Who We Are
is an exciting project that fosters an alliance between North Carolina arts and agriculture, a heritage that has harmonized throughout the state’s history. Scouting out a wealth of events, activities, and adventures—from music at harvest festivals to food and crafts at local fairs—HomegrownHandmade has organized a unique series of Agri-Cultural Trails that offer a new and engaging way of touring the Old North State.

North Carolina Arts Council. Making North Carolina a better state through the arts, the North Carolina Arts Council has promoted excellence in its many forms of artistic expression for more than 40 years. A division of the Department of Cultural Resources, the Arts Councils goals are to deepen the connection between the arts and North Carolina’s communities; and heighten understanding of the role and value of the arts to the state. (919) 807-6500, www.ncarts.org. Questions about the HomegrownHandmade project

North Carolina Cooperative Extension. A partnership that began when county, state, and federal governments agreed that by collaborating they could provide all citizens with access to the wealth of knowledge generated by public universities. An agency of NC State University, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina Cooperative Extension is an educational partnership helping people put research-based knowledge to work for economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and an improved quality of life. (910) 296-2143, http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/.

The Golden LEAF (Long-term Economic Advancement Foundation) was created in 1999 by court order and receives one half of North Carolina’s funds from the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. Golden LEAF continues to make grants to nonprofit and government agencies to promote the social welfare of North Carolina's citizens and to receive and distribute funds for economic-impact assistance.  http://www.goldenleaf.org/.

However, the most important member of the Agri-Cultural alliance is you. With your participation, communities all over North Carolina can learn what it means to share their Agri-Cultural heritage with others.

Background of HomegrownHandmade
The North Carolina Arts Council, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service and HandMade in America were awarded a grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation for a project to stimulate statewide sustainable tourism and to showcase the state’s rural riches. Agri-Cultural trails and itineraries, such as those along I-40 and Hwy. 70, or around the Albemarle Sound, encourage Agri-Cultural.

The N.C. Arts Council provides links to the state’s 2,300 arts organizations, draws on the resources of the Department of Cultural Resources, and oversees trail criteria and marketing. The N.C. Cooperative Extension works with farmers, families, and communities to develop and enhance agritourism ventures in order to provide viable alternatives to traditional agricultural enterprises. The Cooperative Extension gathers research on local economies, environmental concerns, and quality-of-life enterprises and shares its findings with leaders in agritourism. HandMade in America, engaged in developing, publishing information about, and marketing rural sites in the western part of the state, provided training in the expansion of rural tourism systems statewide. 

Self-directed driving trails are being created in 72 North Carolina counties. The trails include art galleries, horse farms, “u-pick” farming operations, locally owned restaurants that feature North Carolina food products, and picturesque bed-and-breakfast inns.

These trails respond to the growth in cultural and heritage tourism, the fastest growing segment of the industry. In some North Carolina communities, arts and agriculture have partnered at harvest days, music festivals, and farm fairs. The goal of the project is to impact as many of our vibrant rural communities as possible. The agribusiness operator is limited only by his or her creativity. Agri-Cultural tourism can generate income, boost employment, and diversify local economies.

For more information

For complete travel information on North Carolina visit www.visitnc.com.




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