Caldwell Arts Council Announces New Artist Support Grant

LENOIR, NC (September 2, 2021) — Artists from Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and McDowell Counties are now eligible for Artist Support Grants, a one-year regional grant program developed by the North Carolina Arts Council. The grant, managed by local arts councils, will fund professional and artistic development for emerging or established artists to create work, improve business operations, or bring work to new audiences.  The Artist Support Grants replace the Regional Artist Project Grants (RAP-G).

The program will be administered by the Burke Arts Council, Caldwell Arts Council, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Iredell Arts Council, McDowell Arts Council Association, Hiddenite Center, and Rock School Arts Foundation, in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  Grants will range from $500 to $3,000.  Prior to submitting the application, artists must contact their local arts organization for an initial review.

Eligibility and Scope

This program will provide financial support to committed, gifted individual artists as well as small unincorporated groups of collaborating artists residing in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, and McDowell Counties and is intended to support a broad range of talented artists in the genres of visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, music composition, choreography, and interdisciplinary arts.  Artists should demonstrate a commitment to spending a significant portion of their time on their work as artists.


Beginning this year, applicants will apply online through NC Arts Council’s GoSmart portal. Before applying, Caldwell County artists must contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 for an initial review to confirm that the project meets required criteria. In addition, applicants who do not have access to a computer or lack adequate internet, etc. are encouraged to request assistance from their office.

Eligible Projects and Costs

  • Individuals and Artist Collectives: Both individual artists and small unincorporated groups of   collaborating artists are eligible to apply.
  • Residency: Artists should have lived continuously in the region (Region 14: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, and McDowell) in which they are applying for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicant must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien. Artists who live in more than one region should apply only where they spend most of the year.
  • All members of a collaborating team must be North Carolina residents, live in the region in which they are applying, and meet the other eligibility requirements.  Résumés for all team members documenting residence must be included with the application.
  • Multiple Awards: Artists who are sole proprietors of organizations that have already received funding for FY2020–21 from the N.C. Arts Council are ineligible to apply.
  • Conflict of Interest: Current board and staff members of the consortium partner organizations and their immediate family members are ineligible to apply.
  • Student Status: The Artist Support Grant is intended for adult, non-student artists. Artists enrolled full time in undergraduate or associate degree-granting programs may not apply for the grant.
  • Completion/Presentation of New Work: Cost of resources necessary to complete or present a significant new work (e.g., purchasing art supplies or equipment or space rental).  Digital may qualify.
  • Career Promotion: Projects aimed at advertising artists’ work and/or demonstrating their skill level (e.g., websites, portfolios, audio-visual documentation, and online presentation).
  • Training: Costs to attend a class or workshop (in-person or virtual) aimed either at enhancing the artist’s skill level or professional development (e.g., a master class or workshop taught by acknowledged authorities in the applicant artist’s medium).
  • Travel: Costs of transportation, lodging, and food for training, professional conferences, or research as allowed or possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Ineligible Projects and Costs

  • Scholarships for undergraduate or graduate-level education
  • Projects that support or oppose a particular candidate for public office
  • Projects that are exclusive to members of a particular religious faith group
  • Nonprofit initiatives
  • Projects that do not have a direct effect on the applicant’s growth as an artist (e.g., the promotion of other artists’ work)

Evaluation Criteria

All complete applications will be reviewed by a panel of arts professionals with experience in various disciplines. Panelists will score each application based on the following evaluation criteria:

  • Artistic Merit: Demonstrated talent in an art form and overall excellence of the artist’s work; clear commitment to a career as a practicing professional artist.
  • Project Merit: Benefit of the proposed project to the artist’s professional growth; feasibility of the proposed project.


Application Deadline:  September 30, 2021

Award Notifications:  Early November 2021

Project Timeline:  January 1 – June 30, 2022

Final Reports Due:  July 15, 2022

For additional information, visit or contact Ellen Ball at 828-754-2486.