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Regional Artist Project Grants

Rachael Santillan
Rachael Santillan
Rachael Santillan
Rachael Santillan
Rachael Santillan

In an address at Amherst College in 1963, President John F. Kennedy, a lifelong supporter and advocate of the arts, said, “If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him.” The Arts Council embraces the visions of individual artists through Regional Artist Project Grants.

Applications and workshops for the 2020 Regional Artist Project Grant Cycle will be available in August 2019.  If you have any questions, please email Adrienne Trego, Education and Outreach Director, at .

Don’t let the acronym of this grant program mislead you. While musicians are certainly invited to apply for “RAP” grants, the funding program is open to artists of all disciplines. 

The RAP Grants provide financial support to visual, performing, literary and inter-disciplinary artists by funding projects that will have a significant impact on the advancement of their professional artistic careers.  Applicants may be emerging or established artists and, as a general rule, should have completed some basic education in their art forms.

The Grant program managed through a partnership with the state Arts Council and other Arts Councils throughout the state as a consortium. The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County manages this program for 11 counties. 

RAP isn’t just for your average Joe or Josephine. Unless Joe and Josephine are accomplished artists. A deserving applicant for a RAP grant will have a strong record of artistic accomplishment appropriate to the stage of his/her career. Also:

  • You must be a resident within the 11 county consortium
    • Eligible counties are Bladen, Cumberland, Harnett, Hoke, Lee, Montgomery, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson and Scotland Counties.
    • Must be a resident of county for at least one year.
  • You must be 18 years of age.
  • You cannot be enrolled in a degree or certificate program.
  • You must not have been awarded this grant in the previous year.
  • Individual artists and small, unincorporated groups of collaborating artists are eligible to apply. Artist groups must have a formal partnership that furthers their careers in order to qualify. A jazz quartet, a dance duo or a visual artist partnership are examples of qualifying groups.
  • Your project must occur during the calendar year of 2019.
  • You can apply for up to $2,500 for your project.  Applicants may receive full or partial funding.
  • Projects of any artistic discipline(s).

Examples of Fundable Projects

  • Ready for your close-up? … Promotion/Presentation: the cost of producing a video demonstration for a composer, a video demonstration for a choreographer, a portfolio for a visual artist, editorial assistance for a writer, etc.
  • Are you there yet? … Travel: costs for transportation, lodging and food associated with a specific art-related workshop, retreat or seminar.
  • Putting it all together … Completion/Production: the cost of purchasing materials for the completion of a significant new work of visual art, or the cost of renting a facility for the public presentation of a new play.
  • From the experts … Training: advanced study or coaching that will enhance the artist’s abilities.
  • The gift that keeps on giving … Equipment: the cost of purchasing a kiln for a potter, digital equipment for a photographer or supplies for visual artists.

All completed Regional Artist Program Grant applications will be judged by discipline-based artists and art educators on the criteria listed below. Then a multi-county panel comprised of professional artists, art educators/administrators and arts advocates review the applications and the judges’ evaluations and allocates funds for selected projects. Grant recommendations are then approved by the Board of Trustees of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. Incomplete applications will not be presented to the panel.

Make sure your application shines! The judges are evaluating based on this criteria:

  • Overall excellence of the applicant’s artwork and demonstrations of exceptional talent.
  • Serious professional commitment to art form.
  • Contribution of the proposed project to the advancement of the applicant's professional artistic development.
  • Feasibility of the proposed project.

Regional Artist Project Grants are intended to fund particular projects that begin no earlier than January 1 and conclude by December 31 of the same year. We’re here to help ease the process! Grant writing workshops (normally held in August/September) are held to assist interested artists in strengthening their applications. Attendance is not required but strongly encouraged, especially for first time applicants.

Grant application workshops:

Cumberland County: Wednesday, August 29th  5:30 p.m.    at Arts Council, 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville
Saturday, September 8th  12:00 noon  at Arts Council, 301 Hay Street, Fayetteville

Moore County:Tuesday, September 4th  5:30 p.m Arts Council, Campbell House, 482 E Connecticut Ave., Southern Pines

Applications are typically due within a few weeks of the final workshop.  The official deadline will be posted by late summer. Applicants will be notified of the status of their grant application by the end of the current calendar year.

The upcoming cycle covers projects from January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2019.

 All applications and support material will be submitted electronically through our online grants portal at:

Application Requirements:

An application without all required attachments is incomplete and will not be presented to the grants panel.  All applications MUST be submitted through our online grants portal by Thursday, October 11th at 11:59 PM.

Narrative (required) - The narrative is broken down into the following questions, all of which must be answered for an application to be submitted:

Artistic Questions:
1. Please provide an artist's statement.  The statement should be a general introduction to your work, and describe what you create and why you create it. 
2. What are the primary influences upon your work as an artist? Influences may include (but are not limited to) the work of other artists or sources of inspiration outside of the arts.
3. What are both your short-term and long-term artistic goals?

Project Questions:
1. Please describe your proposed project and provide any details that may relate to your provided budget, i.e. what you want to do, who will be involved, etc.
2. What is the proposed timeline for your project? How will you accomplish this project?  Be as detailed as possible.
3. How will this project assist with your short-term and long-term artistic goals provided above?


Budget – (required) Provide your Project Budget (both Expenses and Income).  For your Project Expenses, please be sure to list each expense as its own line item.  Be as specific as possible.

Budget support – (required) Provide support information for your budget that clearly displays the cost of each line item, i.e. screenshots or web addresses showing equipment costs, quotes from suppliers, brochures from conferences, etc.

Artistic Resume (required) – Your artistic resume should include education, exhibitions/performances, publications, commissions and honors. 

References (recommended) – Letters of Reference are not required but are preferred. All Letters of Reference should be on letterhead and signed with contact information.  References should be recent and from individuals familiar with your work and/or project.  References should be professional recommendations and not personal recommendations.  You may provide no more than three letters.

Work Sample – (required) You must submit current work samples.  We typically define current as the last 3-5 years.  If work samples are not included, your application will not be presented to the panel.  Your work sample should pertain to your grant request. For example, if your project relates to fiction, submit a sample in the genre. 

Dance:  Recorded performance (video, no longer than a 5 minute clip).
Drama: Recorded performance (audio or video, no longer than a 5 minute clip).
Playwright:  Up to 12 pages of manuscript.  You may include a copy of a recorded performance (audio or video, no longer than a 5 minute clip).
Music:  Up to three recorded performance (audio or video, each no longer than a 5 minute clip).
Literature:  Up to 12 pages of manuscript 
Composers:  Up to 3 sample scores and recorded performance (audio, no longer than a 5 minute clip).
Visual Arts:  Between 5 and 10 images of your work.  All images must include a description that includes the date of completion, medium and size of work.

For video and audio work samples:  Submit YouTube/online links. Please provide a brief description of each work sample including the date & location of performance, title of piece, name of artist performing, name of creator/composer/choreographer/etc.  Please indicate if the sample was professionally mastered.  You may also submit reviews, programs, and catalogs.

The following projects received grants for the 2019 year:

Name County Discipline  
Lisa Downey Moore Visual - Painting  
Smantha Henneke Montgomery Visual - Pottery  
James Johnson Moore Literary - Audio Storytelling  
Kyra Rodriguez Lee Visual - Photography  
Roxana Ross Robeson Literary  
Raul Rubiera Cumberland Visual - Film  
Anthony Valazquez Cumberland Music  
Nanette Zeller Moore Visual - Textiles