Archived News

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announces grant awards

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership today announced twenty grants, totaling nearly $245,000, have been awarded to help preserve and promote Western North Carolina’s heritage.

The grant awards will help support diverse initiatives across the North Carolina mountains and foothills, focusing on craft, music, natural heritage, Cherokee traditions and the region’s legacy in agriculture. These five facets of the region’s heritage earned the 25 counties of Western North Carolina a Congressional designation as the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area in 2003.

The nonprofit organization charged with preserving, interpreting, developing and celebrating the rich and unique natural and cultural heritage in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

The twenty awards include:

• $17,850 to the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project for an initiative to link new farmers to available farmland and to stimulate farm and food tourism.

• $5,000 to the Asheville Art Museum for an exhibition of Appalachian, Cherokee and low-country baskets.

• $1,500 to the Bethel Rural Community Foundation to support the nomination of the Francis Mill in Waynesville to the National Register of Historic Places.

• $3,500 to the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design for an interpretive brochure highlighting the EnergyXchange in Yancey County and the Jackson County Energy Park.

• $3,525 to the Clay County Communities Revitalization Association, to support curriculum materials and events associated with the Nelson Heritage Park Cherokee exhibit in Hayesville.

• $12,500 to the Great Smoky Mountains Association for the production of videos highlighting points of interest within the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

• $15,000 to Junior Appalachian Musicians, Inc. to support curriculum and teacher development for local Junior Appalachian Musicians programs.

• $22,000 to the Stecoah Valley Arts, Crafts & Educational Center for classes and workshops on craft, music, dance, and culinary arts.

• $24,998 to the Western Carolina University Hunter Library for the research and documentation of mountain potteries and Cherokee pottery.

Since its inception in 2003, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 90 grants totaling nearly $1.5 million and leveraged another $2.7 million in matching contributions from local governments and the private sector. These grants have funded projects in all 25 counties of Western North Carolina.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


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.