At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

SCC launches Heritage Arts Endowed Fund

Jeff Marley. Jeff Marley.

Over the past decade at Southwestern Community College, serving as Heritage Arts Department Chair has become much more than a fun job for Jeff Marley — it’s a passion.

Marley’s desire to see the program continue to flourish is the main reason he recently took steps to create the Heritage Arts Endowed Fund through the SCC Foundation. The scholarship will be used to financially support visiting artists, equipment, travel and salaries associated with the Heritage Arts program, which is housed at the SCC Swain Center.

“Unlike a scholarship for an individual student, this fund will benefit all students and the community through events and classes we offer,” Marley said. “I wanted to begin developing this fund to ensure the Heritage Arts program would have the fiscal means to be able to provide a wide variety of events well into the future. I want to sustain our program and provide many more opportunities to our students.”

The new fund will be sustained by a series of ongoing fundraising events Marley conducts each year at the SCC Swain Center. These events include special courses and the sales of handmade items created by students and artists enrolled at SCC.

Brett Woods, who oversees the SCC Foundation, helped Marley set up the new scholarship.

“Southwestern is fortunate to have dedicated, visionary, philanthropic employees like Jeff Marley,” Woods said. “He’s obviously talented as an artist and as an instructor, and he passes along to his students a tremendous understanding of – and passion for – Cherokee culture.”

For more information about the Heritage Arts Endowed Fund at SCC, or to make a donation, contact Woods at 828.339.4241 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

To learn more about Heritage Arts classes at Southwestern, contact Marley at 828.366.2005 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

Receive our FREE SMN Xtra newsletter

This Must Be the Place

Reading Room

  • Silence, devils, pollyanna and peace of mind
    Silence, devils, pollyanna and peace of mind “What happens to people who live inside their phones?” In his short novel The Silence (Simon & Schuster, Inc. 2020, 117 pages), Don DeLillo raises this question, and then shows us some possibilities when an unexplained break in the power grid shuts down phones, computers,…
    Read more...

Subscribe to Our Email Newsletters

  • Rumble: An empowering weekly newsletter created by women, for women
  • The SMN Xtra: Updates from the Smoky Mountain News throughout the week
Go to top