Grassroots Arts Program Grants

FY 2024-2025

Deadline: June 14, 2024

Since 1977, the NC Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences in all 100 counties. The Arts Council of Wilmington/NHC, the state agency’s Designated County Partner, will accept applications from May 1-June 14, 2024, for FY 2024-2025 and will subgrant $75,000 to New Hanover County arts organizations.


Downloads (24-25)


GAP-Subgrant-Application-FY24-25 – Fillable PDF


Final Reports

GAP-Subgrant-Report-Form-FY23-24 – Fillable



GAP-ARPA-Subgrant-Report-Form-FY23-24 Doc


  • 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 New Hanover County.
  • Grants must be matched dollar-for-dollar.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply for Grassroots Arts funds.
  • All projects must take place between July 1, 2024, and June 15, 2025.
  • Grant awards generally range from $500-$5000.

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, website 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

#1 – Operating or programming support to qualified arts organizations not already receiving or eligible to receive support from the N.C. Arts Council.

#2 – Arts learning and arts-in-education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in schools, afterschool or summer camps, or adult arts learning classes.

#3 – Subgrants to community, civic and municipal organizations. 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 that generate regional arts involvement. Grants may not support their internal programs, or administrative or operation expenses (library books, band boosters, equipment purchases).
  • Subgrants may not be awarded to individuals or 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 that use qualified artists to conduct programs that involve the greater community. Grants may not support internal programs, administrative, 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

How Subgrant Applications Are Evaluated

Subgrant applications are reviewed by a diverse panel of community members which 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

The subgrant panel’s funding recommendations must be approved by the Arts Council of Wilmington’s board of directors.

Questions and Assistance

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact Rhonda Bellamy at 910-343-0998 or email at

Upcoming grant deadlines:

The Artist Support grant cycle runs Thursday, August 1, 2024 – Monday, September 16, 2024. Guidelines will be posted once the application period begins.

The Arts Council of Wilmington & New Hanover County is pleased to announce that we have awarded $200,000 in grants to local artists and arts organizations in FY 2023-2024. As the Designated County Partner to the North Carolina Arts Council, we oversaw three grants this fiscal year.

Artist Support Grants recognize exceptional artists in New Hanover, Pender, Brunswick, Columbus, and Bladen counties by funding projects pivotal to their growth as artists in their respective disciplines. This year, 28 regional artists received grants.

Grassroots Arts Program Grants provide programming support for New Hanover County-based arts nonprofits. Due to historic appropriations by the General Assembly, we were able to award $87,700 through the standard grants program. We were also able to deploy an additional $80,325 in FY 2023-2024 due to ARPA funding from the North Carolina Arts Council — thanks to the advocacy efforts of Arts North Carolina.


Broadway for a Better World Applications Available Year-Round

The Wilson Center at Cape Fear Community College and The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County are pleased to announce that the Broadway for a Better World application portal will remain open all year and non-profit organizations can apply at any time. The awards will be granted twice a year, once in January and again in July, and awardees will be notified by the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County. Previous applicants are welcome to apply again.

The Broadway for a Better World initiative is funded through the tremendous generosity of private donors, with the mission of making the theater experience and all of its associated benefits available to underserved populations, particularly young people under the age of eighteen. The grant program is administered by the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County, and grant recipients are selected by an independent committee.

Nonprofit organizations in New Hanover and Pender counties may apply to receive tickets to Wilson Center PNC Broadway or Stars Series performances.

new Hanover County NC
North Carolina Arts Council
Arts Council of Wilmingotn