The Orange County Arts Commission serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs and advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. We have been the Designated County Partner (DCP) of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985 and are responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.

In order to submit an application or register, you need to first create a Submittable account.  If you need assistance, please contact Katie Murray at or 919-245-2335. 

The Orange County Arts Support Fund strives to support local artists, arts industry workers, and arts organizations facing financial hardship due to COVID-19. THIS APPLICATION IS FOR INDIVIDUALS ONLY. There will be a separate application for nonprofit organizations as soon as possible. The application deadline for this round of grants is Friday, April 10th at midnight.

This is a money-in, money-out fund. The maximum grant we can provide to one individual at this time is $600. The amount we can provide is based on donations received, so please help us spread the word about this fund. You may be allowed to apply for a grant again in the future as we raise more funds. The ArtsCenter in Carrboro is serving as our fiscal agent for this initiative, meaning all payments will be issued by them via personal check. However, please note this is not a fundraising effort by or for The ArtsCenter. 

Eligibility for funding

1. You are a resident of Orange County, North Carolina

2. You are a professional artist, whose primary source of income is through your art


You are an employee of a nonprofit arts organization who has been laid off or furloughed, or experienced a significant reduction of hours


You are a freelance or contracted arts industry worker 

3. You have experienced a drastic decrease (30% or more) in your total household income as a result of COVID-19 (this could be from other income sources other than your art.)

The Eno Mill Artist Studios are a 3,000 square-foot collaborative working space at the historic Eno Mill in Hillsborough. All studios include 24/7 access (workspace only), wifi, utilities, opportunities to exhibit work, communal gathering and workspace, and access to a loading dock and restrooms. The space is on the first floor of the mill.

Applications are accepted from artists, designers, and craftspeople looking to further their professional careers through dedicated studio practice. Studios will be awarded based on criteria listed below by a panel of OCAC Advisory Board Members as well as community artists. Applications are kept on file for review if vacancies become available.

The OCAC is looking for creatives who:

  • Are community-minded and will benefit from a co-working, semiprivate studio environment
  • Display commitment to their craft through an existing body of work
  • Create original work
  • Are willing to participate in monthly public events, such as Last Friday Art Walk. The space will not be open to the general public other than during special events and by appointment with studio tenants.

Tenant Selection Considerations

  • Will this person’s practice work within the space available? 
  • The OCAC seeks to represent a variety of artistic disciplines.
  • The OCAC seeks to include artists of varying levels in their career.
  • Does this person already have a place to work?
  • Will this person use the space regularly? Will they participate in open studios and other public events?

Important Information

  • Filling out an application does not guarantee studio space.
  • The Mill Studios are work only, we do not provide live-work spaces (however this is a possibility in coming years).
  • A security deposit of one month’s rent plus first month’s rent, which may be pro-rated, are due at lease signing.
  • To ensure the safety and security of all tenants, accepted tenants must be willing to undergo a criminal background check.
  • All tenants must hold a minimum $1M general liability policy showing Orange County and Hedgehog Holdings as additional insured. You can anticipate this costing between $200-$500 per year, or approximately $20-$50 per month. Certificate of Insurance must be on file before keys are given. 
  • Tenants are required to sign a one-year lease which may be renewed annually for up to three years. 
  • Most studios do not have access to natural light, however interior lighting has been installed which mimics natural light (5,000 kelvins).
  • Equipment or materials that produce excessive fumes requiring special ventilation, smoke, fire, excessive dust, noise, or permanent damage to the facilities are not appropriate for this space. Preservatives/solvents including turpentine, ammonia, sodium fluoride, phenol or mercury compounds, as well as spray paint/spray fixative and dry pigments are not allowed. Only low-odor or odor-free mineral spirits are allowed. All solvent-soaked rags must be placed in a self-closing waste disposal can and emptied on a regular basis.
  • Tenants must possess awareness of the health, safety, and hospitable working environment of other artist tenants and a respect for the upkeep and preservation of the facilities. This includes but is not limited to noise pollution (eg: loud equipment and music), use of toxic materials, and the use and proper disposal of studio waste (eg: solvent soaked rags, hot wax, turpentine, acetone, etc) and keeping common areas clean. Artists will also avoid unsolicited critiques and only offer feedback when asked.
  •  Allowance of pets is to be determined by selected artist group. All artists must agree to the presence of pets, otherwise, they will not be allowed.
  • A 30% commission will be collected by the OCAC for work sold in public exhibit spaces.

Available Studios (see map here)

Studios 1, 2, 5, 6, 7  (identical):

  • 108 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • Studio door opens into the suite
  • $275 

Studio 3:

  • 108 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • Studio door opens into outside hall
  • $275 

Studio 4:

  • 216 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • $550 or $275 shared (2 people)

Studio 8:

  • 216 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs + some natural light
  • $300

Studio 9:

  • 216 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural light
  • $325

Studio 10:

  • 432 square feet
  • Open, not lockable
  • Natural daylight bulbs + some natural light
  • $600 or $200 shared (3 people max)

All reports are due by Monday, July 13, 2020, by midnight, unless your program/project has been delayed due to COVID-19 (please refer to the email sent on March 25, 2020 for further instructions). Reports must be received by the due date in order to be eligible for future grant opportunities. Organizations receiving more than one grant must submit a separate report for each grant received.  

Orange County Arts Commission