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Project Support Grants

Applying is as easy as 1-2-3!

1. Read the Guidelines

2. Attend a Workshop (choose one):
    Note: all new applicants are required to attend either the Saturday or Tuesday workshop prior to applying.                           
   Open to all applicants - Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 5:30 pm                       
   Open to returning applicants only -  Thursday, February 13, 2020, 5:30 pm   
   Open to all applicants - Saturday, February 15, 2020 9:30 am

3. Apply online by Monday, March 16, 2020
Apply through the Arts Council's online grant portal. (ALL applications must be submitted through the application portal. No hard copy submissions will be accepted.)


The purpose of Project Support Grants is to increase opportunities for access to cultural arts programming in Cumberland County.  Cultural arts are defined as: arts, science, history and heritage.  Project Support Grant funds must be matched 1:1 by the applicant with the exception of Series Organizational Support Grants which must be matched 2:1. 

Funding Partners include:

  • Individual Donors
  • State of North Carolina
  • City of Fayetteville
  • Cumberland County
  • Cumberland County Occupancy Tax

The mission of the Arts Council is to support individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the cultural arts.  However, the Board of Trustees does recognize that government agencies and non-profits whose primary focus is not in these areas contribute to this mission through cultural arts programming.   In order to remain in compliance with restrictions set forth by our funding partners and to maximize our dollars to meet this mission, the Arts Council has these funding priorities:

  1. 501(c) organizations whose primary mission is arts, culture or history.
  2. Universities, schools, and government entities with ongoing arts and culture programming.
  3. Other 501(c) and government agencies that conduct periodic arts and culture programming.

These priorities are taken into consideration by the grants panel along with the criteria set forth in the Project Support Grant guidelines when making funding recommendations to the Arts Council Board of Trustees.

Project Support Grants may be awarded to nonprofit agencies in Cumberland County that demonstrate financial and administrative stability. Grant requests range from $1,000 - $30,000, depending upon the category. Grant funds support expenses that are directly related to the project. Allowable costs may include qualifying professional program-related fees and contracts, marketing and other project-related costs.

Grant Categories include:

  • Series Organizational Support Grants
  • Series Project Support Grants
  • Military Arts Projects (NEW)
  • Youth Education Grants
  • Cultural Tourism Grants
  • Organizational Development Grants
  • Other Grants
  • Project must take place July 1, 2020 June 30, 2021
  • Organizations are limited to a total of three Project Support Grant Applications
  • Project support grants are matching grants:
    • In-kind contributions cannot be counted as match
    • Arts council grants cannot be matched with another Arts Council grant
    • Arts Council grants can be matched with grants from other organizations
    • An organization cannot use the same matching funds toward more than one Arts Council Grant

For more information about allowable expenditures, please review the Project Support Guidelines or call the Arts Council at 910-323-1776.

The following list represents Arts Council funding priorities for Project Support Grants:

  • New programming or previously funded programs with new components, elements or arts/culture/history professionals
  • Programs that develop and employ local artists or cultural professionals.
  • Programs which employ OR present works by a majority diverse population (African-American, Asian-American, Latino, Native American)
  • Programs that encourage underdeveloped disciplines. 
  • Programs that broaden participation by attracting more people; diversify participation by attracting audiences different from those the organization is already attracting; or, deepen participation by increasing current participants' levels of involvement.
  • Organizations that demonstrate plans for future funding of the project.
  • Programs that target traditionally underserved populations, such as at-risk youth, older populations and individuals with disabilities.
  • Programs that utilize professional artists or cultural professionals in educational and other supplemental activities such as: literary readings, open rehearsals, question and answer sessions, master classes, meet-the-artist/cultural professional receptions, pre-and post-event discussions, workshops and lecture/demonstrations.
  • Programs that develop cultural tourism and enhance the visitor’s experience.
  • Programs that include collaborations with other non-profit organizations in the community.

A Grants Panel will review Project Support Grant applications. The Panel consists of volunteers with professional experience in arts, culture, history, education, grants, finance, and management. The Panel will be representative of our diverse community. At least one member of the Panel will be an Arts Council Trustee.  The written application and attachments are the applicant’s opportunity to present its best case for funding support. The panel makes funding recommendations based on information provided.  The Arts Council staff does not vote on awards.  Final approval of awards is voted on by the Arts Council Board of Trustees.

Please note – it is understood that not every program will meet or embrace every evaluation criteria. Each application will be evaluated on an overall impression of the applicant’s strengths in the following areas:

  • Artistic/Cultural/Historic Merit and Integrity – 45 points
  • Program Impact – 30 points
  • Program Execution and Management – 25 points

For more information on how each of these areas are evaluated, please refer to our Guidelines

A grants panel carefully considers all applications before making its funding decisions. Both the Executive Committee and the Arts Council Board of Trustees then review these recommendations before approval. The decision-making process is guided by evaluative criteria, which requires judgment on the part of the panelists and Board members. Award decisions are final. Amount of grant are determined based on the merit of the application.  

Project Support Grants are intended to fund a particular project that begins no earlier than July 1 and concludes by June 30 of the Arts Council fiscal year. Informational workshops will be held to assist interested organizations. See application for grant writing workshop information.  Attendance is required for first time applicants.

Attending a workshop is an essential first step in developing a successful application.  Workshops are typically held in January/February.  Workshop attendance is mandatory for any organization applying for the first time and highly recommended for returning applicants. The Arts Council will be utilizing online application portal. Workshops will review basic information on how to use this portal. Attendance of all applicants is highly reccommended.


            Open to all applicants                           Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 5:30 pm                          

            Open to returning applicants only        Thursday, February 13, 2020, 5:30 pm   

            Open to all applicants                           Saturday, February 15, 2020 9:30 am

Thoroughly review the grant guidelines before you apply.  Grant responsibilities may be greater than you expect. Applying for a Project Support Grant is a two-pronged process. 

We’re here to help, so take time to talk with our staff. Both experienced and first-time applicants should call the Arts Council staff to discuss proposals. This should happen early in the planning process so that we can help you make your proposal competitive. Many people review each proposal and it is imperative that it be readable, thoughtful and understandable. Information requested should be complete.

Applicants who apply in the Series Organizational Support category may apply for one grant annually. All other applicants may apply for up to three project support grants each year. Please provide complete and accurate information as requested on the form. 

Project Support Grant Application

If your organization and project meet the aforementioned eligibility requirements, you are eligible to apply for a 2020-2021 Project Support Grant.  If you have any questions about eligibility, please contact

The full application and required attachments are due by the deadline listed below.  All applications must be submitted using the Arts Council’s online application portal.  The Guidelines set forth in this document are to help you build a strong Project Support application.  

 DEADLINE TO SUBMIT – Monday, March 15, 2020

This is the deadline for submission of all project support applications.  No additional materials will be accepted after this date and no edits will be able to be made to your online submission.

Notification of Awards - By July 1 of current year

Completion of Contract and Required Grantee Documents-Varies by Organization

Final Report - 60 days after event or June 15 of award year (whichever is earlier)

Twenty awards for fifteen organizations totaling $135,000 were granted in the 20-21 Project Support cycle.

Cape Fear Studios ($11,400)

Cape Fear Studios is a recipient of our Series Organizational Support Grant, which is open to cultural arts non-profit 501(c) organizations that deliver high quality services to the citizens of Cumberland County.   This grant will support a variety of programming, including Cape Fear Studio’s exhibition series, summer camps, workshops, classes and lessons.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Foundation ($6,800)

The Foundation will use this funding to support fees for an art therapist to offer art therapy sessions four times each week in group settings at the Behavioral Health Care Inpatient Unit and at the Roxie Detox and Crisis Stabilization Center.

Cape Fear Valley Medical Foundation ($1,500)

The Foundation will use additional funding to support art supplies for an art therapy program specifically for adolescent teens whose family are members of the military.

Community Concerts ($19,000)

Community Concerts is a recipient of our Series Organizational Support Grant allowing cultural arts non-profit 501(c) organizations that deliver high quality services to the citizens of Cumberland County.   This grant will support Community Concerts’ 20-21 concert series.

Crossroads Outreach Alternative Program Ministries ($4,675)

This grant was awarded to support artists fees and supplies for Art Exp’sion. The after-school program is open to students K-12. Students rotate through five arts experiences every 35 minutes including: music theory, piano instructions, poetry and drama, seasonal themes, and painting on canvas

Cumberland County Public Library – 2021 Storytelling Festival ($3,300)

The grant supports the Storytelling Festival – “Nature Stories” - takes place in March 2021 and is for all ages. The festival will feature headline performers, library programs, and storytelling programs led by youth services staff at each of eight library locations.

Cumberland Choral Arts:  Youth Chorus ($1,500)

Grant funds support the 2020-2021 Cambellton Youth Choir series. The Chorus participants in every Cumberland Choral Arts concert, the annual Kiwanis Club Talent Night, the annual Piedmont Invitational Children’s Chorus Festival, and at community events.

Cumberland Choral Arts:  Youth Chorus ($1,500)

The mission of the Cumberland Choral Arts is to present high-quality classical and popular choral music for residents of Cumberland and surrounding counties. This grant supports the Singers’ 29th Concert Series of 4 performances.

Ellington-White, CDC: Exhibition ($2,850)

Ellington-White will utilize grant funds in the production of an exhibition at the gallery.

Fascinate-U Children’s Museum ($2,000)

Fascinate-U Children’s Museum will utilize grant funds to support their year-long series of arts classes and arts-based camps for youth.   It is anticipated that the total available slots for arts education programs will reach close to 200 students throughout the year.

Fayetteville State University – Performing and Fine Arts Department ($4,500)

This grant supports the 2020-2021 Fine Arts Series. The series will journey into each area of the Department of Performing and Fine Arts through Art, Music, Dance and Visual Arts with national spotlight of performances.

Gilbert Theater ($22,000)

The Gilbert Theater is a recipient of our Series Organizational Support. This grant supports the theater’s educational programs as well as their Main Stage productions throughout the year 2020-2021.

Groundswell Pictures ($6,400)

Groundswell Pictures will use grant funding for marketing and advertising of their annual Indigo Moon Film Festival. 

Kindred Ministries ($2,550)

Kindred Ministries operates a day program for adults with developmental disabilities.  Grant funds will support theater outreach activities for participants in the program.

Methodist University – David McCune Gallery ($7,125)

This grant will allow the David McCune Art Gallery at Methodist University to host an exhibit of Rembrandt.  The exhibit is the culmination of more than a year’s work for the Gallery.

Methodist University – Friends of Music ($3,435)

Funds for artist contracts for The Friends of Music of Methodist University are supported through this grant.  The Guest Artist Series includes four performances offered for free to the public as well as other community partners.

Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex Foundation ($9,000)

This grant supports artist fees and contracts for the Museum of the Cape Fear’s History Live! program, which includes Halloween Trick or Treat, Halloween Night Tours at the Poe House and Holiday Jubilee.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare ($9,000)

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will produce 20-21 season throughout the community with the support of this grant.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare ($3,965)

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will use these grant funds for the purchase of a “Cockpit Playhouse’ that will allow the organizations  greater flexibility for using venues throughout the community to produce its shows.

Sweet Tea Shakespeare ($8,000)

Sweet Tea Shakespeare will use this grant to subsidize the Green Tea youth program.  This initiative engages youth in theater program and production throughout the 20-21 season.