About

The Haywood County Arts Council
History + Mission

Mission of the Haywood County Arts Council

The mission of the Haywood County Arts Council is to promote artists, art education, and innovation in art. The vision of the HCAC is a community involved in the arts.

History of the Haywood County Arts Council

Since its establishment in 1977, the Haywood County Arts Council (HCAC) has supported the growth of the arts throughout the region, providing support for local creative artists and expanding opportunities for audiences, including pre-K through community college students. The Arts Council offers educational programs, performances, and events that serve Haywood County’s population and provide revenue for the Arts Council’s operating expenses.

Beginning with volunteers in the 1970s, HCAC hired its first part-time director in 1982.  The HCAC Board of Directors has included business people, educators, representatives from non-profit agencies, retirees, political figures, and so on, striving to represent various communities in Haywood County.

HCAC has been the impetus for numerous spin-off organizations, notably the Haywood Regional Arts Theatre (HART) in 1984. Until the formation of HART, HCAC produced plays at various venues.  HCAC was a partner in the formation of the Downtown Waynesville Association in the 1980s.

Past events and programs of the Arts Council have included the Atlanta Ballet Mountain Homecoming (1991-2004), ArtFest/International Festival Day (1985-2015), Razzle Dazzle Saturday Children’s Arts Festival, and more. Now, the Haywood County Arts Council hosts annual events which include the Young Audience Concert, January Jazz, Smoky Mountains Bluegrass Festival, Haywood County Studio Tour, the Friends of the Library concert Series, Junior Appalachian Musicians, and more. Current events and programs can be explored by clicking the Programs tab at the top of the page.

June 5, 2020

Dear Friends,

The staff and board of the Haywood County Arts Council are deeply saddened by the events that have occurred around the country this past week. Our mission is to promote artists, art education, and innovation in art, and we commit to ensuring our work is grounded in equity and fairness. We strive to listen to, learn from, and partner with communities of color and marginalized voices. It is important to eradicate the systemic racism that is woven into our culture and create a new paradigm predicated on equality and inclusion.

At the November 21, 2019 Board of Directors meeting, the board unanimously passed Haywood County Arts Council’s Statement on Cultural Equity which is available by visiting “About” and then click on “History & Mission”.

Leigh M. Forrester
Executive Director
828-452-0593 

Staff and Board

The Board of Directors of the Haywood County Arts Council is made up of a group of passionate volunteers, dedicated to serving the art and artists in our community. Board members are elected to three-year terms, and cannot serve more than two consecutive terms during their tenure. Nominations for new members takes place once at year, and those approved are voted into their positions during the Haywood County Arts Council’s annual meeting in August. Board meetings take place on the third Thursday of each month. If you are interested in serving as a member of the HCAC Board of Directors, please email info@haywoodarts.org.

2020-2021 Board of Directors & Staff
Laura Linger

Laura Linger

President

Emily McCurry

Emily McCurry

Vice-President

Leigh Forrester

Leigh Forrester

Executive Director
Email

Joey Fuseler

Joey Fuseler

Treasurer

Shelby Harrell

Shelby Harrell

Secretary

Gina Mulligan

Gina Mulligan

Bookkeeper
Email

Pamela Tiffany

Pamela Tiffany

Gallery Coordinator
Email

Barbara Brook

Barbara Brook

Patty Coulter

Patty Coulter

Gayle Haynie

Gayle Haynie

Stephanie Kea

Stephanie Kea

Donna Rader

Donna Rader

Lionel Villarroel

Lionel Villarroel

Tim Wise

Tim Wise

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