Our Impact: New Realities Triangle Regional Initiative

Application Deadline


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.

Over the past four years the Triangle Community Foundation has partnered with the North Carolina Arts Council to provide a capacity building initiative 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 U.S. and Canada. It is designed to provide a cohort of small to mid-size arts organizations in the Triangle with the concepts and effective tools necessary for appropriate growth and sustainability.

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, along with capacity to participate in a regional dialogue on the arts.

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

Each participating organization will receive five individual two-hour sessions with Arts Action Research’s founder and principal consultant Nello McDaniel. The content of the work sessions is determined by the artistic and operational needs of each group. Issues addressed may include centering and positioning of the organization, board and staff development, planning, financial management, fund raising and marketing. These will be carefully viewed in the context of each group’s artistic vision and direction, the organization’s community and audience, and the human and financial resources available. One to two informal meetings open to all the area New Realities participants will be scheduled to provide a larger frame of reference for the individual work and open up a space in which to view the resources, intersections, and opportunities represented by the participating groups.

To be included in this initiative, the organization’s leadership must commit to a sincere engagement with the work and active involvement in the five individual sessions and writing assignments during the process.

How to Apply

Applicants will submit proposals through the North Carolina Arts Council’s grant system.

Applicants will be asked to provide the following information on the application form:

  • Describe the current condition of your organization.
  • Describe the two to three challenges your organization is currently facing.
  • Describe how your organization sees its current role regionally and how that could grow in the future.

Five organizations will be selected to participate. Selection criteria will be based on the organization’s readiness to benefit from the consultancy and its ability to contribute to the larger discussion about the arts in the region.

Deadline to apply for the 2019-2020 cohort closed in February.

Staff Contact

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

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