ZSR Accepting Letters of Intent for Second Cohort of Inclusive Public Art Initiative Grant opportunity to fund Inclusive Public Art projects across NC


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is accepting Letters of Intent for a second cohort of Inclusive Public Art projects across the state. To access information about the Letter of Intent process, click here.

ZSR’s investment in inclusive public art is intended to share stories of diversity, equality, inclusion and equity as they relate to the people and places of North Carolina, especially those whose stories are often untold or under told. After an impactful inaugural cohort of Inclusive Public Art grantees, ZSR knows that this effort can catalyze community conversations that result in a shared and fuller understanding of our common history — and common bonds — as North Carolinians.

ZSR recently announced a $2 million partnership with The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation – the largest supporter of arts and humanities in the U.S. – to expand and continue its Inclusive Public Art initiative across North Carolina. The partnership, which includes $1 million from both ZSR and the Mellon Foundation, will support commemorative and artist commissions specifically focused on underrepresented narratives and communities.

Grant amounts for the second cohort will be flexible, with an anticipated range from $50,000 to $200,000+, allowing for projects that encompass grassroots visual storytelling to large-scale, iconic public artworks. Applicants are encouraged to think boldly about the artistic possibilities for memorializing stories that uplift diverse narratives of who we are as North Carolinians. Grant funds should be used for community engagement, documentation, art creation and installation.

“Public art plays an important role in telling community and statewide stories,” said ZSR Executive Director Maurice “Mo” Green. “For far too long, people of color and women, in particular, have been left out of the public art narrative. Our hope is that these powerful stories will inspire more communities to embrace the multitude of people and perspectives that have shaped North Carolina.”

Because this initiative is intended to spark healthy dialogue, the community engagement aspect of these grants is just as important as the art installations themselves. Therefore, ZSR is looking for communities that will authentically involve a cross-section of people, groups and organizations in telling, discussing and perhaps even producing the story(ies) depicted in the art.

The deadline to submit a Letter of Intent for ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative is March 25, 2022 at 12:00pm (noon). In May 2022, ZSR will select semifinalists who will receive a $5,000 planning grant and an invitation to submit a full application by early 2023.

ZSR will hold a webinar for interested applicants on Wednesday, February 23 at 1:00pm. Click here to register for the webinar. The webinar will be recorded and posted to ZSR’s website.

Questions about ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative should be directed to Project Coordinator Brenda Miller Holmes at brenda@brendamillerholmes.com.