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Volume 26, Number 4 — April 2019

Arts Funding Recommended for Southwest Virginia

Projects include Tourism, Economic Development, Workforce Education and Clean Water

January 12, 2010

RICHMOND, VA Governor Timothy M. Kaine has recommended more than $3.1 million in Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) funding for 16 projects in Southwest Virginia. The funds will help support cultural heritage tourism, economic development, workforce education programs, and clean, safe water.

"Each year projects funded through the Appalachian Regional Commission benefit Virginians in Southwest Virginia," Kaine said. "Again, I am recommending additional projects to the ARC for consideration that will draw tourism dollars to the region, strengthen the economic development efforts in the region, and create a better quality of life."

Each year the governor makes funding recommendations to the ARC for projects in Virginia's Appalachian region. The ARC is a federal-state partnership that works for sustainable community and economic development in Appalachia, assisting the region in achieving economic prosperity that more completely reflects the nation's overall prosperity.

Projects are awarded in two categories: Area Development Funding (AD) and Asset-Based Development Initiative Funding (ABD). Projects funded through AD are designed to encourage economic development in the region by funding projects such as infrastructure, entrepreneurship support and workforce development. Projects funded through ABD are designed to build a strong and sustainable asset-based economy by bringing jobs and prosperity to Appalachian communities, while preserving their character.

The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has served as the designated agency for Virginia's ARC program since its inception in 1965.

Following is a list of arts-related projects, funding and descriptions:

— $500,000 Birthplace of Country Music Cultural Heritage Center: The project will develop the Birthplace of County Music Cultural Heritage Center to house exhibits, educational programs, and artistic programming. The center will be developed through the rehabilitation of an existing historic structure in the City of Bristol and is expected to become a major tourist destination that will draw more than 25,000 tourists a year, create new jobs, and generate more than $14 million in revenue over the first five years of operations.

— $500,000 Wise Inn Restoration and Redevelopment:
The Wise County Industrial Development Authority will oversee the redevelopment of the historic Wise Inn property. The Inn will be a hub for regional tourism and is expected to host a variety of educational, cultural, and entertainment activities. The restoration will result in an upscale, 40-room hotel, restaurant, conference and meeting space, and additional parking. At least 30 jobs are expected to be created as a result of the Inn's operation.

— $500,000 Renovation and Arts / Crafts Expansion:
Fine Arts Center for the New River Valley
The project will construct an arts center in an existing vacant building in the Town of Pulaski, which will contain four classrooms / studios, glass and pottery studios, three galleries the larger of which doubles as a special event space, a digital lab, expanded storage for the permanent collection, and other amenities. The facility will provide increased educational opportunities in the arts and will draw an increased number of visitors to the region, creating tourism revenue and supporting local artisans.

— $150,000 'Round the Mountain: "Welcome to My Southwest Virginia" Project: This project will develop 20 professional, high-quality videographies that will showcase different localities' historical, cultural, artistic, recreational, and natural features. The videos produced will highlight the diverse attractions across Southwest Virginia and contribute to the increasingly important cultural heritage tourism based economy of the region. The project is expected to draw additional visitors to each of the showcased localities, to directly impact at least ten businesses, and to add at least 30 jobs to the region

$100,000 The Crooked Road: Traditional Music of Southwest Virginia Educational Plan: The project will assess and examine traditional music resources and assets across nine Southwest Virginia counties, create a Traditional Music Education Committee, and develop a comprehensive education plan for incorporating this music into education at all grade levels. The project includes pilot programs in traditional music at two public school systems, youth music programming and the development of a larger youth traditional music event, creation of a traditional music certification program at a community college, and developing standards for traditional music teacher certifications.

— $50,000 Appalachian Heritage Garden Trail:
Virginia Highlands Community College Educational Foundation: The heritage garden trail will enhance the thriving heritage tourism industry by adding another component to the story of the traditional music and crafts of the region. The project is expected to increase tourism and result in an increase in $20,000 of new revenues in the first year.