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Deadline approaches for arts grants to help veterans

Fayetteville Observer - 1/28/2018

Jan. 27--A deadline to apply for grants from the North Carolina Arts Council is approaching.

Nonprofit organizations can apply for the financial aid through March 1, officials said.

Starting this year, the Arts Council is offering Military and Veterans Healing Arts grants to help projects that serve the state's military, veterans and their families.

Late last year, the North Carolina Arts Council announced it had awarded tens of thousands of dollars in the new, military-focused grants to organizations in Fayetteville, Asheville and Manteo and to support USO of North Carolina efforts across the state.

In all, $75,000 in grants were awarded by the council, which aims to sustain diverse arts expression across the state while also supporting innovative approaches.

The funds awarded last year included a $23,385 grant to Cape Fear Regional Theatre.

The theater has a history of collaborative programs with Fort Bragg, and the grant will help deepen connections with the installation through theater classes taught by the theater's staff. The money also will support the hiring of a full-time military liaison.

The USO of North Carolina received a $15,300 grant to support efforts with arts councils and other organizations across the state. The efforts are focused on helping artists work more effectively with veterans and expanding the roles that artists play in other programs aimed at helping military personnel and their families.

More information on the Arts Council grants is available at NCArts.org. To be eligible for a grant, an organization must be a nonprofit, have been producing quality arts programs for at least two consecutive years and have prior-year organization cash operating expenses of at least $20,000.

Grant awards are recommended by panels of civic leaders and arts experts and will be based on artistic merit, the benefit of the project to residents and the applicant's organizational strength.

Last year, the North Carolina Arts Council said research has shown that the arts have a transformative and restorative power for veterans and active-duty troops.

"Engaging in arts activities enhances healing, and provides important health benefits in every stage from recovery to wellness," said Vicki Vitiello, who oversees the Arts Council's new military initiative. "The arts create opportunities for service members and veterans to tell their stories in different ways, and helps to connect them to the wider community."

Military editor Drew Brooks can be reached at dbrooks@fayobserver.com or 486-3567.

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(c)2018 The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.)

Visit The Fayetteville Observer (Fayetteville, N.C.) at www.fayobserver.com

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