Next Occurring: May 17, 2019

History of the Creative Sector Summit:

Our annual Creative Sector Summit’s goal is to create an ever more vibrant quality of life in Buncombe County by bringing together the creative sector and its partners for the realization of collaborative opportunities in community and economic development.

Since 2010 the Asheville Area Arts Council, in partnership with the City of Asheville, has convened the Creative Sector Summit, the region’s only creative industry specific annual conference. The  Summit is an initiative recommended by the 2009 Downtown Asheville Master Plan. Past partners and sponsors include the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, The Asheville Art Museum, The Asheville Community Theater, Handmade in America, The Asheville HUB Project, Arts North Carolina, the North Carolina State Arts Council, Land of Sky Regional Council, and affiliate organizations and individuals within the Asheville/Buncombe area creative sector.


9th Annual Summit

The Asheville Area Arts Council’s 9th Annual Creative Sector Summit will focus on the equity and inclusion of underrepresented artists in Buncombe County. Join us as we reflect on problematic historic issues, celebrate current successes, and strategize to increase arts access and opportunity for those that are empowering our community with art.

May 16, 2019 - May 17, 2019

8th Annual Summit

The Asheville Area Arts Council’s 8th annual Creative Sector Summit, presented by Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, will feature keynote speaker Bob Boilen, creator and host of NPR’s All Songs Considered and Tiny Desk Concert. Boilen will bring his stories and viewpoint as a journalist and artist on the music industry and the opportunities and challenges Asheville might expect as its music scene explodes. The Summit will also feature panels made up of locals who will discuss the economic impact case study of the Asheville music industry along with new collaborative initiatives to expand data on arts and culture to better understand and advocate for the creative sector of Buncombe County.

April 20, 2018 - April 20, 2018

7th Annual Summit | Friday, April 21, 2017

Join the AAAC and the City of Asheville on Friday, April 21 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm at The Collider where we will explore Innovation in the Arts by turning a microscope on our community. Together we will learn the steps we are taking and goals we can strive for to ensure our creative culture is at the heart of decisions that affect us all.

April 21, 2017 - April 21, 2017

6th Annual Summit

This 2016 Creative Sector Summit explored how arts education supports job creation in Buncombe County by developing 21st century skills in our future workforce. It was an opportunity for networking, creative problem solving, cross pollination of ideas, education, creation of sector advocacy, collaboration on initiatives and programs, and maximization of funding opportunities.

April 8, 2016 - April 9, 2016

5th Annual Summit

Our keynote speaker for 2015 was Anne Gadwa Nicodemus, one of the brilliant minds who wrote the well-respected seminal paper, Creative Placemaking, the report for the Mayors’ Institute of City Design (2010) that defined the field.

April 24, 2015 - April 25, 2015

4th Annual Summit

The theme of the 2014 Creative Sector Summit was Creating Economic Vitality through Arts & Tourism. Visitors coming to our region represent a huge potential customer base for our creative businesses

March 20, 2014 - March 22, 2014

3rd Annual Summit

The 2013 Creative Sector Summit focused on the importance of the relationship between arts and economic development, by bringing into focus opportunities to create jobs in the arts and how to utilize the vitalizing qualities of arts and culture to building community and the economy.

March 6, 2013 - March 8, 2013