Monday, May 15, 2017

Update on the Toe River Arts Council's regional branding project

Here’s the press release (dated May 4th):

Last week, the Toe River Arts Council hosted two Studio Tour kick-off events to update the community on the progress of the regional arts branding initiative—Toe River Arts. Both were held at the Arts Resource Center (ARC) on the second floor of the TRAC Spruce Pine Gallery. Tuesday evening’s event gathered a representative group of artists from the two county region; branding partners, including local arts organizations, Mayland Community College, Penland School of Crafts, and local government officials (both town and county) filled the ARC on Wednesday. Both enjoyed appetizers and a presentation by Toe River Arts brand manager, Oscar Weinmeister.

Weinmeister highlighted the collaborative work done by artists and partners over the last few years. He discussed how the work will be translated into a strategic plan that TRAC will begin to implement over the coming year.

The plan will present a cohesive brand identity for all high-quality art-related activity in Mitchell and Yancey counties. Part of the plan will include the consolidation of individual program names and logos under one umbrella—Toe River Arts to be used in several new and existing venues such as Studio Tour signage, social media, radio, and print.

The plan will also include goals to ensure efficient monitoring of the initiative’s success. One of the key goals is to make certain that the brand is recognized locally before reaching out further. Ultimately, promotion will target markets outside the area with groups that appreciate and buy art, enjoy natural beauty, and perhaps consider relocating to this region. Weinmeister emphasized the importance of arts to the local economy. Hundreds of artists live in the two-county area and operate studios that attract visitors who purchase art, lodging, and food while here. The artists in turn shop local.

Overall, the initiative will be on-going and will evolve over the next few years based on feedback from member artists and supporting partners. For more information and a list of artists participating in Toe River Arts Studio Tour June 2-4, visit the website at

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