The Cultural Arts Center at the Historic Banner Elk School is an excellent example of how communities can merge history with present activities to establish an environment for creativity. The Historic Banner Elk School was built in 1938-1939 by the WPA. The rock schoolhouse project served as an elementary school until 2011. Since the Town of Banner Elk purchased the school from Avery County in 2014, a vigorous community effort has transformed the Historic Banner Elk School into a place where the public can enjoy enrichment, education, and fellowship opportunities in a beautifully renovated space. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017.
Visitors can enjoy the BE Artist Gallery. This cooperative gallery was formed by a group of local artists and features handmade fine arts and crafts by more than 35 artisans living within a 50-mile radius of Banner Elk. Work in the gallery includes pottery, woodwork, painting, photography, fiber, graphic design, sculpture, and glass.
Other offerings at the site include traditional music classes and jams, a Book Exchange, Carolina Mountain Life Magazine Corporate Office, and the Avery Community Yoga Studio. The Ensemble Stage offers professional stage productions that utilizes a 99-seat theatre space converted from the school auditorium.
Hours: Vary based on season and businesses