Arrowmont to stay in Gatlinburg

The Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts looked all around and decided to stay where they are.

In a historic decision, the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts voted recently to keep the nationally renowned center for contemporary craft education at its current location in Gatlinburg.

Arrowmont offered its first craft workshops in 1945.

Over the past two years the organization had been considering options for the future following a decision by the owners of the land to sell the property currently occupied by the school. A special task force was formed to evaluate options and possible new locations for the school and through their work the choices were narrowed to a site in Greeneville, Tenn. or remaining in the current Gatlinburg location.

Since then the Arrowmont Board has been working with officials from Gatlinburg and Greeneville to finalize proposals presented by both communities.

Arrowmont Board of Governors President Mary Ann Hruska said, “After reviewing the proposals from Greeneville and Gatlinburg as well as numerous meetings with local officials, the Board decided that Arrowmont should remain in its place of founding. We look forward to working more closely with the local community regarding our future.”

Gatlinburg Mayor Jerry Hays and City Manager Cindy Ogle led the Gatlinburg community effort to retain Arrowmont.

According to an Arrowmont press release, Arrowmont’s Strategic Planning Committee, along with the Gatlinburg Work Group, will immediately begin determining next steps including the orchestration of a capital campaign for funds to support the school’s future and exploring community partnership opportunities. The school’s on-going fundraising continues through the Friends of Arrowmont Fund.

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a nationally renowned arts center that offers an artist in residence program and one, two-week and weekend workshops in ceramics, fiber, metals, glass, painting, mixed media, and woodworking for the beginner to advanced artist. Students learn in professionally equipped studios on a 14-acre residential campus in Gatlinburg. Five galleries, an art supply store, and artist resource center are open visitors year round. For more information about Arrowmont’s programs, visit www.arrowmont.org or call 865-436-5860.

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