2021-22 Artist Support Grants

The grant, operated 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. 
Artists must contact an organization staff member before submitting the application.
Projects must be completed by June 30, 2022

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.

Grant Guidelines

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 FY2021–22 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. 
  • 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 a 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.


  • Applications are due September 30, 2021
  • Notification of Awards:  Early November, 2021
  • Funds must be spent by June 30, 2022
  • Projects must be completed by December 31, 2022


  1. Go to https://ncarts.gosmart.org/
  2. Create an applicant profile
  3. Access all applications by clicking on the tab “Current Programs and Applications” 
  4. You will need to enter the code ASG21 on the top right where there is a text field that says Invitational Password. Once entered and “OK” is pressed, the first grant that should populate on your screen is Artist Support Grant 2021-2022. 
  5. Press START to begin the application. You may also save your work and come back at any time to finish. We recommend this, so you have time to gather your materials, write your narratives and review without feeling rushed. To continue working on your draft, you’ll press EDIT once logged in again.


Alexander County: Donna Latham, donnahiddenitearts@gmail.com 828-632-6966,

Burke Arts Council: Deborah Jones, director@burkearts.org 828-433-7282

Caldwell Arts Council: Ellen Ball, ellen@caldwellarts.com 828-754-2486

United Arts Council of Catawba County: Kathy Greathouse, kgreathouse@artscatawba.org 828-324-4906

Iredell Arts Council: John Koppelmeyer, jkoppelmeyer@gmail.com 704-880-2101

McDowell Arts Council Association, Susan Pyatt-Baker, mcdowellarts@gmail.com 828-652-8610

Rock School Arts Foundation: Sharon Bowman, rsaf1893@gmail.com 828-838-9806