Our Impact: Cultural Arts



Overview & Impact Area Update

The local arts sector, and the creative people it employs, contributes so much to the Triangle region and North Carolina as a whole. Research has shown that the arts have positive effects on health and that participation in arts programming among children has positive impacts on their social and emotional development. It’s clear that cultural arts are integral to a thriving community.

Despite the wide-ranging benefits, however, cultural arts organizations, particularly arts organizations led by and serving audiences of color, face ongoing challenges to their sustainability, particularly as they recover from the impacts of COVID-19. As the Triangle and the nation continue to become more diverse demographically, it is imperative to invest in arts organizations that are making art that reflects the rich diversity of the Triangle and is accessible to residents of our region.

Triangle Community Foundation is excited to provide funding to support cultural arts organizations that represent the people and places of the Triangle.


We are pleased to offer multi-year grants in this program, offering up to $20,000 per year for a total of up to $40,000 over two consecutive years.

Applicants who were funded in the last grant cycle and met all reporting deadlines& requirements may reapply for this two-year grant.

Funding will support general operations of organizations that are doing work related to two key program goals:

  • Increase culturally representative arts programming
  • Increase the arts in public and community spaces

We anticipate making a total of +/- 10 awards through this call for proposals.


  • Nonprofit, 501(c)(3) arts organizations serving one or more Triangle Counties (Wake, Durham, Orange, Chatham); Projects with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor are eligible to apply.
  • Organizations that:
    • have a history of promoting arts programming that is created by and/or centers communities of color or other communities that are underrepresented in cultural arts spaces in the Triangle; and/or
    • have a history of creating public arts projects, particularly in neighborhoods, rural places, or other places where there is otherwise limited arts available to the community
  • Organizations must meet the Foundation’s non-discrimination policy.
  • Only one application per organization will be considered.

Evaluation Criteria

Foundation staff work with volunteer advisory committee members to review proposals and reach grantmaking decisions. In reviewing grant proposals, the Foundation will use the following evaluation criteria:

  • Alignment of organization’s current / planned arts programming with program goals:
    • Increase culturally representative arts programming
    • Increase the arts in public and community spaces
  • Organization’s track record of delivering programming that aligns with program goals (see above)
  • Commitment to equity and community engagement
  • Organization’s financial health

We will seek to have a grantee cohort that reflects a diversity of artistic expression and mediums, and represents the four counties Triangle Community Foundation serves (Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake).

Information Session

Virtual information sessions will be held via Zoom at the times offered below. Registration is required through the following links.

July 8, 10:00am – 11:00am

July 19, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

Information sessions will be recorded and posted here following the live session.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What types of organizations are eligible?

Any organization, if it is a 501(c)(3), is eligible for funding from this process, including religious organizations and educational organizations. Organizations who are incorporated in the State of North Carolina as a nonprofit organization can apply with a fiscal agent. Previous funding through the Foundation does not impact your eligibility.

2. I couldn’t make the information session, can I still speak with a staff member about this grant program?

Yes! Our program staff wants to be as transparent and accessible as possible to nonprofits interested in applying for funding. Feel free to reach out to Zach Ward (zach@trianglecf.org)  with any questions you may have.

3. Can we apply for a Cultural Arts grant this year if we were funded in the last grant cycle?

Yes! We encourage all previous grantees to reapply as long as your programming continues to be responsive to the program goals:

• Increase culturally representative arts programming

• Increase the arts in public and community spaces

4. Can we apply for a Cultural Arts grant this year if we applied last grant cycle and were not funded?

Probably. If you believe your organization’s work is responsive to the program goals, you may apply.

5. Can we apply for a Cultural Arts grant if our organization is also actively applying for another Triangle Community Foundation grant, too?

Yes! You can apply for any other TCF grant for which your organization is eligible for.

6. Can an organization submit more than one proposal?

No. Organizations can only submit one proposal for this grant program.

Questions about grantmaking strategy and decision-making process

1. What does the Foundation mean by “people of color” and “other underrepresented communities”?

We’re using “people of color” as a broad description for anyone that identifies as being part of a group “that hold a primary racial identity that describes shared racial characteristics among community members… that supports self-definition by community members, and that typically denotes a shared history and current/historic experiences of racism.” Because race is a social construct and racial identities evolve, we are not providing boxes for applicants to check; however, we imagine this including (but not limited to) people who identify as Black, African American, Latinx, Native American, Asian and Pacific Islander, and / or Middle Eastern.

We recognize that other people and communities may not see themselves reflected in most arts offerings in the Triangle. Again, we rely on applicants’ lived experiences and not a narrow check box to determine what underrepresented means; however, we imagine this including (but not limited to) people who identify as a person with a disability or belonging to a religious minority.

2. Are you really funding General Operating support?

Yes! We are funding general operating support. The Foundation believes in the importance of general operating support for nonprofit organization and understands that many funders do not provide this type of support. We are looking for organizations that have and continue to offer programming that is responsive to our impact goals.

3. Are you really providing multi-year grants? Will my organization have to reapply?

Yes, we are really providing multi-year grants. No, your organization will not need to reapply for funding in the second year.

4. What is the anticipated reporting requirement?

We are planning for regular (likely quarterly), informal group check ins with grantees, likely a mixture of in-person and Zoom gatherings. We will also request an interim report each year you are funded as well as a final report. These interim reports are not intended to be burdensome, but to simply provide the Foundation an update on your organization and its work related to our program goals. We will ask you to share metrics you already track, rather than having grantees conform to our metrics through interim and final reports.

Important Dates

Call for proposals open:June 26
Application Deadline:July 31
Grantees AnnouncedSeptember 30

Staff Contact

We want to be as transparent and accessible as possible. If you have general questions about the grant, the Cultural Arts program, or would like to know if you organization or proposal is a fit for this process, please contact Zach Ward (zach@trianglecf.org).

Please reach out to us if you have questions PRIOR to the deadline!