Supporting community through Southside Arts & Agricultural Center

RECLAIMING COMMUNITY CULTURE: Bentley Harper-Pierce helps out in the Southside Community Garden. Photo by Gwen Hill, Green Opportunities

Editor’s note: As part of Xpress’ Nonprofit Issue, we asked local nonprofits to share a bright moment of 2017.

This fall, Green Opportunities was one of 23 organizations from across the U.S. to receive a $200,000 two-year grant as part of The Kresge Foundation’s initiative, Fresh, Local & Equitable, which supports neighborhood-scale projects leveraging healthy food and creative placemaking for equitable economic development.

After being selected to participate in FreshLo in 2016, GO, in partnership with the Southside Community Gardeners and Southside residents, completed a one-year planning phase for the Southside Arts & Agricultural Center.

During the past year, the coalition hosted workshops and garden parties in the Southside Community Garden, introduced a grab-and-go food cooler stocked with free, healthy snacks to the Edington Center and strengthened relationships with community-based arts organizations, including Word on the Street and Asheville Writers in the Schools and Community.

J Hackett
J Hackett/Photo courtesy of Green Opportunities

The purpose of the Southside Arts & Agricultural Center project is to support healing, restoring and reclaiming community culture; support emerging leaders; grow food; and incubate economic development. The center will celebrate black culture, creativity, arts and agriculture. Specifically, this grant will provide funding for the Southside Community Garden as well as the renovation of the auditorium in the Arthur R. Edington Education and Career Center. The Asheville Housing Authority will raise the remaining funds required for the auditorium renovation.

—  J Hackett, executive director of Green Opportunities


Thanks for reading through to the end…

We share your inclination to get the whole story. For the past 25 years, Xpress has been committed to in-depth, balanced reporting about the greater Asheville area. We want everyone to have access to our stories. That’s a big part of why we've never charged for the paper or put up a paywall.

We’re pretty sure that you know journalism faces big challenges these days. Advertising no longer pays the whole cost. Media outlets around the country are asking their readers to chip in. Xpress needs help, too. We hope you’ll consider signing up to be a member of Xpress. For as little as $5 a month — the cost of a craft beer or kombucha — you can help keep local journalism strong. It only takes a moment.

Before you comment

The comments section is here to provide a platform for civil dialogue on the issues we face together as a local community. Xpress is committed to offering this platform for all voices, but when the tone of the discussion gets nasty or strays off topic, we believe many people choose not to participate. Xpress editors are determined to moderate comments to ensure a constructive interchange is maintained. All comments judged not to be in keeping with the spirit of civil discourse will be removed and repeat violators will be banned. See here for our terms of service. Thank you for being part of this effort to promote respectful discussion.

Leave a Reply

To leave a reply you may Login with your Mountain Xpress account, connect socially or enter your name and e-mail. Your e-mail address will not be published. All fields are required.