Mission & History
ACA is an Asheville-based arts and arts service organization, providing high quality, professional theatre, performance, and arts experiences to Asheville audiences of all ages, and offering fiscal sponsorship and related services to sibling social enterprises and arts nonprofits serving Asheville and Western North Carolina.
We create opportunities for meaningful employment for Asheville residents, provide access to professional development and resources that support the creative practice of artists, provide opportunities to create and share work with the public, and tools, and infrastructure that allow community leaders to do their best work in service of Asheville’s audiences and community members. We do this by offering multiple programs:
- Performance and Art – immersive and innovative live theatre productions oriented to young people 0-18 years old and their families that explore contemporary themes, such as migration, humanity, the power of personal narrative. We serve multigenerational, multiethnic and multidimensional audiences.
- Developing a Future Generation of Artists, Audiences and Administrators – classes and apprenticeships in various artistic disciplines, curation and program management; on-site residencies in schools and community centers affiliated with partner organizations offering culturally-appropriate pedagogy enacted by artists of the community served.
- Creative Placemaking – public art in partnership with local community-based organizations that activates community spaces and helps Asheville address questions being asked, including those focused on revitalization, gentrification and reparations.
- Technical Assistance – fiscal sponsorship and shared administrative templates, bookkeeping and budget development support, zero-to-low interest micro-loans for artists’ professional development and capital investments such as equipment purchases.
We use theater to reflect and elevate the communities we represent and serve, and as such we are committed to presenting the stories of all its participants. Led by Daniele Martin, ACA’s Resident Community Outreach Director, we are thrilled to partner with Hood Huggers and other community based organizations to build partnerships and pipelines to ensure that all are welcome.
Asheville Creative Arts was founded to challenge young people to imagine new ways of being, and to practice seeing the humanity in one another. We believe that as artists and cultural workers, we have a responsibility to help build a world where Black lives matter.
We commit to continuing to make space and uplift the voices of the artists and arts administrators from communities of culture already part of the ACA Family, and those who will join in the future. Our artistic and administrative work must model for the next generation how to build a better world.
Meet the Team
A writer, designer, puppet artist, theatrical producer who works Off- and Off- Off Broadway in NYC, nationally and internationally.
Formerly Doubting Thomas and Volatile Baby, Stewart is one half of Jonesalee, formed to create music, art and spoken word,
The other half of Jonesalee, Gambill and Stewart have collaborated on film scores and theatrical composition all over the region.
An artist, writer, director and educator. As a theatre artist, she has a passion for both puppetry and grand-scale spectacle.
A director, performer, puppeteer and teaching artist, she has spent the last decade working at theatres in Chicago, Denver, and Sarasota.
ACA’s resident Community Outreach Director, she has worked in theater, film and television, and is an active volunteer.
Performance poet, sculptor and activist, Barton is founder of Hood Huggers International and the Burton Street Community Peace Garden
A puppet artist, dancer, solo performer and educator whose work has been presented extensively nationally and internationally
a recent graduate from Hampshire college, and an interdisciplinary artist with interests in devised, experimental, and performance art-related theatre
A performer, writer, builder who has worked in national and international Broadway tours, regional theaters and performance venues across NYC.
A playwright and ACA’s resident dramaturge, Smith is a NC native and a graduate of University of North Carolina Asheville.
A Japanese set and lighting designer who has worked in NYC, regionally and internationally.
Board and Honorary Advisors
Board: Sarah Elizabeth Malinak (Chair), Bryan Robinson (chair emeritus), Abby Felder, Dosty Quarrier, Laura Stone, Rebecca O’Neill
Honorary Advisors: John and Julie Bresnan, Kevin Davis and Jim Lanning, Lucy Hazlehurst, Shirley Kaplan, Joanna Naftali, Stephanie Wilder
The Warp & the Weft
BUGS! An Immersive, Original Musical
FAILURE: A Love Story
Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type
The Little Red Riding Hood Show
In Black Mountain: The Farm
In Asheville: Wortham Center for the Performing Arts
This is where we perform sometimes.
In Asheville: Burton Street Peace Garden
We make work here, including puppetry workshops and classes in a beautiful setting dedicated to peace and nature in Asheville’s Burton Street neighborhood.