Our local arts sector is changing rapidly. In the last five years, the revenue generated by our local nonprofits has gone up by more than 60 percent, and creative industry sales are now over $1.4 billion each year. This growth brings new opportunities and challenges, and the Asheville Area Arts Council must evolve to ensure that our creative sector remains strong and vibrant.

After a thorough assessment of our current offerings and community needs, the arts council is taking proactive steps to shift to a new business model. Our role as your arts council is to advocate for the arts in Asheville through strategic partnerships, research initiatives, marketing, and direct support for our local arts organizations and artists. We are making adjustments to ensure that our programs are effective, sustainable, and in total alignment with our core focus. We believe that this is the best course of action for both the Asheville Area Arts Council and the communities we serve.

Starting in January, you will see the launch of our inaugural arts sector survey. The results of this survey will be presented at the first-ever State of the Arts Dinner to kick-off the Creative Sector Summit in late April/ early May (exact dates TBA). We will also begin a new speaker series in January leading up to the Creative Sector Summit to start community conversations around the themes of this year’s expanded 2-day summit. More details coming soon! 

We firmly believe the arts are the cornerstone of what makes the Asheville area such a great place to live in and visit. It is clear the creative sector has a major impact on our local economy. But, that’s not all the arts do for Buncombe County. The arts define the identity of our community through creative placemaking, programs, and attractions. In addition, the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, gender, or class by creating a safe space for community conversations and cultural understanding. And finally, the arts are proven to enrich our educational systems and improve the overall health of our citizens. In short, investing in the arts is a real investment in Buncombe County. 

Support artists, arts organizations, and our local community by making a gift to the Asheville Area Arts Council today!