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United Arts Council

Wake County Distributes $1 Million of COVID-19 Relief to 53 Local Arts Organizations

​United Arts oversaw program to pass every dollar to artists

Our local arts community got some much-needed support in weathering the hardships of COVID-19 through the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund.

In coordination with the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Wake County provided a total of $1 million to 53 local nonprofits that support artists, present cultural attractions, provide education and more in our area.

“Our local artists help make Wake County the diverse and dynamic community that we are, but they are hurting just like so many other nonprofits and small businesspeople,” Wake County Chairman Matt Calabria said. “This investment in our arts community ensures that it will survive now – and thrive in the years ahead.”

Eligible organizations applied for more than $1.2 million of support through Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund, which allowed United Arts to provide each group with 82.5% of the amount it requested. Individual grants ranged from $679 to $41,231. United Arts distributed the funds in December and took no money to administer the program and received no grant funds. Only one application failed to meet eligibility requirements.

“On behalf of the arts community in Wake County, we are beyond grateful to the commissioners and staff who helped make this relief funding possible,” said Charles Phaneuf, president of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. “We’re confident the arts will reemerge from this crisis, continuing to be a major driver of economic development, improving quality of life and building a more inclusive community.”

Under the program, local arts and culture nonprofits could apply for up to $50,000 to replace 10% of revenue lost due to COVID-19, based on their average operating budgets from the past three years. Eligibility rose to 20% of lost revenues for organizations with a specific mission to promote, preserve and enhance the identity and character of African American, Hispanic-American, Asian-American or Native American culture. Leadership of these organizations had to demographically represent the identified culture, as well.

Wake County announced the Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund last fall. Funding came from its $194 million allocation under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

An Ongoing Effort to Provide Support

In addition to its partnership with Wake County, United Arts has worked with local businesses and foundations to raise donations that will continue to help local nonprofit arts and culture organizations begin a path of recovery and reentry post-pandemic.

For example, the PNC Foundation recently awarded United Arts a $40,000 grant to support new arts relief initiatives that will be available to Wake County arts organizations this spring.

“The arts are vital to making Wake County a great place to live and work,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “PNC recognizes the continued challenges facing the arts community, and this recent grant underscores our continued commitment to helping our local arts nonprofits recover and thrive.”

Additionally, United Arts recently announced the distribution of $83,853 in grants to 62 individual artists in Wake, Chatham, Harnett, Johnston, and Lee Counties. Support came from the North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh Arts and The Warner Fund, and it totaled more than three times what United Arts awarded last year.

To learn more about the United Arts Council’s ongoing relief efforts, visit UnitedArts.org.

Organizations Supported By Wake County

The following 53 local arts organizations, listed in alphabetical order, received grants through the Wake County Nonprofit Arts Relief Fund:

  • African American Cultural Festival
  • American Turkish Association of NC
  • Animazement
  • Arts Access
  • Arts North Carolina
  • Arts Together
  • ARTS Wake Forest
  • Artspace
  • Artsplosure
  • Black Box Dance
  • Burning Coal Theatre
  • CAM Raleigh
  • Capital City Steppers
  • Cary Ballet Company
  • Cary Community Choir
  • Cary Youth Voices
  • Classical Voice of North Carolina
  • ComMotion
  • Community Music School
  • Concert Singers of Cary
  • El Pueblo
  • International Focus
  • Justice Theater Project
  • Lump
  • Marbles
  • North Carolina Chamber Music Institute
  • North Carolina Master Chorale
  • North Carolina Opera
  • North Carolina Theatre
  • North Raleigh Arts & Creative Theatre
  • Philharmonic Association
  • PineCone
  • Raleigh Area Flute Association
  • Raleigh Boychoir
  • Raleigh Camerata
  • Raleigh Concert Band
  • Raleigh Dance Theatre
  • Raleigh Little Theatre
  • Raleigh Ringers
  • Raleigh Symphony Orchestra
  • Seed Art Share
  • Shopspace
  • Spiritual Twist Productions
  • Theatre in the Park
  • Theatre Raleigh
  • TheGifted Arts
  • Towne Players of Garner
  • Triangle British Brass Band
  • Triangle Wind Ensemble
  • VAE Raleigh
  • Wake Forest Community Youth Orchestra
  • Women’s Theatre Festival

PO Box 26388
Raleigh, NC 27611

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