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United Arts Council

Youth Arts Grants

Youth Arts grants are intended to support arts activities with educational value that are designed for youth. Activities must be for Pre-K through 12th-grade students and take place outside of the formal school environment, school day, or school year. Examples include: summer arts camps, after-school and track-out arts programs, classes, workshops, master classes, community residencies, and performing arts series for youth.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for Youth Arts grants must:

  • be a non-profit arts/cultural organization with 501(c)(3) state and federal tax-exempt status;
  • be in Good Standing as defined in General Grant Policies (previous recipients only);
  • maintain a board of directors which meets at least quarterly;
  • have had at least three years of programming;
  • have an internal review if organization's actual gross revenue from the most recently completed fiscal year is equal to or less than $299,999;
  • have an independent audit performed annually by a Certified Public Accountant if organization's actual gross revenue from the most recently completed fiscal year is $300,000 or greater;
  • have fundraising and administrative expenses that did not exceed 25% of total cash revenue according to the most recently audited/reviewed fiscal year;
  • have nondiscrimination, conflict of interest, and accessibility policies;
  • attend an application workshop (if required); and
  • meet with United Arts staff (if required).

Eligible applications must:

  • be for arts-related programming to take place in Wake County; and
  • request at least $1,000.

Eligible programs must:

  • take place between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021; and
  • be compatible with the applicant’s mission.

Applicants in the Youth Arts category may submit an additional application in one other category, excluding the New Generation category. 

Maximum Grant Request

Applicants may apply for a maximum of $20,000 or up to 20% of their Youth Arts program expenses, whichever is less. Although no specific cash match is required, United Arts will not provide more than 20% of a grantee’s actual program expenses through a Youth Arts grant.

Applicants with total proposed revenue budgets of $2 million or more may apply for a maximum of $10,000 or 20% of their youth arts program expenses, whichever is less.

Evaluation Criteria

Applications in the Youth Arts grant category will be reviewed and scored by a grant peer review panel according to the following criteria:

Artistic Quality, Merit, Integrity 40%

  • Professional artistic direction and vision
  • Relationship between applicant’s stated mission, goals, environment, and history of artistic accomplishment to program's goals and activities
  • Qualifications, background, and expertise of the artists, instructors, or staff involved
  • Potential of activities to extend participants' knowledge and/or skills in the arts and/or other curriculum areas
  • Quality and clarity of program plans and potential for proposed activities to meet program goals

Community Impact 30%

  • Demonstrated awareness of, and response to, the needs and interests of a diverse community and audience
  • Engagement/impact on audiences and participants
  • Efforts to involve a diversity of participants
  • Involvement of avocational and/or professional artists
  • Degree to which the organization seeks to work collaboratively and share resources with other community groups

Program Management 10%

  • Administrative capacity, resources, planning and expertise to ensure success
  • Effective marketing
  • Appropriate evaluation strategies that are matched to program goals

Financial Management of Organization 10%

  • Financial stability
  • Fiscal responsibility

Compliance 10%

  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of application
  • Completeness, accuracy, and timeliness of reports and other requirements


PO Box 26388
Raleigh, NC 27611

Phone: (919) 839-1498
[email protected]