The Warren County Arts Council has awarded $6,701 in direct funding to seven artists in the North Carolina Arts Council’s first ever Artist Support Grant program. The Warren County Arts Council was chosen by the North Carolina Arts Council to be the lead arts council in a grants region that includes Warren, Vance, Halifax, Northampton, Granville and Franklin counties.

“The Artist Support Grants program responds to the impact of the pandemic by ensuring that artists and the state’s arts infrastructure have the resources needed to help our state make a strong social and economic recovery,” said Wayne Martin, executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council.  

“We are honored to serve as the lead arts council in this new initiative,” said Charla Duncan, chairwoman of the Warren County Arts Council. “Working with our regional partners in this new consortium of rural counties gives us a chance to impact local artists in ways we haven’t been able to do before.”

Twenty-two artists from all six counties and from various disciplines applied for funding in this competitive application process, requesting a total of $25,900 in funding. Artists were not allowed to request more than $1,200 in funding. This year the grants are non-matching, but will most likely require a match in future cycles. 

“Our review panel had a tough decision to make. The state only granted our region $5,000. The Warren County Arts Council chose to contribute $1,000 to increase the impact,” stated Duncan. “The Vance County, Franklin County, and Northampton County arts councils also contributed, so in total, we were able to increase our region’s funding by $1,700.”

Awards went to: Senora Lynch, a potter from Warren County; Marvin Richardson and the Stoney Creek Singers, contemporary pow wow singers from Warren County; Ellen Newbauer, a woodworker from Warren County; Jereann King Johnson, a quilter from Warren County; Lydia Dudley, a singer from Warren County; Allison Darcy, a writer from Granville County; and Brandi Parker, a theatrical director from Vance County. 

Funding will be used to support projects or needs that enhance the artists’ crafts and careers.

The grant review panel consisted of arts professionals from across the state, and not members of any of the arts councils in the qualifying region. The panel included: Trista Porter (Eexecutive director, Greenville Museum of Art); Amy Grossman (president and CEO, NC Folk Festival); Hobey Ford (master puppeteer and Kennedy Center Partner in Education); Antoine Williams (mixed media artist and Guilford College professor); and Sarah Bryan (executive director, NC Folklife Institute).

“We were so honored to have such a thoughtful and intentional group of panelists,” said Duncan. “It was clear that they value the arts in rural communities as much as we do.”

For more information or questions, contact the Warren County Arts Council at warrencountyartscouncil@gmail.com.

The Warren County Arts Council can be found online at warrencountyartsnc.org and on Facebook and Instagram, @wcartcouncil.