Arts North Carolina

Funding and Arts Education Background


North Carolina Arts Council Grants Funding

The 2011-13 North Carolina Biennium Budget is front-and-center on Arts North Carolina’s Legislative Agenda. Circumstances related to the economic crisis and state budget shortfalls, a change in political party majority in both the House and the Senate, a concern over non-profit accountability and the question of appropriate tax funding of non-profits have created an environment where arts funding is in question. The 2011-2012 budget implemented a 15% reduction in grants funding, a cut of just under $1,000,000, leaving funds for Grassroots Arts and Competitive grants at $5,596,028.

Arts North Carolina seeks to restore 5% of the 15% reductions in the May “short session”.

North Carolina Arts Council Grants Funding History

Fiscal Year   Total     Per Capita
FY05-06   $5,654,633     0.65
FY06-07   $6,304,633     0.71
FY07-08   $7,654,633     0.84
FY08-09   $8,258,565     0.89
FY09-10   $6,583,565     0.70
FY10-11   $6,583,565     0.69
FY11-12   $5,596,028     0.58

15% reduction in current year’s funding
32% reduction in funding since 2008-09


  • Arts Council grant money is distributed to all 100 counties and ensures that both rural and urban areas have access to state funds that stimulate significant economic development.
  • Half of the grant money is returned to the state through income tax paid by the 2,266 employees of the funded arts organizations.
  • Funded arts organizations raise and spend $223 million dollars, most of that in the local economy. Grants represent an average of 4% of total revenue but are essential in leveraging private, corporate, foundation, and local government support.
  • The grantees of the North Carolina Arts Council leverage an additional $17 for every $1 invested by the state. At the 15% reduction, the direct loss of arts funding in North Carolina’s economy would be nearly $16.8 million.
  • Funded organizations must meet stringent accountability criteria and rigorous reporting requirements. Every grant must be verified in notarized reports to both the North Carolina Arts Council and North Carolina Auditor’s office.


Arts Education Background

Arts North Carolina works to ensure that every child in North Carolina has access to the arts in public education. We propose that North Carolina must adopt statewide policies and laws that ensure equity across county lines, prioritize implementation of policies and programs for K-12, and provide resources to accomplish excellence in education through the inclusion of arts education programs.

Arts North Carolina provided the advocacy leadership for the passage of Senate Bill 66 that created a Task Force to create a Comprehensive Arts Education Plan for North Carolina.

In the 2011 Legislative Session H758 passed the General Assembly establishing an Arts Education Committee to recommend and prioritize arts education strategies based on the Arts Education Comprehensive Plan. The Commission began meeting in late February and is charged with providing a report to the General Assembly by May 2012.