In 2008, representatives of several local arts organizations invited the N.C. Arts Council to facilitate a process to create an arts council in Wilmington. The Arts Council of the Lower Cape Fear had closed its doors in 2002.
Guided by N.C. Arts Council staff, the local steering committee led a three-year effort to build a sustainable foundation. An intensive research phase resulted in a comprehensive report and recommendations that position arts and cultural traditions as economic drivers for the region.
More than 70 in-depth interviews with artists, arts leaders, and civic and business leaders, as well as a feedback from 180 citizens who participated in an online public survey, indicated overwhelming support for an arts council to develop and promote the area’s arts and cultural assets.
The creation of an arts council in Wilmington — dedicated to supporting artists, arts organizations and boosting the local economy through the arts — means that all of the top 10 most populous counties in North Carolina now have local arts councils that are catalysts for economic development.
The mission of the Arts Council of Wilmington & NHC is to support artists and arts organizations through innovative public/private partnerships that support jobs, stimulate commerce, and showcase the region as an arts destination.
The Arts Council of Wilmington’s core functions:
- to establish the region as an arts destination
- to promote arts-driven economic development,
- to significantly contribute to quality of life in the region,
- to provide a stream of funding to support the sustainability of artists and arts organizations
- to facilitate communication and collaboration within the arts community, and
- to advocate for the arts at the local, state and national levels