Residents at a North Carolina-based American Indian nursing facility will soon be able to participate in a cultural arts program thanks to federal grant funding.  

The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that funds and promotes the arts, awarded a $10,000 grant to Western Carolina University. 

The university will hold the program at the Tsali Care Center, a 60-bed nursing facility in Cherokee, NC, and classes will be taught by artists with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians artists. Most residents at the facility are also tribal members. 

“This grant was sought in response to Tsali Care Center’s interest in having more culturally focused activities for its residents,” said Turner Goins, a gerontological social work professor at Western Carolina University who will lead the project. 

“It is exciting to be able to partner with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in this way,” she added. 

The agency’s Challenge America program is funding the grant. Projects selected for the grant must have strong public engagement, encourage lifelong learning in the arts and strengthen the community through the arts. 

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support grants throughout the entire country that connect people through shared experiences and artistic expression,” NEA Arts Endowment Chair Mary Anne Carter said. “These projects provide access to the arts for people of all abilities and backgrounds in both urban centers and rural communities.”