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Grassroots Grants

Grassroots Grants
The Rowan Arts Council (RAC) awards Grassroots Arts grants to non-profit organizations conducting arts programs each year.

The NC General Assembly, on a per capita basis through the NC Arts Council Grassroots Arts Program, makes these grassroots grants available. In Rowan County, the Rowan Arts Council serves as the Designated County Partner, as nominated by the Rowan County Commissioners and approved by the NC Arts Council. The goals of the Grassroots Arts Program are to enhance and strengthen the cultural community and broaden the artistic services offered to Rowan County citizens.

The Rowan Arts Council (RAC) awards Grassroots Arts grants to non-profit organizations conducting arts programs within Rowan County. 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 receive Grassroots Arts Program grants. Unincorporated nonprofits may be required to have a fiscal agent to receive the funds on their behalf.

Priorities for Funding
The first priority in awarding grassroots grant funds is to provide program or operating support to qualified arts organizations (where they exist) including theaters, symphonies, galleries, art guilds, choral societies, dance companies, folk arts societies, writer’s 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.

The second priority in awarding grassroots grant funds is to support arts learning and arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists. These can be artist residencies in the schools, after school summer camps or adult arts learning classes. 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.

The third priority in awarding grassroots grant funds includes grants made to other community organizations that provide quality art experiences for the greater community. These programs must be conducted by qualified artists.

Allowable Costs
Grassroots Arts Program funds may be used to support programs in the visual arts, crafts, dance, drama, film and video, folk arts, literature, music, photography, architecture and the visual environment. Typical uses of Grassroots funds include program expenses (such as artists' fees and travel, space rental, advertising, publicity, scripts, costumes, sets, props, music, art supplies, and equipment) or program administration and operating expenses. (Such as program salaries, telephone, office supplies, printing, postage, rent utilities, insurance). As a general rule salaries and equipment should be very limited for Grassroots money.

Costs Not Allowed
Grassroots Arts Program funding may not be used for the following kinds of expenditures: permanent (full or part-time) personnel, deficit reduction, contingency funds, food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions, interest on loans, fines or litigation costs, lobbying expenses, tuition for academic study, indirect cost rate expenses, capital expenditures, history projects (such as historical research, documentation, exhibits, publications or historic preservation), science projects, or other specific non-arts areas (Acrobatics, Aerobic dance, Beauty pageants, Clowning, Comedy, Cosmetology, Essay contests, Fashion shows, Juggling, Magic Shows, Martial arts, Mineralogy/gemology, Modeling, Nature presentations, Quiz bowls, or travel presentations).

Matching Requirements
Grassroots funding must be matched dollar-for-dollar with cash raised locally and spent on the same project during the same granting period for which funding is requested. The Rowan Arts Council will assume no more than 50% of the cash requirements of a project. Funds need not be in hand at the time of application but can be anticipated for the granting period.

Click here to access our applications.

One copy of the application must be mailed to Rowan Arts Council by August 15, 2024:
204 East Innes Street
Suite 280
Salisbury, NC 28144. 

Funding Process
The Rowan Arts Council uses a Grassroots Committee comprised of citizens from Rowan County that are independent from RAC. The Grassroots Committee will only accept one application per granting period from each organization.

Applications are ranked accordingly based on the following criteria:
•    Responsiveness to community needs
•    Thoroughness of planning
•    Artistic quality of proposed project
•    Benefit to audiences/participants
•    Ability of applicant to carry out the project
•    Degree of multi-cultural organization or program

Once the final determination is made on applications and/or amounts, the Grassroots Committee will submit their recommendations to the Rowan Arts Council Board for approval.
For additional information please visit or contact the Rowan Arts Council at or the NC Arts Council at