We are thrilled to receive the news that the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) approved investing $80K through its Tourism Product Development Fund to the Wortham Center’s Phase II project. This much-needed funding will support sound and lighting upgrades in the Tina McGuire Theatre, our 100-seat black box theatre, and the Henry LaBrun Studio, a multi-use space for concerts, classes and other events.
The BCTDA approved more than $9 million of new investment in 10 community projects that will benefit residents and visitors. In addition to the $6.64 million approved for two Buncombe County projects in the BCTDA’s August meeting, Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF) investments now total more than $15.68 million in awards this year making it the most in the 20-year history of the fund. With this decision, the BCTDA has committed nearly $60 million to 46 community tourism projects since the fund’s inception.
The Wortham Center was awarded $80,000 to grow the capacity of its facility to enable the simultaneous use of all three venues by local and touring production companies. Evening performances encourage additional overnight visitation.
The Tina McGuire Theatre will receive leg extensions for risers, a lighting and sound system, and curtain tracks. Similarly, improvements to the Henry LaBrun Studio will include lighting and sound infrastructure as well as curtain tracks to enable dividing the space into two venues. The nighttime arts events resulting from this project promote and support Asheville’s creative spirit in addition to generating incremental room nights.
We look forward to sharing the progression of these projects in 2023.