Caldwell Arts Council Offering Grants, Enrolling JAM Students

LENOIR, N.C. – Regional artists have until the end of this month to apply for grants to support their work, and aspiring young musicians have until Oct. 18 to enroll in the Caldwell JAM, the Junior Appalachian Musicians program, according to the Caldwell Arts Council.

Artist Support Grant

Artists from Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell and McDowell Counties are now eligible for Artist Support Grants through September 30, 2022. The one-year regional grant program funds professional and artistic development for emerging or established artists to create work, improve business operations, or bring work to new audiences.  The Artist Support Grants replace the Regional Artist Project Grants (RAP-G).

Locally, the program will be administered by the Burke Arts Council, Caldwell Arts Council, United Arts Council of Catawba County, Iredell Arts Council, McDowell Arts Council Association, Hiddenite Center, and Rock School Arts Foundation, in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.  Grants will range from $500 to $3,000.  Prior to submitting the application, artists must contact their local arts organization for an initial review and to receive instructions for accessing the grant portal.  

This program will provide financial support to committed, gifted individual artists as well as small, unincorporated groups of collaborating artists, who have lived in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, and McDowell Counties for at least one year. It supports a broad range of talented artists in the genres of visual arts, performing arts, literary arts, music composition, choreography, and interdisciplinary arts.  Artists should demonstrate a commitment to spending a significant portion of their time on their work as artists.


Before applying, Caldwell County artists must contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 for an initial review to confirm that the project meets required criteria and to receive instructions for the online application. In addition, applicants who do not have access to a computer or lack adequate internet, etc. are encouraged to request assistance from their local arts council office.

Additional details about the guidelines include:

  • Individuals and Artist Collectives: Both individual artists and small unincorporated groups of collaborating artists are eligible to apply.
  • Residency: Artists should have lived continuously in the region (Region 14: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Iredell, and McDowell) in which they are applying for at least one year prior to the application deadline.
  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old and either a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident alien. Artists who live in more than one region should apply only where they spend most of the year.
  • All members of a collaborating team must be North Carolina residents, live in the region in which they are applying, and meet the other eligibility requirements.  Résumés for all team members documenting residence must be included with the application.   
  • Multiple Awards: Artists who are sole proprietors of organizations that have already received funding for FY 2020–21 from the N.C. Arts Council are ineligible to apply.  
  • Conflict of Interest: Current board and staff members of the consortium partner organizations and their immediate family members are ineligible to apply.
  • Student Status: The Artist Support Grant is intended for adult, non-student artists. Artists enrolled full time in undergraduate or associate degree-granting programs may not apply for the grant.

Eligible Projects and Expenses

  • Completion/Presentation of New Work: Cost of resources necessary to complete or present a significant new work (e.g., purchasing art supplies or equipment or space rental).  Digital may qualify.
  • Career Promotion: Projects aimed at advertising artists’ work and/or demonstrating their skill level (e.g., websites, portfolios, audio-visual documentation, and online presentation).   
  • Training: Costs to attend a class or workshop (in-person or virtual) aimed either at enhancing the artist’s skill level or professional development (e.g., a master class or workshop taught by acknowledged authorities in the applicant artist’s medium). 
  • Travel: Costs of transportation, lodging, and food for training, professional conferences, or research as allowed or possible while adhering to social distancing guidelines.    

Ineligible Projects and Costs

  • Scholarships for undergraduate or graduate-level education.
  • Projects that support or oppose a particular candidate for public office.
  • Projects that are exclusive to members of a particular religious faith group.
  • Nonprofit initiatives.
  • Projects that do not have a direct effect on the applicant’s growth as an artist (e.g., the promotion of other artists’ work).

Evaluation Criteria

All complete applications will be reviewed by a panel of arts professionals with experience in various disciplines. Panelists will score each application based on the following evaluation criteria: 

  • Artistic Merit: Demonstrated talent in an art form and overall excellence of the artist’s work; clear commitment to a career as a practicing professional artist. 
  • Project Merit: Benefit of the proposed project to the artist’s professional growth; feasibility of the proposed project. 


  • Application Deadline:  11:59 p.m. on September 30, 2022
  • Award Notifications:  late October-early November 2022
  • Project Timeline:  January 1 – June 30, 2023
  • Final Reports Due:  July 15, 2023

For additional information, see Grants & Scholarships at or contact Ellen Ball at 828-754-2486.

Caldwell JAM is Enrolling Students for the 2022-23 School Year

 Caldwell JAM, the Junior Appalachian Musicians Program is enrolling students aged 8 to 17 for the 2022-23 school year. Enrollment is open now and ends on October 18. JAM is open to all levels of players, from beginner to advanced, who are interested in playing traditional Appalachian instruments.

JAM classes are held weekly for the duration of the school year. Classes will not meet on holidays, early release/dismissal days, or when school is canceled due to weather.

Guitar classes will be offered once per week immediately after classes let out at Granite Falls Elementary, Happy Valley School, and Collettsville School.

All Instruments – Mandolin, Fiddle, Guitar, and Banjo will be offered at The HUB in Hudson on Wednesday at 4 p.m. for beginners and Thursday at 4 p.m. for intermediate players.

New this year is our Performance Class! Any intermediate or advanced player may audition for this class on October 20 at 5 p.m. Spaces are limited to two students per instrument, and will include an upright bass. Students selected for this class will learn to perform well in a group, and will have the opportunity to play at events around the county and beyond approximately once per month.

Students enrolled in public school are charged based on their school-lunch arrangement with Caldwell County Schools. Payments can be made for the entire year or in two installments. Class fees are as follows:

  • Students who do not receive discounted or free lunch are charged $10 per class or $300 per year payable in two installments of $150 each.
  • Reduced-lunch students are charged $5 per class or $150 per year payable in two installments of $75 each.
  • Free-lunch students are charged $3 per class or $90 per year, payable in two installments of $45 each.

Parents interested in participating along with their student may join the classes for a fee of $10 per class.

To register, visit or

JAM receives funding from the Wayne Henderson Foundation and North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources. The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue in Lenoir and is open free to the public Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Additional information about the programs and services provided by the Arts Council can be found at or by calling 828-754-2486.

© Michael M. Barrick, 2022

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