NOTE: This information session, originally scheduled for September 1, has been postponed until September 8


Grant applications from nonprofit organizations due Sept. 28 for events taking place in 2022; information session to be held Sept. 8

ASHEVILLE, N.C.  – Organizers of local events and festivals that showcase and preserve the cultural identity of the community are invited to attend an information session to learn more about financial support available through the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority’s Festivals and Cultural Events Support Fund.

The session will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2:30 to 4 p.m., at the Explore Asheville offices, located at 27 College Place off of Town Mountain Road in Asheville. To register, go to: or find a link on the homepage of Attendees are asked to follow Buncombe County public health orders that mandate masks for all individuals in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status.

The deadline to apply for events taking place in 2022 is Sept. 28, with awards of $1,000 to $5,000 (not to exceed 50 percent of the total event budget) announced in late October. The number of grants awarded will be limited by available funds and monies will be disbursed following the successful completion of each event. Grantees also receive marketing assistance from Explore Asheville Convention and Visitors Bureau to promote attendance. Find more details about the program here.

An eclectic collection of nonprofit organizations has received support since inception of the grant program in 2016, for time-honored events such as Shindig on the Green, the Sourwood Festival in Black Mountain, and the Eliada Corn Maze, and cultural celebrations like the Blue Ridge Pride Festival, Hola Asheville, and the Goombay Festival.

Funding for the Festivals and Cultural Events grant program comes from revenue earned through advertising sales and lodging reservations booked on Occupancy tax revenue, which is governed by North Carolina law and paid by overnight visitors to Buncombe County, is ineligible to be used for this support fund.

The Festivals and Cultural Events Support Fund was recently relaunched following a one-year suspension due to the pandemic. During the period when the grant program was paused, the Buncombe County TDA contributed earned revenue to the One Buncombe COVID relief fund: a lead gift of $50,000 in March 2020 and a second contribution of $40,000 in January 2021.


More information: Past recipients of support from the Festivals & Cultural Events Support Fund can be found on this page.


Explore Asheville works under the oversight of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority, a public authority with a public purpose to enhance the economic vitality of Buncombe County. The team of professionals at Explore Asheville executes an extensive strategic marketing and sales program that inspires visitation and group meetings and travel while showcasing and providing free marketing opportunities to 1,300 local businesses and nonprofits, many of them small and micro-sized operations.

In 2019, the value that more than 4 million overnight visitors contributed to the community was $3.3 billion, generating $881 million in income for nearly 28,000 jobs for local residents. The Buncombe County TDA and Explore Asheville are committed to four strategic imperatives that align with broader community priorities: Deliver Balanced Recovery & Sustainable Growth, Encourage Safe & Responsible Travel, Engage & Invite More Diverse Audiences, and Promote & Support Asheville’s Creative Spirit.


Kathi M. Petersen, Director of Public Information