State Arts Resources

State Arts Resources Rural Outreach - This grant provides funding to State Arts Resources organizations to support new or expansions of established outreach programs to Tier 1 and Tier 2 counties. Deadline: October 6

State Arts Resources

This category is designed to support mature arts organizations that, over time, have produced consistently strong arts programs and services and demonstrated strong management and financial accountability. State Arts Resources organizations typically excel at providing one or more of the following: 

  • High quality programming to a regional service area
  • Innovative new work in an art form
  • Model programs that set standards of excellence for the state
  • Appropriate and competitive fees to artists for services
  • Opportunities to experience and engage with strong artwork and programs otherwise unavailable within the region 

State Arts Resources have at least one full-time paid staff member and have an established operating budget of more than $150,000.

To be eligible to apply for State Arts Resources grants, new applicants must be able to meet the evaluation criteria and have:

  • Consistently produced arts programs and demonstrated organizational stability for a minimum of five years
  • Received Arts Council program grants for at least two out of the past three years
  • At least one full-time staff member and maintained an operating budget of more than $150,000 for the past three years

Colleges, universities, and local arts councils are not eligible to apply in this category. 


Funds are provided to support the ongoing artistic and administrative functions of arts organizations. Fundable expenses may include, but are not limited to, salaries, artists’ fees, production, travel, promotion, postage, telephone, and facility operation. Grant amounts generally range from $15,000 to $85,000, are based on the organization’s application rating, operating budget size, and Arts Council funding history, and may not exceed 10 percent of the organization’s cash operating expenses, averaged over the past three years. Organizations that have a recurring line item in the legislative budget have restricted access to State Arts Resources grants and should call Arts Council staff before applying. 

Grant funds must be spent between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018. 

Evaluation Criteria

Each full State Arts Resources application is reviewed and rated by one of the Arts Council’s review panels based on the following evaluation criteria. 

Artistic Quality

  • Programs are recognized for high artistic quality.
  • Appropriate payment of fees and other services are provided to artists and arts professionals.
  • Programs reflect a coherent artistic vision and explore improvement and innovation within the context of the organization’s mission, purpose, and environment.

Education and Outreach

  • Programs are well attended and engage audiences and participants from a regional service area or greater.
  • Outreach activities, educational programs, publications, and/or interpretive materials are provided to broaden, deepen, and diversify audiences and increase life-long learning through the arts.
  • Programs are provided that involve racially and culturally diverse artists and participants.
  • Efforts are made to make programs accessible to those who have limited arts opportunities due to educational, geographic, ethnic, or economic constraints.
  • Audience development and marketing strategies demonstrate intentionality and creativity in reaching new audiences. Web site is informative, easy to navigate, and visually engaging; organization uses social media effectively.

Organizational Strength

  • Organization demonstrates stability through effective board and staff leadership, sound administrative practices, and long-range planning.
  • Organization models fiscal responsibility through prudent budget management, diversified fundraising efforts, and achievable strategies for long-term growth and sustainability.
  • Organization demonstrates a commitment to racial and cultural equity in its governance, administration, and programming.

Regional and Statewide Service

  • Organization contributes to the local, regional, and state economy by creating jobs, promoting cultural tourism, and playing an active role in the economic development of its community. 
  • Organization serves a regional or statewide audience by attracting visitors and participants from beyond its home county, sharing resources and creating partnerships with arts and other organizations in its area, and participating in advocacy activities, both locally and at the state level. 

How to Apply

Organizations submit a full State Arts Resources application every three years. In the off years of the three-year cycle, organizations submit an update application, unless notified otherwise by staff. Visual and multidisciplinary organizations must submit a full application for the 2016- 2017 deadline. The 2017-18 deadline is Wednesday, March 1, 2017. The application will be available online on January 6, 2017. Applicants will submit the form electronically through the GO-Smart portal (  For more information about the online application process, please view our webinar.

The following information will be requested of organizations required to submit a full application. Make sure that the information you provide addresses the evaluation criteria within the context of your organization’s mission, purpose, and environment. Organizations will also be asked to provide operating income and expense information for the last, current, and upcoming fiscal years on the form provided.

Artistic Quality

1. Describe your artistic programs and activities for the proposed grant period. Please attach copies of your 2016-17 and 2017-18 program schedules as directed.
2.Describe the types of work and rates of payment your organization provides to artists. List the total fees paid to artists and the total number of artists paid in the most recently completed fiscal year and specify any operating agreements your organization observes regarding the payment of artists. Also list artist payment projections for this year and next year. State what percentage of artists receiving remuneration and services are from N.C.
3.Describe the artistic vision for your organization and your approach to artistic programming, including how your choices explore thematic connections and demonstrate innovation in the context of your art form or area of concentration.

Education and Outreach

4. Describe your educational programs for adults and schoolchildren, such as in-school performances, field trips, lecture series, post-performance discussions, publications, and other ways you interpret the artistic content you present and engage the audiences you serve. Explain how you integrate education into your overall programming approach.
5. Describe the audiences that you reach with your current programs and new audiences you plan to engage in the upcoming year, especially those with limited opportunities to experience your programs due to factors such as educational background, geography, ethnic or cultural diversity, or economic constraints.  Include participation statistics and demographic profiles for your audiences.
6. Describe your strategies for developing new audiences and your priorities for audience development. Explain how you use online resources (web site, social media, etc.) to reach existing and potential audiences.

Organizational Strength

7. Describe the qualifications of your key board and staff. Give recent examples of how your board actively promotes, participates in, and provides resources for the organization. Attach a list of current staff and board members in the Support Materials section and identify with titles or professional expertise. 
8. Describe your organization’s planning process and summarize the key goals and objectives of your current long-range plan.
9. Describe your organization’s financial condition. Include information about accumulated debt, deficits, surpluses, principal sources of revenue, cash reserves, and endowments. Indicate any plans for long-term stability, such as capital, endowment, or special fundraising campaigns. Please attach your most recent audit (2015-16), or a 990 or financial statement for the period, if you do not have a current audit.        
10. Describe how your organization is committed to racial and cultural diversity and inclusion in its programming, administration, and governance. Include specific examples of current and planned activity that illustrate this commitment. 

Regional and Statewide Service

11. Describe how your organization is a resource to the state and region beyond your home county through programming, consultation and services, partnerships, and as a cultural destination. Provide a breakdown of participation at your home facility from outside your home county and statistics documenting outreach and other contacts your organization undertakes in the surrounding region.
12. Summarize how your organization’s board and staff advocate for public funding for the arts locally and on a statewide level.
13. Describe how your organization contributes to the local and state economy. Include employment, taxes, visitor statistics, and other forms of economic impact you track. Give examples of how your organization participates in economic development efforts in your community.

The following information will be requested of organizations required to submit an update application.

1. Provide a description of your key programs for the proposed grant period July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. Please upload a 2017-18 program schedule as directed.
2. Describe how your organization is a resource to the state and region beyond your home county through programming, consultation and services, partnerships, and as a cultural destination. Provide participation and economic impact statistics to show how your organization contributes to the cultural life and economy of the region.
3. Describe any significant changes in your organization (i.e. changes in administration, board diversity, physical plant, financial condition, organization structure) that have occurred since your last year’s application.
4. Upload an audit for your most recently completed fiscal year (2015–2016). If you do not have a current audit, upload a 990 or financial statement for the period.

Support Materials and Work Samples

Support materials and work samples are required for organizations submitting the full application and may be required for update applications. Please check with your staff contact if you have any questions.

Full application support materials and work samples
Update application support materials and work samples

New Applicants

New applicants to State Arts Resources will be considered along with other organizations in their discipline when these panels meet to review applications every third year. This year, music, dance, traditional arts, and arts in education organizations that wish to apply for State Arts Resources grants must submit a letter of intent to apply by Friday, January 20, 2017. The letter should describe how the applicant meets the eligibility requirements and the evaluation criteria for the category. Include a staff list with current annual salaries and fringes and your most recent audit, 990, or year-end financial statement. Address this letter to Jeff Pettus, Senior Program Director for Artists & Communities, at the Arts Council and do not exceed three pages. We’ll contact you to discuss your eligibility to submit a full application on March 1 and funding potential in this category.

Staff Contacts

Arts-in-education organizations, contact:
Sharon Hill
(919) 807-6502

Dance organizations, contact:
Anjanée Bell

Multi-arts organizations, contact:
Leigh Ann Wilder
(919) 807-6508

Presenting and theater organizations, contact:
David Potorti  
(919) 807-6512

Traditional arts organizations, contact:
Sally Peterson
(919) 807-6507

Visual arts, film, and music organizations, contact:
Jeff Pettus
(919) 807-6513