Arts in Education Grants


Grant-Making in Response to the Pandemic 

Throughout the pandemic, the North Carolina Arts Council has adapted our grant-making strategies to support the arts sector. With a new round of federal recovery funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)*, we adjusted the list of grant offerings again.

Here is the overview:

  • The grant deadline for organizations is Monday, May 2, 2022. Detailed grant guidelines have been posted and online applications are now open. 
  • With the additional funding, we created a new grant category called Spark the Arts that is available to non-profit organizations doing arts programming. Entities that are not designated 501(c)3 have the option of using a fiscal agent to apply in this category. The purpose of the grants is to support organizations as they reengage with the public through a combination of programming, marketing, rebuilding staff capacity, and facilitating safety protocols. This broad project category replaces Program Support for now and includes special focus areas previously supported through the Arts Equity Project grants and the Military and Veterans Healing Arts grants.
  • In addition to applying for a Spark the Arts grant, organizations will also be eligible to receive funding in the following categories if they meet the criteria: Organization Support, State Arts Resources, Statewide Service Organizations, Traditional Arts for Students Program (TAPS), and Technical Assistance.
  • Designated and provisional county partners who receive the Grassroots Arts Program allocation for their county are not eligible to apply for Spark the Arts project grants because additional federal funds will be available through Grassroots.
  • The grant deadline for schools to apply for Arts in Education Artist Residencies grants is Monday, May 2, 2022. cARTwheels grants will remain paused for FY23. Detailed information about updates to the cARTwheels program will be made available in Fall 2022. Schools and school districts are not eligible to apply for Spark the Arts grants.
  • Artist Fellowships will remain on hiatus for FY 2022-23. Those resources will continue to be shifted to the Artist Support Grant category administered regionally in partnership with local arts councils.

*In the state budget passed by the General Assembly in November, the North Carolina Arts Council received $15 million in federal recovery funds -- $10 million assigned to the Grassroots Arts Program and $5 million assigned to General Grants.


This program provides students with arts learning experiences that spark creativity, imagination, and innovation. Arts In Education (AIE) grant categories include cARTwheels, which tours some of the state’s finest artists to communities across North Carolina, and Artist Residencies, which supports artists working in schools or after school programs for 10 days or more.  

The AIE program provides support to schools and nonprofit organizations to strengthen the use of the arts in pre-K–12 settings. We give priority to funding fees for professional artists to work in educational settings and collaborations between arts organizations and schools. Arts in Education grants are not intended to substitute for a school’s arts education program.

There are two AIE grant categories:

  1. cARTwheels (Paused)
  2. Artist Residencies

NOTE: Applicants cannot submit proposals in both AIE grant categories. They must choose either cARTwheels or Artist Residencies.


Kathleen Collier
Arts in Education Director & Accessibility Coordinator
(919) 814-6515
Email Kathleen