In These Mountains Project Grants

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Closed on May 01, 2023

Applications are now closed. The next cycle is anticipated to open on June 17, 2024. The guidelines below are for reference only. Join our mailing list to be notified about new opportunities.

Grants of $10,000 for organizations to conduct projects that promote the sharing, teaching, learning, preserving, and documenting folk arts and traditional culture of Central Appalachia.

Detailed Program Description

The In These Mountains: Central Appalachian Folk Arts & Culture FY24 Project Grants advance the goals of the In These Mountains (ITM) initiative by supporting projects that promote sharing, teaching, learning, preserving, documenting, and supporting the continuity of the folk arts and traditional culture of Central Appalachia. 

 This funding program is open to a wide variety of organizations, including community cultural organizations, schools/colleges/universities, libraries, museums, performing arts presenters, community festival organizations, faith-based organizations, etc. Organizations must be located within and serve at least one Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) county in Kentucky, North Carolina, or Tennessee. Three projects from each eligible state (Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee) will be selected, for a total of nine recipient organizations. 

We strongly advise you to contact South Arts traditional arts staff to discuss your project before you submit your application: 

What are Folk Arts and Cultures? 

The South is home to an abundance of folk arts and traditional culture. Folk and traditional arts share the aesthetics, practices, and values of families, geographic communities, occupational groups, ethnic heritage groups, etc. Folk and traditional arts are learned orally or by observation and imitation, often through a mentor artist instructing an apprentice. They are usually maintained without formal instruction or academic training. Some traditional arts have a deep-rooted history with little change, while others are constantly evolving and adapting to their changing environment. 

For the purposes of this application, the folk and traditional arts of Central Appalachia include music, handcrafts/material culture, and foodways. Some examples of traditional arts practiced in Central Appalachia are Cherokee stamped pottery, African American buck dancing/clogging, Anglo American ballads, Latin American foodways traditions, Bharatanatyam Indian dance, Traditional Vietnamese Medicine, and many more.

Important Dates & Deadlines

  • Application Open: February 14, 2023 
  • Application Deadline: May 1, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. ET
  • Awardees Notified: June 12, 2023 
  • Projects must take place between: July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024 
  • Final Reports Due: July 17, 2024 

*There is no Interim Report required for this grant program.

Please check your email spam folder for application notification. Email notification will be from or

South Arts’ Commitments

South Arts has prioritized the following:  

  • South Arts is committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
    • We strongly encourage applications from organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, LGBTQIA+ communities, and communities of people with disabilities. We will prioritize applications that feature BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ traditional artists and traditional artists with disabilities.
  • South Arts is committed to funding traditional arts projects in rural communities (with populations under 50,000). 

General Requirements

The following is a top-level list of the main requirements necessary to be considered for an In These Mountains: Project Grant. Please refer to the full list of eligibility requirements in the program's Guidelines.

  • Applicants must be not-for-profit or educational organizations located in Appalachian Regional Commission counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee. 
  • Funds may support projects such as broadcasts (television, radio, or podcast); exhibits; festivals; publications; research; educational activities; etc.
  • Projects must take place between July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.
  • Grants are awarded in the amount of $10,000.
  • Up to 20% of awarded funds may be used for organizational overhead.
  • This program does not require a cash match.

A full list of eligibility criteria and other project requirements is provided in the guidelines below.


While preparing your In These Mountains Project Grant application, please refer to the following guidelines.

Organization Eligibility Requirements
  • Nonprofit and educational organizations located in Appalachian Regional Commission counties in Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee are eligible.
  • Organizations must have not-for-profit, tax-exempt status, or be an official unit of local, county, or state government. Educational institutions (schools, school systems, colleges, and universities) are also eligible. South Arts does not accept applications from fiscal agents for this grant program.
  • All applicants must have a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN). Visit for more information.
  • Organizations that have failed to submit final reports on time for any previous South Arts grants will not be considered for funding.
  • Organizations that fail to properly acknowledge South Arts’ support in programs and press materials will not be considered for additional funding.
  • Organizations are eligible for only one In These Mountains FY24 Project Grant during the South Arts’ 2024 fiscal year of July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024.
  • Previous recipients of In These Mountains FY23 Project Grants are not eligible to apply again in FY24.

Eligible Counties
Eligible organizations must be located within and serve at least one of the following Appalachian Regional Commission counties:

  • Kentucky: Adair, Bath, Bell, Boyd, Breathitt, Carter, Casey, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cumberland, Edmonson, Elliott, Estill, Fleming, Floyd, Garrard, Green, Greenup, Harlan, Hart, Jackson, Johnson, Knott, Knox, Laurel, Lawrence, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Lewis, Lincoln, McCreary, Madison, Magoffin, Martin, Menifee, Metcalfe, Monroe, Montgomery, Morgan, Nicholas, Owsley, Perry, Pike, Powell, Pulaski, Robertson, Rockcastle, Rowan, Russell, Wayne, Whitley, and Wolfe.
  • North Carolina: Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cherokee, Clay, Cleveland, Davie, Forsyth, Graham, Haywood, Henderson, Jackson, McDowell, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Rutherford, Stokes, Surry, Swain, Transylvania, Watauga, Wilkes, Yadkin, and Yancey.
  • Tennessee: Anderson, Bledsoe, Blount, Bradley, Campbell, Cannon, Carter, Claiborne, Clay, Cocke, Coffee, Cumberland, De Kalb, Fentress, Franklin, Grainger, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hancock, Hawkins, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Knox, Lawrence, Lewis, Loudon, McMinn, Macon, Marion, Meigs, Monroe, Morgan, Overton, Pickett, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Roane, Scott, Sequatchie, Sevier, Smith, Sullivan, Unicoi, Union, Van Buren, Warren, Washington, and White.
Project Guidelines
  • ITM Project Grant applications may be submitted beginning February 14, 2023, for projects taking place between July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. The project must take place by June 30, 2024. 
  • The grant deadline is May 1, 2023. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. ET. 
  • Three projects from each eligible state (Kentucky, North Carolina, and Tennessee) will be selected, for a total of nine recipient organizations.
  • Projects may include traditional music, dance, oral traditions, crafts/material culture, or foodways/food traditions. 
  • Examples of eligible projects include broadcasts (television, radio, or podcast); exhibits; festivals; publications; research; educational activities; etc.
    • If you have questions about whether your proposed project is eligible, please contact South Arts traditional arts staff to discuss.
  • Proposed projects should be new initiatives, or new versions/iterations of existing/reoccurring programs.
    • Examples include initiating a new research project; supporting an annual festival; adding a new event to an ongoing performance series; etc.
  • We acknowledge the current realities of cultural arts programming due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. For this grant cycle, we will accept applications for projects taking place virtually or in-person. South Arts encourages applicants to consider safe, socially distanced projects.
  • Projects are not required to serve the entire geographic community but should have targeted participants.
  • All grant recipients are required to provide accessibility for constituents with disabilities at grant-funded events. For these guidelines, accessibility relates to both your overall facility and project being accessible to all. In addition to physical access (ramps, accessible parking/box office/restrooms/seating, etc.), communications and programmatic accessibility is not only required, but can also help your organization build audiences and strengthen engagement. Grant applications should show evidence of thoughtful planning and implementation efforts. The National Endowment for the Arts has resources to assist organizations in making accommodations. Please visit the NEA's website for more information.
  • Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 
  • South Arts does not fund historical reenactments, benefits, or fundraisers. 
  • Grants are NOT transferable to other projects or programs. All changes to the project must be submitted in writing to South Arts. Awards may be revised or revoked considering such changes.
  • All grants will be awarded in the amount of $10,000.
  • Up to 20% of awarded funds ($2,000) may be used for organizational overhead.
  • Awards will be delivered in two installments: 50% ($5,000) upfront by August 31, 2023; 50% ($5,000) upon receipt of final report in Salesforce.
Review Process
  • A panel of folklorists, arts professionals, and other individuals with relevant experience will review all applications according to the review criteria. Panelists may or may not be familiar with your organization and community, so please be clear and specific in your application.  
  • Applicants will be notified of funding decisions by email by 5:00pm ET, June 12, 2023.

Review Criteria
Applications are reviewed and funding decisions are made using the following criteria to evaluate each application: 

  • Support of Traditional Arts and Culture (40%) – How well does the proposed project help to identify and/or perpetuate traditional arts and culture in the applicant organization’s community?
  • Community Benefit (20%) – How will the project benefit the organization’s community?
  • Budget (10%) – Explanation of how funds will be used.
  • Organization Mission/Goals (10%) – How well does this project reflect/further the organization’s mission or goals?
  • Accessibility (10%) – How accessible are the organization’s facilities and project plans?
  • Organizational Capacity/Evaluation (10%) – Organization’s ability to carry out and evaluate the project.
Appeals Process

You can request a review of the method for South Arts’ decisions concerning grant applications through the Appeals Process. If you did not receive funding or if your grant award was rescinded or reduced, you may submit an appeal based on the criteria listed below. Incomplete applications are not eligible for the appeals process. Dissatisfaction with the denial or amount of an award is not sufficient reason for an appeal. 

An applicant not funded may appeal South Arts’ decision if the applicant can demonstrate that the application was rejected for any of the following reasons:

  • Application was reviewed using criteria other than those provided.
  • Funding decision was influenced by panel/staff/committee member who failed to disclose a conflict of interest.
  • Application materials (submitted by the deadline) were not provided to reviewers.

If an applicant’s funds were rescinded or reduced, the applicant may appeal South Arts’ decision if they can demonstrate that (a) the project activities outlined in the application were performed, and (b) the contract terms and conditions were followed and fulfilled. 

To appeal a funding decision, first contact Teresa Hollingsworth to discuss. If you believe that you have grounds for an appeal, you must submit your appeal in writing to South Arts’ Executive Director no later than 15 calendar days following the receipt of the electronic notice from South Arts. The submission should contain evidence to support one or more of the allowable grounds for appeal. The decision on an appeal will be made by the Executive Director, who will render a decision within 30 days of the appeal. Mail your appeal to

South Arts
ATTN: President & CEO
1800 Peachtree Street, NW
Suite 808
Atlanta, GA 30309

Support Materials and Work Samples

You may include up to five supplemental materials in support of your application. Some examples of support materials include work samples for a guest artist; a sample podcast; a museum brochure; the resume/CV of a contracted scholar/expert; a curriculum plan; etc.

Support materials are not required but are strongly encouraged.

Preferred file formats:

  • For digital images: high-resolution .JPEG
  • For documents: .PDF
  • For audio and video samples, make materials available on a public, web-based platform (such as YouTube, Vimeo, Soundcloud, etc.), and upload a document providing links/URLs.

Please contact South Arts traditional arts staff with any questions.

Application Requirements

All grant applications must be submitted online using South Arts’ Salesforce Grants Management System. We recommend that you visit the site early to register and become familiar with the system. Be sure to register as an organization to access the In These Mountains: Project Grants application. Complete your application in Salesforce, including the required materials as detailed below. NOTE: Please print a copy of your completed application for your records. 

South Arts encourages applicants to begin grant applications early, allowing for plenty of time to organize and upload required materials. We also urge you to contact us with questions more than 48 hours before the application deadline; due to the volume of requests, South Arts team members may not be able to respond to inquiries submitted after that time.

The online application includes the following components:

  1. Organizational Profile
  2. Project Narrative
  3. Project Implementation and Evaluation
  4. Support Materials
  5. Project Budget


For questions about In These Mountains Project Grants, contact program director Teresa Hollingsworth.

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