AAAC - Katie Cornell

Katie Cornell

Executive Director

Bringing people together through the arts is Katie’s passion, and that is just what she tries to do as the Executive Director of the Asheville Area Arts Council. Along with AAAC’s dedicated Board of Directors, she works to amplify what is happening in Buncombe County’s vibrant arts communities and ensure the continued sustainability and growth of the area's richly diverse cultural sector. Katie has more than 19 years of experience working in the Asheville arts sector and holds a Master’s degree in Arts Leadership & Cultural Management from Colorado State University and a BA in Drama from UNC Asheville. She is the President of the Western Arts Agencies of North Carolina, and the Chair of both the City of Asheville’s Public Art & Cultural Commission and the ArtSpace Charter School Board. Katie also serves on the Buncombe County School Arts Advisory Council, the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce Business Association Committee, and the BCTDA’s Tourism Partner Organization Committee .


Phone: 828.258.0710


2020-21 Board of Directors

AAAC - Pete Perez - Chair

Pete Perez


Retired Corporate HR Manager

AAAC - Josh Batenhorst – Vice Chair

Josh Batenhorst

Vice Chair

CEO Bright Star Touring Theatre

AAAC - Noel Swartz – Treasurer

Noel Swartz


Shareholder, Johnson Price Sprinkle PA

AAAC - Gael Perry – Secretary

Gael Perry


Retired Marketing Director

AAAC - Ehren Cruz

Ehren Cruz

Performing Arts Director, LEAF Community Arts

AAAC - Bill Dorfman

Bill Dorfman

Retired School Master

AAAC - Michael Ebbs

Michael Ebbs

Vice President of Treasury Management Client Services

AAAC - David Feingold

David Feingold

General Manager and CEO of WCQS

AAAC - luke Lingle

Luke Lingle

Director of Community Development, Missional Wisdom Foundation

AAAC - Gar Ragland

Gar Ragland

Producer/President, NewSong Music

AAAC - Liz Whalen Tallent

Liz Whalen Tallent

Marketing & Special Events Director, The Orange Peel

AAAC - Eunice Ward

Eunice Ward

Retired Lawyer

Advisory Board

Jan Manes, Advisory Board Chair & Retired Professor
Karen Keil Brown, Artist
Robin Croog, Retired Business Executive
Mark Goldberg, Retired Executive
Susan Holden
Melissa Jacobs, Artist
Bruce Manes, Tax Manager, Carol L. King & Associates, P. A.
Michael Manes, Gallery Director, Blue Spiral 1
Cherry Saenger, Retired Professor
Larry Turner, Artist

Arts Leadership Council

Stephanie Hickling Beckman, Different Strokes Performing Arts Collective
John Ellis, Retired Arts Advocate
Rae Geoffrey, Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
Steven Hageman, NC Stage Company
Susan Harper & Chanda Calentine, Asheville Community Theatre
Stephanie Moore, Center for Craft
Pam Myers, Asheville Art Museum
Jennifer Pickering, LEAF Global Arts
John Russell, Montford Park Players
David Whitehill, Asheville Symphony Orchestra