Regional Artist Support Grant winners announced

Press release from ArtsAVL:

ArtsAVL is celebrating the 24 recipients of the 2022-23 regional Artist Support Grant, 15 of whom live and work in Buncombe County. Awardees work in a variety of art forms and mediums within the larger categories of craft, literature, media, music and theatre, and visual arts. In Buncombe County, this year’s recipients include artists working in film, textile arts, music, painting, poetry, jewelry making, and ceramic arts.

Applicants can use funds to create new work, purchase equipment and materials, attend professional development workshops and training, support travel and attendance-related expenses for conferences and exhibitions, and develop or upgrade promotional materials. Grants ranged from $750 to $3,000, totaling $49,000 in funding across the region.

The awardees from Buncombe County are Virginia Derryberry, Bridger Dunnagan, Joel Elliott, Kristin Erhard, Sean Gaskell, Ryan Glass, Ginger Huebner, Lisa Klakulak, Isabella Losskarn, Deanna Lynch, Morgan McCarver, Sara Murphy, Mary Ellen Lough, Katerine Viloria, and Laura Wood. 

Funding will support projects including a new series of narrative paintings by Derryberry that will examine this contemporary moment of cultural divisiveness; a poetry manuscript revision from Lough, part of an experimental performance piece weaving songs of Kurdish and Eastern Appalachian women; and Dunnagan’s purchase of new recording equipment to capture the vibrant music culture of Western North Carolina. 

Viloria, a first-time grant recipient, will use funds to build a professional website, purchase equipment, and reimburse expenses from her first solo show. “Receiving this opportunity will help support and elevate my career as an artist, putting me closer on the path of achieving my dream of becoming a working artist,” she says. “Pushing yourself to apply for grants will help you in ways you’ve never imagined possible. So believe in yourself and in your work, and don’t let the fear of rejection get in your way.”

The Artist Support Grant is funded by the N.C. Arts Council and grant cycles are managed by 19 groups of arts councils working regionally. ArtsAVL partnered with the Haywood County Arts Council, the Arts Council of Henderson County, the Rutherford County Arts Council, the Transylvania Community Arts Council, the Tryon Fine Arts Center to support the application and decision process.

Awardees from Haywood County are Rachel David, Kimberly English, and Ilene Kay; from Henderson County, Elizabeth Beasley, Joan Lesikin, Anne Murray, and Anthony Robles; from Polk County, Mark Gardner; and from Transylvania County, James Brandon.

The N.C. Arts Council created the Artist Support Grant in 2020 as a way to bolster artists whose careers were hit hard by the effects of the pandemic on the economy. Since then, it has drawn hundreds of applicants and become one of the state’s most anticipated initiatives. 

The grant cycle for 2023-24 opens later this year. Stay tuned to for updates.

Founded in 1952, ArtsAVL, formerly known as Asheville Area Arts Council, is the second oldest arts council in the state of North Carolina. The organization’s mission is to keep the arts at the heart of our community. The ArtsAVL fulfills this mission by supporting arts professionals and businesses in Buncombe County through Connection, Advocacy, and Grants. Learn more at

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