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Three ways ASC is supporting regional artists

28 Jul

By Bernie Petit
Communications Manager

Here’s a statistic for you:

More than two-thirds of Charlotte-Mecklenburg residents believe that individual artists contribute to our community’s quality of life, according to a 2015 Urban Institute Cultural Life in Mecklenburg County Survey.

Count us among the two-thirds here at ASC.

A strong community of individual artists is critical to the success of our cultural community. It is one of the main reasons why ASC is currently offering three opportunities for creative individuals that live and work in the 11-county greater Charlotte region to further their artistic development and engagement.

Here’s a look at the programs and how they have already benefited three local artists.

“One issue you run into as an artist is networking”

2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry in front of his ArtPop billboard.

2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry in front of his ArtPop billboard.

ArtPop showcases the work of local artists on billboards across the Charlotte region through an ASC partnership with Adams Outdoor Advertising. Here is 2015 ArtPop artist Jason Woodberry’s take on how the program has helped his career.

Being a part of ArtPop has been an extremely beneficial experience, especially for a young artist such as me. The one issue you run into as an artist is networking, not just with other artists but people that are established and educated in the art business. Through ArtPop, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting individuals who have won numerous grants, toured internationally, even gallery owners. The insight is priceless.

There is also a personal sense of accomplishment. Anytime I discuss my art with someone and they see the “Dark Matter” image (featured on Woodberry’s ArtPop billboard) I always get the reaction of “Wow! I’ve seen that! That’s you?”

Just to know that every day your art is being seen by someone – talk about branding.

Connecting to patrons and peers

2015 Community Supported Art artist Micah Cash (standing) connects with local arts patrons at a CSA event at Wing Haven.

2015 Community Supported Art artist Micah Cash (standing) connects with local arts patrons at a CSA event at Wing Haven.

ASC’s Community Supported Art (CSA) program supports artists in the creation and promotion of new work and establishes relationships between the artists and local collectors and patrons. Micah Cash, a 2015 CSA artist, details what he took from his participation in the program.

The Community Supported Art Program provided an opportunity to create a new body of work that remained true to my conceptual focus. I had many opportunities to speak to patrons and answer questions about my work, process, and studio practice.

In addition, the CSA program allowed me to build lasting relationships with collectors and peers.

This local artist is “All Shook Up”           

2015 Regional Artist Project Grant recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown with a printing press she was able to purchase with her grant.

2015 Regional Artist Project Grant recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown with a printing press she was able to purchase with her grant.

Regional Artist Project Grants provide an award for individuals and groups of unincorporated artists to attend a professional development experience or purchase/rent a piece of equipment. Here’s how a 2015 RAPG has benefitted recipient Caroline Coolidge Brown.

Thanks to an ASC Regional Artist Project Grant, I am now the proud owner of Elvis, a tabletop printing press perfect for printing linoleum, intaglio and monotype plates. The press allows me to print much larger plates than ever before. I’m working full-swing in this medium and am busy creating a series of botanical prints that will be featured in a Ciel Gallery exhibit in November.

The grant has also:

  • Inspired me to take a class at CPCC to hone my printmaking skills
  • Connected me to other printmaking artists
  • Fostered experimentation with monoprints
  • Provided me professional recognition as a valued artist in Charlotte
  • Brought a new spark to my studio practice!

As Elvis would say, “Thank ’ya very much!”

Are You an Artist Who Wants to Apply for One or More of These Opportunities?

Local and regional artists are invited to apply for the 2016 ArtPop and Community Supported Art programs, as well as for a 2016 Regional Artist Project Grant. All three calls are open to artists that live and work in Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Rutherford, Stanly, Union or York (S.C.).

For more information or to apply, visit one of the following links:

What’s your big idea to improve Charlotte?

13 Apr

ASC Staff

Emerging 4 update 2

Do you have an innovative idea that will help make Charlotte more livable? Are you eager to serve and engage your community?

Share your idea with 880 Cities and Knight Foundation and tell them about yourself. You could be selected as a K880 Emerging City Champion.

What is the K880 City Champions program?

emerging 6 smallerThe K880 Emerging City Champions program provides young, emerging and diverse leaders with the opportunity to make immediate and lasting impacts in their communities. K880 and Knight Foundation believe that livable cities are successful cities. Making our cities safer and more enjoyable for everyone, from eight to 80 years old, will help our communities attract and retain talent, create economic opportunity, and build civic engagement.

If you are between the ages of 19 and 35; if you have the ideas; if you’re willing to try and fail and learn; if you have the drive and passion; and, if you live in either Charlotte, North Carolina; Akron, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Macon, Georgia; Miami, Florida; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Saint Paul, Minnesota; or San Jose, California, then apply today to be a K880 Emerging City Champion.

880 Cities and Knight Foundation will select 24 Champions from the pool of applicants: three Champions each city.

Benefits to becoming an Emerging City Champion

All Champions will:

  • Receive $5,000 in seed funding to implement his or her proposed idea;
  • Participate in The Emerging City Champions Studio, a training workshop held in Toronto in June 2015 (travel and stipends will be fully covered);
  • Receive professional media training and be supported in developing a communications and promotional strategy. This will include training in writing, social media, and video documentation;
  • Connect to a diverse and inspiring network of peers from across the country;
  • Interact with a mentor (an expert in the field) who will offer support, expertise, and advice throughout the program (880 Cities staff will also be available to support the Champions in implementing their projects);
  • Be recognized and promoted by 880 Cities and the Knight Foundation.

You should apply if you are:

  • A young urbanist, passionate about your community
  • An emerging civic leader, committed to your neighborhood or city
  • An innovator and a creative problem solver
  • A youth activist who wants a better future for your neighborhood
  • A young community organizer eager to explore new ways to get people engaged
  • Someone who loves to walk and bike and who thinks all cities should be bikeable and walkable
  • Ambitious, collaborative, and inclusive

The Emerging City Champions is open to anyone with an innovative idea and the ability to implement it. Applicants may be activists, tactical urbanists, designers, artists, planning professionals, hackers, architects; everyone is welcome. K880 and Knight Foundation are seeking applicants from diverse backgrounds, fresh perspectives, and innovative solutions.

So what are you waiting for?

Click here for more information or to apply. Application closes on MAY 8, 2015. Share your big ideas to make Charlotte better!

Changes Coming to Cultural Project Grants

6 Jan

Throughout the year, cultural project grantees increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and strengthen the quality of cultural programming in neighborhoods and towns. From Charlotte Folk Society’s folk heritage events to the Human Triptych Collective’s multi-media dance performances, the grant provides enriching experiences throughout our community. 

ASC-YMCA Neighborhood Residency

Past Cultural Project Grant project

This year, the program will undergo changes, increasing opportunities for funding and altering the application process.

In prior years, Cultural Project Grants were awarded once during the fiscal year for requests up to $7,500. There will now be two deadlines throughout the year for requests up to $5,000. Grantees are eligible to receive up to $10,000 per year. Dollar-for-dollar matching funds are required.

In addition, applicants will be required to submit a “Letter of Intent” and meet with an ASC staff member prior to submitting a full application.

Deadlines for the first step of the application process are March 1 and September 6.

Eligibility for the grant includes individual artists with Mecklenburg County based fiscal agent, neighborhood associations, and non-profits with an arts, science, history or heritage project.

To find out more information about Cultural Project Grants and to apply, click here.

Cultural Festival Grants

dragon festival

Charlotte Asian and Dragon Boat Festival

Cultural Festival Grants, a program in its second year, will continue unchanged. This program provides a competitive process specific to festival support while continuing to increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings and quality cultural programming in neighborhoods and towns throughout Mecklenburg County.

Festival grants are open to any Mecklenburg County based non-profit seeking funding for an existing festival (festivals in their first year are not eligible) with a programmatic focus on arts, science, history, or heritage. Eligible applicants are not asked to submit a requested amount for the grant. Funding will be made based on defined sponsorship levels supplied by the applicant.

Eligible projects must occur between July 1, 2013 and June 15, 2014. The deadline to apply for the Cultural Festival Grant is Friday, April 12.

To find our more information and Cultural Festival Grants and to apply, click here.

Jazz Singer Finds RAPG Pitch Perfect

10 Sep

By Karin Reed

Beginning her singing career at age four, Tenya Colemon has been able to develop her talent through professional training. She has attended workshops and master classes to cultivate her talents as a Jazz musician and has been performing professionally for the past 10 years.

Colemon performing at The Pewter Rose Bistro.

Colemon was one of 31 recipients of this year’s Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG) program. Before applying for the program, she had a chance meeting with jazz pianist and educator Cyrus Chestnut at a workshop and developed a professional relationship with him. Colemon used her grant to pay for master classes with the jazz master. Working around Chestnut’s busy schedule, Colemon meets with him every two months and learns about musical theory and concepts as well as further develops her skills as a Jazz artist.

All of her training is paying off. She has opened for nationally recognized jazz musician Donald Harrison and was showcased with the Dena DeRose Trio Stanford University’s Jazz Workshop. Most recently, she opened for the Charlotte Symphony.

Colemon performing at “Charlotte Symphony – Pops at the Park”

Although she has an appreciation for all genres, Colemon has always been drawn to Jazz music.  She loves the subtlety of it and commends its history and storytelling aspect calling it “America’s only original art form.”

Colemon is thankful for the grant and the opportunities it has provided her. She continues to perform in the Charlotte area with several upcoming performances.

To learn more about Tenya Colemon visit

To learn more about the Regional Artist Project Grant and how to apply, click here.

How Can We Support More Local Artists?

26 Jul

CCI Tuesday

By Heather Pontonio, Program Director, Grants & Creative Individuals 

For years ASC has heard comments from multiple constituents that we don’t support individual artists.  Our response has truthfully been that ‘while we don’t have many funding opportunities for artists, we do have one granting program, the Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG), that directly supports individuals, and a lot of our funding to organizations provides salaries and opportunities for hundreds of local artists.’

Past RAPG recipient Joe Keller

But lately we have been asking ourselves, “How can we do more?” We think we have an answer.

The RAPG program is a partnership between ASC, 7 other arts councils in the region and the North Carolina Arts Council.  A number of these consortiums exist throughout our state providing the same type of support for individual artists.  However, statewide our region has continued to grow each year and is now collectively accepting more than double the applications of any other region.  This has created a complicated system for ASC that rotates disciplines and provides partial funding in order to manage the more than 100 applications annually – of which only 20% are funded.

We have spent the last few months breaking the program down to its core, and spent time talking to multiple constituents and a number of artists.  The result is a redesigned RAPG program.

Here are some of the highlights of the NEW Regional Artist Project Grant Program:

  • It is now open to all disciplines – no more waiting two years to apply
  • The annual deadline is now Sept. 22nd – finally moving it away from the summer!
  • Requests are for a single item – i.e. a professional development fee or to purchase or rent a single piece of equipment.
  • Grant requests can be up to $2,000 – we dropped the distinction between emerging and established for request amounts because everyone needs support no matter where they are in their career.
  • Funding will be all or nothing – artists either get the grant or they don’t.  No more scrounging for the other 40% because the grant only covers 60% of the need!
  • And drum roll please… here’s the big changes artists have been asking for – no more narrative or budget form!  We are going to ask a few questions online to get the information needed about the project and a required attachment proving the request amount replaces the budget form – hooray!

We hope that this revised program is an easier and friendlier format that opens the doors of ASC to more artists.  And in turn, helps to make our region into a better place for creative individuals.

In the coming months there will be two information sessions to find out about the grant and how to apply. They are:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Road, Charlotte, N.C.

Thursday, September 8, 2011
6:30 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Arts Council of York County
121 E. Main Street, Rock Hill, S.C.

To review materials and to apply for the Regional Artist Project Grant click here.

ASC Cultural Access and Cultural Project grant applications now available

3 Jan

Applications for the Arts & Science Council’s (ASC) 2011-2012 Cultural Project and Cultural Access grants are now available. Both grants allow eligible applicants to apply for up to $7,500.

Applications for both grants are available online at and due March 18, 2011 at noon. Cultural Project grants increase access to arts, science, history and heritage offerings, and strengthen the quality of cultural programming in neighborhoods and towns throughout Mecklenburg County. They are available to any Mecklenburg County non-profit organization that does not receive an ASC Operating Support grant to use for an arts, science, history or heritage related project. Dollar-for-dollar matching funds are required.

Cultural Access grants, designed to increase community access to African-American, Asian, Latino, and Native American arts, science, history and heritage experiences, are available to any Mecklenburg County non-profit, tax-exempt organization that does not receive ASC support from Cultural Project grants or Operating Support grants. Organization projects that have already received funding from ASC are ineligible for Cultural Access grants. Matching funds are encouraged for Cultural Access grants, but are not required.

Interested applicants are encouraged to attend a free information session on one of the following dates:

Thursday, January 27, 2011- 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Cornelius Town Hall
21445 Catawba Avenue
Cornelius, NC 28031

Tuesday February 1, 2011- 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Mint Museum Randolph
2730 Randolph Rd
Charlotte, NC 28207

Thursday, February 3, 2011- 6:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
Matthews Community Center
100 McDowell Street East
Matthews, NC  28105

To learn more about the Cultural Access grants and to access the application click here. To learn more about the Cultural Project grants and to access the application click here.


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