Organizational Development

The Arts Council provides long-term organizational development through the New Realities Program. Conducted by Nello McDaniel of Arts Action Research, the New Realities Program provides arts organizations with a conceptual framework, working process, tools, and guidance to develop effective ways to address current and ever-changing realities and needs.

Participants in the program work with the consultant to better understand the environment they are working in, and develop plans that will address how, given its environment, the organization will make its art or produce arts programs, connect with its community, and develop the human and financial resources it needs. The program requires the organization’s staff leadership to participate and be prepared to explore new and different approaches to organizational structure and operation. The organization’s board leadership is also expected to participate in various aspects of the program. 

Generally, the consultant meets with each organizational participant five times a year. Organizations must commit to participating for at least one year and most groups participate for three or more. The content of the work sessions is determined by the artistic and operational needs of each group. Issues addressed may include centering and positioning of the organization, board and staff development, planning, financial management, fundraising, and marketing. These will be carefully viewed in the context of each group’s artistic vision and direction, the organization’s community and audience, and the human and financial resources available.

You must reach out to our staff contact before applying for the New Realities Program. Priority is given to applicants who currently receive direct funding from the N.C. Arts Council.

How to Apply

Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO Smart portal ( First-time applicants will be asked to provide the following information on the application form: 

  1. Describe the current condition of your organization;
  2. Describe the two to three challenges your organization is currently facing;
  3. Describe what you hope to accomplish by participating in this program.

Current New Realities participants will be asked for the following information:

  1. Describe what your organization has accomplished to date through the New Realities Program during the current project period;
  2. Describe what you would like to accomplish through the program during 2019-20.

Staff Contact

Nancy Trovillion, Deputy Director
(919) 814-6526