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.