Reminder: Please review general grant eligibility and guidelines before proceeding.
North Carolina Arts Council’s LEAD Scholarship Grant
The North Carolina Arts Council’s LEAD Scholarship Grant provides professional development for arts administrators who are new to the field of arts accessibility and who are proactively developing inclusive arts programs and experiences for artists and audiences with disabilities in their communities.
The program provides funding for the following:
- Scholarships to attend the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ 2022 Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilities (LEAD) Conference in Raleigh
- Participation in a statewide arts accessibility learning cohort hosted by the North Carolina Arts Council in collaboration with Arts Access
- A $2,500 Technical Assistance grant to be used for travel and per diem at the LEAD Conference and to support staff time dedicated to the learning cohort.
The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disabilities Conference
The Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability Conference focuses on expanding the breadth and scope of accessible cultural arts programming. Through LEAD, cultural arts administrators engage in conversations with colleagues and experts from around the world; learn practical methods for designing inclusive arts experiences and environments; and develop best practices and resources. The 2022 conference will take place August 3 – 5, 2022 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Optional pre-conference workshops will take place August 1 - 2. For more information, please visit the conference website.
Who may Apply
To be eligible for a LEAD Scholarship Grant, applicants:
- Must be a nonprofit organization (or an organization that has applied for non-profit status using a fiscal agent);
- Must have been producing quality arts programs for at least two consecutive years:
- Must have prior-year organizational cash operating expenses of at least $20,000.
If awarded a scholarship grant, each organization will select one arts administrator to participate in the program. This participant will represent the host organization for the entirety of the program. Participants will agree to the following:
- Attend the in-person Kennedy Center for Performing Arts’ LEAD Conference in Raleigh, scheduled for August 3 – 5, 2022.
The North Carolina Arts Council will fund the full conference registration fee. Grant recipients are responsible for coordinating their own accommodations and travel to the conference. A portion of the FY22-23 Technical Assistance Grant may be used to cover any conference-related travel costs.
- Participate in a statewide arts accessibility learning cohort hosted by the North Carolina Arts Council in collaboration with Arts Access. Cohort workshops and meetings will take place virtually on the following dates:
- Wednesday, July 20, 2022 at 1 PM
- Thursday, August 4, 2022 during LEAD
- Wednesday, September 21, 2022 at 1 PM
- Wednesday, October 19, 2022 at 1 PM
- Wednesday, November 16, 2022 at 1 PM
- Wednesday, December 14, 2022 at 1 PM
- Share successful strategies for developing inclusive programming and organizational initiatives with peers in the field.
- Grant funds which are not used to cover travel costs associated with the LEAD Conference must go towards implementing an accessibility initiative at the grant recipient’s host organization.
- Grants funds must be spent between July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023. Upon completion of the program, grant recipients will be required to submit a final report which includes information about the accessibility initiative implemented at their organization along with an itemized budget and related support materials.
If accepted into the program, grant recipients would attend the 2022 LEAD Conference in Raleigh, scheduled for August 3 – 5 and participate in a statewide arts accessibility learning cohort during the Fall of 2022. The funding period for the Technical Assistance Grant is July 1, 2022 – June 30, 2023.
How we make funding decisions
Review process and criteria
A panel of North Carolina Arts Council staff will review applications and make recommendations for funding based on the following criteria:
- Applicant has a genuine interest in learning about best practices for developing inclusive arts experiences for audiences with disabilities. While applicants may be new to their work in accessibility, they must illustrate what steps they are currently taking to integrate inclusive practices within their organization (i.e. serve as an accessibility coordinator, have made a concerted effort to reach out to artists with disabilities within their community, and/or develop inclusive programs for audiences with disabilities).
- Applicant outlines how this grant opportunity will provide professional development and resources to authentically integrate accessibility within the growth of their organization.
- Applicant outlines the impact this grant opportunity will have on their own professional development with regards to arts accessibility.
Contact Arts in Education Director & Accessibility Coordinator Kathleen Collier and submit your application through the GO Smart grant portal. Applicants will be asked to provide the following information.
In addition to contact information, you will be asked to submit your organization’s mission statement, an organizational history, and both an Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number.
- Who from your organization will be participating in the LEAD Scholarship Program? Please provide name, title, contact email and phone number. What are their primary responsibilities within the organization?
- What types of accessibility programs and initiatives does your organization currently offer?
- What benefits do you see for your organization by attending the LEAD Conference and participating in a statewide arts accessibility learning cohort?
- How will participation in the LEAD Scholarship Program benefit your own professional development and responsibilities within your organization?
- As the primary participant, do you have any experience in arts accessibility and/or what types of resources do you hope to learn more about by participating in this program?