Chatham Arts Council opens two grants for application

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PITTSBORO — The Chatham Arts Council has opened two grants for application this week, partnering with the North Carolina Arts Commission as its Designated County Partner to award Grassroots Arts Grants.

Additionally, CAC’s own JumpstART grants will return this year, in support of Chatham artists who have been economically impacted by the pandemic.

Grassroots Arts Grants

Since 2000, the CAC, through the Grassroots Arts Grant — established to ensure every citizen in North Carolina has access to quality arts experiences — has awarded more than $200,000 to nonprofits, who in turn use the money to fund artists and carry the arts into every corner of the county. This year’s funding through the NCAC represents a $4,000 increase over last year. Applications are now available online at The deadline for applications and supporting materials is May 15.

Cash grants range from $500 to $2,500, and areas of particular interest for the CAC are local artist fees/fair payment to artists and outreach to diverse or underserved communities.

“Over the past couple of years, investing in artists and arts organizations has been crucial to Chatham’s post-pandemic recovery and transformation,” said Cheryl Chamblee, artistic director of the CAC. “Through grants like this one, we can support community organizations that are working to deliver meaningful arts programs throughout Chatham.”

Organizations applying must:

• Have been in operation for at least one year as a 501(c)(3);

• Have an arts mission, or a program that uses the arts to help accomplish the organization’s mission;

• Be based in Chatham County.

CAC will hold a virtual grants workshop from 4-5 p.m. on May 5 via Zoom. All applicants — including those who have successfully applied in the past — are encouraged to attend, as there are new guidelines this year. RSVP is required to Jenni Detwiler at


The CAC’s JumpstART grant was born out of the pandemic as a way to help get Chatham County artists and arts-workers back to work. JumpstART pays artists to make art — and to put the arts in the public sphere as we reconnect with one another in our public spaces.

“JumpstART was originally a one-year-only kind of program, a bridge from deep pandemic to cautious reopening,” Chamblee said. “But engaging in JumpstART exposed a need that continues to exist. A springboard that pays artists to make new work — especially right now as we’re all working to find our equilibrium — is recovery for both artists and for our Chatham community.”

This year, grants range from $250 to $1,000 for individual projects, and $500 to $1,500 for collaborative projects. Eligibility for the JumpstART grant requires the applicant to be a professional performing, visual, or literary artist or arts-worker who has been financially impacted due to COVID-19 cancellations and closures, rising cost-of-living, or other economic challenges. JumpstART applicants must be residents of Chatham County.

This year’s JumpstART project theme is Equilibrium. All proposed projects should engage with the concept of Equilibrium in some way.

All JumpstART awardees agree to participate in a public sharing in the fall of 2022 that will include all JumpstART-funded work, as arranged by the Chatham Arts Council. The Chatham Arts Council will not require artists to participate in a way that feels COVID-unsafe to the artist. The application deadline is Sunday, May 8.


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