When needed most, local arts organizations receive grassroots arts grants

Posted 11/26/20

PITTSBORO — In a year where every nonprofit’s budget has been stretched, the Chatham Arts Council, in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, is excited to lend a helping hand by …

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When needed most, local arts organizations receive grassroots arts grants

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PITTSBORO — In a year where every nonprofit’s budget has been stretched, the Chatham Arts Council, in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, is excited to lend a helping hand by awarding annual Grassroots Arts Grants to nine deserving organizations.

This year’s grants are even more impactful, helping organizations carry the arts into every corner of Chatham county — even amidst a pandemic.

Nine organizations will be awarded a portion of the more than $11,000 in total funding available, which will help with operational support and the hiring of local artists to implement arts programming. This year’s award grant recipients are: Abundance NC, Chatham Artists Guild, Chatham County Partnership for Children, Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation, Main Street Pittsboro, N.C. Arts in Action, N.C. Arts Incubator, Shakori Hills Community Arts Center and StreetSigns. Since 2000, Chatham Arts Council (CAC) has awarded nearly $200,000 to a diverse group of nonprofits.

“This has been a tough year, and arts nonprofits have felt dramatic financial impact,” said Cheryl Chamblee, the executive director of the CAC. “One thing is sure — their creativity has not been impacted! We are thrilled to be able to award these grants to such deserving organizations, and we look forward to seeing their projects come to fruition--and their operations continue so that we don’t lose their vital presence in Chatham.”

The CAC serves as the Designated County Partner to the North Carolina Arts Council in awarding the funds to local organizations.

Grants range from $500 to $2,500, and are typically used for program expenses (i.e., artists’ fees, space rental or operating expenses for arts organizations). The review panel held a particular interest in applications that focused on children, diversity, need and well thought-out, sound projects that can be completed — even during a pandemic. This year’s successful applicants included a bilingual children’s literacy festival, musical events and workshops, a theater performance and more.

“Each year, we are so impressed by the great creativity that Chatham’s nonprofits show in planning their programs, and in this year of COVID, they’ve pushed their creativity to even greater lengths,” said Gilda McDaniel, the chairperson of the Grassroots Arts Grants Panel and a CAC board member. “Groups are learning how to reach kids through the arts in ways they never would have thought necessary a year ago, and everyone is learning wonderful new ways to engage.”

Grassroots Arts Grants are made possible by individual contributions to the Chatham Arts Council’s general operating fund and through the generous assistance of the Grassroots Arts Program of the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information, visit chathamartscouncil.org.

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