On Monday, Oct. 30, ArtsAVL hosted the State of the Arts Brunch to provide an overview of the current health of Asheville’s creative sector, with remarks from ArtsAVL’s Executive Director Katie Cornell, City of Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, and Buncombe County Commissioner Vice Chair Terri Wells.
There are a few key takeaways from the brunch — let us paint you a picture.
An update to the Creative Economy Report originally released in May scaled back the number of industries included in the creative economy from 70+ to 56. The update showed that out of these 56 industries in Buncombe County, arts and entertainment made up 43.9% of a total of $969,363,253 in sales in 2022, with the leading core creative industry being historical sites.
The newly released Arts and Economic Prosperity Report detailed the economic impact of spending by nonprofit arts organizations and their audiences here in Buncombe County. The report shows that in 2022, arts-based nonprofits spent $25.3 million, and audiences generated $25.9 million in event-related spending — which supported 1,200 jobs, creating just shy of $13 million in tax revenue.
The NC state budget includes an extra $2.5 million toward the Grassroots Arts Program Grant Funding — a program ArtsAVL has been a funding partner for since 1979. However, due to a new provision barring counties with a population exceeding 250,000, Buncombe County is no longer qualified to receive this funding, meaning that the frequency and amount of grants ArtsAVL will be able to distribute in 2024-2025 will decrease.
Whether you’re an artist yourself or a supporter of our local scene, there are plenty of ways to become more ingrained in our arts community. On the ArtsAVL website, you can find opportunities for grant funding + volunteering, calls for artists, job postings, and more. Browse the directory to explore profiles of local artists, or purchase a SmART Pass subscription for discounts from participating arts organizations. Plus, you can always hitch a ride on the trolley every second Saturday to explore Asheville’s art scene.