November 2020:  Thanks to support from the Kiwanis Club of Tryon and to the TFAC Annual Fund, we have been able to continue funding Be Inspired Grants during this challenging time of COVID-19.  Click here for a list of the 2020-2021 recipients and a brief description of their project.

We are very grateful for the funding and for the work of our Arts in Education committee to raise and distribute the funding.  Schools, teachers and students need our help more than ever.

If you would like to donate specifically to the Be Inspired Grant program or to Arts in Education at Tryon Fine Arts Center, please contact Executive Director, Marianne Carruth at (828) 859-8322, or donate directly.

In an effort to support teachers and creativity in the classroom, Tryon Fine Arts Center awards Be Inspired Grants of up to $500 each for arts related projects to educators in area schools. BIG grants are distributed in Polk, Spartanburg, Rutherford and Henderson Counties.
Former Board President Jeff Byrd says, “We want to help the dedicated, creative teachers who might otherwise purchase educational supplies with their own personal funds or be unable to provide the arts experience.”

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Check out the video below from 6th grade teacher, Lori Lonan.  This is just one of the many ways the B.I.G. grant supports our teachers and inspires students to think BIG!



Saluda School teacher Ellen Rogers (pictured with two students) used BIG to help her students explore plants and photography. The students studied the parts of a flower, and then tried their hands at photography and captured early spring blooms. BIG covered costs for the photo processing, matting, and the top-notch artist reception students put on for their parents.

Ms. Rogers's project was an exceptional example of Arts Integration: "An approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form. Students engage in a creative process which connects an art form and another subject area and meets evolving objectives in both."(Kennedy Center)

Previous BIG recipient Hillary Wilcox recently had her project with Hendersonville Elementary third graders featured on local news station WLOS. See highlights from the segment here.

All previous BIG recipients are invited to share their success stories and media coverage with us. Email us your stories here!