About Us

Courtyard at Night

The Yadkin Arts Council saw its beginnings in 1975 following North Carolina’s creation of a state arts council. William “Bill” Evan Casstevens, a UNC-Chapel Hill theater graduate and Broadway performer, who had recently returned to his hometown quickly took the reins at the first arts council meeting at the county library and would lead the group as it became a non-profit 501©3 organization.

Over the years the Yadkin Arts Council would bounce from home to home using the Yadkinville High School auditorium and a retired freezer locker that once housed the local resident’s frozen meat in the days before home freezers.

In October 2010 the Yadkin Cultural Art Center’s construction began and just shy of a year later the center opened its doors to the public for the first time on September 19, in concert with the Council-sponsored 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.

Now that the Council has a permanent home a rapid expansion of programming has followed. Some of the Arts Council programming includes:

  • 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.