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Artist Support Grants

For artists in Region 18 – Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain Counties

Guidelines and Information

The Artist Support Grant was created to provide direct support to individual artists during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will fund professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities to create work or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences.

Artists representing visual, craft, performing, traditional, and interdisciplinary art forms are encouraged to apply. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to spending a significant portion of their time on their work as artists. The Artist Support Grants will support new or ongoing projects that take place before June 30, 2021. Awards may range from $500-$1000 . Applicants may receive full or partial funding.


  • Individuals and Artist Collectives — Both individual artists and small, unincorporated groups of collaborating artists are eligible to apply.

  • Residency — Artists should have lived continuously in the region where they are applying for at least one year before the consortium’s application deadline. An applicant must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien. The consortium may require proof of residence and status. Artists who live in more than one region should apply only where they spend most of the All members of a collaborating team must be North Carolina residents, live in the region in which they are applying, and meet the other eligibility requirements. Résumés documenting residence for all team members should be included with the application.

  • Multiple Awards — Artists who are sole proprietors of organizations that have already received funding for FY2020–2021 from the N.C. Arts Council are ineligible to apply.

  • Conflict of Interest — Current board and staff members of the consortium partner organizations and their family members are not eligible to apply for the award.

  • Student Status — The Artist Support Grant is intended for adult, non-student artists. Artists enrolled full-time in undergraduate or associate degree-granting programs may not apply for the grant. Artists in certificate programs are generally eligible. Artists pursuing graduate degrees in subjects other than their art form may be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria. Other questions and special circumstances should be discussed with N.C. Arts Council

Eligible Projects and Costs

Up to 50 percent of the grant amount may be used for artist fees.

  • Completion/Presentation of a New Work — Cost of resources necessary to complete or present a significant new work (e.g., purchasing art supplies or equipment (digital may qualify) or space rental)

  • Career Promotion — Projects aimed at advertising artists’ work and/or demonstrating their skill level (e.g., websites, portfolios, audio-visual documentation, and online presentation)

  • Training — Costs to attend a class or workshop (in-person or virtual) aimed at either enhancing the artist’s skill level or professional development (e.g., a master class or workshop taught by acknowledged authorities in the applicant artist’s medium)

  • Travel — Costs of transportation, lodging, and food for training, professional conferences, or research as allowed or possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines

Ineligible Projects and Costs

  • Scholarships for undergraduate- or graduate-level education

  • Projects that support or oppose a particular candidate for public office

  • Projects that are exclusive to members of a particular religious faith group

  • Projects that do not have a direct effect on the applicant’s growth as an artist (e.g., the promotion of other artists’ work)

Deadline – September 30th, 2021

Applications must be completed and submitted online to:  or mailed or hand-delivered to: 

Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center
Attn: Artist Support Grant
51 Cowee School Drive
Franklin, NC 28734 (must be postmarked or hand-delivered by the due date when announced)

Evaluation Criteria

Overall excellence of the applicant’s artwork as demonstrated by work samples

  • Feasibility of the proposed project

  • Contribution of the proposed project to the advancement of the applicant’s professional artistic development and practice

Review Process

All completed Artist Support Grant applications will be judged by a multi-county panel of established artists, arts professionals, and arts educators and administrators who will review and evaluate the applications and allocate funds for selected projects.

Information and Assistance

For more information, please click the link here or contact:  Laura Brooks

Grant Panels and Award Announcements: October/November (Date TBA)

Grant Workshop

To view a recording of the informational workshop, please click here.

To download the Grant Workshop PowerPoint presentation, click here.

Recipients of the Artist Support Grants:

Allyson Gernandt, Jewelry
Swain County

Ann Woodford, Painting
Cherokee County

Annette Clapsaddle, Writing
Jackson County

Betty Maney, Basket Weaving
Jackson County

Deborah Bryant, Textiles
Jackson County

Eric Reagan, Sculpture
Swain County

Kathleen Marshall, Textiles
Macon County

Lindsey Liden, Woodworking
Cherokee County

Mary Thompson, Basket Weaving
Jackson County

Tom McMillan, Woodworking
Jackson County

Zan Barnes, Pottery
Jackson County

Grassroots Sub-Grants

The Grassroots Arts Program Sub-grant provides financial support for Jackson County community and nonprofit organizations that offer programs and projects that enhance the arts for county residents. Grassroots Sub-grants are awarded to organizations in all cultural disciplines through a competitive application and review process. The applicant organization must be based in Jackson County and produce its programming in Jackson County. Sub-grants are not awarded to support fund-raising activities.

Grassroots sub-grants are intended to:

  • Provide modest funding for events/projects and publicity/advertising for Artist Groups/ Artist organizations that will enhance the presence of art events in Jackson County
  • Support opportunities for Jackson County residents to participate in new and thought-provoking art events in MUSIC, VISUAL ART, THEATER, DANCE, and LITERATURE
  • Celebrate the traditional arts and cultures of Jackson County as well as the multicultural aspect of arts in general.

Grants that reflect African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American cultures may qualify for our Multicultural programming. For these grants the artist or presenter and the content of the art material should both belong to one of the above groups. Any organization can apply for multicultural funds to conduct art programs/events that meet these standards. Please fill out the regular application for multicultural funding.

Examples of typical programs funded:

  • Performances
  • Art exhibitions
  • Artist residencies in schools
  • Classes/ workshops
  • Art walks/studio tours
  • Festivals
  • After-school arts programs/art camps
  • Arts marketing, including website development and research

Grassroots Sub-grants WILL NOT LIKELY FUND the following:

  • Projects that request more than $1200.00
  • Projects to individual artists (however, artists may be contacted by a larger overseeing body that will need their services to complete a project.)
  • Religious organizations or churches may not receive Grassroots funds unless the programs are presented outside regular church services, engage the larger community, and do not contain religious content.
  • Academic study.
  • Any sponsorship that seeks to pay for past debts, legal fees, the purchase of real estate, moves to other cities, personal travel, or to pay for the costs of installations, commissions, or projects ordered by others.
  • Sponsorship for event enhancement where the thrust of the event is for-profit
  • Capital expenditures (e.g. building/space rental)
  • Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions
  • Prizes, competitions, scholarships, tuition, or financial awards.

Rules upon receiving a grant from the Jackson County Arts Council:

  • If the logistics/time frame of the project changes, the Art Council must be contacted.
  • All publicity must include the JCAC logo AND North Carolina Arts Council Logo AND Tagline.  These can be accessed below.
  • Copies of all publicity should be saved and photos and/or videos of the event/program should be made and submitted with your end-of-year report to JCAC.
  • An end-of-year report for the sub-grant is due to the Jackson County Arts Council within 30 days after the completion of the event/project or by May 30th, whichever comes first.
  • All performance/display venues should be ADA accessible and open to the public.

Interested organizations can apply by completing the following PDF Sub-grant Application and returning it to JCAC  at 310 Keener Street, Sylva, NC 28779 or by email at   

Deadline for acceptance of applications:  September 23rd, 2022

Subgrant Application Links:

Download Application PDF

Download Application Guidelines

For more information, please contact the Jackson County Arts Council at 828-507-9820 or email us.

Jackson County Arts Council administers the Grassroots Arts Program Grant in accordance with current guidelines, policies, and requirements outlined by the North Carolina Arts Council.

JCAC Art Sponsorships

Occasionally Jackson County Arts Council will sponsor or fund an artist project or organization that serves artists, who have a specific need. These requests are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis and are funded until budgeted funds are depleted. Only requests made by artists and organizations located in Jackson County or on the Qualla Boundary will be considered. 

Application deadlines:  March 1, July 1, and November 1. 

You will receive notification of your request within 2 weeks of the funding deadlines. Accepted proposals will be required to use JCAC logos in all marketing materials. Additional requirements may be made.