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United Arts Council

Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund

Wake Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund Graphic

In Wake County, the arts are a powerful force — forming connections, opening doors, and enriching life experiences. The local arts organizations and artists based here are vital to a thriving economy. 

The Wake County arts and cultural community has been inordinately damaged by the COVID-19 outbreak and associated business restrictions. To mitigate the impacts of and alleviate operational disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wake County Board of Commissioners and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County created the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund. This fund will assist eligible arts and culture-based nonprofits in Wake County by reimbursing them for eligible expenses incurred March – December 2020 

Information Session

If you missed the virtual information session about the application process on October 29, a recording of the session is available.

Online Application

Link to Application


The deadline to apply is Tuesday, November 10, 2020, by 11:59 pm.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for funding, all applicants must:  

  • Be a Wake County-based, IRS-recognized 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit in “good status” as a nonprofit corporation and up to date with IRS 990 filings.
  • Function as a nonprofit arts or cultural organization with programs directly related to the creation, education, preservation, presentation of arts or cultural programming, and be the primary presenter/producer of the work.
  • Offer programming accessible to members of the public in Wake County for at least the last three consecutive years.
  • Have at least one paid staff person or board member (i.e., treasurer) who will be designated as the administrator of the grant funds.
  • Have not received any direct assistance from the State of North Carolina in Session Law 2020-97.
  • Have received private funding since March 1, 2020 or have an active plan to achieve private funding in an amount equal to the grant amount requested.
  • Demonstrate the costs of business interruption and expenses caused by required closures between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in at least the amount of the grant request.

Funding Details

Eligible applicants may request to be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred March-December 2020. The maximum request is 10% of the most recent 3-year average operating expenses or $50,000, whichever is less. The maximum request for culturally specific organizations is 20% of the most recent 3-year average operating expenses or $50,000, whichever is less. 

How to calculate your request: 

  1. Calculate eligible operating expenses (actual and projected) between March – December 2020 
  2. Subtract any received CARES Act funding (PPP, NEA, NCAC, or other grant/forgivable loan) 
  3. Verify amount does not exceed the maximum grant amount 
  4. Finalize your grant request 

 Eligible Operating Expenses 

When building your claim of eligible expenses, the following expenses that were or will be incurred between March 1 and December 30, 2020, can be considered:  

  • paid salaries and benefits (including contractors),  
  • on-going operating expenses such as rent, utilities, or insurance,  
  • established monthly expenses such as loan payments, 
  • costs associated with canceling programs, such as contractual payments to venues, vendors, etc.
  • costs of pivoting to remote/virtual programs and services,  
  • costs of mitigating the spread of COVID-19, such as cleaning, PPE, physical barriers, etc.  
  • and other business-critical operating expenses. 

All claimed expenses must be supported by documentation. 

Culturally-Specific Nonprofit Arts Organizations

Culturally-Specific Nonprofit Arts Organizations are defined as organizations with specific missions to promote, preserve and enhance the identity and character of one of the following specific cultures: African American, Hispanic American/Latinx, Asian American, or Native American.

Culturally-Specific Nonprofit Arts Organizations are not designated based on their audiences, customers, and clientele. To qualify as a Culturally-Specific Nonprofit Arts Organization, the leadership of the Culturally-Specific nonprofit organization must demographically represent the specific culture identified.

Review Process

Each grant application will be carefully reviewed by a panel to determine eligibility. Allocations will be made based on eligible requests and available funding. If eligible requests exceed available funding, then all allocations will be reduced by the same rate. 


Grants notifications will be emailed in December 2020. All funds will be distributed by December 30, 2020.


The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County is committed to making the grant application process accessible to people with disabilities. If you need modifications to guidelines or application forms due to a disability, alternative formats can be made available. Please contact staff and allow ten (10) working days to fulfill your request.


Direct questions about applying to the Wake County Arts Nonprofit Relief Fund to Ragen Carlile at [email protected].




PO Box 26388
Raleigh, NC 27611

Phone: (919) 839-1498
Fax: (919) 839-6002