The Asheville Symphony is pleased to announce that The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina (CFWNC) has approved a $40,000 Cultural Resources grant to help offset the cost of moving its 2023-2024 season after the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium closed in summer of 2023.

The Thomas Wolfe Auditorium was the home of the Asheville Symphony for nearly 50 years until its closure in July 2023, when the facility experienced an HVAC failure that required long-term closure for repairs. Last summer, the Asheville Symphony relocated all shows that had been originally scheduled in the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium to alternate venues. The majority of the Symphony’s flagship Masterworks Series was relocated to the First Baptist Church of Asheville, which accommodates about half the capacity of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, necessitating double performances to meet audience demand. This resulted in higher expenses to compensate musicians and soloists as well as increased production costs.

Funds from the CFWNC Cultural Resources grant will be directed toward those increased costs, thus offsetting some of the unanticipated expenses associated with the sudden relocation last year.

“Moving the Symphony’s season to 14 different venues throughout our community was a considerable, unplanned expense, so we are deeply grateful for this generous investment from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina,” said Asheville Symphony Executive Director Daniel Crupi. “Last season’s transition also brought about some amazing opportunities for the Symphony – in particular, our ability to catalyze radical artistic growth and invest in our musicians in a substantial way, helping us to attract and retain the best talent in the region. We also quickly developed a new audience of patrons who prefer the intimate environment of First Baptist Church of Asheville, as well as families and regional attendees who prefer matinee performances. The Symphony’s year of experimentation will prove immensely valuable for years to come.”

The Asheville Symphony announced in April 2024 that the First Baptist Church of Asheville (FBCA) will continue as the home of the Masterworks Series for the next three years. “Support from the community and from organizations like CFWNC made this enterprising partnership with First Baptist Church of Asheville possible in the first place,” said Crupi. “FBCA offers an unparalleled orchestral performance environment in Asheville, and we are excited to continue to deliver afternoon and evening performances with an exceptional patron experience for the next three years. We are grateful for the CFWNC’s role in aiding our organizational stability through this important partnership.”

The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina is a nonprofit serving eighteen counties in Western North Carolina. The Foundation is a permanent regional resource that facilitated $34 million in charitable giving last year. CFWNC inspires philanthropy and mobilizes resources to enrich lives and communities in Western North Carolina.

The Asheville Symphony performs and promotes symphonic music for the benefit, enjoyment and education of the people of Western North Carolina. Related organizations include the Asheville Symphony Guild, Asheville Symphony Chorus, Asheville Symphonettes, and education initiatives such as the Asheville Symphony Youth Orchestra, Music in the Schools, Symphony Talk, and pre-concert lectures. Learn more at www.ashevillesymphony.org.