Orange County Arts Commission

About Us
Programs and Services
Artists and Organizations
Events Calendars

About Us
related pages: Advisory Board
What is the Arts Commission? | Staff / How to Contact | Services Overview


What is the Arts Commission?

The Orange County Arts Commission is a department of Orange County government which works to develop the arts in Orange County, North Carolina, which includes the townships of Chapel Hill, Hillsborough, and Carrboro.  Created in 1985 by the Orange County Board of County Commissioners, the Arts Commission also has a fifteen-member citizen advisory Advisory Board.

Our Mission

To promote the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.

Our Role

The Orange County Arts Commission is the countywide arts agency that ensures the growth of local arts experiences by providing funding and support for diverse, high quality programs.  The Arts Commission is also Orange County’s information clearinghouse on local arts events and programs.  As a branch of Orange County local government, our offices are located in Hillsborough, both the county seat and geographic center of the county.

Citizen Advisory Board

The Arts Commission Board is made up of fifteen Orange County citizens who help to steer the future of the Arts Commission and provide recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners on arts and culture issues.

For information on volunteering for the board or in other capacities, please see our volunteer section.


Staff / How to Contact Us

Martha Shannon, Arts Commission Director:

Yvonne Scarlett, Administrative Assistant:

Phone and E-Mail: 919/245-2335   Fax:  919/644-3008
Street Address:  110 East King Street
Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278
Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 1177
Hillsborough, North Carolina 27278


Services Overview

For details beyond the overview below, see the programs and services section and the grants section on this web site.

Arts Funding
The Arts Commission offers two annual cycles (spring and fall) of arts grants to organizations and professional artists coordinating arts and culture programs in Orange County. Categories include:

  • Arts Program – supporting projects that benefit Orange County citizens.
  • Artist Project – professional artist projects with a strong public focus.
  • Arts in Education – programs in local public or private schools.
  • General Arts Support – key support for local organizations with a strong history and community base.
For more information, please see our grants section.

Information Clearinghouse
The Arts Commission gathers, maintains and provides a variety of local arts and culture information on programs, services, artists, and arts professionals. Local arts patrons, business, educators, and interested citizens regularly contact the Arts Commission for information.

Print and Web Publications
As a service to our constituencies, the Arts Commission offers several publications in print and online.

  • Orange Arts Newsletter
    Our bi-annual, color newsletter, featuring a variety of information on Arts Commission programs and services.
  • Orange County Arts & Culture Guide
    New, full-color brochure offers information and maps on Orange County arts and culture venues. Coming soon!
  • Interactive Online Arts Directory
    Providing detailed information to arts patrons and professionals on local arts venues and artists, the website also offers links to various event calendars.

If you have questions about the Arts Commission, please feel free to contact us.

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