Charlotte artist Lo'Vonia Parks painting a mural in Five Points Plaza. (Amanda Harry/QCity Metro)

Mecklenburg County released its FY2024 budget earlier this week, and the Arts & Science Council is one entity that will benefit. 

ASC was awarded $3.5 million, a $1.4 million increase from the last budget, which will go toward programming and operations. Among those dollars is a $750,000 allocation of unrestricted operational support.

Why it matters: Earlier this year, the city of Charlotte voted to cut an operational support grant, typically ranging from $900,000-$950,000, that supports ASC’s staffing, equipment and other functional processes. 

ASC President Krista Terrell said she was “pleasantly surprised” and is “grateful” that the county saw the value of ASC along with the need to invest.

“Creative individuals are the lifeblood of the cultural sector. We want them to work here, we want them to live here, and we want them to build their creative practice here,” Terrell told QCity Metro in an interview. 

Terrell said the county’s investment will help ASC assist more artists and increase the resources available to them.

Terrell also told QCity Metro that ASC has been raising money from private investors to compensate for the previous loss in operating support. 

She said ASC is looking for ways to scale back on expenses that aren’t necessarily a priority, such as storage space units or professional development opportunities, to prevent artists and staff from being negatively impacted. 

“We are getting dollars from the private sector (individuals and corporations), and we are continuing to monitor to see if we are on track,” Terrell said. 

Terrell said the organization is “staying committed” to its cultural equity focus and continuing to find ways to support local creatives.

“[We’re] looking forward to investing these dollars into organizations of all sizes, creative individuals and, more importantly, enhancing the lives of Mecklenburg County residents.”

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Daija Peeler covers arts, culture, and faith in Charlotte.

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