Press Release

The Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) is pleased to announce the 2019-20 grantees for the Regional Artist Project Grant (RAPG), a program of the North Carolina Arts Council (NCAC). The RAPG program provides the opportunity for regional consortia of arts councils to award grants to artists within their regions. These grants support professional artists in any discipline, and at any stage in their careers to pursue projects that further their professional development. This year, a total of $12,000 was distributed to 11 artists.

RAPG is sponsored by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the Asheville Area Arts Council, Madison Arts Council, Toe River Arts Council, and additional support from Avery County.

Congratulations to the following 2019-2020 RAPG awardees:

Buncombe County

  • Katie Damien ($1,000): Financial support to attend a week of workshops and independent film screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival.
  • Renee Gaudet ($892): To purchase a professional grade jewelers steam cleaner necessary to flush the excess pigment used in concrete jewelry line.
  • Ursula Gullow ($1,050): Documentation and storage of work in two 2020 exhibitions based on daily self-portrait practice.
  • James Hendrickson ($1,000): Audio and video recording of original music at Echo Mountain Recording studio.
  • Joseph Herbst ($1,000)Support for performance of This is Our Environment; featuring original jazz, spoken word, environmental justice, stories and visuals.
  • Asher Leigh ($1,058): Assistance to purchase professional quality amplifier and microphone.
  • Ben Mackel ($1,200): Support to record a full-length solo album and marketing  campaign.
  • Cynthia Villa ($1,200): Financial support to attend an Alvin Ailey American Dance company 2020 fall intensive workshop.

Mitchell County

  • Elizabeth Brim ($1,200): Assistance in buying a TIG welder in order to work with new materials in a new way.
  • SaraBeth Post ($1,200): Funds to purchase equipment to expand the scale of glass production line.
  • Liz Zlot Summerfield ($1,200): Funds to support conversion of a studio building for metal work.

The grant recipients were chosen by a group of 16 volunteer peer review panelists who meet in October and November to review the applications. Panel members are artists, arts administrators, and respected community leaders from each of the participating counties, with expertise in one or more of the five categories [Visual 3-D, Visual 2-D, Ceramics, Performance, Media]. We truly thank these volunteers for their time and expertise.

The 2020-21 RAPG deadline will be in October 2020. Please check back for dates and application/information.

The Regional Artist Project Grant is a program of the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. Learn more at