The Charities

The Asheville Symphony Orchestra

For more than 50 years, the Asheville Symphony has been performing and promoting symphonic music for the benefit, enjoyment and education of the people of Western North Carolina. More than 40,000 people each year experience at least one of the Symphony’s programs, which include concerts, youth and school programs, and community outreach.


Annual concerts include a seven-concert Masterworks series featuring a carefully curated selection of the great classics along with modern works and works by living composers, an annual Christmas concert, and a choral concert starring the Asheville Symphony Chorus. The orchestra has won praise for its innovative programming, the fine quality of its musicianship, and the outstanding guest artists that it attracts,  such as Emanuel Ax, Jeremy Denk, and Simone Dinnerstein.


The Asheville Symphony also provides an array of youth, school and community programs that help bring music and music awareness into all corners of the community. School programs and Young People’s Concerts together reach more than 8,000 children in Asheville and Buncombe County. Other programs include music camp scholarships, the Asheville-Buncombe Youth Orchestra, and the Young Artist Competition. The Symphony’s newest program, MusicWorks!, funded by a large grant from the Leever Foundation, is a pilot after-school program in one of the city’s most underserved schools that uses music instruction along with homework support, physical activity and healthy snacks to help cultivate lifelong skills for success. Other programs include pre-concert lectures, monthly community Symphony Talks, and the Guild’s Musical Feasts.


As part of a commitment to keeping concert-going affordable for all, the Symphony strives to maintain reasonable ticket prices, offers youth pricing and student rush seats, and creates opportunities for low-income groups. Hundreds of volunteers, through The Guild and the Symphonettes, reach out into the community to raise awareness, rally support, and provide performance opportunities for emerging artists and educational programs for all ages.


As the largest employer of performing artists in Western North Carolina, the Asheville Symphony helps sustain Asheville’s vibrant music scene by providing a steady and reliable source of income for some of the area’s most skilled and highly trained performing artists. Its presence in the community also helps strengthen the local economy, expand the tax base, and create and maintain vibrant public space.


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The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is a local land trust conserving the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for present and future generations. To foster healthy communities, SAHC works to preserve:

·  Water quality in streams and rivers

·  Habitat for wildlife and rare plants

·  Places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation

·  Farmland for local food production

·  Scenic beauty of the mountains


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The Asheville City Schools Foundation is an independent community-based organization that has been dedicated to student success for over 25 years. Our mission is to promote educational success for all Asheville City Schools students by engaging and mobilizing the entire community to support enriching and innovative educational activities. We champion strong public schools through advocacy, grant-making, and parent and community engagement. Since 2000, the Foundation has provided over $600,000 directly to teacher-led projects at schools, $1 million to students through scholarships, and served over 721 students in the IRL after school program.


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MANNA Food Bank  is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving Western North Carolina since 1983 and an accredited member of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief organization. The mission of MANNA is to involve, educate, and unite people in the work of ending hunger in Western North Carolina. 108,000 people in our region, including 1 in 4 children, struggle with hunger.  In 2013 MANNA distributed 12.8 million pounds of food through some 211 community-based food assistance agencies in its 16 county service area- enough food to provide 29,000 meals a day.


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