We’re thrilled to have granted an average of $10,000 every year for the past 20 years–nearly $200,000 total–to other nonprofits using the arts to do extraordinary work in Chatham County through annual Grassroots Arts Grants.
In one of our favorite partnership efforts, the Chatham Arts Council serves as the Designated County Partner to the North Carolina Arts Council in awarding these funds. And organizations use these dollars to fund artists and carry the arts into every corner of this county.
We’re proud of this investment in artists, and we invite you to read about our past recipients below. And take a look at our guidelines to see if your group is a good match to apply for a Grassroots Arts Grant.
For more information about the Grassroots Arts Grant Program, please contact us at jenni (at) ChathamArtsCouncil (dot) org.
The Grassroots Grant Program is made possible by individual contributions to the Chatham County Arts Council’s general operating fund—and by the Grassroots Arts Program of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Grassroots Arts Program :: Guidelines for Application
The 2021-22 Grassroots Arts Subgrant Application deadline is June 11, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. We will hold a virtual grants workshop on May 17, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:00p.m. via Zoom. Please plan to attend–even if you are a frequent applicant. RSVP is required to Jenni Detwiler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note: The online form will not allow you to move forward in the application until all fields have been completed. We realize this is challenging, so we’ve provided a sample PDF of the full application for your planning purposes 2020 Sample Application here.
If you have questions about your application, please email us at jenni (at) chathamartscouncil (dot) org.
Who may apply?
To be eligible, your organization must be able to answer YES to all of the following questions:
- Are you an organization?
- Have you been in operation for at least one year? 501(c)(3) status or fiscal agency is required.
- Do you have an arts mission—or do you have a program that uses the arts to help accomplish your mission?
- Are you based in Chatham County or do you carry out your work in Chatham County?
- Can you submit your application and support materials by June 11, 2021?
What can we apply for?
Cash! Cash grants range from $500 to $2,500. We prefer to award gifts of $500 or greater for two reasons: (1) We want our grants to have strong impact, and (2) There is significant required reporting for the subgrantee.
What activities are eligible?
Grassroots Arts Program funds may be used for expenditures to conduct quality arts programs or to operate an arts organization.
Typical uses of Grassroots money include:
- Program expenses such as artists’ fees and travel, space rental, advertising, marketing and publicity, website and electronic media, scripts, costumes, sets, props, music and equipment rental or purchase.
- Operating expenses for arts organizations, including salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent, utilities, insurance and equipment rental or purchase.
Two particular areas of interest for the Chatham Arts Council are (1) local artist fees/fair payment of artists and (2) outreach to diverse and/or underserved communities.
Who gets funding priority?
- The first priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to provide operating or program support to qualified arts organizations including theaters, symphonies, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, dance companies, folk arts societies, writers groups and arts festivals. We’re talking about groups whose mission is all about making and sharing art. Grassroots funds are not generally awarded to arts organizations that receive funding through the N.C. Arts Council’s General Support Program.
- The second priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to support arts learning and arts-in-education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in schools, after school summer camps, or adult arts learning classes.
- The third priority of Grassroots Arts subgrants is to support community organizations that provide quality art experiences for the greater community. These programs must be conducted by qualified artists—and if they’re local artists, that’s even better. But these local artists can’t already be on your organization’s staff! We can’t support your non-arts org’s payroll with these grants.
What are the policies for specific types of organizations?
- Tribal organizations that receive grassroots funds must represent state or federally recognized tribes.
- Colleges, universities, civic organizations, municipalities, and libraries may receive grants for arts programs that are community-based or generate regional arts involvement. Grants may not support their internal programs, administration, or operation expenses (library books, band boosters, equipment purchases).
- Religious organizations or churches may not receive grassroots funds unless the programs are presented outside regular church services, engage the larger community, and do not contain religious content.
- Grassroots funds may not be used for activities associated with a school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or student arts competitions and publications.
What will the Grassroots Arts Program decline to support?
Subgrants may not be awarded to individuals or to organizations for prizes or tuition, including scholarships and financial awards. Grassroots Arts Program money may not be used for the following kind of expenditures:
- Art, music, and dance therapy
- Art supplies
- Fundraising events
- High school band activities or equipment
- Interest on loans, fines, or litigation costs
- Capital expenditures
- Lobbying expenses
- Contingency funds
- Oral history and history projects
- Deficit reduction
- Tuition for academic study
- Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
When does my project need to take place?
The activity must occur between July 1 of the application year and June 30 of the following year, and all grant funds and matching funds must be spent during that time. Retroactive grant applications (for activities that occurred between July 1 and the Grassroots Grants Award announcements on September 30) are allowable, but they do not tend to score as well with grant panels. If you’d like to apply for support of a multi-year project, you can apply for the phase of the project that will happen in the current application year.
Is there a matching requirement?
Yes. All subgrantees are required to match their grant amounts dollar for dollar. The funds must come from other public or private sources. Other N. C. Arts Council funds cannot be used as a match.
What is required of Grassroots Grant Recipients?
Each grant recipient will:
- Complete the Grassroots Grant contract. The contract must be submitted to the Chatham Arts Council with a copy of your organization’s Conflict of Interest Policy, Certification of No Overdue Taxes, Board List, W9, and By-Laws.
- Use the Chatham Arts Council logo in all relevant publicity. This includes listings in print materials, email blasts, web pages, and news releases. The Chatham Arts Council logo is available for download on our website here.
- Use the North Carolina Arts Council logo and grant acknowledgement line in all relevant publicity. This includes listings in print materials, email blasts, web pages, and news releases. The NC Arts Council’s web site offers information and downloadable logos, at ncarts.org.
- Thank Chatham County senators and representatives in writing for appropriating state funding for the arts. The letter should provide info about how Grassroots funds were used to support your program or project—as well as the community impact of the event. Copies of letters to legislators must be included in the subgrantee’s final report.
- File final reports on the use of the grant in a timely and thorough manner. Each subgrantee is required to submit a final report providing a detailed description of the funded project, participation statistics and demographics, sample marketing and program materials using the N. C. Arts Council and Chatham Arts Council logos, and copies of their legislative letters. The Subgrant Report form can be downloaded from the N. C. Arts Council Web site. Final reports for FY22 grants must be completed online at the Reporting + Resources tab on this page by May 31, 2022.
Yes, please do explore below to learn about some of our past partnership projects with Grassroots Arts Grant recipients!
- Go See This: New Classes now available at the Chatham Clay Studio
- Go See This: Drive-In Day of the Books / El Día de los Libros en Carro
- Go See This: NCAI Artshop opens with Folk Art Show
- Go See This: Fiesta! This Weekend in Siler City
- Go See This: Sisters’ Voices Spring Concert
- Go See This: Day of the Books / El Día de los Libros
- Go See This: Celebrate the Bluegrass Experience
- Meet This Artist: Leandra Strope is empowering girls to find their voices
- Go See This: Sisters’ Voices Winter Concert
- Go See This: The Day of the Book Festival / Vaya Ver Esto: El Día de los Libros Festival