McColl Award


The purpose of the McColl Award is to invest in the creation of an original work. Through this award, the Arts & Science Council seeks to:

  • Commission new creative works (see examples of eligible projects below).
  • Inspire creative thinking in the presentation of creative product. Areas could include a unique approach to presenting programming or scientific/historical research projects resulting in exhibitions and/or publications.
  • Increase awareness, recognize excellence and build a greater appreciation for the creative process among the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community.

Grant Amount

$25,000 will be awarded to one (1) project.

Match Requirement

While there is no match requirement, if the project budget exceeds The McColl Award request amount, applicants must specify the dollar amount and the source(s) of the match.

Support Period

Opportunities must occur between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2021.

Who is Eligible

The following are eligible to apply:

  • An individual or an unincorporated group of individuals who:
    • Are professional artist(s); scientist(s); historian(s)
    • Have resided in Mecklenburg County for at least the past 12 months;
    • Are not enrolled as a student in higher education;
    • Do not serve on the staff or board of directors of any organizational partner of the project.
  • Organizations which:
    • Have 501(c)(3) nonprofit, tax-exempt status;
    • Are based in Mecklenburg County;
    • Have a primary mission of arts, science, or history/heritage;
    • Have a proven capacity to complete a new work;
    • Are not a School, College or University.

What is Eligible

Eligible projects must include:

  • The creation of an original work (performance or exhibition based).
  • A public exhibition or presentation of the new work.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to develop:

  • A collaborative, cross-disciplinary project.
  • Authentic working partnerships among creative individuals, cultural organizations and partners in the broader community.
  • An educational or outreach component. Examples could include public master classes with a creative individual or an exhibition in a workplace setting or for a school-based population; creative individual residencies; or neighborhood workshops.
  • Plans for documentation, evaluation, and dissemination, as appropriate, of the project.

What is NOT Eligible

ASC will not entertain requests for the following:

  • Ongoing programs and expenses
  • Capital improvements
  • Debt reduction
  • Events or projects that have already taken place or completed (no retroactive funding)
  • Individuals or organizations who have received the McColl Award in the past ten years.

Click here for a list of eligible program suggestions and past McColl Award recipients.

How to Apply

Attend the Required Workshop: Tuesday, January 8, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m. at Mint Museum Randolph, Van Every Auditorium (2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte).


All applicants are required to attend the workshop and encouraged to bring questions and ideas for their project or program. If unable to attend, please contact Liz Fitzgerald ( or 704-335-3053).

Submit a Project Narrative: Due no later than Friday, February 15, 2019 at 12:00 noon through our online system. Your project narrative should be no more than 3 pages (12-point Times New Roman font, 1-inch margins on all sides) and include:

  1. Project concept description.
  2. Description of relevant work experience by the Artist(s), Scientist(s), or Historian(s) who will serve as the creative lead on this project.
  3. Description of any collaborations, if appropriate.
  4. Explanation of how the work will reach audiences (include educational and outreach components).
  5. Explanation of your plans for documentation, evaluation and dissemination of the project

Attachments include:

  1. Draft Budget.
  2. Resumes of involved Artist(s), Scientist(s), Historian(s) (no more than 2 pages each). If the applicant is an organization, provide a background description/resume on each artist, scientist, historian you will commission for this project.
  3. Letter of Partnership from any collaborating partners.
  4. Work samples to include photos, video and/or written work.

Notification of Finalists: A panel of ASC Staff and Board Members will review the project narrative submissions and notify finalists in early April 2019 by email.

ASC staff and board members will accept and review all project narratives and make finalist decisions based on the following criteria:

  • Proposed initiative clearly demonstrates innovation and/or vision in the creation of an original work or program.
  • Proposed initiative is appropriate to organization’s mission and/or aligns with individual’s prior work.
  • Proposed initiative makes a compelling case for public engagement.
  • Applicant’s demonstrated ability to carry out the project goals and design.
  • A clear, realistic budget.

In 2015, a pool of 18 Applicants was narrowed to 8 Finalists. There is no minimum/maximum number of Finalists, nor is every discipline guaranteed a representation in the final round.

Finalist’s Presentation to Panel: Late April, 2019, each Finalist will be invited to make an in-person presentation to the Panel.

The Panel will be comprised of ASC Staff, Board Members, and Regional Peer Experts in all applicant represented disciplines.

Award Notification: Written notification will be sent electronically by July 1, 2019.

Additional Information

If you have questions, need additional information, or would like to discuss a proposal with ASC Program Staff, please contact Holly Whisman, VP, Grants and Services, at 704-335-3036.

Download McColl Award Guidelines & FAQs