On Oct. 20, the Orange County Arts Commission announced the 38 recipients of its 2023-24 art grants, which total $118,220.
The OCAC gave both Grassroots Arts Program Grants, which were awarded to local nonprofit organizations and schools, as well as the Artist Project Grants, which were awarded to individual artists and artist groups.
Grant applications were reviewed by several panels, which scored based on artistic merit, community impact, likelihood to complete the proposal and, for organizations, a financial review.
The panels also took diversity into account, emphasizing opportunities for artists of color, according to OCAC director Katie Murray.
Because the grants are funded by the state through the N.C. Arts Council, 35 percent of grant funding has to go toward supporting multicultural programming and minority artists.
“Aside from that requirement, our board is very centered around DEIA and equity and looking at what our arts agencies are doing in that realm,” she said. “I think it totally impacts — especially this year — it definitely impacted who was funded and who was not.”
The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Public School Foundation was among the nonprofit organizations awarded a Grassroots Art Program Grant. The PFS is associated with, but independent from, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, and it provides grants for student and teacher programs.
OCAC has awarded grants to the PFS for several years.
“They've supported music, literature, writing, murals — all kinds of different art, visual and other arts through the years,” Nancy Zeman, the PFS associate director for programs, said.