Also on the high end was the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium. $800,000 is being requested from both the city and county to implement professionally-recommended upgrades in a forty-year-old auditorium that suffers from wear and tear as well as logistical and acoustic issues. For renovation and expansion, the Asheville Art Museum asked $500,000; and the Pack Square Cultural Partnership, consisting of the art museum and the Diana Wortham Theatre, requested $395,000. A smaller performing arts center, the Asheville Community Theatre, is expanding to the tune of $300,000. Other cultural requests came from the YMI Cultural Center ($40,000) and the Asheville Arts Council ($45,000).
Several agencies requested funds to redistribute as seed capital to small businesses. The City of Asheville requested $250,000, and the Carolina Small Business Development Center requested $100,000, for their small business startup loan programs with special emphasis on minority-owned businesses. The Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project requested $30,000 to “build capacity and demand” for local agricultural projects, and WNC Communities asked for $20,000 to support agricultural programs. Eagle Market Street wanted $150,000 for its portfolio of community development projects that include startup assistance for minority businesses and projects, including the development of Eagle Market Place, an urban renewal project that has been trying to get off the ground for two decades.
Mountain Housing Opportunities is partnering with Eagle Market Street to bring Eagle Market Place to fruition. MHO helps with housing maintenance and constructs low-income rental units. They sought a county grant of $103,000. Other groups working to provide affordable housing include ABCCM, which asked $100,000 to house homeless women with wraparound services. The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design requested $28,325 for a feasibility study for artist housing, Habitat for Humanity asked $50,000 to help low-income families rehabilitate their homes or make them handicap accessible, and Homeward Bound asked only $20,000 to collect furniture for poor people.
Several organizations wanted to help youth avoid the three poverty traps: addiction, dropping out of school, and having children out of wedlock. One Youth at a Time asked $67,000 for mentoring and tutoring; Mt. Zion Community Development, $20,000 for changing attitudes and choices to reduce STD’s and unwanted pregnancies; Delta House Life Development of Asheville, $55,225 for academic and cultural field trips; the Joseph Initiative, $50,000 for kid-produced documentaries; and the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club, $50,000 for mentoring and scholarships.
Other requests for youth came from Camp Lakey Gap ($7000), which provides recreational opportunities geared toward autistic children, and The Mediation Center ($20,000), which supervises visitations with allegedly abusive parents. The Daniel Boone Council of the Boy Scouts of America asked $25,000 for programs in their curriculum that fight obesity; and the YWCA asked $20,400 for a Swim Equity Program, noting African-American children are six times more likely to drown than whites. According to the application, “This inequality is historically rooted in racism including slavery, the Jim Crow laws of the American South, and today’s anglicized ideas of beauty.”
For seniors, the Council on Aging asked $25,000 for Obamacare and Medicare navigation. Programs especially for women included the YWCA’s Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World ($10,000), the Gateway Group of Asheville’s initiative ($36,000) to improve mothers’ relationships with their children’s fathers, and the Hope Chest for Women’s assistance for cancer patients ($28,952).
As for job creation, Positive Changes Youth Ministries and WRES radio wanted $300,000 and $6000, respectively, for staff. Just Economics requested $12,000 to help pay its employees the living wage it fights for all businesses to pay. Green Opportunities requested $175,000 to support three successful jobs training programs, and On Track Financial Counseling asked $8000 to provide free tax preparation for low-income households.
The Sandy Mush Community Center, Leicester Community Center and Big Ivy Community Club requested tens of thousands of dollars for capital improvements and programming. Other requests came from the Veterans Treatment Court ($250,000), Greenworks ($150,000), the A-B Regional Sports Commission ($75,000), Friends of the WNC Nature Center ($36,000), Sunrise Community for Health & Wellness ($55,225), and the Shiloh Community Association ($50,000). The commissioners will decide who gets how much as they finalize their budget.
UNC Asheville Chemist Amanda Wolfe Named
a Cottrell Scholar, with $100,000 Award