Columbus applies for HandMade in America program

Published 2:42 pm Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Town of Columbus has officially applied to be a part of HandMade in America Small Towns program.

Columbus Town Council met Jan. 17 and were updated by town manager Jonathan Kanipe that the town submitted its application on Jan. 4.

Columbus was awarded a $10,000 grant from the Polk County Community Foundation to pursue a partnership with HandMade in America. The grant would support the community assessment for the HandMade in America project, Kanipe said.

The town should receive word in the near future regarding its application.

Kanipe also told council that in association with HandMade in America, Columbus recently wrote a partner letter indicating its participation with HandMade for a portion of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant called, “Our Town” grant.

The NEA grant funds local art and culture projects and would also be used to assist the town’s programming with HandMade. Although not a grant specifically for Columbus, Kanipe said, if HandMade in America is approved, some of the money would benefit Columbus in an indirect way.

HandMade in America is based in western North Carolina and over the past 15 years has attracted $52 million in investment and created hundreds of new jobs.

HandMade in America currently works with 13 small towns in 10 counties, connecting them with funders and resources that support their community projects.

Communities currently working with HandMade in America include Andrews, Bakersville, Bryson City, Chimney Rock, Crossnore, Hayesville, Marshall, Mars Hill, Old Fort, Robbinsville, Todd and West Jefferson.