Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center Awarded 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts

March 3, 2017

Courtyard of the Cherokee Project will combine local artisans and cultural elements for an outdoor experience

 

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is housed in a rock schoolhouse built in 1926 and nestled on 10 acres of land in Graham County, North Carolina.
Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is housed in a rock schoolhouse built in 1926 and nestled on 10 acres of land in Graham County, North Carolina. Photo: Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center.

RALEIGH, N.C. – The John William Pope Foundation awarded the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts to Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center in Graham County.  The Stecoah Center received a $100,000 grant for its Courtyard of the Cherokee Project, an outdoor art installation that will highlight the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ (EBCI) contributions to the Stecoah community.  It’s a part of an innovative long-term plan to enhance the Center’s ten-acre property.

“We are extremely excited and humbled to be selected to receive the Joy W. Pope Grant in the Arts,” said the Center’s Executive Director Beth Fields. “It is also a great honor to be the only project selected of the many worthy projects submitted statewide to the Foundation.  The Courtyard of the Cherokee project will authentically represent the Tribe’s seven clans through exhibit panels, native plantings, wind sculptures and original artwork made by members of the EBCI reflecting the arts and culture of the Tribe.”

“We were impressed with all the applications we received,” said Board Member Joyce L. Pope.  “Ultimately, the Stecoah Center’s project maximized the use of our one-time gift by joining the local artisan community with the cultural fabric of the EBCI community.”

With music festivals, after school programming, and an artisans' gallery, Stecoah Center offers visitors a range of experiences.
With music festivals, after school programming, and an artisans’ gallery, Stecoah Center offers visitors a range of experiences. Photo: visitnc.com.

Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is housed in a 1926 rock schoolhouse and offers visitors an artisans gallery, the historic Lynn L. Shields Auditorium, and a visitor center.  Stecoah’s programs have become a cultural cornerstone for this rural Western North Carolina community.  A summer music series, heritage and music festivals, adult crafting classes, and afterschool music and cultural programming serve over 16,000 people annually. [See their event calendar]

The Joy W. Pope Memorial Grants, sponsored by the John William Pope Foundation, were created in 2015 to recognize innovative ideas that generate long-term results.  Each year, two nonprofits (one arts-focused, one human services-focused) are chosen from a pool of applicants to receive a one-time grant.  The grants are named in honor of Joy W. Pope, wife of philanthropist and retail entrepreneur John William Pope.  She was a dedicated patron of arts and human service organizations and served as president of the Pope Foundation from 1986-1992.

For more information about Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center and to view the project conceptual plan, visit www.StecoahValleyCenter.com.  For more information about the John William Pope Foundation, visit www.jwpf.org.