Blue Ridge Craft Trails Bring Listening Session to Cherokee

The Museum of the Cherokee Indian will play host to the second in a series of listening sessions to help create a new craft trail across our mountains.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area seeks ideas and suggestions to develop the Blue Ridge Craft Trails over the next few years. People interested in Western North Carolina’s rich craft heritage are invited to attend the session 2-4 p.m. July 13 at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, 159 Chestnut St., Blowing Rock.

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area’s latest trail initiative will encourage cultural tourism and strengthen rural economies by promoting the region’s many craft artists, craft schools, local arts businesses and venues. The online project promises to link traditional and contemporary artisans with more visitors to studios and galleries.

Seven listening sessions have been scheduled across the region. Craft artists, gallery owners, arts groups, businesses and anyone interested are invited to attend and offer their comments. Other meetings will be held 2-4 p.m. on the following dates and locations:
•July 18 – Museum of the Cherokee Indian, Cherokee
•August 1 – Tryon Arts & Crafts, Tryon
•August 3 – Yadkin Valley Cultural Arts Center, Yadkinville
•August 8 – John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown
•August 24 – Penland School of Crafts, Penland
•August 31 – Southern Highland Craft Guild, Folk Art Center, Asheville

“We envision the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina as an online roadmap to guide visitors through our rich craft heritage and connect personally with artisans in our mountain communities,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

“We’re building on the pioneering work of HandMade In America in the 1990s, which started the original Craft Heritage Trails of WNC. We want to update that guide for the Internet age and provide new opportunities for the next generation of crafters, collectors and visitors,” Chandler said.

The professional craft industry generates more than $206 million in annual business across 25 Western North Carolina counties, according to a 2008 economic study.

2017 – 18 Grassroots Sponsorship Applications Available



The Jackson County Arts Council is now accepting applications for
Grassroots sponsorship for 2017-18.  Grassroots Sponsorships are awarded
to organizations in all cultural disciplines through a competitive
application and review process. This sponsorship program is funded in part
by the North Carolina Arts Council and by the fundraising efforts of the
Jackson County Arts Council.  The deadline for applications is June 30,

Grassroots sponsorships are intended to:
•     Provide modest funding for events/projects and publicity/advertising for
Artist Groups/ Artist organizations that will enhance the presence of art
events in Jackson County
•     Support opportunities for Jackson County residents to participate in new
and thought-provoking art events in MUSIC, VISUAL ART, THEATER, DANCE, and
•     Celebrate the traditional arts and cultures of Jackson County as well as
the multicultural aspect of arts in general.

Please go to for more information and to download the application




Western Carolina Civic Orchestra Student Awards

WCU students Ashton Parker and Tyronne Kiaku were co- winners of the 2017 Western Carolina Civic Orchestra Concerto Competition. Both are juniors in the WCU School of Music.
Their cash award was presented by Gayle Woody, President of the Jackson County Arts Council.
“It was fitting to present these awards to these two talented young people on the day we are honoring Mr. William Henigbaum’s 96th birthday. Just as he inspired so many with his musical leadership, these young musicians are the future to ensure his legacy lives on.” said Woody during the presentation. The Jackson County Arts Council sponsored the awards and held a reception to honor Mr. Henigbaum following the Western Carolina Civic Orchestra’s Concert.

Jackson County Student Art Contest

The students of Jackson County presented their creative visual art in an exhibit at the Sylva Library April 11th through April 27th when the event culminated in an awards presentation.

The juried art ranged in scope from visualization of how to care for this highly diversified area of our country, to how we fail to care for the beauty that surrounds us. Public, private, chartered, virtual and homeschoolers represented Jackson County from Cashiers to Sylva.
A blind jurying process prohibited artist-jurors from any knowledge of names, schools, age or sex of each student. Jurors studied the art for content, message, interpretation and creativity.
For the second consecutive year, Assistant Professor of Art Education from WNC College of Art and Design, Erin Tapley, brought her years of knowledge and expertise to the table.
Ms Tapley has shown in 23 personal exhibits over 13 states across America. She has also received nine prestigious awards and grants in her field
Though student-juror from Southwestern Community College, River McBride, is a newcomer to Jackson County, she had been involved in both visual and performing arts since early childhood. River’s talent extends over a broad area of multi-media visual arts, however she excels in the genre of ink portraiture.
Of necessity, River recused herself from judging any submissions where she recognized either the art or knew the artist.
John Miele, owner and manager of The Golden Carp in Dillsboro, added a fresh dimension with his vast experience in the illustrative arena of fashion design.
While serving as Director of the Fashion Illustration Department at the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, he was a frequent contributor in magazines such as Bazaar, House and Garden, and Mademoiselle.
Winners by age division, are as follows:
FIRST PLACE: Mia Kaylor, kindergarten, Blue Ridge School; Hunter Mc Bride, 5th grade, Homeschool; Zoe McBride, 8th grade, International Connections Academy.
SECOND PLACE: Addison Wilson, kindergarten, Cullowheev Valley; Lurae Mackey, 2nd grade, Mt Discovery Charter School; Angela Hernandez, Blue Ridge Early College.
THIRD PLACE: Heidi Rose Dinkelmeyer, 2nd grade, Cullowhee Valley; Jenny Contreras, Blue Ridge School; Fisher Druffel,10th grade, Blue Ridge School.
HONORABLE MENTION: Logan Leamon, 6th grade, Homeschool; Alicia McCoy, 7th grade, Blue Ridge Early College; Kamren Leamon, 10th grade, Smoky Mt. High; Barrett Yanik, 4th grade, Summit Charter School; Tristen Fisher, 2nd grade, Blue Ridge School.
The art contest was made possible by the Jackson County Farmers Market; Jackson County Public Library; The SYLVA Herald; Jackson Council Arts Council; Sow TRUE Seed, Asheville; and Kel-Save Drugs, Sylva.
Submitted by: Carol McCrite