In March, the federal CARES Act granted $506,800 to the North Carolina Arts Council. These National Endowment for the Arts funds, which are designated as “stabilization funds” for the state’s non-profit arts sector, will go toward arts organizations effected by the pandemic—which is, of course, most arts organizations.

The application period for those funds opens up on Friday, May 15. 

The NC Arts Council emphasizes that these emergency grants designations are not project based and will, instead, have an emphasis on job protection and overhead costs like mortgages and rent. 

Grant amounts may range anywhere between $1,500 to $7,500 and the arts council says that it will dispense more if federal funding continues to come through. 

To be eligible, organizations must employ full-time staff, must have received a grant award during the financial years 2019 or 2020, and must not have received a state or federal grant since March 1 of this year. The arts council is not qualifying SBA loans as federal grants. ‘

The application portal will close on May 22. Funds will be distributed by July; an accelerated distribution timeline that underscores the precarious circumstances that arts organization will be facing, this summer.  

In mid-April, the NC Arts Council staged a three-day virtual fundraiser, “Under One Roof,” which featured a lineup of North Carolina powerhouses from Ben Folds and Petey Pablo to Tift Merritt and 9th Wonder. The event raised $50,000 in donations for artist recovery efforts; those funds will also be distributed as artists grants across the states, via nonprofit groups.

All three nights of the “Under One Roof” performances have been made available for viewing with closed captioning. 

Contact deputy arts and culture editor Sarah Edwards at

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