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Toe River Arts Scholarship for the Arts is made possible by an endowment fund held by the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. These scholarships are awarded to individuals from Yancey or Mitchell County, North Carolina, who are pursuing higher education in arts or arts education. Each scholarship will be paid directly to the degree-based institution of the applicant’s attendance.

Scholarship for the Arts Application 2024


Scholarships ranging from $500-$1000 are awarded annually under the title of the Toe River Scholarships for the Arts.

Awards are open to graduating seniors, and to adult residents of Yancey or Mitchell County, North Carolina, who are pursuing higher education for arts or arts education and who are enrolled or in the process of enrolling. Previous Toe River Arts Scholarships for the Arts award winners are not eligible to apply. If the applicant is turned down for admission, the scholarship will not be allocated. Additionally, if the applicant withdraws from the arts related program, the scholarship will be returned to Toe River Arts by the granting institution.


A panel of judges comprised of Toe River Arts Board Members will review and evaluate submissions. The scholarship amount is $1000, and this amount can be divided to award multiple applicants. The committee will review each application, reference letter and the 5 work samples provided. Submissions will be evaluated based upon original thinking, artistic commitment, and a willingness to take creative risks. All decisions made by the panel will be final.


  • Contact Information & Application
  • Narrative
  • Five Work Samples
  • One letter of referral from a teacher, school counselor, or professional reference discussing applicant’s arts related higher educational goals. Letter should be emailed directly to alena@toeriverarts.org by May 26, 2023.


Applicants should submit five work samples that best exemplify the extent and quality of their past accomplishments. Work Samples do not have to be related to the category of degree program to be eligible but can represent the applicant’s overall abilities. (Ex., applicants may submit a sculpture even if they are accepted to a photography program.) You may submit work samples in different areas. Each work sample must be accompanied by a description. Applications submitted that are incomplete will be automatically disqualified.

Visual Art and Craft: Upload a high-quality digital image of each work sample as a jpg or pdf. You will also provide a work sample description including date of completion, medium, and dimensions for each work sample.

Music, Film, Dance and Performing Arts: Provide a website link for each submission. The video or audio clip of the live or studio experience, not to exceed 5 minutes. If your video is longer than 5 minutes the committee will only review the first 5 minutes. Applicants must then submit a work sample description which includes: Date, Location of Performance, Title, Applicant role in performance, and/or a brief summary describing performance may be included.

Writing: Fiction, creative nonfiction, playwrights, songwriters, poets may submit no more than 2 pages each up to 5 manuscripts. Poets may submit five poems. Playwrights may also submit documentation of a recorded performance or staged reading of their plays (videos, clip not to exceed five minutes.) Please submit all writing samples in one PDF document. Title each writing work sample: Title of Sample, Date of Completion and if published where it was published.


  • Monday-April 8th Scholarship Application goes live online (4/8-5/26)
  • Monday- May 27th applicant materials are sent to committee panel and applicants reviewed by committee.
  • Friday- June 7th committee has virtual zoom meeting to discuss the application and make final decision.
  • Monday- June 10th applicants are notified of their status.
  • Friday- June 17th scholarship funds mailed

For any questions, contact Alena Applerose, Toe River Arts Community Outreach Coordinator: Alena@toeriverarts.org, 828-765-0524

Past Scholarship for the Arts Recipients


Haven Lee

Haven Lee, of Yancey County, demonstrated a passion for his arts studies showing artistic commitment and a willingness to take creative risks. Haven is a product design major at the Kansas City Art Institute. He aspires to create beautiful, durable, thoughtfully designed objects at a more accessible price. He also has ambitions to create his products out of sustainable materials that can be reused, refurbished, and upcycled, as a means to reduce consumer waste.


Evelyn Klein

Evelyn is a student at Appalachian State University pursuing a BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in Metalsmithing and Jewelry Design.

“I am about to enter my third year at App State and am so grateful to continue pursuing my education with the help of Toe River Arts. This scholarship from the arts council will help support my studies at App State and the materials that are needed for my classes. I am excited about the opportunity to return to school in the fall semester and get back to learning and doing something I love.”


Lily Wieland

Lily Wieland graduated from Mountain Heritage High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English from Wake Forest University in 2019. Since then, she has worked as a freelance stage manager across North Carolina and Massachusetts. In the fall of 2021, Lily began earning her Masters in Stage & Event Management at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales.