N.C. Arts Council Advances Cultural and Racial Equity Work: New grants and an upcoming virtual event reflect the agency’s evolving diversity and inclusion strategy

RALEIGH, N.C. (November 6, 2020) — Today the North Carolina Arts Council announced that $100,000 will be distributed as grants to 17 nonprofit arts organizations of color. Recipients of the awards and other North Carolina arts organizations of color are invited to attend the BIPOC Arts Equity Forum, a virtual event that will be presented on Friday, November 20, from 2–4 p.m. (BIPOC stands for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.) ­­­­

These resources will help recipients remain operational during the pandemic. Funding support was provided by South Arts, a nonprofit arts service organization that serves nine states in the Southeast.

The following North Carolina nonprofits will receive these grants:

Authoring Action, Winton-Salem 
CineOdyssey Film Festival, Charlotte
Diamante, Inc., Cary
Drummers World Drumline Performing Arts School, Goldsboro
The Rosenthal Gallery at Fayetteville State University, Fayetteville
Gaspard & Dancers, Inc., Durham
Leela Foundation, Cary
North Carolina Central University Art Museum, Durham
NorthStar Church of the Arts, Durham
Ocean City Beach Citizens Council, North Topsail
The Arts Empowerment Project, Charlotte
The Beautiful Project, Durham
The Gifted Arts, Inc., Garner
Triad Cultural Arts, Inc., Winston-Salem     
Walltown Children's Theatre, Durham
Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts, Inc., Winston-Salem
YMI Cultural Center, Asheville

The grants and upcoming forum are the latest steps in the N.C. Arts Council’s efforts to understand how disparities of race, class, and access stand in the way of its vision of arts for all people. In addition to taking a hard look at its own history, practices, and organizational culture, the Arts Council is engaging in dialogue with artists and organizations of color, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion team of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and the N.C. African American Heritage Commission. This effort is being spearheaded by the agency’s deputy director, Dr. Tamara Holmes Brothers.

“The North Carolina Arts Council is committed to being a diverse and inclusive arts organization. We acknowledge that there is work to be done to achieve the goal of bringing best practices for equity into the agency’s culture, programs, and overall infrastructure,” says Dr. Brothers.

“We all have the power to move diversity forward in the world. Intention is the first step.  We look forward to hearing from our constituents as we continue our own intentional work of self-reflection.”

The BIPOC Arts Equity Forum will help the N.C. Arts Council better understand and address racial and cultural inequities in the field, and it is the first in a series of such events that the agency will host. North Carolina organizations of color may register for the BIPOC Arts Equity Forum here. Because of limited capacity, attendance at this event is first come, first served only.

BIPOC Arts Equity Forum

For questions about this program, please email Dr. Brothers at Tamara.Brothers@ncdcr.gov. For accessibility accommodations, please get in touch with our accessibility coordinator, Kathleen Collier, at Kathleen.Collier@ncdcr.gov.

About the North Carolina Arts Council

The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. www.NCArts.org