Raleigh — Grants totaling more than $7.2 million have been awarded to nonprofit arts and cultural organizations to support arts programs in all 100 counties, the North Carolina Arts Council announced today.

During 2018–19 an additional $300,000 from the N.C. Legislature will support the Grassroots Arts Program, a nationally-recognized program that provides per capita funding for the arts in every county.

“These investments across North Carolina help shape the appeal and economic growth of our towns and cities,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susi H. Hamilton. “Our grants range from providing arts in schools, to serving veterans and their families, to revitalizing downtowns through the arts.”

In McDowell, the McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA) received a total of $17,181 to support their Grassroots Arts Program.

“Fifty percent of Grassroots Arts Grant funding for McDowell Arts Council is used to supplement salaries,” said MACA Director Susan Pyatt Baker, “and the other 50 percent is used for programming; multicultural programs such as sponsorship for Dia de los Muertos Festival and artist-in-residence, poet Phillip Shabazz. Mr. Shabazz will work with McDowell High School creative writing students and perform with them at their poetry slam. Other MACA programs benefiting from Grassroots funds include McDowell Children's Theatre and Summer Art Camps.”

Grant funds come from both state legislative appropriations and the National Endowment for the Arts and provide support for concerts, festivals, exhibitions, performances, art classes, and hundreds of arts activities in communities across the state. For every dollar invested by the Arts Council, there is a return of almost $20 in private, matching funds. Nearly six million school children and residents participate in arts opportunities funded by the N.C. Arts Council annually.

“Approximately 80 percent of our funds flow directly to arts organizations and artists,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the N.C. Arts Council. “Our investments support what is essential to our way of life in North Carolina — arts and cultural experiences, vibrant downtowns, and innovative arts education programs.”

Grant awards are recommended by panels of civic leaders and arts experts based on artistic merit, the benefit of the project to the state’s citizens, and the applicant’s organizational strength and capacity. Recommendations are reviewed by the North Carolina Arts Council Board and approved by Secretary Susi H. Hamilton.

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