About Us

Artwork: “Warm Smoke” by Ariel Adams
Part of the Digital Salon Exhibit

Our Mission

Integrating art and business for the benefit of the region.

Our History

We drive economic development by supporting creative entrepreneurs, especially those who combine art and technology to generate new businesses. To do this, we serve on local and regional committees, deliver creative entrepreneurship workshops, host listening sessions, gather data for the Americans for the Arts “Arts & Economic Prosperity” study, and create programming and events that strengthen both the visibility and the viability of creative entrepreneurships in our service area. Our goal is a robust, energetic community of creatives working together to increase both quality of life and economic opportunity in the region.

We have some wonderful partners! Since 2014, Create Appalachia (CA) has worked hand-in-hand with the East Tennessee State University (ETSU), the cities of Johnson City and Kingsport, TN, Sync Space, the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), the Tennessee Arts Commission, and many others to provide support for creative entrepreneurs. We define this term broadly, including those who work in digital media, fine arts, culinary arts, film, photography, design and more. Makers in our region can benefit not only from our programs and events, but though the use of spaces carefully curated to meet their needs with special software and equipment.

Our two Centers for Art and Technology are located in Kingsport, TN (KCAAT) and Johnson City, TN (JCAAT). These spaces, designed as micro-enterprise incubators and professional development centers, offer affordable access to commercially licensed software relevant to those who work in digital media, film, photography, and design.

Want to know more about our Centers for Art and Technology? Click here for details.


  • Appalachian Regional Commission
  • Tennessee Digital Communities Grant
  • SouthArts
  • TVA Marketing Grant
  • Tennessee Arts Commission “Arts Build Communities” Grant
  • USDA Rural Business Development Grant 

By providing access to affordable co-working and business incubation space, professional development and entrepreneurship training, mentoring, and technical resources, we hope to mitigate the “brain drain” caused by the large number of skilled graduates that are currently leaving the region upon graduation due to the lack of highly-paid, skilled jobs.

We plan to incubate not only businesses,
but a thriving digital arts industry.

What We Offer

Coworking & Private Offices

We have 2 fully-equipped centers for digital and traditional artists to utilize in Johnson City and Kingsport.

Regional Partnerships

We are all about collaboration and are proud to work with other non-profits and economic development partners.

Professional Programs

Get an in-depth course on digital marketing, photography, and more. Click here for more information and our upcoming classes.

Our Footprint

The Create Appalachia Center for Arts & Technology serves the following counties in Northeast Tennessee, and in the adjacent states of North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky:

Cocke, Hancock, Carter, Claiborne, Grainger, Greene, Hamblin, Jefferson, Johnson, Unicoi, Hawkins, Sullivan, Washington

North Carolina
Ashe, Mitchell, Watauga, Yancy, Avery, Madison.

Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Wise, Grayson, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, Alleghany, Smyth, Washington.

Bell, Harlan, Letcher


After attending our Small Business Resources Class:
Honestly, I didn’t know that I needed this class as much as I did.
Thoroughly enjoyed the "Branding Yourself as a Creative" session. Comfortable meeting space also. Very happy to learn this is part of a series and definitely intend to continue.
I got really excited about the resources, the websites, that I can refer to later from the "Branding Yourself as a Creative" workshop!

Get Involved

Help us make the Appalachian Highlands a better place to live and work through innovation and entrepreneurship centered around the arts.

Board of Directors

Cher Cornett, President,

Associate Professor, ETSU Digital Media, Johnson City, TN

Jane Hillhouse, Secretary,

Principal, Hillhouse Creative, Kingsport, TN

Dr. Katie Hoffman, Executive Director,

Appalworks, Sulphur Springs, TN

Jacy Richardson,

Assistant Professor of Digital Media at ETSU, Johnson City, TN

Tom Raymond,

Owner, FreshAir Photography,
Johnson City, TN

John Wood,

Wood Patent Law,
Johnson City, TN

Heath Guinn,

President of Sync Space,
Kingsport, Tennessee

Samantha Culbertson,

Push the Pixels,
Kingsport, Tennessee

Stephen Marshall Ph.D.,

East Tennessee State University,
Johnson City, Tennessee

Events & Programs Advisory Committee

Ren Allen,

Faces by Ren,
Jonesborough, TN

Margie Kendall,


Leighton Hart,

Market St. Marketing,
Johnson City, TN

Jocelyn Matthews,

Fine Artist,
Johnson City, TN

Patrick Savage,

Savage Creative,
Bristol, TN

Christy Shivell,

Shy Valley Farm, Studio, and Garden

Jason “Jay” Flack,

Jason Flack Art


Grant Funding Provided By


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You can donate to our cause, or hop in and help out through partnerships.