This is an exciting time for the Arts in Buncombe County, as the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) is moving locations, from 346 Depot St. in the River Arts District to the downtown Grove Arcade suite 144 and 143A, in order to expand its exhibitions and launch new programs. Executive Director, Kitty Love, signed a lease for two spaces inside the Arcade. Opening in August 2014, the AAAC will continue to host Point of View: Artists Curate Artists gallery exhibitions, as well as expand resources for artists by developing the Artist Resource Center (ARC).
The ARC is a space dedicated to hosting classes, workshops, and exhibitions for creative people in our community. Point of View, Artist curate Artists Exhibitions invites area professional artists to play the unique role as curator. Exhibitions are based on artistic merit, regardless of commercial value and and intended to illuminate the breadth and depth of Asheville/Buncombe’s creative sector. Upcoming artist workshops include an eight-week curriculum developed by NCReal, in partnership with arts and economic development organizations. The curriculum focuses on business planning for craft artists. The ARC will also serve as a digital lab for AAAC member use, outfitted with computer monitors, scanners, and digital image software. Funding from the Windgate Charitable Foundation and other community partners has made this space for digital creativity possible, and AAAC plans on continuing fundraising capital to keep the ARC updated and accessible.
The ARC is part of the AAAC 2014-2018 strategic plan for fostering creative entrepreneurship. AAAC provides resources for artists who want to support their profession with smart business practices. Classes on business, entrepreneurship, and finance will be offered in the ARC space. The AAAC currently offers a certificate in Creative Business Management through a collaborative program with Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. The course delves into topics such as effective marketing and financial management; similar classes have been offered in the Depot Street gallery over the past two years in collaboration with HandMade in America and the River Arts District Business Association. The move to the Grove Arcade gives the AAAC space to grow in order to continue expanding the series of classes and innovative exhibitions.
Additionally, the new space will provide support for access to the new AshevilleArtsAlive.com, a comprehensive art, culture and entertainment calendar and directory. This project represents a partnership between the AAAC and Asheville Convention and Visitor's Bureau.