The Community Foundation awards $95,768 in focus area grants

Press release from The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina: 

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) approved five focus area grants totaling $95,768 to support regional projects in Food and Farming and Natural and Cultural Resources.

The Foundation’s focus areas were identified to benefit the region and enable the Foundation to work strategically and deeply in specified areas. Grants are made through significant staff collaboration with regional nonprofits to identify funding opportunities. The following grants were approved by the Foundation’s Board on February 28.

Natural and Cultural Resources – $65,768

Grants and capacity building in Natural and Cultural Resources aim to protect and enhance the health of the region’s natural systems and support and develop the region’s arts-based economy.

American Whitewater was awarded $5,618 to continue facilitation by the Nantahala-Pisgah Forest Partnership during the final phases of the Nantahala and Pisgah Forest Management Plan Revisions. The funds will help partners reach internal consensus on a single alternative during what may be the most controversial and important phase of the planning process. The Biltmore Estate Charitable Fund and Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Asheville Symphony Society, Inc. (ASO) received $25,150 to support a recording project with the GRAMMY Award-winning bluegrass band, Steep Canyon Rangers. The project is part of IDEASOUND, a recording and audience engagement initiative connecting ASO with leading performers of popular music genres resonating in the Asheville community. The Phyllis Patton Charitable Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Green Built Alliance (formerly WNC Green Building Council) was awarded $25,000 to support the Blue Horizons Project, the product of a year and a half of planning and development by the 15 member organizations of the Energy Innovation Task Force. The goal is to motivate WNC residents and businesses to cut utility costs and energy usage to avoid the construction of more natural gas-fired power plants to meet our region’s energy needs. The Fidel Duke Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Jackson County Green Energy Park (GEP) received $10,000 to assist with the development of a waste vegetable oil burner system that could be utilized by artists who require high heat levels in their processes. The goal is to produce a burner system adaptable to a wide range of high temperature applications, particularly those associated with glassblowing, blacksmithing, metal foundry and ceramics. Once developed, the burner has the potential for replication and mass-production, potentially becoming a revenue stream for the GEP. The Dogwood Charitable Endowment Fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

Food and Farming – $30,000

Grants increase opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs that support the sustainability and profitability of WNC farms and address regional food insecurity and nutrition.

Eliada Homes, Inc., was awarded $30,000 to support Eliada Farms, a project that adds another dimension to Eliada’s “cradle to career” curriculum and puts land into food production. In addition to the provision of cost savings and fresh foods for Eliada’s children, the program educates children about the environment, self-sufficiency and food systems. Eliada Farms’ primary goal is to build capacity for agency sustainability through an increase in earned revenue. Two commercial growing tunnels have been put into production and will raise enough produce to be sold wholesale. An anonymous fund partnered with CFWNC to fund this grant.

CFWNC marks its 40th anniversary in 2018. The Foundation works with families, businesses and nonprofits to strengthen communities through the creation of charitable funds and strategic grantmaking. A permanent charitable resource, the Foundation manages over 1,060 funds and has facilitated more than $216 million in philanthropy since its founding in 1978. CFWNC continues to evolve to help donors and nonprofits meet their charitable goals and to serve the ever-changing needs of Western North Carolina and beyond. Learn more at

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