Grassroots Arts Program Grant


Grassroots funding is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the NC Department Natural and Cultural Resources.

However, Gaston Arts Council is the local arts council, in Gaston County, nominated by the county governments and approved by N.C. Arts Council as the Designated County Partner (DCP) to manage the Grassroots Grant Program allotment to eligible organizations in Gaston County.

Guidelines for Grassroots Arts Program Sub-grants

Since 1977, the N.C. Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences. The program distributes funds for the arts in all 100 counties of the state primarily through partnerships with local arts councils.

Eligibility for Application

  • All organizations must have been in operation for at least one year. While nonprofit 501(c)(3) status is preferred, organizations that are nonprofit in nature may also apply.
  • All organizations must reside and carry out projects within the county they are applying for funds.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply for Grassroots Arts funds.
  • Applications and support materials must be completed and received by the due date.
  • All projects must take place between July 1, 2023 and June 15, 2024.
  • Grant amounts range from $500 and up.

What the Grassroots Arts Program Funds

Grassroots Arts Program funds may be used for expenditures to conduct quality arts programs or operate an arts organization. Typical uses of Grassroots money include:

  • Program expenses such as professional artists’ fees and travel, space rental, advertising, marketing and publicity, Web site and electronic media, scripts, costumes, sets, props, music and equipment rental.
  • Operating expenses for qualified arts organizations not already receiving operating support from the N.C. Arts Council. These can include salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent, utilities, insurance and equipment rental.

Priorities for Funding

The first priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to provide operating or program support to qualified arts organizations not already receiving or eligible to receive support from the N.C. Arts Council. These include theaters, symphonies, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, dance companies, folk arts societies, writers’ groups and arts festivals, among others.

The second priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to support arts learning and arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in schools, after-school or summer camps or adult arts learning classes.

The third priority of Grassroots Arts sub-grants is to community, civic and municipal organizations. These programs must be conducted by qualified artists.

Funding Policies

  • Tribal organizations that receive Grassroots funds must represent state or federally recognized tribes.
  • Colleges, universities and libraries may receive grants for arts programs that are community-based or generate regional arts involvement. Grants may not support their internal programs, administration or operation expenses (library books, band boosters, equipment purchases).
  • Grassroots funds may not be awarded to individuals or to organizations for prizes, competitions, tuition, or financial rewards.
  • Grassroots funds may not be used for art supplies or equipment.
  • Religious organizations or churches may not receive Grassroots funds unless the programs are presented outside regular church services, engage the larger community and do not contain religious content.
  • Grassroots funds may not be used for activities associated with a school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or student arts competitions and publications.
  • Municipalities (city/county governments) may receive grants for arts programs which use qualified artists to conduct programs that involve the greater community. Grants may not support internal programs, administration or operating expenses.

Grassroots Arts Program money may not be used for the following kinds of expenditures:

  • Art, music, and dance therapists
  • Artifacts
  • Purchase artwork
  • Purchase equipment or art supplies
  • Capital expenditures or equipment •Contingency funds
  • Deficit reduction
  • Fundraising events
  • Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions •School band activities or equipment
  • School choral activities
  • Lobbying expenses
  • Oral history and history projects
  • Tuition for academic study
  • Interest on loans, fines, or litigation costs

Grassroots Arts Program Subgrant Requirements

Matching Requirement

All sub-grantees must match their grant amounts dollar for dollar. The funds must come from other public or private sources. Other N.C. Arts Council funds cannot be used as a match.

North Carolina Arts Council Recognition

Sub-grantees must acknowledge the N.C. Arts Council’s support of their event or projects by including the N.C. Arts Council’s logo, and funding credit line in all print and promotional materials related to the grant. The N.C. Arts Council’s website offers information and downloadable logos at

Reporting Requirements

Each sub-grantee is required to submit a final report providing a detailed description of the funded project, participation statistics and demographics, sample marketing and program materials using the N.C. Arts Council credit line and logo, and copies of their legislative letters. The Subgrant Report form can be downloaded from the N.C. Arts Council Web site at: Look for FY 2023–2024 final report for Grassroots Subgrantees. Subgrant Report Forms should be submitted to the funding agency by June 30th.

Legislative Letters

Applicants may be required to write their state representatives to thank them for appropriating Grassroots funds. If required, the letter should provide information about how Grassroots funds were used to support your program or project, and the community impact of the event. A copy of all letters to legislators must be included in the final report materials.

How Subgrant Applications Are Evaluated

Subgrant applications are reviewed by a diverse panel of community members including artists, county and public officials and arts council board members among others. The panel evaluates each application based on the subgrant guidelines and the following criteria:

  • Artistic quality of proposed project or programs
  • Community impact of project or programs
  • Ability to plan and implement project
  • Stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization

Panelists discuss and score the grant using an established rating system. The subgrant panel’s funding decisions are then presented as recommendations to the Arts Council board of directors. The board of directors votes and gives final approval to the subgrant panel’s recommendations.


Grassroots Application Deadline is December  1st, 2023

Virtual subgranting workshop —  Click Here to view recording. 

If you’d like to complete your application, please fill out the Word document below and email it to us at [email protected]

FY 2023-2024 State Grassroots Subgrant Application Form: Word document | PDF

If you’d like to print out a paper copy and to mail it in, please send it to P.O. Box 242 Location: 301 W. Main Avenue, Gastonia, NC

Accessibility Checklist (submit along with application)

Final Report Deadline June 15, 2024

2023-24 Grassroots Sub Grant Final Report Form

Questions and Assistance

If applicants have questions or need assistance, please contact, Jessica Tillman, (704) 853-2787 | [email protected]


Gaston Arts Council thanks the North Carolina General Assembly and the North Carolina Arts Council for the Grassroots Grants Program. Grants are awarded through a competitive process that is reviewed by a panel of community citizens. No recipients are guaranteed from year to year.

Administered by the Arts Council as the Designated County Partner (DCP) Provided by the state on a per capita basis and used to contribute to the overall development of the arts in the county and provides funds to non-profit organizations for art programs

Grants are awarded through a competitive process that is reviewed by a panel of community citizens. No recipients are guaranteed funding from year to year.

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