Each year, United Arts awards grants to approximately 150 schools, 40 organizations and 20 individual artists. Through these grants, United Arts supports schools, organizations and municipalities whose work builds a better Wake County.

Artists in Schools grants, school grants, and youth arts grants support students, teachers, arts specialists, teaching artists, and administrators who are dedicated to making the arts a fundamental part of education.

Arts services grantscultural access grants, and arts for municipalities grants help nurture the arts in ethnically and geographically diverse populations. New generation grants are available to support up-and-coming initiatives and help young organizations develop their ability to produce arts programming. United Arts also provides financial support to individual artists and small, unincorporated groups of collaborating artists through professional development grants for artists.

The pandemic has been tough on everyone, particularly children, but bravery, perseverance and brilliance deserve to be celebrated. In trying times, hope always shines through.

In that spirit, our writing contest honors amazing kids like you.

Did you earn a new belt in martial arts? Nail a gymnastics move? Cope with a friend moving away? Deal with the illness of loss of someone you loved?  

Share a challenge you recently faced and how you overcame it in 250 words or less.

Deadline: Submissions will be accepted November 1-15, 2021.

Judges: Piedmont Laureate Kelly Starling Lyons and children’s book authors Judy Allen Dodson and Frances O’Roark Dowell

Sponsors: Lulu, Book Harvest, Quail Ridge Books, United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission


1st-3rd place winners: $50 Target card for 1st, $25 Target card for 2nd, $10 Target card for third. All will receive a Lulu bookmaking kit, notebook, pencil, bookmarks and a signed book written by each judge.

4th-10th place winners will receive a signed book written by each judge and a Lulu notebook, pencil and bookmark.

Questions about this contest should be directed to Kelly Starling Lyons at email@kellystarlinglyons.com.

Winners will be announced on December 15, 2021.

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County