LEAF easel rider visual arts with artist Edwin Salas. Photo credit: LEAF Global Arts.
Buncombe County is proud to sponsor this program.
August 2, 2023 – Asheville, N.C. | Twenty Buncombe County organizations have been awarded Arts Build Community (ABC) grants from ArtsAVL. This year’s grants, which range from $1,000 to $2,500, will support programs and initiatives in areas including storytelling, Black history, musical theatre, arts programming for veterans, comedy, community arts and dance, creative placemaking, programming for queer and trans youths, and more.
ABC grants go to local organizations that play a vital role in the creation of thriving, sustainable neighborhoods, cities, and regions. Applicants must share how the arts are central to their programs and note how Buncombe County residents will benefit. Priority is given to projects based in under-resourced communities, including those that work with people whose incomes are below the federal poverty threshold, youth, Black and Indigenous people of color, and people with disabilities. Funds from the ABC grant may be used to cover expenses such as art supplies, professional artists’ fees and travel, space rental, advertising, marketing and publicity, website and electronic media, scripts, costumes, sets, props, music and equipment rental.
Awarded projects highlight the importance of the arts for building and maintaining strong connections and for empowering community members. We are thrilled to announce the following recipients:
- The American Myth Center: will develop its show, The 3 Little Pigs and the Red Line, for touring performances in Buncombe County libraries
- Asheville Community Theatre: will continue its partnership with Cenzontle, a local language justice organization, for a live Spanish translation of The 39 Steps
- Asheville Symphony Orchestra: will use funding to support its youth education program, Young People’s Concerts, programmed for Buncombe County and Asheville City fifth graders
- Black Wall Street: will develop and realize an art installation located at 346 Depot St., featuring title deeds and images of houses and businesses previously located in the historic Southside
- Casa Soul: with Rueda de Casino, will continue to offer a Cuban dance and music series that promotes dance expansion, cultural awareness, fun and community building
- Delta House: will provide low-income students and adults with hands-on activities culturally significant to art, history, and music connecting past, present, and future
- James Vester Miller Trail: will continue to support the creation of a traveling mural painted by local artist Jenny Pickens honoring James Vester Miller
- LEAF Global Arts: will support a Visiting Artist Residency at Emma Elementary with Las Cafeteras, culminating in a student performance at LEAF Retreat
- Melanie Ida Chopko: will produce a multi-racial show at Different Wrld featuring songwriters and comedians
- North Carolina Stage Company: will restart its Community Engagement Tour, working to build relationships in the community by bringing performances and educational workshops to diverse locations, including schools, veterans’ homes, correctional facilities, and transitional housing facilities
- OpenDoors Asheville: funding will provide arts access to low-income students of color by paying for glassblowing, 2D art, pottery and filmmaking classes
- Playground Stage Children’s Theatre: will produce the Summer Fairy Musical, a collaborative, full-length show featuring children and their families
- Shiloh Community Garden: will create a mural of wildflowers and insects on their farm shed with the help of a paid team of volunteers and youth, and will finish the Historic Figures of Shiloh Series
- STM Multimedia: will fund The Shooting Range Project, which aims to enhance and expand the knowledge of photojournalism and the power of photography to youth ages 13-18
- Story Parlor: funds will support the Story/Arts residency, which uplifts the voices of local artists from underrepresented communities by providing them a platform for their stories
- Under Wing Therapeutic Services: will use funds to host Makerspace, a therapeutic, pop-up community arts events for autistic children and families
- Warrior Moms: will fund Warrior Women Rising, a storytelling healing production tour that creates an authentic and transparent space for BIPOC women to share, heal, and create art, culminating in an event hosted at Black Wall Street
- Wortham Center for the Performing Arts: will develop PATRIOT, a residency in partnership with Black Box Theater and veterans from Veteran Treatment Court and Brothers and Sisters Like These, to serve local veterans and military personnel
- Youth Artists Empowered: will install raised garden beds and mural art in collaboration with Southside Community Youth in a project of creative placemaking at the Dr. Wesley Grant, Sr. Center
- Youth OUTright: will purchase art supplies for its monthly in-person meet-ups for Queer and Trans youth
Now in its sixth year, the ABC grant inspires civic engagement, involvement, local pride, and a sense of ownership and connection. According to Americans for the Arts (AFTA), “86% of participants who took part in community-based art want to be involved in future projects, and people living where these art projects occurred were more than twice as likely to be civically engaged as those whose neighborhoods did not have projects.” ArtsAVL is proud to support these projects. We also want to thank the following grant sponsors, who help make our work possible: Buncombe County, Pete & Cindy Perez, Robert & Karen Milnes, and Kaye & Todd Phillips.