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Expanding arts in Appalachian communities

NEA to offer new workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities

This is an opportunity for communities in the Upstate S.C. counties of Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. Deadline to apply is May 31. Since 2007, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), in partnership with The Conservation Fund, have helped Appalachian "gateway" communities – those that are entry points or adjacent to Appalachia's national and state parks and forests – expand tourism, arts, and other community and economic development opportunities. With programming that has included targeted technical assistance, community tourism assessments, tourism planning workshops, and small grants for project implementation, the Appalachian Gateway Communities Initiative (AGCI) has touched more than 1,000 communities and 100 counties. In August 2018, The Conservation Fund will host the inaugural Advanced Project Implementation Workshop for Appalachian Gateway Communities in Shepherdstown, W.Va. This 3-day workshop is designed for teams from gateway communities that have previously participated in AGCI activities or are ready to implement new or ongoing community projects. In addition to hearing from both national and regional experts, a main feature of the workshop will be to reassess and build capacity for community projects and planning efforts, as well as receive technical assistance on various topics to develop an action-oriented roadmap for implementation. The full team application materials can be found on the Course Web Page. The team application deadline is May 31st. Please contact Katie Allen (304.876.7925, kallen@conservationfund.org) or Kendra Briechle (703.908.5817, kbriechle@conservationfund.org) to learn more about this opportunity!

Appalachian gateway communities workshop to offer cultural heritage tourism assistance

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) and the National Endowment for the Arts, in partnership with the Conservation Fund, are offering a technical assistance workshop in Ringgold, Ga., May 9–11 on creating sustainable natural and cultural heritage tourism development in Appalachian "gateway" communities—those that are entry points to Appalachia's national and state parks and forests. Teams will learn how to jump start economic growth in their communities through public arts promotion, cultural heritage and natural resource tourism, and preservation and stewardship of community character. Applicants or their gateway communities must be located in an Appalachian county designated by ARC as economically distressed, transitional, or at-risk. Eligible South Carolina counties are Anderson, Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee, Pickens, and Spartanburg. (Maps and lists of Appalachian counties' economic status for FY 2017 are available on the ARC website.) Participating communities must send a team of four to seven key members, including at least one member from the arts. Experts will assist each team in developing an action plan for capitalizing on their community's unique natural and cultural heritage resources and the arts. Participating teams will also be eligible to apply for seed grant funding to help them implement the action plan they develop at the workshop. The workshop registration fee is $550 per team; limited travel assistance may be available on a case-by-case basis. Applications are due March 24. More information and registration details are available online.