Artist Support Grants for Lead Partners

This category funds consortia of local arts councils that administer the Artist Support Grant Program for their regions. Building on the success of the Regional Artist Grant Program, the Artist Support Grant provides direct support to individual artists, funding professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities to create work or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences. Types of fundable projects include:

  • Creation of a new work;
  • Purchase of equipment;
  • Professional development workshops;
  • Travel support for expenses associated with a professional opportunity such as participating in an exhibition or a conference;
  • Development or upgrading of promotional materials such as brochures, DVDs, CDs, and websites.

Grant awards to artists generally range from $500 to $3,000, depending on the amount of money each consortium raises, the number of applicants, the number of artists selected, and the types of projects funded. Participating consortia are encouraged to raise matching funds for their programs, appoint a selection committee consisting of arts professionals with expertise in disciplines under review, facilitate the selection process, and administer the awards process. 

Grant amounts to regional consortia are determined by weighing the history and breadth of artist demand in each region; the amounts range from $5,000 to $50,000. Up to $1,000 may be spent on administrative expenses, including stipends for panelists, and the remaining grant amount will be spent for awards to artists.

The guidebook for administering the Artist Support Grant Program can be found on the Artist Support Grant resources page.


The 2021-22 deadline is Monday, May 3, 2021. The application will be available online on, March 15, 2021. Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO Smart portal. The information must address the funding criteria. Applicants will be asked to provide the following information:

  • A list of partner arts councils
  • A brief description of the marketing plan and proposed selection process for the 2021-22 grant year, including how panels are composed, specific objectives for the cycle, and application and selection panel dates, if scheduled. Include details about how these processes will engage organizations and artists of color in your region.


The entire grant amount should be entered on the artist contracts line, unless a portion is designated for administrative expenses.

Grant Application Assistance
North Carolina Arts Council staff are here to assist with grant applications. Visit our application assistance page for resources and grants staff contact information. 

For accessibility questions or accommodation requests, please contact the North Carolina Arts Council's Arts in Education Director & Accessibility Coordinator, Kathleen Collier, at or 919-814-6515.

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Sydney Steen
(919) 814-6524
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