$1 for the ARTS

$1 for the ARTS

It is Arts North Carolina’s primary task each legislative session to listen to the myriad of challenges and triumphs of our united arts community and to create a clear and concise legislative proposal to deliver to the NC General Assembly. Our greatest strength is in our resolve and our ability to combine our collective passion and purpose behind a singular vision. It is in that spirit that we announce our new legislative campaign:

$1 for the ARTS

$1 for the ARTS:

Arts Grants Equal to $1 for Every Person in North Carolina
Invest $1 for $1 for the ARTS

The grants distributed by the North Carolina Arts Council represent the most direct and inclusive investment our state government makes in the nonprofit arts community, reaching all 100 counties and providing access to the arts for ALL of our more than 10 MILLION CITIZENS. Every North Carolinian is impacted in some way by this investment and as such we must, at a minimum, say that the cultural life of every citizen is worth a $1 investment, allowing us to be equitably and strategically represented by the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grants Programs.

By aligning our many creative missions with the wide variety of strategic investments made by NC Arts Council Grants, we can unify our vision behind a simple and concise idea. Our approach will make the request seem small, and the impact extraordinary. $1 for the ARTS will simultaneously be a brand for our individual stories of service to our diverse communities while also serving as a banner under which to rally our advocacy for a more vibrant and creative North Carolina.

Currently, NC Arts Council Grants total approximately $6.3 Million annually, or 63¢ per person. If our state government invested just 37¢ more for each of us, we would be able to dramatically improve the cultural access, quality of life, and economic fortunes of every county within our borders. Increasing our state’s commitment in this way will return dividends tenfold, and actually only requires a fraction of the nearly $107 million in tax revenue that the nonprofit arts sector generates for the State of North Carolina.

But how do we leverage this $10 MILLION investment to best address our collective needs and create a better North Carolina? The NC Arts Council has empowered our state’s artistic excellence and creative economy for over 50 years and has ensured that taxpayer dollars had the most unimpeachable accountability and stewardship. The partnerships that have defined this legacy are leveraged through grants, which are divided into two categories: 1) Grassroots Arts, which distributes funds to all 100 counties based on their population, and 2) General Grants, which encompass a wide variety of grants and awards promoting innovation and excellence across the nonprofit arts sector. Our goal is that these two categories receive a $5 MILLION allocation EACH.

Increasing funding for General Grants by 43%, will allow the NC Arts Council to provide leadership through targeted investments in a variety of programs statewide. A 78% increase in Grassroots Arts Program, will dramatically increase funding in all 100 counties, having the greatest impact in rural communities where equitable access for the arts is most difficult to provide. The Grassroots base allocation for each county will increase from $6,000 to $20,000 and the additional funds distributed based on population will increase as well, insuring the cultural life of every county will be substantially enriched. I encourage you all to review the $1 for the ARTS Campaign Goals to learn more about our plan to increase our states investment in the purpose and prosperity the arts can provide to our citizens.

$1 for the ARTS is not this year’s goal… it is OUR GOAL until it is OUR REALITY. This is not just what we want, it is what North Carolina DESERVES. It may take several sessions of the NC General Assembly to achieve, but it is an investment that is needed and warranted based on the strength of North Carolina’s artists and cultural organizations. We hope you feel, as we do, that this is a message we can ALL give voice to with our own cultural commitment to our communities and our achievements in artistic excellence.
What $1 for the ARTS Means for Grassroots Funding


Classroom Size Update- What the deal IS and IS NOT

Republican leaders at the NCGA announce class size solution.

Republican leaders at the NCGA announce class size solution.In a joint press conference Thursday afternoon, Senate Pro Tem Phil Berger, and House Speaker Tim Moore, along with leadership from Education Committees in both houses of the NC General Assembly (NCGA), unveiled HB90 with the support of the NC Association of School Administrators (NCASA), an organization representing superintendents and principals across the state. This legislation is in significant alignment with Arts North Carolina’s position on this issue, as well as the NC Arts Education Leadership Coalition’s (NC AELC) Position Statement, of which Arts NC is a signatory.

HB90 is an omnibus bill, which passed the Senate on Friday (37:5) and is expected to pass in the House this week, that addresses, among other things, class size requirements and the funding of “Program Enhancement Teachers (PET),” which include music, visual art, theatre, and dance instructors. While Arts NC does not view these subjects as enhancements, but instead as a vital component of the sound basic education that is the right of every NC child and integral to a Comprehensive Arts Education (CAE), we may use this term for clarity in our advocacy with the NCGA and others. The key EDUCATION components of HB90 are:

  • Provides a four-year phase-in to reach K-3 class size caps that otherwise were scheduled to take effect for the 2018-19 school year. This includes new K-3 class size requirements that do not change from current requirements for the 2018-2019 school year of the phase-in and are as follows:
    Year Grade(s) District Average Individual Maximum
    2018-2019 K-3 20 23
    2019-2020 K-3 19 22
    2020-2021 K-3 18 21
    2021-2022 K 18 21
      1 16 19
      2-3 17 20
  • Fully funds 3,503 K-5 PETs (including Visual, Music, Theatre, and Dance) through a new allotment established through a four-year phase-in, front-loaded the year before changes occur in K-3 class size requirements, as follows:
    • 2018-2019 – Provides $61.4 million in recurring funds to support 25% of full funding needed to provide one K-5 PET for every 191 students (1:191 ratio).
    • 2019-2020 – Increases this allotment’s funding to 50% of amount needed for 1:191 ratio.
    • 2020-2021 – Increases this allotment’s funding to 75% of amount needed for 1:191 ratio.
    • 2021-2022 – Increases this allotment’s funding to 100% of amount needed for 1:191 ratio
  • Places new restrictions on the Classroom Teacher allotment effective 2021-2022 to prevent these funds from covering K-5 PETs, which will be fully covered in the new allotment in that year (estimated over $245M annually by 2021-2022). K-5 PET allotment funds may be used for classroom teachers but not vice versa.
  • Allocated Classroom Teacher funds will continue to cover K-12 classroom teachers as well as Grades 6-12 PETs (including Visual, Music, Theatre, and Dance) as they are currently.
  • Exempts all “enhancement” classes in Grades K-12 from class size restrictions and caps, thereby eliminating the need for districts to seek waivers for these classes as required under current law.

What this bill DOES is secure funding for K-5 Arts Teachers. What it DOES NOT DO is secure funding for Grade 6-12 Arts Teachers, or specifically address the need for the facilities and classrooms needed to accommodate the changes to class size requirements. There will be much debate and public discussion in the coming weeks about all that is and is not included in HB90, including aspects that are not directly related to education. Arts NC is glad to see our position reflected in this bill and will continue to work for equitable access to Comprehensive Arts Education for ALL NC students.

ARTS Day Date Change and other 2018 Updates

ARTS Day 2018 Logo

Happy New Year! Arts North Carolina is excited for what is sure to be an amazing year of ART and ADVOCACY. This year will provide challenges and triumphs for us all. Here are just a few things you should know and consider as we launch in to 2018.


ARTS Day 2018 Logo
ARTS Day will now be held on Wednesday and Thursday May 23rd and 24th, due to logistical issues caused by some changes to security procedures at the NC General Assembly. While some things will be different this year as a result, we believe these changes will increase our visibility and our effectiveness. Be on the lookout for announcements about registration and our legislative agenda in the coming weeks. Also, there is still time to play a leadership role as an ARTS DAY SPONSOR.



We are asking all our member organizations to take a moment to shine the SPOTLIGHT on themselves. Submit one photo and a brief tale of success from your organization and help us to celebrate the achievements of the people that define and inspire us; our membership. Entries will be posted on our website as well as across social media platforms and shared with across our statewide network.

Submit your Spotlight Story Here



Karen Wells
The North Carolina arts community will be forever indebted to the passion, tenacity and vision of our former Executive Director, Karen Wells. We are honored that she will be recognized by United Arts Council of Wake County at their “State of Arts and Culture” Event on January 16, 2018.
Gina Harrison
Karen was also recognized by the NC Music Educators Association at their conference in November alongside longtime Arts NC Board Member and Arts Education Advocate, Gina Harrison. We are proud of Karen, Gina, and all the unsung and heralded heroes of the arts in North Carolina.



Keep an eye out for a new organization forming under the leadership of Charles Reinhart, a veteran arts leader with ties to North Carolina. American Alliance of Artists and Audiences is launching an innovative new initiative to build a robust and energized national membership to increase participation in the arts, humanities, sciences, arts education, and arts advocacy across America.



Arts Advocacy Day Logo
Registration is now open for Americans for the Arts, Arts Advocacy Day, the national arts action summit in Washington DC, March 12-13, 2018. Join together with advocates from across the country to advocate for issue that directly impact the arts in the US such as Arts Education Policy, NEA funding and the need for a Universal Charitable Deduction under our new tax policy.


Holiday Tidings

Holiday Wreath

This has been a year of change, not only for Arts North Carolina, but for our state, our country, and our world. While change is never easy, it is always shaped by those who choose to sculpt it.

At Arts North Carolina we are grateful for the rich culture in our state, for those that support us and the work we do, and for all of the promise that 2018 brings with it.

Please take a moment in this time of unity, generosity, and artistry to STEP UP in one or more of the following ways:

Join Up
Join Up
Now is a great time to join. Memberships start at $25 and support the vision of a more vibrant and creative state all year long. Contribute in a way that is meaningful and aligns with the value you place on equitable access to the ARTS for all North Carolinians. It is quick, easy, and it may be the last time the itemized tax deduction will benefit you.
Rev Up
Rev Up
Spice up your sleigh with a Creative State License Plate to show your support and drive into the new year in style.
Sign Up
Sign Up
You may be on our mailing list, but you know people that should be who probably aren’t. Please spread the word! It is essential that everyone is informed and knows when and how to take action in order to make a difference.

It is simple and FREE. Please ask a friend today.

Speak Up
Speak Up
There will many challenges for the creative economy and many opportunities to grow public support for the arts in 2018. As an Arts NC member on our mailing list, you will be informed of the issues, invested in the future, and ready for action; molding our future and enriching our creative state.
As we spend time with family and friends this season, we may watch the animated special that reminds us of our childhood, a movie that tugs at us in just the right way, or go to see a variety of performances, exhibitions and concerts that endear themselves to us at this special time of year. So many of the things we hold as essential to the Season, are the work of artists and artisans, each with their own heritage and traditions, and all of them enriching our lives with the gift of their creativity.

Arts North Carolina is deeply grateful to everyone that makes this the creative state and wishes you and yours an inspired Holiday Season and impactful 2018!

Thanks and Giving Tuesday

#GivingTuesday and Arts North Carolina

#GivingTuesday and Arts North Carolina
Arts North Carolina IS our membership. There is a unique power and purpose that becomes possible when HUNDREDS of organizations and individuals join together behind a simple yet wonderful vison; that we can live in a state where the arts are viewed as indispensable by ALL. In addition to the support they provide that makes our work possible, our members are a network for action, and a collective of inspiration. Our member organizations are almost entirely non-profit Arts and Culture Organizations, and are the strong and colorful threads that weave together to create the rich tapestry of creativity and innovation that is North Carolina.

We are grateful to our membership in the same way one may be grateful to their brain, heart, or lungs, as an integral part of who we are which enables us to exist and grow. On this #GivingTuesday we want to express that gratitude, and ask everyone we can reach, to please go to our Organization Membership Roster, select one or more of those vital organizations that touches your life, and take a moment to contribute what you can to their mission and purpose.

Arts North Carolina understands that we serve not only our members, but also those who support them, and we take that service very seriously. Please take a moment TODAY to invest in those organizations that enrich your lives as we thank them for playing a role in building a more vibrant and creative North Carolina.


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