About Us

Our Story

Since 2014, members of the Create Appalachia Board of Directors have worked hand-in-hand with the Johnson City Public Art Committee, Johnson City Development Authority (JCDA), the JC  Chamber of Commerce, the JC Downtown Merchants Association, East Tennessee State University (ETSU), and others to promote economic development through the arts by service on committees, delivery of arts entrepreneurship workshops, hosting listening sessions, gathering data for the Americans for the Arts “Arts & Economic Prosperity 5” study, and management of arts programming for local festivals.

During this time we have developed programming and experiences to promote the arts and help artists showcase their work. Our branded programs include:

Arts@Work TM Workshops and the  Arts@Work TM Summit

Professional development workshops for arts-based businesses offered throughout our service area. Workshop topics have included Branding for Success, Pricing Your Creative Work, A Legal & Ethical Primer for Artists, Effective Social Media Promotion for Creatives and others.

Every other year we will offer a conference that offers entrepreneurship workshops, with notable speaker presentations and networking, over a 2-3 day period.

Create-a-Stir TM

Culinary and food farming workshops and presentations promoting the role of culture, artistry and creativity in the business of the production of food. Each event is unique and features an expert presenter/instructor, or showcases an aspect of our regional food creativity. 

Previous workshops include chef/author talks and food demonstrations and samplings (by Sheri Castle, 2016, and Susan Crowder, 2018); and “It’s About Herbs” (2019), a 2-part workshop on Herb Garden Design by Christy Shivell, and Creating Flavorful Herbal Tea Blends for Medicinal Use by Michele Bouton.

 The Tiny Art Throwdown TM
A street art competition at the Little Chicago Arts & Music Festival, Johnson City, Tn. 2020 will be the fifth year of the competition, which draws amateur and professional artists from around the region to create temporary works of art in streets and sidewalks of downtown JC.


Board of Directors

President / Founder
Cher Cornett, Associate Professor, ETSU Digital Media, Johnson City, TN

Executive Director
Dr. Katie Hoffman, Appalworks, Sulphur Springs, TN

Vice President
Keith Nakoff, Adjunct Professor, ETSU, Elizabethton, TN

Jane Hillhouse, Principal, Hillhouse Creative, Kingsport, TN

James Livingston, Associate Professor, ETSU Digital Media, Johnson City, TN

 Members at large

Heath Guinn, President, SyncSpace, Kingsport, TN

John Wood, Wood Patent Law, Johnson City, TN

Josh Mancuso, Mancuso Entertainment, Johnson City, TN

Tom Raymond, Owner, FreshAir Photography, Johnson City, TN


Our Partners

East Tennessee State University
College of Business & Technology, Innovation Laboratory, and Departments of Digital Media, Communications 

Johnson City Development Authority