Chatham Arts Council
PITTSBORO — Is there a profession that can help elicit joy, help us express ourselves, and strengthen the very community in which we live, work, and play? Quite simply, yes. …
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PITTSBORO — Is there a profession that can help elicit joy, help us express ourselves, and strengthen the very community in which we live, work, and play? Quite simply, yes. Artists can. Which is why supporting artists is critical — especially during a pandemic. Artists are part of the fabric that holds a community together. In an effort to continue to lift local artists, the Chatham Arts Council is pleased to announce the seven local recipients of the Artist Support Grants: JR Butler, Britt Flood, Marjorie Hudson, Tony Peacock, Wendy Spitzer (AKA Felix Obelix), Christian Tamburr and Will Ridenour.
The Artist Support Grants are given to support a range of professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists. This year’s recipients cover a wide array of artistic areas including 2D visual art, literary art, media arts, and music. Led by The United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, and in partnership with the North Carolina Arts Council, Raleigh Arts, and other local arts councils, the Chatham Arts Council (CAC) had the honor of awarding the Artist Support Grants to these local artists.
“When lockdown started, I lost my art gigs,” explained JR Butler, visual artist and grant recipient. “I have not been able to receive unemployment. Without any income, it was impossible for me to keep my studio, so I moved everything to my tiny house. This grant will provide me the funds necessary to cover some of my living expenses to make it easier for me to get by while I transform part of my living space into a better functioning home studio. Having a suitable studio will make it much easier to make and promote my work during these challenging times.”
The Artist Support Grants program was open to ALL artists living in Chatham, Harnett, Johnston, Lee and Wake counties. The criteria included overall excellence of the applicant’s artwork as demonstrated by work samples; feasibility of the proposed project; and contribution of the proposed project to the advancement of the applicant’s professional artistic development and practice.
“The Chatham Arts Council is committed to supporting our community through service, solace and hope this year,” said Cheryl Chamblee, Executive Director of the CAC. “Through their amazing work, these talented artists are offering all of us service, solace, and hope – an endeavor that is incredibly difficult with the closures the arts community has been witness to.”
More than $82,000 in grants are being distributed among five counties in this region to deserving applicants. This grant is essential in helping off-set the negative impact of the pandemic, ensuring artists have the resources they need to continue in their profession. Individual grants are being awarded up to $1,500.
The Chatham Arts Council nurtures creative thinkers in Chatham County. We do this in two ways: we invest in artists and we educate kids through the arts. In its thirty-seventh year as a nonprofit arts agency, Chatham Arts Council’s flagship programs include Meet This Artist, Go See This, artist grants and the Chatham Artists-in- Schools Initiative — serving more than 3,500 children this year. Chatham Arts Council is proud to partner with the North Carolina Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, Chatham County Schools and numerous Chatham arts organizations, human resource nonprofits and local businesses. For more information, visit www.ChathamArtsCouncil.org.