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2017 - 2018 Grassroots Application


Guidelines for Grassroots Arts Program Subgrants


Since 1977, the N. C. Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences. The program distributes funds for the arts in all 100 counties of the state primarily through partnerships with local arts councils. Rutherford County serves as the N.C. Arts Council’s partner in awarding subgrants to local organizations for arts programs in Rutherford County.


Eligibility for Application

• All organizations must have been in operation for at least one year. While nonprofit 501(C)(3) status is preferred, organizations that are nonprofit in nature may also apply. (Recommended, but not required.)

• All organizations must reside and carry out projects within Rutherford County.

• . Organizations (State Arts Resources, Outreach-Sustaining, and Statewide Services) that receive general operating support directly from the N. C. Arts Council must get written approval from N.C. Arts Council staff before applying for Grassroots funds. (Under some circumstances, exceptions can be made.)

• Individuals are not eligible to apply for Grassroots Arts funds.

• Applications and support materials must be completed and received by the due date.


Application Submission & Deadline

Application forms may be downloaded from Rutherford County website at www.rutherfordcountync.gov. All projects must take place between July 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018. Grant amounts range from $500 and up. All applications must be received by Rutherford County by June 30, 2017. Applications must be mailed or hand delivered, fax submissions will not be considered. The mailing, and physical, address is: 289 N. Main St., Rutherfordton, NC 28139


What the Grassroots Arts Program Funds

Grassroots Arts Program funds may be used for expenditures to conduct quality arts programs or operate an arts organization. Typical uses of Grassroots money include:

• Program expenses such as artists’ fees and travel, space rental, advertising, marketing and publicity, website and electronic media, scripts, costumes, sets, props, music and equipment rental or purchase

• Operating expenses such as salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent, utilities, insurance and equipment rental.

Priorities for Funding

The first priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to provide operating or program support to qualified arts organizations including theaters, symphonies, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, dance companies, folk arts societies, writers groups and arts festivals, among others. Grassroots funds are not generally awarded to arts organizations that receive funding through the N. C. Arts Council’s State Arts Resources. Organizations (State Arts Resources, Outreach-Sustaining, Statewide Services) that receive general operating support directly from the N. C. Arts Council must get written approval from N. C. Arts Council staff before applying for Grassroots funds.

The second priority of the Grassroots Arts subgrant program is to support arts learning and arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in schools, afterschool or summer camps or adult arts learning classes.

The third priority of Grassroots Arts subgrants is to community, civic and municipal organizations. These programs must be conducted by qualified artists.


Funding Policies

• Tribal organizations that receive Grassroots funds must represent state or federally recognized tribes.

• Colleges, universities and libraries may receive grants for arts programs that are community- based or generate regional arts involvement. Grants may not support their internal programs, administration or operation expenses (library books, band boosters, equipment purchases).

• Subgrants may not be awarded to individuals or to organizations for prizes, competitions, tuition, or financial rewards.

• 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.

• Grassroots funds may not be used for activities associated with a school’s internal arts programs such as in-school student performances, the purchase of art supplies, or student arts competitions and publications.

• Municipalities (city/county governments) may receive grants for arts programs which use qualified artists to conduct programs that involve the greater community. Grants may not support internal programs, administration or operating expenses.

Grassroots Arts Program money may not be used for the following kinds of expenditures:

• Art, music, and dance therapists

• Artifacts

• Purchase artwork

• Capital expenditures

• Contingency funds

• Deficit reduction

• Fundraising events

• Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions

• School band activities or equipment

• School choral activities

• Lobbying expenses

• Oral history and history projects

• Tuition for academic study

• Interest on loans, fines, or litigation costs


Grassroots Arts Program Subgrant Requirements


Matching Requirement

All subgrantees are encouraged to match their grant amounts dollar for dollar. The funds must come from other public or private sources. Other N. C. Arts Council funds cannot be used as a match.


North Carolina Arts Council Recognition

Subgrantees must acknowledge the N. C. Arts Council’s support of their event or projects by including the N. C. Arts Council’s logo, and funding credit line in all print and promotional materials related to the grant. The N. C. Arts Council’s website offers information and downloadable logos, at www.ncarts.org.


Reporting Requirements

Each subgrantee is required to submit a final report providing a detailed description of the funded project, participation statistics and demographics, sample marketing and program materials using the N. C. Arts Council credit line and logo, and copies of their legislative letters. The Subgrant Report form can be downloaded from the N. C. Arts Council website at www.ncarts.org/grants/grants-forms. Final reports must be mailed or hand delivered to Rutherford County by June 15, 2018.


Legislative Letters: Applicants may be required to write their state representatives to thank them for appropriating Grassroots funds. If required, the letter should provide information about how Grassroots funds were used to support your program or project, and the community impact of the event.

letters to legislators must be included in the subgrantee’s final report (Note: Not all DCPs require subgrantees to submit legislative letters.)


How Subgrant Applications are Evaluated

Subgrant applications are reviewed by a diverse panel of community members including artists, county and public officials and board members of Rutherford County among others. The panel evaluates each application based on the subgrant guidelines and the following criteria (DCPs may include additional evaluation criteria, but these are the minimum):

• Artistic quality of proposed project or programs

• Community impact of project or programs

• Ability to plan and implement project

• Stability and fiscal responsibility of the organization

Panelists discuss and score the grant using an established rating system. The subgrants panel’s funding decisions are then presented as recommendations to the Rutherford County board of Commissioners. The board of Commissioners votes and gives final approval to the subgrants panel’s recommendations.


Questions and Assistance

If applicants have questions or need assistance, please contact  Aubrey Clay, 828-287-6052, aubrey.clay@rutherfordcountync.gov.