About the Arts Council

The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County (North Carolina) was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the Arts Council administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts.

The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts.

As the primary steward of public and private funding for arts, cultural and history activities in the Cape Fear Region, the Arts Council and the agencies it supports shall be known for these core values:

  • Excellence – in artistry and content of programs and presentations
  • Accountability – through best practices as non-profit organizations
  • Transparency – in operations and decision-making
  • Collaboration – with many partners to leverage financial resources and expertise, and to build community consensus around cultural activities
  • Innovation – as leaders in creatively enhancing the reputation and vitality of our city and county with a national and international audience


As a service to the 300,000 citizens of Cumberland County, the Arts Council:

  • Funds the arts, culture and history throughout the County
  • Helps arts organizations operate better
  • Works to educate our children
  • Manages the Arts Center facility and activities
  • Serves as a key resource in making Cumberland County a good place to live, work and visit.


ART LIVES HERE! Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County from Minnow Media on Vimeo.


Funding the arts throughout the county.
The Arts Council increases access to the arts for local residents by coordinating arts, culture and history funding requests to local, state and federal governments, as well as by conducting an annual campaign to raise money from businesses, foundations and individuals. To enable residents and visitors to enjoy a variety of cultural activities, non-profit agencies in Cumberland County — including more than 20 Arts Council member organizations — are encouraged to apply to the Council for arts support.

The Arts Council awards substantial direct funding to area artists, arts and cultural agencies, and schools. Volunteer community grants panelists representing Cumberland County’s diverse population award grants annually in the categories of Operating Support, Project Support, as well as for Arts Education and the Regional Artists Program. For a detailed report on grants funding, click here.

Helping arts organizations operate better.
In addition to providing Operating Support grants to established arts institutions, the Arts Council reviews these organizations’ business practices, artistic standards and service to the community through monthly disbursement requests and annual application and reporting documentation.

The Arts Council maintains a professional staff and offers management/technical assistance in marketing, fund raising, finance, board development, arts-in-education, audience development, planning, advocacy and budgeting. To strengthen the effectiveness of local arts, culture and history agencies, the Council offers member agencies access to office equipment, technology training, and resource materials, and manages an Internship Training Program to cultivate excellence in future arts administrators.

Working to educate our children.
Linking the schools with the arts, the Arts Council provides extensive in-school arts programming that partners artists and cultural resource personnel with educators and students. Since introducing the strings and poetry programs in the 1970s, the Arts Council has been a strong advocate for arts education initiatives in the schools. The Arts Council’s Arts In Education program reaches over 30,000 students and is composed of the
Artists In Schools program.

Managing the Arts Council facility and activities.
The Arts Council is housed in a facility that was originally built as a federal post office (c. 1910) and is an elegant National Register historic building in the midst of Olde Fayetteville. Teams of artists contracted throughout the year manage Arts Council programs that include performances, readings, and visual art exhibitions. The facility’s public spaces are utilized by a number of community organizations for meetings, classes, workshops and special events.

Serving as a key resource in making Cumberland County a good place to live, work, and visit.
As a provider of arts services, the Arts Council acts as a magnet for individual artists and agencies linking artists with arts opportunities. The
Board of Trustees designates annual initiatives designed to promote arts advocacy and networking in the community. The Arts Council administers a number of programs and special events throughout the year, including the annual arts festival – International Folk Festival – the great holiday tradition of A Dickens Holiday and our monthly Fourth Friday events.

Want to make a one-time donation to the Arts Council? Call (910) 323-1776.

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The Arts Council's grants, programs and services are funded in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Financial information about this organization and a copy of its license are available from the Charitable Solicitation Licensing Section at (888)830-4989 or http://www.secretary.state.nc.us/csl/. The license is not an endorsement by the State.

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