Artist Support Grants From NCAC

Guidelines and Information

The Artist Support Grant was created to provide direct support to individual artists during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will fund professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities to create work or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences. Artists representing visual, craft, performing, traditional, and interdisciplinary art forms are encouraged to apply. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to spending a significant portion of their time on their work as artists. The Artist Support Grants will support projects from December 2020 – June 30, 2021.  Awards may range from $500-$1,000. Applicants may receive full or partial funding.

Toe River Arts  and the Madison County Arts Council seek applications for Artist Support Grants for 2020–2021.

The deadline to apply is October 5, 2020. These grants support artists in all disciplines with funding for projects that will have a significant impact on the advancement of their professional artistic
careers. The Artist Support Grant program is managed through a partnership with Toe River Arts and Madison County Arts Council to serve artists in Avery, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties. Funding is provided by the North Carolina Arts Council.



  • Individuals and Artist Collectives — Both individual artists and small, unincorporated groups of collaborating artists are eligible to apply.

  • Residency — Artists should have lived continuously in the region where they are applying for at least one year before application deadline. Toe River Arts may require proof of residence and status. Artists who live in more than one region should apply only where they spend most of the year. All members of a collaborating team must be North Carolina residents, live in the region in which they are applying, and meet the other eligibility requirements. Documenting residence for all team members should be included with the application.

  • An applicant must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien.

  • Multiple Awards — Artists who are sole proprietors of organizations that have already received funding for FY2020–2021 from the N.C. Arts Council are ineligible to apply.

  • Conflict of Interest — Current board and staff members of Toe River Arts or Madison County Arts Councils organizations and their family members are not eligible to apply for the award.

  • Student Status — The Artist Support Grant is intended for adult, nonstudent artists. Artists enrolled full-time in undergraduate or associate degree-granting programs may not apply for the grant. Artists in certificate programs are generally eligible. Artists pursuing graduate degrees in subjects other than their art form may be eligible if they meet the other eligibility criteria. Other questions and special circumstances should be discussed with N.C. Arts Council staff.


Eligible Projects and Costs

  • Up to 50 percent of the grant amount may be used for artist fees.

  • Completion/Presentation of a New Work — Cost of resources necessary to complete or present a significant new work (e.g., purchasing art supplies or equipment (digital may qualify) or space rental)

  • Career Promotion — Projects aimed at advertising artists’ work and/or demonstrating their skill level (e.g., websites, portfolios, audio-visual documentation, and online presentation)

  • Training — Costs to attend a class or workshop (in-person or virtual) aimed at either enhancing the artist’s skill level or professional development (e.g., a master class or workshop taught by acknowledged authorities in the applicant artist’s medium)

  • Travel — Costs of transportation, lodging, and food for training, professional conferences, or research as allowed or possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines


Ineligible Projects and Costs

  • Scholarships for undergraduate- or graduate-level education

  • Projects that support or oppose a particular candidate for public office

  • Projects that are exclusive to members of a particular religious faith group

  • Projects that do not have a direct effect on the applicant’s growth as an artist (e.g., the promotion of another artists’ work)


Deadline:  Monday, October 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM




Applications must be completed and submitted online here. All work samples must be submitted digitally so we highly encourage you to complete the application online. If you must submit a paper application, deliver it to:

MCAC PO Box 32 Marshall NC 28753   (or hand deliver to 90 South Main St in Marshall)

Toe River Arts, 269 Oak Ave, Spruce Pine NC 28765,

Evaluation Criteria

  • Overall excellence of the applicant’s artwork as demonstrated by work samples

  • Feasibility of the proposed project

  • Contribution of the proposed project to the advancement of the applicant’s professional artistic development and practice


Review Process

All completed Artist Support Grant applications will be judged by a multicounty panel of established artists, arts professionals, and arts educators and administrators who will review and evaluate the applications and allocate funds for selected projects.



Applications are preferred to be completed online here and are due by October 5, 2020 at 4:30 PM. 

Application Checklist for Application:

  • Applicant Profile

  • Narrative – Describe your project and the proposed use of funds.

  • Project Budget – Provide your project expenses, describing what will be paid for using your grant award, and what will be paid for with supplemental funding.

  • Artist Statement – Attach an artist statement that describes your work and the key ideas, goals, or cultural practices that drive you to create (one typed page).

  • Artist Résumé – Attach an artist résumé that includes education, employment, public presentations of your work, publications, commissions, honors, grant/fellowship awards, and relevant experience (four pages maximum).

  • Budget Support – Provide support information for your budget, i.e. cost of materials, price quote on services, etc.

  • Support Materials – You may submit digital copies of reviews, programs, catalogs, and other support materials relevant to the project. (Physical materials may be submitted if digital is not an option.)

  • Letters of Recommendation (optional)

  • Work Samples and Inventory List


More Information and Assistance

For more information, please contact Toe River Arts or Madison County Arts Council.

Toe River Arts:
Melanie Finlayson: or 828.765.0524

Madison County Arts Council:
Erich Hubner: or 828.649.1301


Grant Workshop Schedule

  • A workshop for interested artists will be offered on Zoom August 24, 2:30 – 3:30 PM. Please contact Melanie Finlayson at or 828.765.0524 for more information or to register. The Zoom workshop will have limited availability but will then be made available for all to watch on our websites a few days after the workshop.

  • Interested artists may also set up individual workshop or consultations at Toe River Arts or Madison County Arts Council from August 1 – October 1, 2020.

If interested in this option, please use the contact information below:

Toe River Arts:
Melanie Finlayson: or 828.765.0524

Madison County Arts Council:
Erich Hubner: or 828.649.1301