The Jane Lonon Legacy Grant

2022 Grant Recipient Announced!

The Jane Lonon Legacy Fund was established in June 2019 to honor the dedication and hard work of Jane Lonon, retired Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council. Her devotion to the development of the arts in Ashe County is the motivation to continue that work in perpetuity. The Legacy Fund grants money annually to projects that feature the fine arts, performing arts or heritage arts that contribute to tourism and economic development and celebrate the heritage of Ashe County and the Appalachian region. 

Now in its third year, the grant cycle attracted a pool of strong and diverse applicants with proposals for a wide variety of arts related initiatives. After careful consideration, the committee awarded a $2500 Jane Lonon Legacy Grant to Makayla Church Rosenberger who will facilitate a Summer Contemporary Dance Festival to be held July 5 – 16, 2022. She will build a creative work that will reflect Appalachian culture and heritage through dance performance, movement workshops, and collaboration with local musicians and dance studios.

The festival will bring current contemporary dance practices to Ashe County by offering interactive experiences and performance opportunities to include two main components – movement workshops and a dance performance. Free community dance workshops will be available to a variety of ages and skill levels. The classes offered will include Contemporary Technique (ages 7 – 12 and 12+), Tiny Dancer Creative Movement (ages 4-6), Adult Movement (all ages and abilities) and an Outdoor Community Class for movers of all ages.

The second component of the festival will be a culminating dance concert performed at the Ashe County Civic Center. The concert will showcase local dance students from studios around the area, professional contemporary dancers and the repertoire learned by the selected festival participants.

In her application, Rosenberger reflects on her connection to Ashe County. “Having the opportunity to apply for this grant as a working artistic professional is an honor. I am beyond grateful for the Ashe County Arts Council and the way it fostered my interests in the arts, my creativity, and my desire to learn more. With the ability to grow and develop as an artist through training and traveling across the nation, I have developed a skill set in contemporary dance forms. I am passionate about accessibility to the arts and know this is a value of the Arts Council as well. This project will provide exposure to new ways of looking at, interpreting, and participating in dance.”

The Jane Lonon Legacy Grant committee includes Ashe County Arts Council board members, artists and community members. The Ashe County Arts Council staff will facilitate the grant. The next grant process will begin in the Spring of 2023.  For more information contact the Arts Council at 336-846-2787 or

Please note that registration and performance information for the Summer Contemporary Dance Festival will be coming soon.

The Jane Lonon Legacy Fund was established in 2019, to recognize and honor the dedication and hard work of Jane Lonon, retired Executive Director of the Ashe County Arts Council with the mission of expanding on Lonon’s success in the development of the arts in Ashe County. The annual Jane Lonon Legacy Grant supports projects that feature the fine arts, performing arts or heritage arts of the Appalachians in Ashe County.

Proposals submitted should address one of the following objectives:

1) Extending arts activities and opportunities to people throughout Ashe County

2) Contributing to the economic development in Ashe County through the arts

3) Celebrating the multiple identities of people and families of Ashe County

Applications will be considered from non-profits, businesses, individuals, churches, performers and social organizations that wish to launch innovative arts projects that will benefit Ashe County. Grants up to $2,500 are available. Funded activities must take place between May 1, 2022 – April 30, 2023


In 2020, a $2500 Jane Lonon Legacy grant was awarded to the Ashe County Connectivity Project for the creation of a mural located on the Park Office Building at the New River State Park, Wagoner Access. The project will be the first of a series of murals that will connect the arts and nature with the goal of enhancing tourism, awareness of the county’s natural assets and the local economy.

In 2021, a $2500 Jane Lonon Legacy Fund Grant was awarded to the Greater Lansing Area Development (GLAD) organization for a community mural honoring Lansing, NC native and American folk singer and songwriter, Ola Belle Reed. The GLAD Mural project engaged local artists Whitney Landwehrmann and Joni Ray to create the community mural. Due to Covid-19, the completion date of the murals has been extended to Spring, 2022.



Left to right in front: Andrea Connell, JLLF committee member, Joni Ray, artist; Rene Shuford, Project Manager GLAD, Kitty Honeycutt, JLLF committee member, back row: Jeff Fissel, Executive Director Ashe County Arts Council; Jane Lonon, retired Executive Director Ashe County Arts Council; Dave Eastburn, JLLF committee member; Wayne Johnson, JLLF committee member.