On a typical weekday at the Carrboro ArtsCenter, several dozen children are busy at work finding ways to improve North Carolina’s economy.
Though they might not know it yet, these young artists may soon help energize the state’s ailing business climate through their work — or so says the North Carolina Arts Council.
The council, a division of the state’s Department of Cultural Resources, announced its annual grants in August, presenting $7.4 million in funds to arts initiatives throughout the state.
Bridgette Lacy, media relations manager for the Arts Council, said the benefits of the grants are twofold. Not only do the grants boost the state’s economy, Lacy said, but they also preserve a long tradition of arts culture in North Carolina.
“A lot of times, this money is used to hire artists,” she said.
Local grant recipients include the ArtsCenter and Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill.
In distributing the grants, the council emphasized the importance of a “creative economy,” claiming that original ideas are one thing that cannot be outsourced.
The grants, funded both by appropriations from the N.C. General Assembly and by the National Endowment for the Arts, are intended to maintain the strength of arts-based educational programs in the state and to provide stability to jobs related to the arts.
Carrboro’s ArtsCenter was granted nearly $63,000 by the council, the majority of which — nearly $54,000 — comes in the form of a” State Arts Resources grant”:http://ncarts.org/grants_programs.cfm?ID=7. These specific grants are offered only to well-established arts programs with considerable operating budgets that generate innovative and high-quality artwork.