Candid Interview with Asheville Area Arts Council’s Executive Director Kitty Love

May 3, 2012

Asheville Area Arts Council is on the rise

post-2009 recession.



Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) has not received federal funding since 2009, but new Executive Director Kitty Love is determined to renew the direction taken by the organization. She says, “My vision is for Asheville to stay funky but to be able to survive.”

Looking forward, AAAC would like to:

  • provide professional services for artists and business,
  • work with existing economic development engines in order to help build markets, and
  • work with existing opportunities like federal grants that are meant to build communities through the arts.

Love has been involved with grassroots cultural programing in Asheville over the last ten years.  She says, “I would like to revive AAAC as an active organization for the creative sector and the creative industry. I had never seen the kind of support that I had envisioned coming from the Arts Council as it was and I am excited by our new activity.”

AAAC programs like the Creative Sector Summit, Artery shows, Artist talks and receptions, $3 water color coop, and the fiscal sponsorship will continue, but she is excited to dive into creating a creative resource center in partnership with AB Tech and a cultural resource database.

She says, “Selfishly, I want to live in a city that is rich with culture but that is not plastic and gentrified. So supporting independent creative businesses is the best way to keep the energy of Asheville authentic. I want to see Asheville’s creative nature remain true and in tact, and to feel confident that the arts will help float the boat, across the board, without selling out.”

At the end of March, in partnership with the City of Asheville, AAAC held the 2nd Annual Creative Sector Summit. This was an all day incubator that facilitated the opportunity for the creative sector, the City of Asheville, the Chamber and other folks to get together and look at the opportunities being offered and ways to implement or address the Master Plan Recommendations at this time.

At the time the Downtown Master Plan recommendations were released there was no director of AAAC to drive these recommendations forward. Kitty hopes that the Creative Sector Summit helped galvanize everyone’s perspective of how to all best work together.

“I have been to cities where the design and the gentrification comes first and look to fill the gaps with creativity, but you have to remember to leave a big enough crack in the sidewalk to allow the right kind of flowers to come up through it. “


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