The deadline to apply for the Mary B. Regan Community Artist Residency award is set for Jan. 15, 2014. The fellowship honors Ms. Regan’s four decades of leadership as executive director at the N.C. Arts Council.
The Community Artist Residency places an artist in a specific community in North Carolina where he or she works directly with members of the community over an extended period of time to create a project that develops from their interaction. The program was conceived to honor Regan’s long-held beliefs in the importance of the contributions of artists and the transformative potential of creativity to community life.
The innovative program carries on Ms. Regan lifelong commitment to elevate the importance and value of artists to community life. Funds for the program were raised independently and will provide $15,000 for the residency to support planning and implementation costs related to the proposed project.
Artists in all disciplines are eligible to apply for the Jan. 15, 2014 deadline.
Applicants will propose an up to one-year project that engages a North Carolina community in a meaningful way involving targeted groups in extended activities and culminating in public events and/or the creation of artwork(s) sited in public settings. Projects may address local or regional issues, or be exclusively aesthetically focused, but should not focus primarily on school-age children as the audience.
Examples of projects include choreographers working with community members to create a dance work commemorating a local event; writers collaborating with immigrants to tell the stories of their journeys; public artists designing solutions to environmental issues in partnership with local water and public works departments, among many others.
Initial proposals must demonstrate a clear project idea, articulate achievable goals, and summarize the applicant’s qualifications and interest in the project. Finalists will be invited to interview and be asked to provide more detailed plans, including proposed partnerships, a timeline and budget for implementation of the project, desired outcomes, and additional sources of support or fundraising strategies, as necessary.
Artists are encouraged to develop partnerships with nonprofit organizations and raise additional funds for the project to supplement the award. All grant-related activities must take place between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015.
Mary Regan retired as the executive director of the N.C. Arts Council March 1, 2012. During her tenure, she oversaw the creation of many of the Arts Council’s signature programs, but among the most important were those that supported artists and connected them to communities across N.C. through artist residencies.
Mary became executive director of the N.C. Arts Council in 1976. During her 35-year tenure as director, the Arts Council has created many significant programs including a comprehensive community arts program with the Grassroots Arts Program at its core, a pioneering cultural tourism program that draws heavily from the state’s rich folk culture, and various programs that help artists live and work — often in community settings.
Her support of artists was unflagging over the years. The Artist Fellowship program, the Regional Artist Project Grant program and the Heritage Award program, all mainstays to this day of the Arts Council’s recognition and support of artistic excellence, were created under Ms. Reagan’s leadership.