For many of our mountain communities, the arts have often led the way in the revitalization of main streets and town centers. Across the state of North Carolina, $2 billion in new investment has been made to our state’s main streets over the past 33 years. Among the 4,700 new businesses opened in that time, art galleries and related retail outlets have become some of the most common businesses found in our thriving main street areas.
“One of the things that really helps a lot in communities to get people to start coming is a lot of different kinds of arts, whether it be visual arts or performing arts. We, here, feel like the influx of the galleries has brought vitality to downtown Hendersonville, has really brought a great new feeling to the area,” says Michelle Sparks, owner of Art MoB Studios & Marketplace in downtown Hendersonville.
Western North Carolina’s many galleries have created exciting downtown destinations for artists and art lovers alike. During a time when the arts are often the first budget item to be cut, the growth of successful arts districts and urban centers demonstrates that investing in creative and artistic ventures is a proven way to revitalize our communities. Art galleries are a central piece of this trend, and as WNC continues to grow, the arts will continue to play a vital role.
See more about the impact of local art galleries in our latest episode of BHTV, below.