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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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