Nonprofit Spotlight: Open Hearts Art Center

Nonprofits across our region empower people of all ages and from all walks of life. They focus on niche causes or specific groups of often marginalized citizens—many serving as their main touchpoint to the community at large. Today, we are profiling Open Hearts Art Center, an Asheville-based studio and gallery proud to serve a unique population.

What is Open Hearts Art Center?

Nonprofit Spotlight: Open Hearts Art CenterOpen Hearts Art Center provides community and creative expression to adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. In addition, students make an income from the sale of their artwork, further offering them the benefits of a healthy, productive, and independent life. In addition to visual art, Open Hearts also encourages expression through performing arts such as dance, drama, music, movement, and theater. As the only WNC day program focused on art therapy for adults with intellectual disabilities, Open Hearts has grown tenfold since its inception in 2005.

Open Hearts Programs & Services

Through innovative and stimulating forms of expression, Open Hearts helps individuals define themselves using words like “skilled”, “talented”, and “gifted”. The goal of these three holistic programs is to redirect the focus from what students are unable to accomplish, and instead emphasize their many and vast abilities.

Studio Arts Day Program

This Open Hearts day program provides instructional classes for two hours, five days a week in visual and performing arts. Professional artists and crafters collaborate with student artists to develop project ideas and then bring them to life. A typical week could include classes in ceramics, creative writing, dance, drama, fiber arts, gardening (seasonal), mixed media, music, painting, screen printing, and sculpture.

Artist Exhibition Program

Open Hearts showcases student artwork within the community, at local and regional art festivals, special events, an annual open house, and at a permanent booth at Woolworth Walk, a popular gallery space in downtown Asheville. Student artists generate an income by receiving 50% of the sale, with the remaining 50% supplementing an arts supply and marketing fund. This program not only increases confidence and autonomy within the artist, but raises public awareness of this population’s artistic abilities.

Boundless Art Project

Boundless Art allows student artists to travel outside the boundaries of the Open Hearts Studio.  Students visit galleries, attend field trips and art exhibits, offer satellite classes in the community, and volunteer.

Get More by Giving Back

At Beverly-Hanks, we believe that everyone—regardless of abilities—should have the opportunity and means to Live the Life You Choose. We encourage you to get involved with Open Hearts Art Center if their mission speaks to you.

You can help your neighbors now and in the future by giving of your time and money to an organization like Open Hearts Art Center that means something to you. Reach out to Open Hearts or contact your Beverly-Hanks agent to learn about local nonprofits in your community.

Open Hearts Art Center

5 Woodland Dr, Asheville

(828) 505-8428



Image courtesy Open Hearts Art Center.


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