The Watauga Arts Council seeks to bring Art to the forefront of the High Country through advocacy, education, engagement, support, and inspiration. We are dedicated to enriching the lives of residents and visitors alike. The High Country is a naturally beautiful place that inspires creative people from near and far. Let us celebrate the arts and invite it into our every day lives in a meaningful way. We are turning a page as an organization. We are reaching out in new ways and hope to engage the community with more intention. We seek to serve by working with local leaders, businesses, nonprofits, arts organizations, and artists to engrain the arts into the fiber of our community. Join us on our journey!
HISTORY In 1981, a core group of Watauga County residents who love the arts and wanted to protect Appalachian culture and crafts gathered together and formed the Watauga Arts Council. Their goal was to create activities and events that shared their love of the community, to educate children, to continue the tradition of artistry and craftsmanship in the High Country, and to provide artists with the assistance they need to grow and develop their voice.
In the years since, the Watauga County Arts Council has grown from this seed of committed individuals to an organization that includes many of the community’s citizens as its supporters, benefactors and celebrators. The WCAC counts its largest success as having remained a nonprofit agency that succeeds in its mission through the generous gifts, grants and donations of local individuals, business entities, and collectively through the city and county governments. The organization also enjoys the support and largess of state artistic organizations’ contributions.
When the Watauga County Arts Council left its home of more than 26 years at the Jones House Community Center, the organization began to use this new phase of its life as an opportunity to explore new directions of service to Watauga County’s citizens. The Board of Directors spent many hours exploring our history, our past programs, our current programs, and the needs of the community. With this information, a business plan was developed by a sub-committee and ultimately approved by the Board.
We are very grateful to Joseph Miller (of Cheap Joe’s) for helping guide us along the way, to Kevin McConnaghy (of the Small Business Center) for helping us develop our business plan, and to Jim Deal and Andrea Capua for help with reviewing and “tweaking” our plan. On April 2, 2013, the completed business was presented to the Watauga County Commissioners to ask for their approval of a lease for the property located at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. The lease was granted and we moved into our current location and the Blue Ridge ArtSpace was created.
Within our walls we have 4 galleries (The Main Gallery, The Open Door Gallery, The Serendipity Gallery, and The Children’s Gallery), 9 classrooms for Workshops/Classes, music and drawing lessons, a Gift Shop, a meeting room, a full kitchen, room for WCAC offices and storage, AND outside there is a “Pickin’ and Concert Porch” which is also used as an outdoor classroom in warm weather, and a fenced-in side yard with room for exhibits, demonstrations, plein-air classes, and children’s activities. Oh! Did we mention that we have a wonderful parking lot?
As we look ahead to the future and continue to develop our dreams and mission to help art thrive in our community, and to help our community thrive through the arts. If you would like to contribute to our mission, we welcome and appreciate your ideas and resources (Contact Us), your Volunteer time, and financial donations to Support The Arts. We would also love for you to join our family. Become A Member!