During the 1990’s, the Hispanic population in Burke County grew 824 percent.* Compared to the national increase of 60 percent, it is apparent that the cultural landscape of Burke County was profoundly and uniquely shifted. Most of this Hispanic population consists of Mayan Guatemalans who arrived as both war and economic refugees. While the social landscape has changed dramatically, the social conscience has largely remained stagnant. The goal of this initiative is to develop an empathetic space for community integration where the contributions of the Mayan Guatemalans to our community can be understood, promoted and enhanced. 

Inclusive Public Art Initiative

TOSS has the privilege of partnering with the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and other community partners including Little Guatemala, the Burke County Literacy Council, St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church and others to engage in a public art initiative, celebrating Guatemalan culture in Morganton! With an initial planning grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, we will be hosting a series of dinners to gain insight from the Guatemalan community and receive feedback on a design for a mural and garden plot located at Little Guatemala, a new community center on E. Union to open in 2019 as renovations are complete.

These dinners are open to the public and we welcome anyone to attend. To RSVP, or to learn more, email

*Leon Fink in his book, The Maya of Morganton, notes that state Hispanic leaders, believe that the census undercount at least one-third of the actual resident population. Raleigh News and Observer, March 30, 2001; Morganton News-Herald, March 38, 2001.

Registration for Fiber, our Spring workshop series is now open! Get more info here.

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TOSSworks is a series of workshops we host with partnering organizations for students in k-8th grade to experiment with visual mediums in more depth. The workshops are designed around a central theme, corresponding to relevant issues in our community.

We had a great time at Fonta Flora in November, celebrating the conclusion of our last series, Fall for the Forest. Thanks for coming out folks!



TOSSair is a complimentary program of TOSSworks/after. Teaching-artists participate in a residency in which they work with students, make art, and donate a percentage of their proceeds to the TOSSafter scholarship fund. 

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Kathryn attended the Arts Education Symposium at the invitation of the Burke Arts Council, hosted by the North Carolina Arts Council, worked on several commissions, finished her school term, and has been doing heaps of strategic planning for TOSS!  

 📷 @artamay


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Hannah has been working on various ceramic commissions as well as enjoying the new member of the fam this holiday season!

📷 @hannah_thrower 📷@bttrailrunner

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Kirksey has made everyone in Morganton SO HAPPY by sharing her weavings and paintings in artisan markets throughout the holiday season. You rad, lady!


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We are so grateful for the community organizations and partners who have come alongside TOSS as we sort out a permanent studio location and plow forward with community engagement initiatives and workshops. We are so thankful for your support! A huge thanks to our sponsors and partners at:

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation
North Carolina Arts Council
The Burke Arts Council
Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina
Little Guatemala
Burke County Literacy Council
St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church