Grassroots Arts Program Grants

Closed |​ Awards Announced in Early April


Since 1977, the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences. Using a per capita based formula, the program provides funding for the arts in all 100 counties of the state through partnerships with local arts councils. The Grassroots Grant Program is made possible by individual and private contributions to the Asheville Area Arts Council’s—and by the Grassroots Arts Program of North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

Funding for the 2021-22 grant cycle will focus on operating expenses for nonprofit arts organizations. These can include salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent, utilities, insurance and equipment rental.

An additional $50,000 in American Rescue Plan was awarded to Asheville Area Arts Council by Buncombe County Government for this round of GAP funding to specifically support salaries, mortgage/ rent, utilities, and costs associated with costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/ audiences (e.g. personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc.).

Multicultural organizations will receive priority. To be considered an a multicultural organization, the majority of staff and/or board must be BIPOC. No funding match will be required. The deadline to apply is March 14, 2022.

Please email questions to

North Carolina Arts Council   


  • Feb 14- Application opens
  • Mar 14- Application deadline
  • Late Mar/ Early Apr- Awards Announced
  • Early Apr- Funds distributed
  • June 15- Funding update due
  • Sept 15- Six month report due
  • March 15- 1 year report due

Description & Eligibility

Funding for the 2021-2022 grant cycle will focus on operating expenses for nonprofit arts organizations. Multicultural organizations will receive priority. To be considered a multicultural organization, the majority of staff or board must be BIPOC. No funding match will be required.

Eligibility for Application

• All organizations must have been in operation for at least one year and have nonprofit 501(c)(3) status or have a fiscal agent that has 501(c)(3) status.
• All organizations must reside and carry out projects within the county they are applying for funds.
• Individuals are not eligible to apply for Grassroots Arts funds.
• Applications and support materials must be completed and received by March 14, 2022.
• All projects must take place between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022.
• Grant amounts range from $500 and $5,000.

What the Grassroots Arts Program Funds

Funding for the 2021-22 grant cycle will focus on operating expenses for nonprofit arts organizations. Multicultural organizations will receive priority. To be considered a multicultural organization, the majority of staff and/or board must be BIPOC. No funding match will be required. Operating expenses can include salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent, utilities, insurance, and equipment rental.

Funding Policies

  • Tribal organizations that receive Grassroots funds must represent state or federally recognized tribes.
  • Colleges, universities, 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).
  • Subgrants may not be awarded to individuals or to organizations for prizes, competitions, tuition, or financial rewards.
  • Grassroots funds may not be used for art supplies or equipment.
  • 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.
  • Municipalities (city/county governments) may receive grants for arts programs which use qualified artists to conduct programs that involve the greater community. Grants may not support internal programs, administration or operating expenses.

Grassroots Arts Program money may not be used for the following kinds of expenditures:

  • Art, music, and dance therapists
  • Artifacts
  • Purchase artwork
  • Purchase equipment or art supplies
  • Capital expenditures or equipment
  • Contingency funds
  • Deficit reduction
  • Fundraising events
  • Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
  • School band activities or equipment
  • School choral activities
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Oral history and history projects
  • Tuition for academic study
  • Interest on loans, fines, or litigation costs

2021-22 Award Recipients

Arts For Life
Asheville Art Museum
Asheville Community Theatre
Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre
Asheville Puppetry Alliance/Street Creature Puppet Collective
Asheville Symphony Society, Inc.
Asheville Writers in the Schools & Communities
Attic Salt Theatre Company
Aurora Studio & Gallery, Inc.
Black Mountain Center for the Arts
Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Blue Ridge Orchestra
Center for Craft
Connect Beyond Festival
Delta House Life Development of Asheville, Inc.
Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective
Hola Carolina
I AM HOME Art Community
Immediate Theatre Project
LEAF Global Arts
Local Cloth
The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company
Montford Park Players
Noir Collective AVL
North Carolina Glass Center
North Carolina Stage Company
The Old Depot Association
Open Hearts Art Center
Pack Place Performing Arts
Playground Stage Children’s Theatre
Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance
Warrior Moms
Weaverville Art Safari
Western North Carolina Historical Association
Womansong of Asheville
Youth Arts Empowered

Arts Build Community Grant

Closed | Next Grant Cycle Spring 2023


Arts and culture are a fundamental part of our community. They help us connect with one another and better understand history, people, and new ideas. When people become involved in the design, creation, and upkeep of places, they develop a vested interest in using and maintaining these spaces. When neighbors have a true sense of “ownership” or connection to the places they frequent, the community becomes a better place to live, work, and visit. According to Americans for the Arts (AFTA), “86% of participants who took part in community-based art want to be involved in future projects, and people living where these art projects occurred were more than twice as likely to be civically engaged as those whose neighborhoods did not have projects.”

Now in its 5th year, the Arts Build Community supports innovative, arts-based projects that inspire diverse groups of participants to be more active, involved, and  civically-engaged by creating together. 

Sponsored by

2021-22 Grant Timeline

  • January 11- Application period opens
  • February 14- Application deadline
  • Late Feb/ Early March- Awards Announced
  • June 30- Final report due

Description & Eligibility

The Arts Build Community grant supports innovative, arts-based projects that inspire diverse groups of participants to be more active, involved, and  civically-engaged by creating together. Grants range from $500-2,500 and priority is given to projects based  in low-income neighborhoods, Title 1 public schools, and communities in need. 

Funds are for projects taking place from July 1, 2021- June 30, 2022. This can be a reimbursement for projects occurring during this funding period that have already taken place or for projects that have not yet occurred. Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022.

Questions? Email us at

2021-22 Award Recipients

$2,500 Asheville Writers In The Schools & Communities
This project supports residencies for youth in community settings by BIPOC artists. It involve the recruitment, training, and engagement of BIPOC artists to co-design residency experiences for youth living at Asheville’s margins.

$2,500 American Myth Center
A Different Myth, a collaboration between Different Strokes! Performing Arts Collective and the American Myth Center, is a new play development project with the goal of telling Black stories written by Black writers, performed by Black actors.

$2,500 Hood Huggers International/Peace Gardens & Market
Supports the creation of a digitally interactive self-guided art walk centered on portraits of historic BIOC figures and/or art created by BIPOC artists. The project is hosted within the Peace Gardens – located in the historically African American Burton Street neighborhood of West Asheville – which house well over 50 individual portraits, paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media installations centering African American history, BIPOC artists, and BIPOC culture. 

$2,500 Delta House Life Development of Asheville, Inc.
Supports afterschool arts programs with a focus on the jazz band at Delta House Life Development. Students in middle and high schools will explore the styles of African American visual artists and jazz musicians and create works of art that reflect their community.

$2,000 Journeymen Asheville
Journeymen works with In Real Life to provide after-school programming for middle schools in Buncombe county. Each semester, they work with 7-12 boys at UNCA’s S.T.E.A.M studio on an artistic crafts project. The goal is that each boy leaves the program with a skills using hand/power tools, an awakened passion for artistic expression, and the satisfaction of seeing a finished craft project of their own making.

$2,000 Youth Artists Empowered (YAE)
This project will use the power of art as a cathartic outlet to uplift, support and assist youth by providing six week group sessions in art, creativity, self-expression, and empowerment through education and art centered experiences for 8-10 underserved youth, ages 10-18 with a concentration of youth from our Southside Community.

$1,500 The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company
The Montford Moppets Youth Shakespeare Company has partnered with the City of Asheville to offer an 8-week theater class to students in afterschool care at the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center. Classes meet once a week for eight weeks and will give as many as 20 students ages 9-15 an introduction to theater through games and scene play. The program culminates in a showcase performance for the students’ peers and families.

TAPAAS Arts Residencies

Closed | Next Funding Cycle Fall 2022


TAPAAS is an arts-integration program that implements high quality artist residencies to create craft and performance experiences across all curriculum. Since 2010, TAPAAS has impacted more than 9,000 students, trained over 55 artists, and provided more than 850 days of artists in residence. Teachers report that 94% of TAPAAS residencies scored as ‘excellent’ in student enthusiasm and participation; student understanding of the curriculum was deeper when taught as a creative project, and there was increased parent engagement in the classroom. Now in its 11th year, TAPAAS has maintained the ability to be a cost-effective, far-reaching program with a profound impact on both individual artists and students in our community. In 2021, Asheville Area Arts Council partnered with the Asheville City Schools Foundation and the Buncombe County School District to expand programming into Buncombe County Schools– increasing the depth and breadth of this program.

View the Fall 2021 Catalog

Thank you to our sponsors!

Community Foundation of WNC.         .




Eligibility & How to Apply

All teachers in the Buncombe County Schools district are welcome to apply. Applications from Title 1 schools and/or underserved communities will receive priority. See the Fall 2021 TAPAAS Catalog for residency examples.

Questions? Email Hannah Duncan at

Artist Support Grant

(formerly Regional Artist Support Grant)

Closed | Opens Fall 2022


The North Carolina Arts Council understands the important role artists contribute to the vitality, unity and resiliency of our communities. The Arts Council has established the North Carolina Arts Council Artist Support Grant (ASG) as a one-year regional grant program to support individual artists during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will fund professional and artistic development for emerging or established artists to create work, improve their business operations, or bring their work to new audiences.

The program builds on the success of the North Carolina Arts Council’s Regional Artist Project Grant program where regional consortiums of arts councils collaborated to distribute more than $2 million to artists over 30 years. The Artist Support Grant program expands the number of regional consortiums from 13 to 18 to ensure a more equitable disbursement of funds to artists in rural and urban areas across the state.

Artist Support Grants will be distributed to eligible applicants by Haywood County Arts Council in the following counties: Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Polk, Rutherford, and Transylvania.


Timeline 2021-2022

  • TBA

Eligibility & How to Apply

Artists in all disciplines are eligible to apply for grants to support their professional and artistic development through a partnership of the North Carolina Arts Council and Asheville Area Arts Council, Haywood County Arts Council, Arts Council of Henderson County, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Rutherford County Recreation, Cultural, and Heritage Commission, and the Transylvania Community Arts Council. Grants range from $500 to $2,000.

For more information or questions please contact: Morgan Beryl, Haywood County Arts Council,, 828-452-0593

2021-22 Award Recipients

Buncombe County

Bonnie Antosh, Matilda H. B. BlissGeorgia DealDaniel DespinsMark Flowers, Beth R. Johnson, Deb KarashAdam Lion, Mary Amelia Pate, Irene Pickens, Chad RendelPearson RipleyFrank M. SouthecorvoPeter SpeerMichael J. Stevens, Kirsten StolleAni Volkan, and Jessica C. White

Haywood County

Elaine E. DohmsThomas Szewc, and Garret Woodward

Henderson County

Gayle Havens

Polk County

Linda T. Powell

Rutherford County

Fred Mead

Transylvania County

Stephen Hernandez