The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources awards grants to individuals and organizations to foster historical, cultural, recreational, and environmental pursuits. This includes awards that encourage the creation and maintenance of strong arts infrastructure across North Carolina, support local historic preservation efforts and foster innovation in public and institutional libraries from Murphy to Manteo. Additional grants promote conservation of our state's natural beauty, the preservation of clean water, and the development of recreational trail systems.

Aid to Public Libraries

State Library

Funds are distributed according to a formula. The formula allocates 50 percent of the total Aid to Public Libraries appropriation as equal block grants to each eligible county library, plus an additional block grant to each regional library. Municipal libraries qualifying for funding do not receive block grants. The remaining 50 percent of the Aid to Public Libraries fund is allocated as per capita income equalization grants. Each eligible county, regional, and municipal library system receives a per capita grant that is inversely proportional to the local per capita income.


Artist Fellowship, Regional Artist Project, Regional Arts Partners, Internships

Arts Council

Grants to artists ranging from $500 to $10,000 to support their creative development. Regional artist project grants are administered through local arts councils.


Arts in Education Grants

Arts Council

The Arts in Education Program provides support to schools and nonprofit organizations to strengthen the use of the arts in pre K-12 settings. We give priority to funding fees for professional artists to work in educational settings and collaborations between arts organizations and schools. Arts in Education grants are not intended to substitute for a school's arts education program and funds cannot be used for permanent arts education personnel.


Clean Water Management Trust Fund

Land and Water Stewardship

Established in 1996, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund provides grant assistance to conservation non-profits, local governments and state agencies for the protection of surface waters in North Carolina. CWMTF funds projects that (1) enhance or restore degraded waters, (2) protect unpolluted waters, and/or (3) contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways for environmental, educational, and recreational benefits, (4) provide buffers around military bases to protect the military mission, (5) acquire land that represents the ecological diversity of North Carolina, and (6) acquire land that contributes to the development of a balanced State program of historic properties. We anticipated awarding over $25 M in grants for FY 16-17.


Grassroots Arts Program

Arts Council

The Arts in Communities (AIC) Program works with local arts councils and other community arts organizations in all 100 counties to create and sustain innovative arts programs that help build healthier communities.


Land and Water Conservation Fund

Parks and Recreation

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program is a reimbursable, 50/50 matching grants program to states for conservation and recreation purposes and through the states to local governments to address ''close to home'' outdoor recreation needs. Grants for a maximum of $500,000 in LWCF assistance are awarded yearly.

(919) 707-9370

Library Services and Technology Act Grant Programs

State Library

The federally funded Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) was enacted by Congress in September 1996. The focus of this state-based program is information access through technology and improving access to library services, with a strong emphasis on collaboration and cooperation among all types of libraries, as well as a requirement to demonstrate improvement in library services through use of the federal funds. Eligible applicants are libraries as defined in North Carolina's LSTA Five-Year Plan, with further specific eligibility requirements driven by priorities on the plan.


National Park Service Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund Grants

Historic Preservation Office (HPO)

The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office (HPO) funding to provide recovery assistance to historic resources damaged by hurricanes Florence and/or Michael that are listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The award from the Emergency Supplemental Historic Preservation Fund (ESHPF) administered by the NPS enables the HPO to make available up to $9.25 million in grants toward historic resources located in the 61 eligible counties in North Carolina designated by FEMA for disaster assistance. Funding is reserved for local government units and non-profit organizations. 


National Park Service Historic Preservation Fund Grants

Historic Preservation Office (HPO)

The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 authorizes a matching grant program for a variety of preservation activities. Most federal grants have been made to local governments for architectural and archaeological surveys, National Register nominations, and preservation planning. Federal law requires that 10% of the state's apportionment from the federal Historic Preservation Fund be made available on a matching basis to local governments that are designated Certified Local Governments by the National Park Service. This has amounted to about $95,000 annually for CLG projects in the state in recent years. In some years, the HPO is able to offer additional grants out of the state's Historic Preservation Fund apportionment for projects within jurisdictions that are not Certified Local Governments, though these projects have been limited to non-construction activities such as comprehensive county surveys and nominations of properties to the National Register of Historic Places. Not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions may be able to apply for CLG funding through their local preservation commission. Privately-owned buildings are not eligible to apply for funding.


North Carolina Science Museums Grant Program

Museum of Natural Sciences

The NC Science Museums Grant Program provides operational support to eligible museums across North Carolina. Awards are given to eligible applicants based on criteria set forth by state government per G.S. 143B-135.227. Award amounts will be determined by the following criteria: 1. When compared to other museum applicants: a. Are located in counties that are more economically distressed according to the annual rankings prepared by the Department of Commerce pursuant to G.S. 143B-437.08(c). b. Generate a larger portion of their operating funds from non-State revenue. c. Have a higher attendance-to-population ratio. 2. Partner with other museums in the State to share exhibits, programs, or other activities. 3. Are not located in close proximity to other science or STEM education museums.


Parks and Recreation Trust Fund

Parks and Recreation

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) was authorized by the General Assembly (G.S. 113-44.15) to establish a matching grant program for qualified local governmental units for local parks and recreation purposes. PARTF is funded by an annual appropriation as well as revenue from personalized license plates.


Program Support Grants

Arts Council

Folklife grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations, folklorists, and traditional artists engaged in projects that preserve and perpetuate folklife traditions or educate the public about North Carolina's folk cultural heritage.


Special Appropriation

Administration/Office of the Secretary

Special appropriations are funds appropriated to the Department from the General Fund by the General Assembly for transfer to local governments and nonprofit corporations for projects and purposes specified in the authorizing legislation. 


State Arts Resources

Arts Council

For mature arts organizations that, over time, have consistently produced strong arts programs and demonstrated strong management and financial accountability. Grants support the organization's ongoing artistic and administrative functions.


State Trails: Recreational Trails Program

Parks and Recreation

The Recreational Trails Program is a $1.5 million grant program funded by Congress with money from the federal gas taxes paid on fuel used by off-highway vehicles. This program's intent is to meet the trail and trail-related recreational needs identified by the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. Grant funding is for trail planning, construction, maintenance, signs and related facilities.

Trails Website


Statewide Initiatives

Arts Council

This category provides funds to organizations and individuals for projects and programs that benefit the state. Projects and programs may range from research, resource publications, consultations and the Poet Laureate Program.


Statewide Service Organizations

Arts Council

Provides funds to service organizations for projects and programs that serve their members, artists, arts organizations, and the arts community. Funded programs and services may include newsletters, listserv and Web site management, conferences, workshops, classes, consultations, research, resource publications, presentations, and the development and distribution of promotional materials. Grant funds support administrative and program expenses directly related to the proposed programs and services. Grant amounts range from $5,000 - $35,000 and must be matched dollar for dollar by the organization.