The smART Kinston City Project Foundation recruits pioneering artists of all genres to relocate to Kinston and help build our creative economy. Relocated artists – who we affectionately refer to as smARTists – live and work in restored historic homes in the Arts & Cultural District, a diverse and walkable neighborhood just next to downtown.

SmART Kinston provides relocated artists with affordable housing within the Arts & Cultural District. Most homes have space for an in-home studio. In exchange for subsidized rent, smARTists are expected to participate in Open Studios on a regular basis, participate in smARTist community events, and engage with the local community.


We are particularly interested in applications from local art teachers, metal smiths, textile artists, and woodworkers.

More than anything, we’re looking for artists with a daily artistic practice that are entrepreneurial, self-directed, and community-minded.

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 and engage with the broader Kinston/Lenoir County community. Accepted artists must sign a year-long lease and contract with a commitment of at least one year in the program. Artists are invited to commit to another year after an annual review to determine mutual fit with the program and artist’s goals.

How to apply

We ask that you submit an application through our online portal and email work samples to All applications are reviewed by a selection committee and take 2-3 months to process, pending housing availability.