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 kmurray@orangecountync.gov or 919-245-2335. 

The Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) is seeking applicants for the Eno Mill Studios, a 3,000 square foot collaborate 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 work space, and access to a loading dock and restrooms. The space is on the first floor of the mill.

Applications are now being accepted from artists, designers, and craftspeople looking to further their professional careers through a 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 will be reviewed after the application window closes December 15, 2019; all applications will be 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. Oil paint is allowed, but artists are expected to avoid using toxic chemicals or materials with noxious fumes (such as turpentine and pigments). If you work with any of these materials, please talk to us about other spaces in the mill that may be more appropriate for these art forms. 
  • 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).
  •  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 

Studios A, B, or C (identical):

  • 216 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • $550 or $275 shared (2-3 people max)

Studios D or E (identical):

  • 108 square feet
  • Private, lockable door
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • $275 (1-2 people)

Studio F:

  • 216 square feet
  • Open, not lockable
  • Natural light
  • $600 or $300 shared (2-3 people)

Studio G

  • 432 square feet
  • Open, not lockable
  • Natural daylight bulbs
  • $600 or $200 shared (3 people max)
Orange County Arts Commission