FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 22, 2020
NC CARES for Arts Grants Provide Big Boost to Chatham County Arts Orgs
Ten Groups Awarded Funds to Offset Impact of COVID-19
Pittsboro, NC— During this pandemic, arts organizations have been particularly vulnerable. But the Chatham Arts Council (CAC) is thrilled to be the bearer of GOOD NEWS. The CAC and the North Carolina Arts Council are proud to distribute NC CARES for Arts grants to ten local arts councils and nonprofit arts organizations, helping them better survive the financial effects COVID-19 has had on their organizations.
The organizations are being awarded a portion of the more than $87,000 from North Carolina’s spending plan for federal CARES Act designated specifically for Chatham County. Grant recipients include: Abundance North Carolina, Chatham Artists Guild, Clapping Hands Farm, EbzB Productions, NC Arts Incubator, Pittsboro Youth Theater, StreetSigns, The Alliance, and WildesArt. In addition to being the designated partner to distribute funds, the Chatham Arts Council is also receiving a portion of the grant.* While priority was given to nonprofits, arts businesses were also included in the process as they are vital to the arts landscape in Chatham.
“This has been a year unlike any other,” exclaimed Louise Kessel, Owner & Director, Clapping Hands Farms. “We never expected that we would have to cancel all of our in-person programming and transition our art camps to the virtual world. We are now in the process of trying to bring our in-person programming back—but with COVID-careful precautions. This grant will help us achieve our goal of having safe, in-person programs, all while still upholding our ‘No One Turned Away’ policy through our scholarship program.”
Organizations applying for grants were seeking reimbursement for operating expenses during the pandemic this year (March-December 2020). Their requests related to funds to offset costs of pivoting to virtual tours, insurance, salaries, postage, and the endless supply of needed hand sanitizers. Unlike most grants, the NC CARES for Arts grant was not based on artistic merit.
“This boost in funding came at a time when many arts organizations were running out of money,” shared Cheryl Chamblee, Chatham Arts Council’s Executive Director. “We will get to the other side of this intensely difficult time we’re in–and when we do, we need the arts to still be there for us.”
Grants will be disbursed by December 30, bringing some much-needed New Year’s cheer to organizations who’ve been hit hard during this unusual year.
“The NC CARES for Arts grant will be an integral part of the future of the Incubator as we continue to expand our programs and mission beyond the walls of our building to serve as a hub for our community, artists, makers and innovative thinkers,” exclaimed Michael Feezor, Director, NC Arts Incubator.
The availability of these COVID relief funds for the arts is due to the strong advocacy by ArtsNC, North Carolina Arts Council, and individual citizens statewide. To learn more about the NC CARES for Arts grants, visit www.ChathamArtsCouncil.org.
ABOUT THE CHATHAM ARTS COUNCIL
The Chatham Arts Council nurtures creative thinkers in Chatham County. We do this in two ways: we invest in artists and we educate kids through the arts. In its thirty-seventh year as a nonprofit arts agency, Chatham Arts Council’s flagship programs include Meet This Artist, Go See This, artist grants, and the Chatham Artists-in-Schools Initiative – serving more than 3,500 children this year. Chatham Arts Council is proud to partner with the NC Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, Chatham County Schools, and numerous Chatham arts organizations, human resource nonprofits, and local businesses. For more information, visit www.ChathamArtsCouncil.org.
ABOUT THE NORTH CAROLINA ARTS COUNCIL
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. Learn more at www.NCArts.org.
* The percentage of eligible expenses granted to the CAC was less than the percentage of eligible expenses granted to other nonprofits
CONTACT: April Starling, Marketing/Public Relations Leader of the Chatham Arts Council, firstname.lastname@example.org or 917.544.0608.
NOTE: Feel free to publish partially or in its entirety, with or without a byline. The article was written by April Starling, Marketing/Public Relations Leader, Chatham Arts Council.