Grassroots Grants


This project was supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

2019-2020 Application process

Extended deadline for applications:
November 15, 2019 by 5PM

Grassroots Arts Project Grants are made possible by the North Carolina Arts Council and dispersed to each county by their local arts council. Non-profit organizations who implement arts projects in Sampson County may apply for the Grassroots Arts Project Grant.

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. The Sampson Arts Council serves as the N. C. Arts Council’s partner in awarding subgrants to local organizations for arts programs in Sampson 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.

        All organizations must reside and carry out projects within Sampson County.

        Organizations that receive NC Arts Council’s State Arts Resources are not eligible for Grassroots funds.

        Individuals are not eligible to apply for Grassroots Arts funds.

        Applications and support materials must be complete and received, not      postmarked, by the due date.

Click  HERE for a Grassroots Subgrant Application

Click HERE for Guidelines

Click  HERE for Tips

Note: Workshop Requirement
The Sampson Arts Council Board of Directors highly recommends that all 2019 - 2020 applicants attend a grant workshop on Tuesday, August 20, 5:30-6:30pm or Wednesday, August 21, 12:00-1:00pm, at the Victor R. Small House, 709 College St. in Clinton.

Note: Membership Requirement
The Sampson Arts Council Board of Directors requires that all 2019-2020 Grassroots subgrant applicants are members of the Sampson Arts Council. Please include a membership form and payment with your application. We appreciate your support!


All projects must take place between July 1, 2019 and June 15, 2020.

All applications (original plus 4 copies) must be received by the Sampson Arts Council by November 15, 2019 by 5PM. Applications must be mailed or hand delivered. The mailing and physical address is:

Sampson Arts Council, 709 College St., Clinton, NC 28328

What the Grassroots Arts Program Funds

The Sampson Arts Council is required to subgrant 50% of their Grassroots allotment to: Multicultural organizations: the organization does not have to be an arts organization, but the funds must be used for arts programming. Other non-profit organizations: to hire artists or ensembles of color )African American, Asian American, Latino and Native American cultures) to conduct arts programs.

North Carolina Arts Council 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.

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, after school summer camps or adult arts learning classes.

The third priority of Grassroots Arts subgrants is to support community organizations that provide quality art experiences for the greater community. 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, including scholarships and financial awards.

        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 government) may receive grants for arts programs which use qualified artist 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 kind of expenditures:

        Art, music and dance therapists

        Fundraising events


        School band activities or equipment

        Purchase of Artwork

        Interest on loans, fines or litigation costs

        Capital expenditures

        Lobbying expenses

        Contingency funds

        Oral history and history projects

        Deficit reduction

        Tuition for academic study (scholarships)

        Food or beverages for hospitality or entertainment functions

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 or state funds (i.e. public university dollars) cannot be used as a match. Contact Kara Donatelli at 910-596-2533 or with questions.

Meeting the Racial and Cultural Diversity Requirement

The NCAC works to provide a representative portion of grant funds for arts programming that reflects the racial and cultural diversity of the state. As a central strategy for achieving this objective, we require that each Grassroots partner spend a percentage of its annual county allotment for programming that reflects African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American cultures. The percentage is determined by calculating the portion of each county’s population made up of African American, Asian American, Latino, and Native American people.

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 Web site offers information and downloadable logos, at

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 NC Arts Council Web Site at Final reports must be mailed or hand delivered to the Sampson Arts Council by June 15, 2020.

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.  A copy of all letters to legislators must be included in the subgrantee’s final report.

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 the Sampson Arts Council among others. The panel evaluates applications based on the subgrant guidelines and the following criteria:

        Artistic quality of proposed project or programs

        Community impact of project or programs

        Multicultural aspect of the program, if applicable

        Educational impact of the project

        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 subgrant panel’s funding decisions are then presented as recommendations to the the Sampson Arts Council’s Board of Directors. The Board of Directors votes and gives final approval to the subgrant panel’s recommendations.

Questions and Assistance

If applicants have questions or need assistance, please contact Kara Donatelli at 910-596-2533 or

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