About Us

Courtyard at Night

Following North Carolina’s 1975 creation of a state arts council, William “Bill” Evan Casstevens, UNC-Charlotte graduate and Broadway performer, returned to his hometown and quickly took the reins at the first Yadkin Arts Council meeting in the county library.

Since becoming a non-profit 501©3 organization, the Yadkin Arts Council shared space everywhere from the Yadkinville High School auditorium to a retired freezer locker, but finally found a permanent home when construction of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center began in October 2010. Just under a year later, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center opened its doors to the public for the first time on September 19, 2011, alongside its 34th Annual Yadkin Valley Harvest Festival.

The Arts Council is governed by a 20-member Board. It receives grassroots funding from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Office of Cultural Resources. The Yadkin Arts Council allocates these funds for arts experience and education programs in the schools.

Since finding its permanent home, the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center has expanded rapidly, now featuring the 193-seat Willingham Theater, resident artist studios, the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room a learning resource, Third Branch Cafe, Welborn Gallery, meeting space and classrooms, and the versatile Front Yard space. In addition to these new facilities, the YAC has also expanded its entertainment and community outreach and hosts a variety of events:

  • Annual Yadkin Valley Bluegrass Convention
  • Annual Juried Art Show
  • Annual Harvest Festival
  • Bimonthly Artist Exhibitions in the Welborn Gallery
  • Children’s Summer Theater Program
  • Messiah Chorus Concert
  • Nancy Mills Davis Memorial Scholarships
  • School Art Experiences
  • Year-round performances and movies in the Willingham Theater


With a $25,000 grant from NC Glaxo-Smith-Kline Foundation, the Yadkin Arts Council is collaborating with the Yadkin County Elementary Schools to bring the Orff-Schulwerk approach to teaching music in grades K-6. This innovative program, not offered in other area schools, integrates vocal and instrumental music with dance, poetry and improvisation in which every child is an active, creative participant.
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Additional funding has come from the E.H.Barnard Charitable Trust,  Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, SunTrust Foundation.

Our Mission

To enrich the lives of every citizen of Yadkin County through a broad variety of arts programs that touch, inspire and involve creative spirits of all ages and all backgrounds.

We Believe

Art is transformational. Arts open minds, frees imagination and helps people see the world from different perspectives.