ASC Announces FY17 Investments to Help Ensure Culture For All

Categories: News & Media

Investments will provide more support to emerging organizations and reflect the region’s diversity

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (July 5, 2016) — ASC, the chief advocate, resource hub and steward for the Charlotte- Mecklenburg region’s cultural community, announced today initial and planned investments for FY17 – a combined $13.6 million to help ensure Culture For All. The investments are made possible by pooling public and private dollars given to ASC to ensure the vitality of region’s cultural community.

“These investments align with the tenants of the Cultural Vision Plan, the Cultural Life Task Force recommendations and ASC’s Strategic Plan,” said ASC President Robert Bush. “All of these plans imagine the impacts of arts and culture on our region’s quality of life, prosperity and lifelong learning. Once again, the community has rallied together to provide resources to attain that vision.”

An initial investment of $6.6 million includes support of diverse cultural festivals, cultural projects, arts and cultural experiences in all six Mecklenburg County towns and operating support for established and emerging cultural organizations. In addition to continuing support for 20 organizations, 11 cultural groups, that did not receive operating funds from ASC in FY16 will receive it in FY17: A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas, Carolinas Latin Dance Company, Charlotte Art League, Charlotte Folk Society, Gay Men’s Chorus, Historic Rosedale, Jazz Arts Initiative, Mint Hill Arts, On Q Performing Arts, One Voice Chorus and The Light Factory.

ASC engaged a panel of national and local financial and arts agency leaders to evaluate requests for support and provide data used by the ASC Board of Directors to determine grant awards.

This year’s investments will continue to build and strengthen community by providing access to relevant, educational and diverse arts and cultural experiences for all residents. ASC amended its grant-making policy in 2015 to expand operating support to emerging grassroots organizations to more fully reflect the region’s diversity and provide them with resources to innovate and strengthen their operations. The re-alignment in ASC’s grant-making strategy aligns with ASC’s new mission and connects to issues currently being studied by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Opportunity Task Force and other regional efforts to build social capital and broaden access to enrichment experiences for everyone. Over the next five years, ASC will recalibrate operating support levels to current partners and institute a universal cap on operating support awards to ensure sustainability of the program and provide operating support to emerging cultural groups that reflect the changes and growth of our population.

Any changes in grant awards for operating support recipients to the new maximum level will take place over a five year period. However, Blumenthal Performing Arts, although not in line for an adjustment to its operating support grant, stepped forward and is reducing its ASC operating grant to $150,000 in support of the changes ASC is making to better serve this community. In addition to the operating award, ASC will award Blumenthal with a $75,000 grant to underwrite local performing arts residencies at Duke Energy Theater and a $25,000 sponsorship of Blumenthal’s Breakin’ Convention Street Jam.

ASC will continue to seek solutions to barriers to participation in cultural experiences though the Culture Blocks initiative it launched in FY16. Increased investment from Mecklenburg County allows Culture Blocks to engage people in communities that have historically low levels of participation with ASC-funded programs. Through this program, ASC works in partnership with parks, recreation centers and libraries to facilitate dialogue, listening and understanding local residents’ perspectives on arts and culture to identify ways to introduce new or relevant arts and cultural programs in those communities.

ASC’s planned investments for FY17 will also support cultural learning experiences for Mecklenburg County pre-K-12 students, commissions for new public art across Charlotte-Mecklenburg, workshops and training opportunities for organizations and creative individuals and more.

View ASC’s initial round of approved investments for FY17.


ASC’s mission is to ensure access to an excellent, relevant and sustainable cultural community for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Region.


Bernie Petit