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What is an emerging artist?

An emerging artist is an artist that has mastered the basic techniques in her/ his art form and who is attempting to launch a professional career in the arts OR an artist taking his/her established career in a new direction. An artist is not required to have any particular degree or type of education to qualify as an emerging artist.

What is the Emerging Artists Program?

The Emerging Artists Program (EAP) is a project grant program that provides financial support to developing or established professionals by funding a project pivotal to the advancement of their careers as artists. Pivotal projects may happen at different stages of a career; therefore Emerging Artists Grants are not restricted to "unestablished" artists. 2018-2019 Emerging Artists Grants are intended to fund a particular project that will occur between January 1 – December 31, 2019. The Emerging Artists Program begins its 35th year in 2018-2019.

Who is eligible to apply for a grant?

Individual artists practicing any art form are eligible to apply for a grant. Applicant must be an individual, not a company, group or ensemble. Applicant must currently reside in Chatham, Durham, Granville, Orange or Person Counties, North Carolina and have resided there for at least one year immediately prior to the application deadline (since September 21, 2017). Applicant must be at least 18 years of age and cannot be currently enrolled in a degree or certificate program in her/his art form at the time of the application deadline. Recipients of 2017-2018 Emerging Artists Grants may not apply for a 2018-2019 grant.

What is the deadline for submitting applications?

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m., Wednesday, September 26, 2018. All portions of the application must be received by this date, although letters of support, should you choose to submit them, may arrive by Friday, September 28, 2018. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

Who decides which artists receive awards?

Grant applications and support materials are reviewed by local professional artists in each art form, their comments are then forwarded to the EAP Committee who reviews applications, recommendations and then makes the final award decisions for all EAP grant applications.

Who funds the program? 

The Emerging Artists Program is funded through grants from the North Carolina Arts Council a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Orange County Arts Commission, the Chatham Arts Council, the Granville Arts Council, the Person County Arts Council, gifts to the Durham Arts Council Annual Arts Fund, the Ella Fountain Pratt Fund, the Ruth Carver Fund, The Wainwright Fund for New Works and private & corporate donations.

What types of projects are likely to be funded?

The Emerging Artists Grant Committee is interested in assisting the development of an artist's career, so be sure to clearly define the relationship of your project to your career goals.

In the past, grant awards have provided funds for the following types of expenses:

1) Promotion/ Presentation: The cost of producing a demonstration CD for a composer or musician, a DVD for a choreographer, a portfolio for a graphic artist, editorial assistance for a writer, etc.

2) Travel: Travel to specific workshops, auditions, retreats or seminars—or to do research intrinsic to his/her art form.

3) Services: Rental of equipment or facilities for presentation or creation of a new work.

4) Supplies: Purchase of supplies, materials or equipment necessary for the completion or production of a new work which is considered by the artist to be essential to her/his career.

5) Training: Advanced workshops, master classes or coaching that will enhance the artist's abilities. This program does not support work towards a degree.

Can I get assistance in filling out the grant application?

Yes, Durham Arts Council and partner counties will offer grant workshops to explain the program and answer any questions you may have about completing the grant application. These sessions are free, and we would appreciate that you call the appropriate contact number so we know how many people to expect. You do not need to attend the session in your own county – attend the session that is most convenient for you, regardless of which county you live in. We expect each session to last 60-90 minutes.


All workshops are at 6:00pm:

Tuesday, July 10: Chatham Arts Council, Pittsboro

Wednesday, July 25:  Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room A 

Wednesday, August 1: Durham Arts Council

Tuesday, August 7: Kirby Theatre, Roxboro

What selection criteria will be used?

1. Overall excellence of the applicant's art work and demonstration of exceptional talent

2. The applicant's serious professional commitment to her/ his art form

3. Contribution of the proposed project to the artist's professional development

4. Feasibility of the proposed project

5. Timeline—project should happen between January 1- December 31, 2019 (extensions will be considered)

How much money can I expect to be granted?

While no specific minimum has been established, the maximum amount an applicant can request is $1,500. Our priority is to provide full funding of the requested amount.

Will I be required to provide a final report of my use of the grant?

Yes, we require both a financial and narrative report. A report form will be sent to those receiving awards. Future awards will be contingent upon the submission of a final report.

All applications are due by Friday, September 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m.

We do not accept late or incomplete applications.

The Emerging Artists Program is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Durham Arts Council Annual Fund and individual contributions.

Durham Arts Council promotes and encourages excellence in the creation, experience and support of the arts all for the enrichment of our total community. Durham Arts Council does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation or belief, age, or disability.