Now recruiting neighbors

Live the arts … in Kinston, N.C.

The smART Kinston City Project Foundation is now accepting spring applications for its Artist Relocation Program, which seeks to grow the creative economy of Kinston, N.C. by bringing in artists of all genres.

The deadline for spring applications is May 5, 2017.

From glass-blowers and painters to the culinary arts, Kinston’s Arts and Cultural District was tailor-made for arts entrepreneurs, as all of our beautifully reconstructed historic properties are zoned for commercial and residential use. Artists live, work and sell their products straight out of their own home.

Artists accepted into the program are eligible for up to $1,500 in moving costs and another $1,500 in arts supplies reimbursement.

Apply today!


The smART Kinston City Project Foundation Artist Relocation Package is designed to incentivize artists to move to the Arts & Cultural District in downtown Kinston. The package includes artistic, business, housing and financial assistance. There are a variety of living spaces available for rent and sale – houses, apartments and duplexes – and the smART Kinston Foundation will help artists identify which homes are best suited to their needs and what else they might require to meet those needs.


The smART Kinston City Project Foundation is seeking artists of all genres and mediums to come to downtown Kinston to live and work. All artists, whether full- or part-time, must demonstrate high quality work in their chosen field/medium. All artists are expected to hold regular studio/gallery hours that are open to the public for sales, tours and simple meet-and-greets. Artists also are asked to give back to the broader Kinston community in a manner that is up to the individual artist based on medium, physical space and current needs.


Applications can be submitted via the website, while pictures and descriptions of work samples can be emailed or mailed. Applications are considered year-round as they are received. The applications will be reviewed by a selection committee. If the candidates makes it to the next round, an interview will be conducted either in-person or via video conferencing. Artists must be accepted by a majority vote of the selection committee. Artist must sign a year’s lease. After the first year, the lease will run month-to-month.


Artists are invited to live and work in a variety of restored homes in the Kinston Arts and Cultural District. Available properties are marked on the map below.

Incentive Package Details

Housing/living: Affordable rent. Purchase options

  • All artists moving to the Arts and Cultural District, whether renting or buying, will receive a $1,500 move-in grant that can be used for relocation expenses, rent, food, or any other necessary living expense. These funds are not intended to be used for art equipment.
  • The Chamber of Commerce and the Lenoir County Committee of 100 also have relocation packages for new residents, whether renting or buying, that includes a package of local gift certificates and discounts.
  • Self-Help Credit Union is offering a special program for artists relocating to the Arts & Cultural District that reduces the qualifying interest rate by 2% on loans up to $2,000.

 Artistic: The goal of the Arts and Cultural District neighborhood is for artists to live and produce in the neighborhood – in their homes.

  • Whether renting or purchasing, smART Kinston Foundation will offer a one-time grant of up to $1,500 toward the purchase of equipment such as kilns, paints, recording equipment, etc., after submission of an itemized request.
  • Self-Help Credit Union is offering a special program for artists relocating to the Arts & Cultural District that reduces the qualifying interest rate by 2% on loans up to $2,000.
  • Artists may apply each year for a $3,000 competitive grant from the smART Kinston Foundation for projects focusing on public art creation and community involvement. Two of these grants may be awarded each year.
  • Available studio and gallery space outside the ACD itself.

Business: Being able to make a living off of art is a key component of recruiting artists to Kinston’s Art and Cultural District.

  • The smART Kinston Foundation will offer basic e-commerce webpages through our website. The smART Kinston Foundation can help artists set up and maintain these pages. There is a 25% commission charged on anything sold through the website.
  • The smART Kinston Foundation offers basic/in-kind PR/marketing assistance to artists through our social media and print communications, while the KCCA, the Kinston-Lenoir County Chamber of Commerce and Pride also all offer opportunities for PR/marketing assistance.

The Lenoir Community College Small Business Center and other community resources offer classes, workshops and guidance for how artists can turn their craft into a sustainable business models, as well access to loans/grants.

Download full details of the Artist Relocation Package in pdf

“It seemed like a cool place to be a part of something. It’s a small town with a movement.”

Caitlin G.

smART Artist and founder, Stink Pretty Smell Goods

Relocation Package Application

smART Kinston Artist Relocation Package Applicationt
  • Describe what kind of art you do and why...
  • Describe you experience as an artist. You may also upload photos & images.
  • Uploads must be jpg, gif, or png. Each image must be less than 3MB.
    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png.
  • Why do you want to move to Kinston’s Arts & Cultural District?
  • Please include reference name, relationship, and best contact method. At least one professional reference is preferred.
  • Describe any Felony Convictions (not necessarily a disqualifier)