Last Updated on May 10, 2023
Western North Carolina’s many local art galleries and museums have always been exciting destinations for lovers of visual arts. But more importantly, art spaces add new life and a sense of identity to our neighborhoods, contributing to the many ways there are to Live Abundantly in WNC.
Today, we’re shining a spotlight on one local organization that helps coordinate and promote those efforts. We invite you to learn more about the Haywood County Arts Council and how you can help them meet their mission.
What is the Haywood County Arts Council?
The history of the Haywood County Arts Council began in 1977 through the passion and action of dedicated volunteers. This year, the Council celebrates 45 years of promoting artists, art education, and innovation in art for the enrichment of the community. Gallery 86 is their visual arts gallery on Main Street in Waynesville, NC.
What do they do?
HCAC enhances arts awareness and participation through three core pathways:
Promote – HCAC promotes local artists and their works through a variety of programs and promotions. The Council hosts gallery exhibits, as well as a retail gallery. They feature a special artist each month on their website, through Instagram takeovers, and in their “Artist Interview Series” series. HCAC also facilitates partnership opportunities and artist participation in a variety of local and regional arts programs. Lastly, HCAC is a valuable resource to local artists for upcoming grant and workshop opportunities.
Engage – HCAC hosts or sponsors a variety of public events, receptions, and workshops to promote arts awareness and engagement in the community. Upcoming events include the Living with Pride, WNC Student Artists, and Our Member’s Summer exhibits. In September, HCAC hosts the two-day, self-guided Haywood County Studio Tour. During the tour, artists invite visitors into their studios to meet the artist, view demonstrations, and buy local art. The Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival in October is HCAC’s annual fundraiser. The festival includes award-winning bluegrass bands, music-themed vendors, artist member demonstrations and artwork, a child and adult playground, and local drinks and food.
Celebrate – Every program, from gallery openings to fundraisers to the interview series to creation classes, is designed with one objective at the forefront: to celebrate the community’s involvement in the arts.
How can I support the Haywood County Arts Council?
Make a donation
HCAC depends on contributions to support their exhibits, programs, and events. Choose from one of several levels and gift options to make your one-time or monthly donation. In addition, the Council is currently running a Love the Arts Main Street Campaign. The campaign has a goal of $100,000 and asks for five-year pledges to help sustain the organization annually for the next five years. Different levels of giving and naming opportunities are available through the campaign.
Sponsor a program
HCAC programs are focused on promoting and creating experiences around traditional Appalachian craft. Sponsorships help keep program fees low, support marketing initiatives, and help pay artists living wages. All program sponsorships and gallery sponsorships are recognized when promoting the program or exhibit. In addition, HCAC is looking for event sponsors to help promote their annual Haywood County Studio Tour and Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival.
Volunteer your time
HCAC invites local artists and community members to contribute their skills to regular events and special volunteer projects. Docenting is perhaps the most important volunteer activity anyone can donate to HCAC. Docents keep the gallery open and allow HCAC to promote and sell artist member artwork. In addition, HCAC’s quilt block program is almost 100% volunteer run.
Get more by giving back
At Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks, we believe that everyone should have the opportunity and means to Live Abundantly in WNC. Donate time and money to an organization like the Haywood County Arts Council that means something to you. Reach out to the Haywood County Arts Council or contact your Allen Tate/Beverly-Hanks agent to learn about local arts nonprofits in your community.
Haywood County Arts Council
86 N Main Street, Waynesville | (828) 452-0593 | haywoodarts.org