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