Cultural Arts

Cultural Arts


Grow and sustain nonprofit arts across the Triangle

Why it Matters

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. Over $377M of spending and event-related spending is generated by nonprofit arts and culture audiences in the Triangle every year – making up a large and vital portion of our regional economy

However, cultural arts organizations face ongoing challenges to their sustainability, such as competition for resources and audiences, inadequate artist performing and rehearsal space, and lack of funding. In research conducted by North Carolina State University’s Institute for Nonprofits, groups working in the arts self-reported lower organizational capacities than others in the nonprofit sector, making it harder for them to grow, evolve, and reach expanded audiences.

Additionally, there is a need to support organizations representing the diverse traditions in the Triangle. The demographics in the region are rapidly changing while philanthropy overwhelmingly favors mainstream (Western) arts, leaving a gap in educational and artistic expressional experiences for other art forms.

We’re Working To:

  • Support leadership development and provide resources necessary for organizational growth and sustainability
  • Identify and invest in arts organizations addressing social injustice
  • Increase cross-agency partnerships that incorporate the arts, building collaboration across the region
  • Encourage and reward creative innovation in the sector


View a list of Cultural Arts nonprofit partners since 2013 here.

Triangle Community Artists Gallery

As part of our focus on cultural arts, the Foundation’s office space also serves as a rotating art gallery, for two main reasons: to support and foster local artists, and to encourage our community to connect and engage in meaningful conversation inspired by art. Learn more about the jury process and our current artist(s) here.

Stories of Impact

Featured highlight: Durham Symphony Orchestra

“The Durham Symphony Orchestra provides music for all ages across Durham and surrounding areas. Our Education and Community Outreach programs makes classical music accessible for all audiences – an important need that we believe is changing the lives of the people living in our region. In addition to bringing a community together, and providing a source of entertainment, studies show that music training is positively associated with more complex brain development and higher achievement scores for children, as well as the overall betterment of social, economic, and emotional well-being at any age.” – Maestro William Curry, Durham Symphony Orchestra

You can read more stories of our impact, and the success of local nonprofits addressing issues in the arts, here.


Sarah Guidi

Program Officer
Phone 919.474.8370 ext: 4014
Email [email protected]