Our Impact: Cultural Arts


Up to $7,500

Application Deadline

August 3, 2020

Overview & Impact Area Update

The local arts sector, and the creative people it employs, enhances the quality of life, stimulates innovation to attract and retain talent, provides a magnet for cultural tourism, and contributes to overall economic vitality.

Research has also shown that engagement in the arts has positive effects on health and that participation in arts programming among children has positive impacts on their social and emotional development. And, historically, art has had a role in influencing social change. It’s clear that cultural arts are integral to a thriving community.

Despite the wide-ranging benefits, however, cultural arts organizations face ongoing challenges to their sustainability, particularly as they respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. Additionally, there is a need to support organizations representing the diverse perspectives and traditions in the Triangle. For decades, philanthropy has overwhelmingly favored Eurocentric arts, leaving a gap in funding of educational and artistic expressional experiences for other art forms. As a result, arts organizations led by and serving audiences of color have suffered. The Triangle and the nation continue to become more diverse demographically. It is imperative to invest in arts organizations that are making art that reflect the rich diversity of the Triangle and are accessible to all its residents. Triangle Community Foundation is excited to announce a new small grants program to provide funding to support cultural arts organizations that reflect the diversity of the region.

Triangle Community Foundation has not, historically, offered public grants programs for nonprofits arts organizations in the Triangle. However, we are excited to share that we have increased our funding for Cultural Arts and we are thrilled to announce a public call for proposals for grants!

We have a few primary goals for this iteration of our Cultural Arts program. These goals were informed by cultural arts plans for places across the Triangle, conversations with artists, arts administrators, and grant-makers, and are intended to be long-term goals that are also responsive to our current reality. Together, we hope these efforts will result in cultural arts that represent the people and places of the Triangle:

  • Increase culturally-representative arts programming
  • Increase art in public / community spaces
  • Catalyze a culture of philanthropy in support of art, particularly grassroots organizations


Organizations may apply for up to $7,500. Funding will be for one year’s duration and will provide general operating support.

Our core issue areas for this funding cycle are responsive to the goals outlined below and have been adapted to respond to the realities arts organizations are facing due to COVID-19 impacts.

  • Increase culturally representative arts programming
    • Support organizations that have arts programming created by and/or centers people of color or other communities that are underrepresented in cultural arts spaces in the Triangle, including but not limited to disability or religious communities.
  • Increase the arts in public and community spaces
    • Support organizations that further the creation of arts projects in neighborhoods, rural places, or other places where there is otherwise limited art available to the community.
    • Support organizations that are making art accessible to people during and after COVID-19 social distancing measures.

Collaborative proposals in which grant funding is allocated to multiple partners are welcome. Please reach out to Sarah Guidi (sarahg@trianglecf.org) if you’re planning to pursue a collaborative proposal.

We anticipate making 8-10 general operating awards of approximately $7,500 each through this grant cycle and it is our intention to continue this small grants program on an annual basis in the coming years.


  • 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. . If you need assistance identifying a fiscal sponsor, please feel free to reach out to Sarah Guidi: sarahg@trianglecf.org.
  • 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 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

Information Sessions

An information session was held via Zoom on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 from 1:30 – 2:30pm. You may access the recording here!

Frequently Asked Questions

We have compiled a listing of frequently asked questions that we have received about grant strategy and the overall process. We will continuously update this as we have more conversations with nonprofit organizations. If you have a question not outlined here, please reach out directly to program staff at the contact information below.

Important Dates

Call for proposals opens:                      Wednesday, July 1, 2020
Application Deadline:                           Monday, August 3 at 11:59pm
Grantees Announced:                         September 2020
Grant Period:                                       October 1, 2020 – September 30, 2021

Interim check in:                               March – April 2021
Final Grant Report:                              November 2021

Staff Contact

We want to be as transparent and accessible as possible. If you have general questions about the grant, the Cultural Arts program strategy or would like to know if your organization or proposal is a fit for this process, do not hesitate to reach out to Sarah Guidi.

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