Cultural Resources

CFWNC will award small grants of $5,000 for general operating support through a simple online application according to the categories and schedule specified below. Each applicant must select the category that best aligns with its mission and purpose and apply only once during the rotation of grant cycles. To facilitate a rapid rollout of this grant opportunity, the first two cycles take place in 2024.


  • FY 23-24 Arts Councils – organizations that provide funding, management and programming services for arts organizations within a defined geographic area
  • FY 24-25 Craft – ceramics, glass, textile, metal or wood
  • FY 25-26 Performing Arts – theatre, dance, music, and other types of performance
  • FY 26-27 Visual Arts – painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, and mixed media
  • FY 27-28 WNC History and Places of Cultural Significance - organizations that preserve and promote: 1) traditions, values, and lifestyles of different cultural groups to encourage understanding and respect for different WNC cultural heritages; or 2) places which may include, buildings, structures, objects, sites or entire districts that have historical, architectural, archaeological or cultural significance but may not include war monuments or memorials or any other sites that may promote division, disrespect, or animosity.
  • FY 28-29 Communication Arts – literature and writing, radio, film, and oral histories

Deadlines and Dates

  • The deadline for Arts Councils to apply is April 12, 2024. Decisions will be announced by the end of April.
  • The deadline for Craft organizations to apply is July 12, 2024. Decisions will be announced by the end of July.
  • Thereafter, the annual deadline for each Competitive Grant cycle will be second Friday of July.


Organizations must be:

  • Tax-exempt as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or public agencies.
  • Located in the Qualla Boundary or one of the following counties in Western North Carolina: Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, Macon, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Swain, Transylvania or Yancey.
  • Organizations must already be established in and serving Western North Carolina.
  • Preference will be given to nonprofit organizations. Public agencies may be supported if few nonprofits serve a geographic area and if funds remain available.
  • Applications by non-arts organizations that run an arts program will not be considered.

What We Do Not Fund

  • private primary and secondary schools (except for projects or programs that are not directed toward the school's students or staff and that directly address community needs) and private clubs
  • sectarian religious purposes
  • partisan political purposes
  • state or national organizations, unless (1) funding is sought for a portion of the program or project that directly benefits WNC, and (2) local people assume leadership of the program or project

How to Apply

1. Access Community Foundation Staff Assistance

If you would like to discuss your proposal or have questions regarding eligibility, contact Tara Scholtz, Senior Program Officer, by email or at 828-367-9913.

2. Submit a Grant Application

Begin the online application process to submit a grant application. For technical assistance with the online grant system, contact Diane Crisp, Senior Grants Manager, by email or at 828-367-9904. The online system notifies applicants by email upon receipt of their application.

3. Review Process

Foundation staff evaluates grant applications taking into consideration the organizations’ priorities, availability of funds, applicants’ capabilities and benefits to the community.

CFWNC distributes grant payments by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Each grantee must have current banking information on file at CFWNC to receive payment.

Reporting Requirements

Applicants must submit an online end-of-grant report verifying use of grant funds and results. Instructions will be included in the grant award letter sent by email to the head of the awarded organization, and report deadlines can be found in CFWNC’s online grant system.

Grant funds must be spent in twelve months or less.

Guideline Modifications

CFWNC may modify these guidelines or make exceptions to them at its sole discretion.

For additional information, download Recent Grants.

Return to Grants Directory