Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center last week announced the 2020-21 N.C. Arts Council Artist Support Grant Recipients for Region 18.

Eleven artists from Region 18 (Clay, Cherokee, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties) received a total of $10,071 in funding from the N.C. Arts Council. Six of the 11 ply their trade in Jackson County.

The grants were administered through the Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center in Franklin.

The Artist Support Grants were created to provide direct support to individual artists during and following the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will fund professional and artistic development for emerging and established artists to enhance their skills and abilities to create work or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring their work to new audiences.

In addition to the funding provided by the N.C. Arts Council, several matching grants were given by local arts councils and organizations. Jackson County Arts Council granted an additional $1,000, Clay County Arts Council granted $600, and the Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center granted $600.

Leaders of local arts organizations served on an advisory committee as well, overseeing the process in their own counties and working with Cowee School. Lena Woods (Jackson County), David Vowell (Cherokee County), Reba Beck (Clay County), Beth Fields (Graham County) and Rachel Lackey (Swain County) served on the advisory committee.

In order to apply for this grant, artists eligible represented either visual, craft, performing, traditional or interdisciplinary art forms. Each of the 11 recipients received full project funding, in amounts ranging from $571-$1,000 per artist.

“These are difficult times for our region’s artists. We hope these grants will help mountain artists keep their craft alive,” said Stacy Guffey, director at Cowee School Arts and Heritage Center.

Here are the 2020-21 grant recipients from Jackson County, along with their artistic discipline:

Annette Clapsaddle (writing), Betty Maney (basket weaving), Deborah Bryant (textiles), Mary Thompson (basket weaving), Tom McMillan (woodworking) and Zan Barnes (pottery).

For additional information, contact Cowee School Arts & Heritage Center at 369-4080 or