Chatham Arts Council offers up to $10,000 in Grassroots Arts Grants

Pittsboro, NC – Are you an arts organization who could use a cash grant to help with program or operating expenses? If so, the Chatham Arts Council has some exciting news for you!

The Small Folk Art Museum in Pittsboro is a previous Grassroots Arts Grant winner.

Applications are now available online for the Chatham Arts Council’s annual “Grassroots Arts Grants”, a program aimed to help organizations do amazing work through the arts. Since 2000, the Chatham Arts Council (CAC) has awarded nearly $200,000 to nonprofits, who in turn, use the money to fund artists and carry the arts into every corner of the county. The CAC is now accepting online applications at

The CAC serves as the Designated County Partner to the North Carolina Arts Council in awarding the funds to local organizations.

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.

Organizations applying must:
   – Have been in operation for at least one year as a 501(c)(3);
   – Have an arts mission, or a program that uses the arts to help accomplish the organization’s mission;
   – Be based in Chatham County, or carry out the project in Chatham County.

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.

The CAC is offering a Zoom meeting with applicants who may have questions about the process on July 14, 2020 from 3 pm to 4:30 pm. Interested persons should RSVP to Jenni Detwiler via email.

The deadline for applications and supporting materials is July 31, 2020.

For more information on the Grassroots Arts Grants, or to apply, visit

Chatham Arts Council  919-542-0394
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PHYSICAL ADDRESS: 118 West St., Pittsboro, NC  27312
MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 418, Pittsboro, NC  27312