The North Carolina Arts Council works to benefit North Carolina citizens and communities through the arts. Our core functions include:

  • Creating a strong and efficient Arts Infrastructure across the state

  • Planning and implementing arts-based Economic Development

  • Education in and with the arts

Discover how the Arts Council uses the arts as an effective way to teach the public school curriculum:

  • A + Schools Program
    Arts Council staff manages the A + Schools Program, recognized as the most successful, longest lasting, arts-based whole school reform model in the nation. A+ Schools continue to demonstrate scholastic achievement at or above the state average while teaching a fuller curriculum than many other schools, despite most being designated Title I serving disadvantaged students. Years of evaluations also show that in A+ Schools teachers are more effective, students are more engaged and receive fewer disciplinary referrals, and parents are more involved. The Arts Council staff provides professional development and training for the 45 schools that are currently participating. The Arts Council has raised more than $600,000 in private funds to expand the program.
  • Preserving our state’s cultural heritage
    The Arts Council documents and sustains North Carolina’s folk cultural traditions that have been passed down through generations. Documentation provides content in guidebooks and websites created for the agency’s cultural tourism trails program. In addition, the Traditional Arts Program for Students (TAPS) enables traditional musicians, dancers, and crafts artists to teach students in after-school programs. Students in western North Carolina that learned to play music through the TAPS program are now performing at music venues that are featured on Blue Ridge Music Trails.
  • Provide arts experiences to youth
    The Arts Council plans and administers the cARTwheels program, which brings music, dance, opera and theater companies to schools throughout the state. The program started in 2005 and during the past five years more than 178,000 students from 1,447 schools located in almost every county in North Carolina have benefited from cARTwheels performances. Schools and community organizations are also assisted with the development of artist residencies through other grant programs for students.