Southern Arts Opportunities

Southern Arts Opportunities

Artists have to discover the location (and lifestyle) that works best for their career. 

If you think New York is the only place with opportunities for artists, think again. There are plenty of successful artists that live throughout the South. Folklorists. Painters. Filmmakers. Crafters. Whether you live in Tallahassee or New Orleans, you can find thriving art communities and cultural centers that want to help you flourish as an artist. You just need to do the research and know where to look. Discovering the perfect experience may be in your very own backyard.

Ultimately, artists have to discover the location (and lifestyle) that works best for their career. This means actively finding new and inventive ways to put your work out there. Apply for calls for entry, fellowships, competitions, juried exhibitions, residencies – anything to feature your artwork in front of new audiences. 

Like most endeavors, building your creative practice and developing your professional development requires networking online and in your surrounding community. With the right opportunities and connections, building your career is possible wherever you reside. 

NYFA Source is an extensive nationwide database filled with artist-focused awards and services, for an array of disciplines.  Take a look at our instructions on how to search Source and discover opportunities in your region. 

Together we’ll rundown some of the opportunities that exist in the South using our website NYFA Source.

Cultural Organizations

Alternate ROOTS

Southern Region

Alternate ROOTS is a regional artist-driven organization which serves artists, activists and community  organizers based in the South. This membership organization actively addresses social and economic justice through strategic artistic development and cultural work.

Apply for their Community & Artist Partnership Program:

South Arts

Southern Region

South Arts supports individual artists and art service organizations throughout the southern United States, focusing primarily on professional development and increasing artist visibility. South Arts’ grants include Regional Touring, Literary Arts and Presenter Assistance initiatives.

Apply for their Presenter Assistance Award:

Fresh Arts


Fresh Arts is a nonprofit organization which provide artists with economic roadmaps, educational resources and networking opportunities to further develop their professional development.

Become a member of Fresh Arts:

Diverse Works


DiverseWorks  works closely with artists to foster civic participation and grow cultural innovation in the South. The community-centered organization serves as a social justice platform for emerging and mid-career artists.

Learn more about the Idea Fund grant:


North Carolina

Elsewhere initiates creative projects with multidisciplinary artists in Greensboro, North Carolina. Best known for their art residency program and education initiatives, the organization is a thriving collaborative.

Apply for their Art Residency Program:

Space One Eleven


Space One Eleven is an artists-run, visual arts center located in Birmingham, Alabama. The organization provides educational classes, youth mentorship and resources for artistic development.  
Teaching artists, learn more about City Arts:

Select Awards & Services in the South:


New Play Project – Charles M. Getchell Award

New Southern Voices Poetry Book Prize


Porter Fleming Literary Competition


Florida Division of Cultural Affairs – Artist Fellowship

Art Serve – Membership Organization


Kentucky Arts Council  – Artists Fellowships

The Kentucky Foundation for Women – Artist Enrichment Grant


Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge – Decentralized Arts Funding Program 

The New Orleans Photo Alliance – Michael P. Smith Fund For Documentary Photography


The Mississippi Film and Video Alliance

Mississippi Arts Commission – Artist Fellowships

North Carolina

Randolph Arts Guild – Regional Artist Grant

North Carolina Arts Council – Artist Fellowships

South Carolina

Charlotte Writers’ Club – Elizabeth Simpson Smith Short Story Award

Metropolitan Arts Council  – Artists Project Grant Program


Tennessee Arts Commission – Artist Fellowship

Knoxville Writers’ Guild – Writing Contests

The South is filled with wonderful artists and endless opportunities. Find the one that’s right for you. Do you have more questions about artist opportunities in your region? 

Send us your questions using the hashtag: #ArtistHotline and join the conversation on Twitter every third Wednesday of the month. Follow @nyfacurrent for updates.

Inspired by the NYFA Source Hotline, #ArtistHotline is a new initiative dedicated to creating an ongoing online conversation around the professional side of artistic practice. Our goal is to help artists discover the resources needed, online and off, to develop sustainable careers.

This initiative is supported by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation

– Glory Edim, Program Associate, Online Resources

Image: Joy Taylor (Fellow in Painting ‘15)

Amy Aronoff
Posted on:
Post author