The Daily Pulse:

Arrowmont Now Owns its Campus

As hoped when we ran a story about the venerable Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, the school's fundraising campaign has been successful, and Arrowmont, who once expected the school would have to leave its original campus, has successfully purchased the high-demand real estate from the sorority that has owned it for a century. See Arrowmont's press release on the subject below.


Arrowmont purchases historic campus

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is pleased to announce that the school's Board of Governors has purchased its historic campus in Gatlinburg, Tennessee from the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women. The nationally recognized institution for art and craft education evolved from a settlement school founded on the same property by Pi Beta Phi in 1912. According to Executive Director Bill May, the purchase price was $8 million, and the school was successful in raising nearly that entire sum from local and national supporters within the last year.

"Owning our campus allows Arrowmont to continue to enrich the lives of the artists and people of our community for generations to come," said Geoffrey Wolpert, president of Arrowmont's Board. "Gatlinburg, Pi Beta Phi and Arrowmont share an intertwined history, and that history gives this institution a momentum that will allow it to shape a future that is vital and important to the growing international community that benefits from what happens on this campus."
"We are grateful to those who have made it clear that they believe in Arrowmont's future as much as they value its rich history," says May. "Arrowmont plays a role in the cultural life of our community and contributes to craft education on a national level." Key donors to the campaign to purchase the Arrowmont campus are the City of Gatlinburg, Sevier County, the Windgate Charitable Foundation, and numerous individual donors including the Arrowmont Board and staff. Gifts ranged from $3.5 million to $5.

"All levels of giving are important," May adds. "It's the heartfelt donation of $5 from a retiree or teenage woodturner that helps convince municipalities like the City of Gatlinburg--which contributed $3.5 million--or foundations like Windgate--which contributed a matching grant of $2.25 million--that their larger contributions are necessary, justified and well spent."

Arrowmont's first session of 2014 craft workshops begins on April 3. Fittingly, this is "Legacy Weekend," and will pay homage to the history of Arrowmont, Appalachian craft traditions and the beauty of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  As part of the celebration, the school's esteemed Artists-in-Residence program will mark its 22nd year as this year's residents host an opening reception for their annual exhibition, April 5, 7 -- 9pm.

In June, Arrowmont will host an event welcoming both the local and national community to join in a celebration of our donors and our ownership of our campus. There we will unveil plans for Arrowmont's future.

Arrowmont Executive Director Bill May is available for comments. For more information about Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts or to view 2014 workshop offerings, please visit


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