collection form.

Digital video submissions should include the running time of each work in the description. Artists working in new genres, including work created on or intended for presentation on the computer, should present static samples as JPEGs and kinetic samples as digital video. If you want to submit JPEGs and video, contact the staff for guidelines on the number of images and length of video clips allowed.

Dance Artists, Puppeteers, Spoken-word Artists, Storytellers, and Theater Artists
Upload samples of at least two recent performances and no more than four performances total. Samples may be excerpts that conform to the size and format requirements of the electronic application (MP3 for audio, MP4 for video), or links to full works that are found on the web. Total listening time for audio samples should not exceed 15 minutes and individual uploads should be limited to 15 megabytes. For uploaded video samples, total viewing time should not exceed 10 minutes and individual uploads should be limited to 200 megabytes. For web link submissions, identify the production, date, and venue on the Web Link Collection form. Indicate on the description whether the performances are of your original work, or the work of another artist.

Filmmakers and Video Artists
Upload up to a ten-minute sample, using the size and format requirements of the electronic application, or provide a link(s) to a work(s) on the web. For uploaded video samples, use the MP4 format. Total viewing time should not exceed 10 minutes and individual uploads should be limited to 200 megabytes or less. For web link submissions, provide the title(s), a two-sentence summary of the plot(s), the running time of the segment(s) and for the complete work(s), and the roles of key people (including yourself) in each production on the Web Link Collection form.

Playwrights, Poets, Prose Writers, and Screenwriters
Upload a document (PDF) that includes a sample of your work:

  • Up to 10 pages of single-spaced poems, or
  • Up to 30 double-spaced pages of fiction or nonfiction, or
  • Up to 30 double-spaced pages of a play or screenplay, or
  • Work in a combination of these genres no longer than 30 pages.

For partial samples of fiction, nonfiction, plays, and screenplays, include within the 30-page maximum a one-page synopsis of the work as a whole. Follow industry standards when formatting play and screenplay samples. Script-formatting software is widely available, including Final Draft, MovieMagic Screenwriter, Movie Outline and CeltX.

Work Sample Descriptions

When you upload images or video to the AGO site, you will have the opportunity to provide descriptions of your work. There are text boxes for the title, running time of sample, year completed, and dimensions, all of which you should fill in, as appropriate to the sample.

For visual artists, the text box entitled Artwork Description may be to supply the medium or media for each work. You may, space permitting, briefly annotate your work to illuminate technical, functional or contextual details not apparent in the sample. Please do not provide values for your work, even though there are text boxes for this purpose. The Collaborator fields should be completed only if you share artistic authorship of the work with another artist.

For web link submissions, you should also provide work sample description information on the Web Link Collection form, including title, media, dimensions, date of completion, running time of segment and other relevant description.

Support Materials

You may submit up to three documents supporting your application. Support materials may include letters of support from partners, articles, or other information that reinforces your qualifications or the feasibility of the project. You may also submit a three-to-five minute video clip documenting your work in a community setting, using a Web Link Collection form. Please limit support materials to one document per upload.

Submitting Your Application Package

When you have completed your application on the AGO site, you must submit online no later than 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2016. It is recommended that you print out a copy of the PDF of the application for your records, but you are not required to mail a hard copy to the Arts Council as part of your submission.

What Happens Next

After you submit the application electronically, you will receive an automatic email confirming its receipt. Arts Council staff reviews all of the applications for eligibility and completeness and prepares them for panel review, a process that can take several months, depending on the number of submissions.

A two-stage panel process will be conducted to review the applications and recommend the artists they consider most deserving of a community artist residency. We then submit the recommendations to the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources for approval.

We send letters to all of the applicants as soon as possible after approval is given, and in any case no later than midsummer, after the legislature passes a budget for the Arts Council.

Helpful Links

Online Application (AGO)
Community Artist Residency Application
Frequently Asked Questions
Image Preparation Tutorial
Web Link Collection Form

For more information, contact:

Jeff Pettus (for artists in craft, film/video, and visual arts)
(919) 807-6513

David Potorti (for theater artists and writers)
(919) 807-6512

Amy Hoppe (for general and technical questions)
(919) 807-6501