Military and Veterans Healing Arts

These grants are designed to support arts projects focused on serving North Carolina’s military servicemen and women, veterans, and their families.

North Carolina has the fourth largest military population in the U.S. with over 130,000 active duty servicemen and women stationed at five military bases, a military ocean terminal, and a coast guard base. North Carolina's veteran population is over 775,000, ranking the eighth highest in the nation. Four federal VA medical centers and 14 state veteran service centers are the foundation of support for veterans in the state, and other resources are available through universities and community colleges, and non-profit organizations. 

In addition to the intrinsic value that the arts possess to enhance the quality of life for all citizens, they provide important support for the unique needs of servicemen and women, veterans and their families. For these military audiences engaging in arts activities:

  • Enhances healing and provides important health benefits in every stage from recovery to wellness;
  • Strengthens a sense of self, and creates opportunities to tell one’s story in different ways, including nonverbal means of expression;
  • Builds a connection with the community and diminishes feelings of isolation, both by making art in a group setting and also by instigating a public discussion about topics relevant to servicemen and veterans.


Organizations that provide high-quality artistic programs designed to serve audiences on the military continuum are eligible to apply. Projects that grow out of a strong collaboration between arts organizations and military bases, VA medical centers, or veterans service providers will receive priority in funding. Community arts organizations such as theaters, symphonies, and choral groups may apply for programs involving professional artists. University-based programs must focus on audiences outside the university community and be part of an overall effort to reach audiences outside the university. 


An array of arts projects with an emphasis on serving military and veteran audiences are eligible for support. Examples include:

  • A single exhibition, performance, or two to three related events, such as a reading series;
  • A series of workshops;
  • An artist residency;
  • A literary publication or documentary film.

All projects must include appropriate outreach activities. Additionally, projects that contribute to the development of this field of work through technical assistance are eligible for support. Programs must take place between July 1, 2020, and June 30, 2021.


  • The artistic quality of the program;
  • Evidence of solid planning with a military or veteran partner organization;
  • Potential of the project to have a positive impact on identified military or veteran audience;
  • Inclusiveness of racially, culturally, and economically diverse participants as appropriate to the program;
  • Feasibility to implement the program.


Grant amounts range from $5,000 to $15,000. Organizations may not apply for more than 10-percent of their prior-year cash operating expenses. Organizations with prior-year expenses between $20,000 and $50,000 are eligible to apply for $5,000, the minimum grant award. Grant funds may be used for artist fees, marketing, interpretive materials, contractual fees (including contractual personnel) and other related costs. All grants to organizations must be matched dollar for dollar except those serving rural, low-wealth counties designated Tier 1, which are eligible for 75 percent to 100 percent funding. Organizations must make a strong case for financial need if the cash match is less than one-to-one.


The 2020-21 deadline is Monday, March 2, 2020. The application will be available online on January 7, 2020. Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO Smart portal ( Make sure that the information you provide addresses the evaluation criteria. 


  1. In two or three paragraphs, provide a clear and concise overview of your proposed project. Summarize what will happen, when it will happen, who will be involved, and a statement of the project goals. 
  2. Provide a description of the military or veterans community that you will serve. Include information about the nature of the military connection and demographics of the population (ie: age, gender, race). What planning and collaboration have already taken place between your agency and the military and veterans community?
  3. How will the proposed project provide benefits to servicemen and women, veterans, or their families?
  4. Provide a description of the key people involved in the project, including their role, expertise or affiliation, gender, and race. Highlight the selected artists and outside professionals you are working with and explain how and why they were chosen. State the rate of payment for each artist and professional contracted for services. 
  5. Describe how you will evaluate the proposed project. Include any specific measures of success for the project and how you will document these metrics.


  • Submit a project timeline and schedule of activities.
  • Submit an itemized budget.
  • Submit detailed letters of support from partner organizations.
  • Submit a work sample that demonstrates the quality of the artists’ work.


Vicki Vitiello
Director of Operations & Arts Learning
(919) 814-6504