The North Carolina Arts Council has granted a total of $135,000 to fund SmART Initiatives in five communities around the state. Burnsville, Durham, Greensboro, Wilson, and Winston-Salem were chosen for pilot projects that will “use the arts for leveraging local creative talents and creative assets to stimulate community prosperity and growth.”
From the press release:
“The SmART program will influence business development, inspire downtown revitalization and historic preservation, build community pride of place and stimulate the growth of more creative businesses,” Linda A. Carlisle, Secretary, N.C. Department of Cultural Resources, said. “Government and the private sector working together in communities, large and small, can invest in the state’s creative industry to ensure that North Carolina continues to be a place where businesses want to be, people want to live and visitors want to explore.”
Communities not chosen for the intial SmART Initiative grants can still feel optimistic: a total of $6.5 million in grants for arts programs and projects across North Carolina are projected for the 2012—2013 fiscal year. Funds will be distributed to almost 300 organizations and will reach all 100 of the state’s counties.
The White Cross School blog examined at the economic beenfits of a strong arts community in an earlier blog post here.
To read the full press release from the NC Arts Council, click here.