How Can We Support More Local Artists?

Categories: ASC Projects, Blog, Grant Opportunities

CCI Tuesday

By Heather Pontonio, Program Director, Grants & Creative Individuals 

For years ASC has heard comments from multiple constituents that we don’t support individual artists.  Our response has truthfully been that ‘while we don’t have many funding opportunities for artists, we do have one granting program, the Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG), that directly supports individuals, and a lot of our funding to organizations provides salaries and opportunities for hundreds of local artists.’

Past RAPG recipient Joe Keller

But lately we have been asking ourselves, “How can we do more?” We think we have an answer.

The RAPG program is a partnership between ASC, 7 other arts councils in the region and the North Carolina Arts Council.  A number of these consortiums exist throughout our state providing the same type of support for individual artists.  However, statewide our region has continued to grow each year and is now collectively accepting more than double the applications of any other region.  This has created a complicated system for ASC that rotates disciplines and provides partial funding in order to manage the more than 100 applications annually – of which only 20% are funded.

We have spent the last few months breaking the program down to its core, and spent time talking to multiple constituents and a number of artists.  The result is a redesigned RAPG program.

Here are some of the highlights of the NEW Regional Artist Project Grant Program:

  • It is now open to all disciplines – no more waiting two years to apply
  • The annual deadline is now Sept. 22nd – finally moving it away from the summer!
  • Requests are for a single item – i.e. a professional development fee or to purchase or rent a single piece of equipment.
  • Grant requests can be up to $2,000 – we dropped the distinction between emerging and established for request amounts because everyone needs support no matter where they are in their career.
  • Funding will be all or nothing – artists either get the grant or they don’t.  No more scrounging for the other 40% because the grant only covers 60% of the need!
  • And drum roll please… here’s the big changes artists have been asking for – no more narrative or budget form!  We are going to ask a few questions online to get the information needed about the project and a required attachment proving the request amount replaces the budget form – hooray!

We hope that this revised program is an easier and friendlier format that opens the doors of ASC to more artists.  And in turn, helps to make our region into a better place for creative individuals.

In the coming months there will be two information sessions to find out about the grant and how to apply. They are:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Arts Council of York County
121 E. Main Street, Rock Hill, S.C.

To review materials and to apply for the Regional Artist Project Grant click here.