The Orange County Arts Commission, located in Hillsborough, is an agency of Orange County government. We work to develop the arts in Orange County, North Carolina, which includes the towns of Chapel Hill, Carrboro, & Hillsborough.
Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.
Created on February 4, 1985 by Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), the Orange County Arts Commission is the non-partisan countywide arts agency that provides funding and support for a broad range of high quality arts programs. Nominated by the BOCC as the Local Distributing Agent (now called Designated County Partner) and approved by the NC Arts Council in 1985, the Arts Commission awards state Grassroots Arts Program funds in Orange County, adhering to state program guidelines. The Arts Commission also awards county-funded arts grants, sponsors programs, serves as an arts information clearinghouse, and runs a community arts space, the Eno Arts Mill.
Keeping with the forward-thinking character of Orange County, the OCAC is one of very few Local Arts Agencies housed within county government within the state of North Carolina. It is funded through hotel occupancy tax collected by Orange County. Of the 3% tax allocation that funds the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau, approximately 10% of that allocation funds the OCAC. In 2021, a new 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, the Orange County Arts Alliance, was created to fundraise for the OCAC and the arts community as a whole.