From our friends at the North Carolina Arts Council:
November 29, 2021
I am writing to share good news for the arts. The state budget approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Cooper includes an additional $15 million in American Rescue Plan funding for the North Carolina Arts Council. An increase of $1 million in state funds is also designated for the Grassroots Arts Program in year two of the budget. These allocations will greatly benefit arts organizations and artists in all 100 counties as together we strive to reopen the arts sector fully.
The leadership team at the Arts Council collaborated closely with Nate McGaha and Arts North Carolina throughout the budget process. The outcome shows how effective and important that partnership is. Arts Council board members, past and present, were also extremely effective in reaching decision makers. We are, of course, indebted to those legislators in the General Assembly who believe in the importance of the arts and to Governor and Mrs. Cooper, who are strong arts supporters. Finally, thanks to all of you who advocated with your elected leaders.
We are waiting for guidance on how the federal funds can be distributed, and Arts Council staff will communicate with you as soon as we learn more.
As you may know, I am departing the North Carolina Arts Council on December 31, so this is my last letter to you from my office here. I feel fortunate that I can leave knowing that the arts sector will have resources in place to continue to recover from the pandemic.
To this day, the Arts Council’s founding mission of “arts for all people” inspires me. That vision has enabled many North Carolinians to live richer and more fulfilling lives. I cherish my memories of our work together over many years. They are your gift to me, and I thank you.
Wayne Martin, Executive Director, North Carolina Arts Council
From all of us at the North Carolina Writers’ Network: thank you, Wayne, for your service to the arts in North Carolina, and specifically for your support for writers in this state and beyond. Best of luck to you in all your new endeavors!