Arts councils looking to award grants

Published 11:21 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Beaufort County Arts Council is seeking applications for the 2013–2014 Regional Artist Project Grants.
The grants range from $500 to $1,000 and are awarded to artists of any ilk. The categories include film, literary arts, music and visual arts. Actors, dancers, filmmakers and potters have received grants in the past.
Photographer Neil Loughlin was one of 14 recipients from the eastern region of the state last year. He was the only one from Beaufort County.
Loughlin used his $1,000 grant to cover archival paper, framing and travel expenses for an extension of his North Carolina series. He will show the work at Lone Leaf, his downtown Washington gallery, in November and in Manteo next spring.
“The projects are things that the artists would be doing anyway. But to just have money to fund the projects is great,” Loughlin said. “The costs might really add up before you have something to sell.”
Loughlin said the application process may be difficult for artists who have never put together a portfolio, artist statement or resume, but there is help out there. Emerge Gallery in Greenville offers a workshop every year. This year’s workshop will be Thursday, Aug. 8, at 6 p.m.
Beaufort County has another source for help. Joey Toler, executive director of the Beaufort County Arts Council, has conducted the workshops in the past and said he would meet one-on-one with anyone who needs advice on the types of projects the grants cover or would like help compiling an application.
“As far as grant applications go, it’s relatively simple. They do require descriptions of the project,” Toler said.
Those who are awarded the grants have a report to complete at the end of the year that shows how the money was used, but there is no culminating exposition. In fact, Toler said some artists do not use the grant for an art project. They invest it in workshops, build websites for their work, take retreats or learn how to market their work.
“It’s very broad. I think Carolyn Sleeper got hers for a kiln,” Toler said.
In 2009-2010, more than $200,000 was awarded to 142 artists statewide for projects that advanced individual artistic development.  The regional grants are open to artists who have resided in North Carolina for at least two years and call eastern North Carolina home.
Beaufort residents will compete against artists in 29 counties. The Regional Artists Project program is managed through a partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council and 29 local arts councils throughout eastern North Carolina working as a consortium.
Many established artists apply for the grant. Toler said the panel often looks for emerging artists who will benefit from a little help.
“I call them ‘amateur professionals.’ They produce a lot of art and they actually sell a lot of art, but they have other sources of income,” he said. “There’s a lot of truth to that starving artist cliché.”
The deadline to apply for a grant is Friday, Sept. 13, 2013.
Applications may be found at
For more information, contact Holly Garriott, executive director, Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge,, (252) 551-6947 or Joey Toler, Beaufort County Arts Council,, (252) 946-2504.