Our Focus: New Realities Triangle Regional Initiative

Arts in the Triangle region play a significant role in enhancing quality of life.  Vibrant arts and cultural organizations help attract and retain talent, provide a magnet for cultural tourism, educate students for the 21st century, and contribute the economy.  Strengthening the stability of the nonprofit arts sector is key to enhancing the vitality of our growing region.

As a part of Our Focus, Triangle Community Foundation and the North Carolina Arts Council have teamed up to create a new organizational development program for arts organizations located in the four-county region of the Triangle. The content and structure of the initiative is based on the work developed by ARTS Action Research (AAR) for the North Carolina Arts Council’s statewide New Realities Program and other consortium programs in the US and Canada.  Nello McDaniel, AAR Founder and Director, will serve as lead consultant in this initiative.

Who May Apply

Arts organizations in Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake counties are eligible to apply. Priority will be given to organizations with budgets between $100,000 and $1,000,000 in annual expenses for the most recently completed fiscal year.

Grant awards will be made by the Triangle Community Foundation.  Applicants must qualify as tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be classified as a government agency. They must also meet the Triangle Community Foundation’s non-discrimination policy:

Triangle Community Foundation actively seeks to promote access, equity, and inclusiveness, and to discourage discrimination that denies the essential humanity of all people.  The Foundation’s grantmaking policies reflect the belief that organizational performance is greatly enhanced when people with different backgrounds and perspectives are engaged in an organization’s activities and decision making. Triangle Community Foundation does not knowingly support organizations that negatively discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, religion, sexual orientation, physical disability or national origin. The Foundation defines “negative discrimination” to include (but not necessarily be limited to) denial of services, employment or volunteer opportunities to any class of individuals in a manner that negatively restricts opportunities of that class of individuals.

Program Description

The initiative is designed to provide ten small to mid-sized arts organizations with the concepts and effective tools necessary for appropriate growth and sustainability.  It is also structured to help forge a shared regional identity for the Triangle groups and encourage broader thinking about opportunities, resources, challenges, and solutions.

The artistic and administrative leadership of the participating groups will commit to a body of work that includes attending three roundtables and five individual follow-up meetings over a twelve month period. The first roundtable will introduce groups to each other and to the concepts and approaches that are the foundation of the New Realities Program. At the end of the roundtable, participants will be given an assignment to develop an Organization Profile, an innovative self-assessment tool created by Arts Action Research.

The second and third roundtables will focus on sharing the work each group has completed on the Organization Profile as well as providing more in-depth information on particular issues such as board development, audience relationships, and fundraising.  Part of each roundtable will be set aside for community dialogue around shared issues of interest and concern and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations among the group.

The five individual meetings with each group will be interspersed between the roundtables.  The consultant will customize the information from the roundtables to each group’s needs and help them clarify their vision, values, mission, working structures, and systems. There is considerable flexibility for each group to work at its own pace and on its own priorities.

In between the roundtables and individual sessions, participants will have access to Arts Action Research by phone and email for questions or discussion of critical issues. Additionally, all Arts Action Research publications and resource materials are downloadable from its website.

How to Apply

Applications for participation are not currently being accepted.

All inquiries should be directed to Jeff Pettus, senior program director for artists & communities, North Carolina Arts Council, by telephone at 919.807.6513.

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Libby Richards

Senior Community Programs Officer
Phone 919.474.8370 ext:4014
Email libby@trianglecf.org