Cultural Access Grants

Cultural Access grants are intended to support

  • arts programming delivered by African American, Asian American, Latino, or Native American organizations, or
  • arts programming delivered by arts/cultural organizations or municipalities in which the majority of the paid or volunteer artists involved are African American, Asian American, Latino, or Native American.

For festival support, the majority of the programming must be arts programming.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicants for Cultural Access grants must:

  • be a non-profit arts/cultural organization with 501(c)(3) state and federal tax-exempt status or a Wake County municipality;
  • be in Good Standing as defined in General Grant Policies (previous recipients only);
  • maintain a board of directors which meets at least quarterly (municipalities exempt);
  • 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 (municipalities exempt);
  • 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 (municipalities exempt);
  • have fundraising and administrative expenses that did not exceed 25% of total cash revenue according to the most recently audited/reviewed fiscal year (municipalities exempt);
  • have nondiscrimination, conflict of interest, and accessibility policies;
  • attend an application workshop (if required); and
  • meet with 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, 2017 and June 30, 2018; and
  • be compatible with the applicant’s mission.

Applicants in the Cultural Access category may submit an additional application in one other category, excluding New Generation and School categories. 

Maximum Grant Request

Applicants in the Cultural Access grant category may apply for a maximum of $20,000 or up to 20% of their cultural access expenses, whichever is less. Although no specific cash match is required, United Arts will not provide more than 20% of a grantee's actual programming expenses through a Cultural Access grant. Grant funds may not be matched with North Carolina Arts Council grants.

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

Evaluation Criteria

Applications in the Cultural Access 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