Lansing, in Ashe County, North Carolina, is a historic town and a community that has deep roots in Appalachian culture and the arts including music, crafts, literature, pottery, farming, cabinetry and furniture making, fermentation art, fiber arts, leather work and more. Over the years the town has suffered from lack of economic opportunity for its young people and ensuing population loss. Empty retail store fronts tell the story.
The Lansing school, seen here, was constructed of stone in 1938 under the Public Works program during the depression. It was the local Lansing school for all grades until 1992. Since then it has been empty and has slowly deteriorated.
This historic and beautiful building is the center point for a community revitalization project to provide education once again focusing on the historic arts, crafts and skills of Appalachia.
The vision is to renovate the old school building to create a learning center to promote the Appalachian arts, crafts and skills. This has the potential to revitalize not only the arts and crafts of Appalachia but also provide economic impact for this beautiful rural area of 27,000 population. It would employ both skilled artisan trainers and bring students to the area and have a spin off economic impact for the community in demand for accommodation, food, activities and services.
Funding is needed for the purchase and renovation of the building. Public and private funding will be sought for both capital and operational costs. An Executive Director has been identified. A nonprofit 501c-3 is set up with a board to oversee and guide the process.
Are you passionate about what we're doing? Let us know! We are always looking for volunteers to help us make our vision a reality. We'll help you find a way to volunteer that best suits you. We're excited to have you join the team!
Whether you help through monetary donations, volunteering your time, or spreading our mission through word-of-mouth, thank you. We couldn't accomplish our goals without the help of supporters like you.