Home » Community Foundation Awards Cultural Resources Grant to Asheville Symphony

Community Foundation Awards Cultural Resources Grant to Asheville Symphony

by The Urban News
The Asheville Symphony orchestra. Photo: Mike Morel

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) has approved a $40,000 Cultural Resources grant to the Asheville Symphony, to help offset the cost of moving its 2023-2024 season after the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium closed in summer of 2023.

The Wolfe Auditorium was the home of the Asheville Symphony for nearly 50 years, until its closure in July 2023, when the facility experienced an HVAC failure that required long-term closure for repairs. Last summer, the Asheville Symphony relocated all shows that had been originally scheduled in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium to alternate venues.

The majority of the Symphony’s flagship Masterworks Series was relocated to the First Baptist Church of Asheville, which accommodates about half the capacity of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, necessitating double performances to meet audience demand. This resulted in higher expenses to compensate musicians and soloists as well as increased production costs.

Funds from the CFWNC Cultural Resources grant will be directed toward those increased costs, thus offsetting some of the unanticipated expenses associated with the sudden relocation last year.

“Moving the Symphony’s season to 14 different venues throughout our community was a considerable, unplanned expense, so we are deeply grateful for this generous investment from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina,” said Asheville Symphony Executive Director Daniel Crupi.

“Last season’s transition also brought about some amazing opportunities for the Symphony—in particular, our ability to catalyze radical artistic growth and invest in our musicians in a substantial way, all of which helped us to attract and retain the best talent in the region. We also quickly developed a new audience of patrons who prefer the intimate environment of First Baptist Church of Asheville, as well as families and regional attendees who prefer matinee performances. The…

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