NOTICE: The 2024 Artists Support Grant will open on July 22!

2023-2024 Artist Support Grants Awarded!

Waynesville, NC – The Haywood County Arts Council along with regional partners including the Arts AVL, Transylvania Community Arts Council, the Tryon Fine Arts Center, and the Arts Council of Henderson County, announce the 2023-2024 Artist Support Grant awardees. Grants were provided to 21 artists in Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Rutherford, and Transylvania counties, also called Region 17. 

The Artist Support Grant was created in 2020 to support individual artists during the pandemic and has quickly become a staple for local artists. According to the North Carolina Arts Council website, the Artist Support Grants are intended to support “the professional and artistic development of emerging, mid-career, and established artists” as they strive to enhance their artistic and business skills and expand their audiences.

Region 17 received applications from 79 artists requesting funding just under $200,000 with $44,000 available to award. Applicants could request as much as $3000 to support the completion and presentation of new work, career promotion, training, and travel. New this year, artists were also able to include a budget item to pay for their time to create. “As an artist myself, I understand how impactful these funds can be to an artist and am grateful to the North Carolina Arts Council for providing the funds,” says Tonya Harwood, HCAC Executive Director and the lead organization managing the grant. Jurors were selected from throughout Region 17, with each juror having expertise in the discipline that they judged. Harwood expressed appreciation for the juror panelists, “Each panelist donated considerable time to ensure a professional and equitable evaluation.”  

The 21 artist awardees represent the disciplines of visual, performing, literature, and interdisciplinary arts. Haywood County has two awardees with a total grant amount of $5,003 awarded. 

The Haywood County Arts Council and its regional partners congratulate the 2023-2024 awardees. More information can be found at

Amanda Janes is a potter and multimedia artist whose work centers around Appalachian food culture and local plant life. With a BFA from Western Carolina University, she explores the connections between nostalgia and how we create community in the modern world. “I’m delighted and deeply thankful to everyone involved in making grants like these possible. A research kiln will make a massive impact on my small business, and I’m honored by the opportunity to contribute to our vibrant arts community here in the mountains.”

A.C. Bell is also a potter, originally from Chicago, IL. She began taking classes and working as a studio monitor, moving into teaching kids classes and introductory classes for adults. In 2021, after going as far as she could taking classes at art centers and craft schools, she moved to North Carolina for the Professional Craft Program at Haywood Community College. “I’m so excited to be receiving the Artist Support Grant, which will help me purchase a kiln for my home studio. Having a kiln at home in Canton will save me a lot of time and stress transporting delicate work into Asheville, where I’m currently firing work, and will give me more freedom to make and experiment in my art practice!” says Bell.

Logots for the North Carolina Arts Council, Haywood Arts Council, Asheville Area Arts Council, RCAC, Transylvania Arts Council and Tryon Fine Arts Center

Grassroot Grants:

Round One Awardees and Their Activities:

Arc of Haywood County: Provides funds for various art projects to all of our clients with IDD.

Downtown Waynesville Commission:

  • Project One: Supports Eastern Band of Cherokee participation in the Haywood Heritage Weekend which is aimed at defining the various aspects of Haywood County’s rich Appalachian culture and showcasing the institutions that preserve and enrich this heritage.
  • Project Two: Provides payment for an artist to create a mural for an alleyway connecting Main Street and Wall Street. The current design concept includes a variety of vintage photographs of Historic Waynesville and Main Street, displayed against a backdrop of mountains.

First United Methodist Church: Arts for Afterschool creates opportunities for students to engage in art and community with caring adults. Grant funding pays for necessary materials and compensate local artists to teach lessons during regularly scheduled, already established, well attended after school programming.

HART: Supports a series of classes in spring of 2024 to expand our community’s knowledge of the theatrical arts.

Haywood Community Band: Provides funds to purchase music and cover various operational expenses. 

Haywood Choral SocietyProvides operational support for a singing opportunity for members of the local community that leads to two public concerts between July 1, 2023 and June 30, 2024. 

Voices of the Laurel: In the spring of 2024 Voices in the Laurel will provide adults and children in the Voices program with high-quality multi-cultural musical experiences, including regional guest instructors and local professional musicians to enhance the program. 

Round Two Awardees and Their Activities:

The Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) is excited to announce that four local organizations were awarded collectively almost $11,000 through the Grassroots Grant program round 2 funding. “This funding is in addition to the more than $27,000 granted out to local organizations during the round 1 subgrant process in late 2023” says Tonya Harwood, HCAC Executive Director. “We are so grateful to our legislators and the North Carolina Arts Council for bringing these funds into our local community to support the arts.”

Folkmoot: Folkmoot LIVE! is a performance series featuring the finest musicians, dancers and storytellers working today! The 2024 season will spotlight different regions of the globe each month with an Asian inspired performance in February and a Latin American inspired performance in May. “With the support of the HCAC Grassroots Grant, Folkmoot USA is able to present An Evening of Eastern Culture featuring “Asian Soundscapes” created by Min Xiao-Fen. Prepare yourself for extraordinary performances by Min Xiao-Fen on the Chinese pipa, Mari Ohta on the Japanese koto, Thom Nguyen on the drums and the Gamelan Ensemble of Warren Wilson College on Thursday, February 22.”

HART:  Funds will cover theatrical rights for a five-show lineup in HART’s studio series, enabling local artists to share personal stories, perform dream roles, and gain directing experience. “We are so excited to have been awarded part of the Round 2 Grassroots Grant, supercharging our Winter Studio Season! This program thrives on community-driven passion projects, and the grant means we can turn more dreams into reality. It’s a game-changer, taking off the financial load and letting creativity shine in our theatre community.” – Candice Dickinson, Artistic Director, HART Theatre

Haywood Community Band: Funds will be used to pay a conductor and assistant conductor for the 2024 season. Conductors are responsible for choosing the music and preparing the band for performances. The season includes a minimum of six performances and a full schedule of weekly rehearsals. “Stephen Razo and his assistant, Jenna Misch, will share the podium beginning in May at the Maggie Valley Pavilion. Mr. Razo is an experienced conductor of both military and community bands. He appeared with HCB in 2022 to conduct the premier of his published work, On the Blue Ridge.” – Mary K. Thomas, HCB Outreach Chairman

Haywood Community College Foundation: HCC will celebrate their 60th anniversary by commissioning local artists to display their work on campus. This activity will tie in with their world renowned Professional Crafts program and add another layer to inviting the community onto their beautiful campus to experience quality art. “The Haywood Community College Foundation is excited to celebrate our 60th Anniversary in 2025 by creating a new art trail showcasing local artists. HCC is an anchor for our community and should be enjoyed by all. This gives visitors another reason to come on campus.” – Hylah Birenbaum Executive Director of College Advancement