Discover Raleigh Arts
The Office of Raleigh Arts, a part of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department, administers the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board and supports the Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers. Activities that foster, support and promote the arts include arts classes and workshops at the Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers, Awards and Recognition, the Block Art Gallery, the Arts Partners grants program, the Municipal Art Collection and Public Art. The arts in Raleigh are flourishing!
Arts & Economic Prosperity Study
The nonprofit arts and culture industry generates $531 million in annual economic activity in the City of Raleigh—supporting 18,894 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $53 million in local and state government revenues, according to the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 National Economic Impact Study (AEP5), an economic impact study conducted by Americans for the Arts.
Results show that Raleigh nonprofit arts and culture organizations spent more than $167 million during fiscal year 2015. This spending is far-reaching: organizations pay employees, purchase supplies, contract for services, and acquire assets within their community. Those dollars, in turn, generated $156 million in household income for local residents and $14.7 million in local government revenues. In the City of Raleigh, a total of 826 valid audience-intercept surveys were collected from attendees to nonprofit arts and cultural performances, events, and exhibitions. Arts and Economic Prosperity® 5 was conducted by Americans for the Arts, the nation’s nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.
Raleigh Arts is pleased to name Kelly McChesney as Raleigh’s new Public Art Director.
The City of Raleigh is pleased to announce Kelly McChesney as Raleigh's new Public Art Director. The Public Art Director oversees the City of Raleigh’s growing public art program and is responsible for leading the development of public art across the city. In addition to administering Raleigh's Percent for Art program, the Public Art Director manages the Public Art and Design Board and oversees the citizen-initiated project process as well as an expanding portfolio of temporary and experimental public art projects.
Sarah Powers, Executive Director of Raleigh Arts shares “We are excited to have Kelly coming on board. After an extensive national search, we felt Kelly’s vision of what public art could be in our community was the best fit for Raleigh Arts. We also believe she will be an asset in implementing the Raleigh Arts Plan, which sets the goal to extend access to the arts to all parts of the community. She is not only well-qualified, but is incredibly well-respected in the creative community as an advocate for artists and as someone who has worked tirelessly to increase access to contemporary, experimental and new media art in the Triangle.”
Prior to joining Raleigh Arts, McChesney was the Executive Director of Lump and a board member of The Forge Initiative. Kelly co-curated Artist Inventor in 2015 and consistently worked with video artists, new media, and MIT Artist Residents through her work with Lump and Flanders Gallery. She won an Indies Art Award in 2016 for her support of artists and work building Flanders and Lump.
McChesney previously worked with Raleigh Arts in an advisory role on a City-wide strategic initiative to encourage collaboration between the art community and tech innovators. She was also a collaborator for international artist Olek’s Love Across the USA’s Nina Simone mural, a 40-foot crochet work located at the Raleigh Convention Center.
McChesney replaces Kim Curry-Evans, who joined Raleigh Arts as the Public Art Director in 2010.
The Office of Raleigh Arts supports and promotes the arts in Raleigh by administering the programs of the Arts Commission and the Public Art and Design Board, and supporting the Pullen and Sertoma arts centers. The Office of Raleigh Arts is a part of the City of Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.
Raleigh Arts Plan
The Office of Raleigh Arts led development of the Raleigh Arts Plan, a ten-year master plan to strengthen arts and culture for all of the City’s many communities and people. The planning process began in July 2014 and ended with City Council adoption of the Plan in February 2016.Learn more about Raleigh Arts Plan
Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers offer beginning, intermediate and advanced classes and workshops for adults in a variety of visual, performing and movement arts along with summer camps and visual and performing arts classes for preschool, youth and teens. Classes are offered year-round and are open to all.Learn more about Arts Centers
The Arts, by their very nature, celebrate who we are as individuals, as communities and as a nation. For three decades, the Office of Raleigh Arts has offered numerous opportunities for Raleigh residents to enjoy and participate in a wide range of arts activities.Learn more about Awards
The Block Gallery, located in the Raleigh Municipal Building, presents five to six exhibitions annually featuring artists who live or work in Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Orange or Wake County. Exhibitions are scheduled through a call for artists juried by visual arts professionals, Raleigh Arts Commissioners and City staff.Learn more about Block Gallery
Block2 Video Series
Raleigh Art's Block2 Video Series is a visual platform for video, digital and new media artists. Viewed after dark, the changing videos aim to expand a viewer's notion of what visual art is and introduce the community to new artists, ideas and experimental mediums.Learn more about Block2 Gallery
Community Programs: Pop-up Studios
Raleigh's newest art program, the Pop-up Studios, launched on January 7 at Walnut Creek Wetland Center. While at the Wetland Center, residents of all ages will have the opportunity to try new art materials and techniques in 39 free art activities, classes and workshops that will be hosted at the Wetland Center through February 21, 2018.
Pop-up Studios will move from community center to community center every two months. In March and April, Pop-up Studios will move to Laurel Hills Community Center before moving to the Tarboro Road Community Center/St. Monica Teen Center Campus in May and June.
All Pop-up Studio programs are free and materials are provided. Each program is limited to 12 participants; preregistration is encouraged, but walk ins are welcomed as long as space permits.
Pop-up Studios Schedule
The Arts Partners Program is the official vehicle for municipal support to the City's arts organizations. In operation since 1989, it has distributed over $26 million dollars to qualifying organizations. A major example of City Council's dedication to the cultural development of Raleigh, grants funding is supported currently by a $5.00 per capita allocation.Learn more about Grants
Municipal Art Collection
The Municipal Art Collection holds more than 600 fine art and public art pieces by local, state and national artists. Displayed throughout the City of Raleigh, the artworks include paintings, prints, drawings, textiles, posters and large-scale sculptures.Learn more about Municipal Art Collection
Public Art: Citizen-Initiated Projects
In 2014, Raleigh City Council approved the process for the review and acceptance of citizen-initiated public art projects on City property or City rights-of-way.Learn more about Public Art: Citizen-Initiated Projects
Public Art: Percent for Art
In 2009, Raleigh City Council established a Percent for Public Art program, allocating one-half percent of capital construction projects for public art. In 2016, the allocation was increased to one percent. Several projects involving local and national artists are currently in development to integrate public art into select Raleigh sites.Learn more about Public Art: Percent for Art
Public Art: Special Projects
Dynamic temporary public art projects including ART-ON-THE-MOVE, Art on City Plaza, Banjostand, the Before I Die wall and the Q-Art Code Project provide ongoing cultural enhancements for Raleigh's vibrant community.Learn more about Public Art: Special Projects
Ph 919-996-3610 | Fax 919-996-7154
127 West Hargett Street, Suite 408, Raleigh, NC 27601
PO Box 590, Raleigh, NC 27602
Sarah Powers | 919-996-4685
Arts Grant Director
Sarah Corrin | 919-996-4686
Arts Program Director
Belva Parker | 919-996-4683
Stacy Bloom Rexrode | 919-996-4687
Pullen Arts Center Director
Eliza Kiser | 919-996-4895
Sertoma Arts Center Director
Julia Meder | 919-996-2329