The North Carolina General Assembly designated $9.4 million federal CARES Act funds for arts councils and arts organizations to mitigate business disruptions caused by COVID-19. The North Carolina Arts Council will distribute these funds on a per-capita basis to all North Carolina counties with a population of less than one million people.  In many counties, local arts councils will receive the funds and then sub-grant a portion of the county allotment to eligible recipients.

Eligibility and Scope:  Organizations that meet the following criteria are eligible to apply directly to the N.C. Arts Council to receive CARES for Arts funding:

  • 501©3 tax-exempt organization located in North Carolina that have arts and culture in the agency’s mission statement; or must have arts and cultural programming as a core activity (25% or more of budget most recently approved before September 1, 2020).
  • Unincorporated arts groups or LLC’s.
  • Must demonstrate the costs of business interruption caused by COVID-19 and/or increased expenses incurred by pandemic-related activities.
  • Applicants must provide documentation as evidence for expenses. Documents such as receipts, bill/invoices, monthly financial statements, and payroll ledgers will be considered.

The following expenses can be considered:  
• paid salaries and benefits (including contractors),
• on-going operating expenses such as rent, utilities, or insurance,
• established monthly expenses such as loan payments,
• costs associated with canceling programs, such as contractual payments to venues, vendors, etc.
• costs of pivoting to remote/virtual programs and services,
• and costs of mitigating the spread of COVID-19, such as cleaning, PPE, physical barriers, etc.

Revenue losses are not considered for mitigation in this grant program. North Carolina CARES for Arts funding cannot reimburse expenses already paid for by other federal relief funds such as PPP loans, direct grants from the NEA, and stimulus grants issued by the North Carolina Arts Council.

NC CARES for Arts subgrant application
Applications must be received no later than November 9, 2020.

For questions or more information, contact the Burke Arts Council  at 828-433-7282 or email

The Mission of the Burke Arts Council is to enrich the quality of life in Burke County through cultural and artistic activities.  We seek to coordinate arts activities in the community, serve as an informational and resource center for the arts and to promote local artists and arts organizations.

About the North Carolina Arts Council:  The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education.