Inclusive Public Art

Some parts of North Carolina’s common history are difficult to discuss. During our statewide listening and learning tour, it was evident that legacies of racism and segregation were pervasive in many communities we visited, but rarely discussed. Although ZSR has a long and rich history of investing in diversity, inclusion and equity, we have not focused on the arts in recent years. However, historic and recent controversies over public art, monuments and race make this the right time to respond. We believe that art can provide an avenue for North Carolinians to share their stories, perspectives and cultures in ways that promote a common understanding of our shared history — even if they don’t agree with one another.

This initiative aims to include historically marginalized people in the decision-making processes about art in public places and is intended to spark healthy dialogue. As a result, we believe more people will engage in important – and often difficult – conversations about their community’s past, present and future. 

ZSR will invest in up to 10 projects with awards of as much as $50,000 each. Additional resources will be available for community engagement activities surrounding each art project. Grants are made for visual art, not performance art.

If you have questions about ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative, please contact Project Coordinator Brenda Miller Holmes at