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North Carolina Arts Council | Art Matters
In this issue | July 2021
  • The latest from Spark the Arts
  • NEA offers relief funds to help the arts and culture sector recover from the pandemic 
  • We’re hiring a content director
  • N.C. Artist Support Grant deadlines posted
  • New professional development workshop for North Carolina BIPOC artists
  • Meet our summer interns
The latest from Spark the Arts
the latest from Spark the Arts
Dear Art Lovers,
 
Last month we launched Spark the Arts, an awareness campaign to inspire public participation in the arts across North Carolina.
 
Spark the Arts has a simple mission: As the pandemic slows, we want to ignite the resurgence of North Carolina’s arts sector by connecting people to arts experiences and stories that capture the profound ways in which the arts enliven, connect, and heal. For the foreseeable future, the North Carolina Arts Council will use its social media platforms to do just that.
 
Since premiering Spark the Arts, we’ve begun two social media series: A Day at the Museum, a limited-run series profiling North Carolina visual art museums that are open and ready for visitors, and Sparks Across NC, a semi-weekly roundup of notable and inspiring North Carolina arts news and stories that we will run for the next year.
 
Our work on Spark the Arts has taken us to several arts events across the state. We documented a dynamic showcase by A Drummers World Drumline at the Johnston County Juneteenth festival, and we captured a compelling message from the Triangle-based band Mipso at its recent sold-out show at the Cat’s Cradle about the importance of audience support for venues. The takeaway from both these vignettes is the same: There is joy, fellowship, and healing when we experience live music and other performing arts together.
 
Have we ever needed more of that?
 
So, Art Matters readers: Subscribe to our social media feeds now to catch every Spark the Arts story, and join our campaign by showing up for the arts in your community. Plan a trip to a local art museum. Book those concert tickets. Take that art class. And please tag #SparkTheArtsNC in your social media posts about participating in North Carolina arts experiences. Your tags will help us paint a fuller picture of all the ways the arts make a meaningful difference in our state.
 
Yours truly,
Sandra Davidson, Marketing and Communications Director, North Carolina Arts Council
 
The National Endowment for the Arts offers relief funds to help the arts and culture sector recover from the pandemic 
national endowment for the arts
The NEA announced two programs to distribute American Rescue Plan funds. These programs are open to nonprofit arts and culture organizations and local arts agencies, whether or not they have received NEA funding in the past. The NEA encourages applications from first-time applicants, and will offer workshops, question-and-answer sessions, and other resources for those new to federal funding.
LEARN MORE
We’re hiring a content director 
we are hiring
We want to hire a content director to create content and programs that enhance the North Carolina Arts Council’s statewide initiatives and communicate the public value of the arts in North Carolina. 
APPLY HERE
North Carolina Artist Support Grant deadlines posted
North Carolina Artist Support Grant
Regional application deadlines for Year 2 of the North Carolina Artist Support Grant program are on our website. 
 
Created last year to support individual artists during the pandemic, the N.C. Artist Support Grant program is an opportunity for regional consortia of arts councils to award project grants to local artists. 
 
Find those regional deadlines and the grant guidelines here.
LEARN MORE
New professional development workshop for North Carolina BIPOC artists
BIPOC Artist Professional Development Series
BIPOC* artists in all disciplines are invited to register for a two-part series of professional development workshops led by Strategic Planning Partners and hosted by the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, the North Carolina Arts Council, and the North Carolina African American Heritage Commission on July 10 and 17.

Registration is free but required. 
RSVP HERE
*BIPOC is an acronym for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.
Meet our 2021 summer interns
Courtney Hancock and Robert McCormac
From left: Courtney Hancock, Robert McCormac (photo by Martha McGougan).
The North Carolina Arts Council is pleased to welcome two summer interns to our staff.
 
Courtney Hancock is a Baltimore native who studies digital media at Elizabeth City State University, where she is a rising senior. Her passion for the art of storytelling through activism, video, audio, photography, and more led her to host the radio show Soul Cafe & Sunday Vibes, on WRVS FM, and the podcast Young Everyday Black Woman and to become a multimedia content creator. She is working with the North Carolina Arts Council as an arts administration intern, conducting outreach to Historically Black Colleges and Universities and creating content for Spark the Arts.
 
Robert McCormac, originally from Asheville, is a graduate student at Appalachian State University pursuing a master’s degree in music, with a concentration in music theory pedagogy, and also a master’s degree in Appalachian studies, with a concentration in culture and music. His research focuses on the politics of participation within and extending from vernacular music communities of the southern Appalachian mountains. Additionally, Robert is the guitarist in the Billboard-charting and International Bluegrass Music Association award-winning bluegrass band Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road. He is working with the Arts Council’s Folklife program this summer and is developing a research project on the Blue Ridge Music Trails.
In case you missed it
In case you missed it
On July 6, staff at the North Carolina Arts Council began a phased return to the agency’s office at 109 E. Jones Street in Raleigh. All staff will fully transition back to the office by the end of August.
 
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The North Carolina Poet Laureate, Jaki Shelton Green, is the voice of a new campaign celebrating our state as a dynamic place to live and thrive.
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Earlier this year the North Carolina Arts Council secured $23,000 in new funding from the Leveraging State Investments in Creative Aging program, a joint initiative of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) and Aroha Philanthropies. Our Folklife Director Zoe van Buren will speak about how the Arts Council is using this funding to advance creative aging programs for older adults in North Carolina at NASAA’s inaugural Creative Aging Institute on Wednesday, July 28 at 4:30 p.m. Register for that free workshop here.
In the news
In the news
The Assembly takes an in-depth look at the state of North Carolina’s film industry.
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The National Endowment for the Arts interviewed Maestro William Henry Curry about his advocacy for Black composers, his 20-year tenure as resident conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, and his current work with the Durham Symphony Orchestra.
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The Women’s Theatre Festival recently announced that it is now officially the National Women’s Theatre Festival. Established in North Carolina in 2016, this annual festival is the nation’s largest symposium on gender and theater and provides a platform to amplify and celebrate the contributions of artists whose genders are under-represented in the field.
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Blue Ridge Craft Trails Month—under way in Henderson County—highlights local artisans in the mountain county through artist demonstrations, exhibit openings, and other special events. Learn more here.
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Nnenna Freelon, the celebrated Durham-based, Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist, reflects on love, loss, and grief in “Great Grief,” a new podcast from WUNC.
Dates to know
The arts are essential to North Carolina’s recovery. If you agree, consider supporting the North Carolina Arts Foundation today. 

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Copyright © 2021 North Carolina Arts Council, All rights reserved.

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Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
North Carolina Arts Council
4632 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-4632

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