River Arts District: Asheville's Artistic Center Reimagined

The heart of Asheville’s creative spirit resides in this colorful neighborhood, where once-bustling mills now house 200+ artist studios. The River Arts District now is better than ever thanks to a multi-million dollar community redevelopment project completed in spring 2021. 

Bicyclists and runners enjoy the new greenway in Asheville's River Arts District

The expansive RADTIP improvement project, undertaken by the city of Asheville with support from the tourism community, has helped make it easier and safer for you to explore Asheville's artistic center thanks to improved roads and traffic flow. At the heart of the project is the Wilma Dykeman Greenway, a new paved 2-mile greenway along the French Broad River that features new public artwork. You'll also find new bike lanes, paved sidewalks, river access and better parking. The project has been in the works for 10 years and construction began five years ago.  

A sign welcomes visitors to the greenway in Asheville's River Arts District

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