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McDowell  Arts  Council Association
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McDowell County Arts Council Association features craft shows in Marion.

Sharing a rich artistic legacy with the community

In 1972, a group of 52 area residents created the McDowell Arts Council Association. These folks were proud of their artistic heritage and wanted to share this legacy with the community, while promoting local artists and enriching cultural life in McDowell County. Forty-five years later, the Arts Council continues to encourage local artists and visitors by providing gallery space, a retail shop, teaching opportunities and theater space for the performing arts.

The McDowell Arts Council Gift Shop is stocked with art, crafts, books and music, all created by 90 local artisans. The Arts Council also hosts the Blue Ridge Artisan Show, displaying work for sale from Black Friday through Christmas. Other events include the Appalachian Potters Market, a popular sale with a 30-year history.  

The Arts Council supports artistic activities for children, including the Mountain Arts Program, a network of North Carolina artists who serve McDowell County elementary schools with one-week residencies, providing supplemental art instruction for junior high and high school art classes. In 2013, the Arts Council began a summer theater camp that has grown into a full season that includes a holiday show, summer theater camp and a spring production for teens. A number of summer art camps expose youth to theater, music, dance, clay and mixed media art. 

In 2009, the Arts Council worked with the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina to extend their quilt blocks into McDowell County. Its beautiful works of art can be spotted across McDowell County. 

For hours, events and other news, visit the website

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