Grants are now available for local artists, thanks to the N.C. Arts Council and the state legislature.

The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.

Transylvania Community Arts Council and its regional partners, Tryon Fine Arts Center (TFAC), Asheville Area Arts Council, Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC), Arts Council of Henderson County, and Rutherford County Arts Council, call upon artists served by their organizations in the regional consortium to apply

The Artist Support Grant was created in 2020 to support individual artists during the pandemic and is quickly becoming a staple for local artists, according to a news release. Per the North Carolina Arts Council website, “these grants will fund the professional and artistic development of emerging, midcareer, and established artists so they can enhance their skills and abilities to create work or improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences.”

The consortium, also known as Region 17, took in 126 applications in 2020 and awarded over $30,000 in grant funds to 32 individuals.

“Artist mediums spanned the gamut including painters, potters, jewelers, musicians and authors,” said Morgan Beryl, HCAC executive director. “One of my favorite projects was Laura Sellers Harrison’s ‘North Carolina Fungi Watercolor Book,’ which includes photos, drawings and text about the many N.C. mushrooms.”

This year, the grant process and funding range have been updated. Instead of creating a separate application, Region 17 opted into North Carolina Arts Council’s GoSmart! System, which is an online application portal.

“Region 17 partners were excited that North Carolina Arts Council made this option available to us and the artists,” Beryl said. “It will create consistency in application submittals, making review, award and reporting much easier. Most importantly, though, the online system reduces the application material cost for the artist, since they do not need to send any hard copies to us.”

Additionally, Region 17 decided to increase the funding amount available to $2,000 rather than 2020’s $1,000 cap. There is no artist match required per this year’s grant guidelines, so Region 17 partners hope that with this increased range they can really help artists bring a project to fruition without burdening them with needing to match a higher amount.

Haywood County musician Travis Stuart, who teaches Haywood County students traditional Appalachian music through the HCAC-sponsored Junior Appalachian Musicians program, was an awardee in 2020. The grant made getting through the pandemic possible, he said.

“I was able to upgrade my technology capability, enabling me to provide online instruction, streaming concerts and upgrade production quality documenting music projects,” he said. “This equipment afforded me the technology needed to continue teaching and performing music during the pandemic.”

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