2020 Highlights

Surveys Conducted

Partnerships Formed

Meetings Attended

Emails Sent

Dollars Granted

This has not been a typical year by any stretch of the imagination, but it is times like these when the services the arts council provides are most important. We rolled up our sleeves and have worked tirelessly since March to ensure that our arts sector was not left behind.

Arts organizations were among the first to have to close their doors, and many have suffered substantial losses. Asheville Area Arts Council’s latest impact survey shows $18.7 million in lost revenue from the 100+ local arts organizations that completed it. For perspective, there are (were) almost 500 arts organizations and close to 10,000 creative jobs in Buncombe County before the pandemic.

Focus Areas

We fulfill our mission to keep the arts at the heart of our community by supporting arts organizations and artists in Buncombe County through Advocacy, Public Art, and Services for Creatives. Some highlights from our work this year include:


Public Art

Coming Up in 2021!

Asheville Skyline

Winter Buzz Breakfast Speaker Series

In lieu of the Creative Sector Summit, Asheville Area Arts Council has partnered with Leadership Asheville for the 2021 Winter Buzz Breakfast series. Four virtual events featuring national speakers will take place from January to April. The theme of this series is Equity in Creative Placemaking and topics will range from Confederate Monuments to the role of the arts in community health. More details coming soon…

Protest Murals

Protest Mural Discussion

In the wake of the death of George Floyd earlier this year, several large protests took place downtown Asheville. During this time, the storefronts of many businesses were boarded up with plywood donated by Lowe’s Home Improvement. A group of local mural artists seized this opportunity to capture the movement in a series of powerful murals. Now, there are differing opinions on what to do with them. The arts council will help facilitate community discussions to determine a long-term solution for this collection. 

CFWNC logo

Arts Benefit Series

Asheville Area Arts Council will host a series of 10 performances in Pack Square Park (or virtually if necessary) in spring 2021. A suggested donation will be collected from attendees to benefit that evening’s featured nonprofit arts organization. The main purpose of this series is to raise awareness about the impact of coronavirus on our local creative sector, and create momentum as we move towards recovery. The full line-up will be announced early next year.

Join Us!

Since 1952, the Asheville Area Arts Council has been supporting the arts in Buncombe County. We believe the arts are the cornerstone of what makes the Asheville area such a great place to live in and visit, and that investing in the arts is a real investment in Buncombe County. Join us by becoming a member and/or making a donation today.