River Arts District: The Next Revitalization

The heart of Asheville’s creative spirit resides in this colorful neighborhood, where once-bustling mills now house 200+ artist studios. The RAD is open for business during ongoing improvements.​

Between now and 2020, you may notice some work in progress. Once completed, this expansive improvement project—undertaken by the city of Asheville with support from the local tourism industry—will include new greenways, bike lanes and sidewalks, safer roads, additional river access and better parking.

Check this link for current road closures, public parking availability, and other construction updates.

In the meantime, you are invited to explore this creative, eclectic corner of Asheville. Wander into a studio to watch an artist at work in clay, metal, wood or paint; grab a rack of ribs and a pint of craft beer amid brightly colored graffiti art; dance along to live local music at concerts and festivals.

Explore River Arts District

  • by Constance E. Richards

    Living and Learning with the Artists Asheville’s River Arts District (RAD) is a destination that grew out of necessity. Artists needed cheap rent and large spaces. An industrial zone east of the railroad tracks had a glut of aging and empty … read more

  • by Elizabeth Sims

    Shaping the Blue Ridge Craft Scene Here’s our best advice: when you’re in Asheville, become a lump of clay : Malleable. Impressionable. Promising a serendipitous ending that’s unexpected. Become a richer, more colorful person as … read more

  • by Elizabeth Sims

    Asheville Artists Paint the Town Visual art is everywhere in Asheville. On the sides of buildings. On the street corners. All across the undersides of bridges. In studios in the River Arts District and in the private studios of other working artists … read more

  • by Melissa Stanz

    Things to do and see on Asheville’s French Broad River Asheville’s vibrant urban scene, gorgeous mountains, and cultural treasures may be what draws so many visitors to the area, but the French Broad River is arguably what allowed all … read more