Diversity, Realization, Equity, Access, Merit

Supporting Western North Carolina creative students
with technology and software

Applications are now closed for 2023.
Thank you to those who applied.
Please check back for 2024 DREAM Fund information soon.

The AIGA Asheville Dream Fund benefits underrepresented and economically disadvantaged Western North Carolina students who are studying the design disciplines of graphic design, photography/videography, UI/UX or illustration in colleges and universities. 

Gifts: Three $3,500 are expected to be awarded annually to support the purchase of new computer hardware, software, or design-related technology.  

Three, one-year Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions are also planned to be awarded.

The Dream Fund promotes social and environmental responsibility and cultural awareness in the next generation of artists and designers. This fund aims to increase diversity in the creative profession by removing a hurdle for many local students dreaming of starting their education journey and acquiring professional-level technology hardware. 

Application is free to all.

Who is eligible?

Students living in any of the 24 Western NC counties pursuing a higher education design discipline degree.

Sponsorship Opportunities

If you or your organization is interested in giving please contact sponsorship@asheville.aiga.org for more information on how you can help.

A donation of $1,500 has been secured from Magellan Strategy to fund the one-time AIGA National OpenWater application administration fee.


We are pleased to announce our 2023 Jurors!

Jessica Greenfield

Assistant Professor in Graphic Design

Jessica Greenfield is an artist and graphic designer, working fluidly across the threshold between the two. Her work explores the expressive capacity of human gesture, building intimate relationships with physical materials, and collaborating with the more-than-human world. 

Jessica is currently an Assistant Professor at Appalachian State University where she teaches an embodied approach to graphic design, encouraging students to work with their hands through sketching, collage, drawing, and printmaking. She has also taught at the Rhode Island School of Design, Arizona State University, and UCLA Extension. Previous to joining the Appalachian State faculty, Jessica accrued over 10 years of professional experience focused on branding and publication design as Senior Graphic Designer at both RIOS and Hillstone Restaurant Group. She holds an MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design and a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Carnegie Mellon University.

More Info:
Email: Jessica Greenfield

Meena Khalili

Associate Professor of Design, University of South Carolina

Meena Khalili is a professor of design and interaction who makes daily drawings of things. She is a recipient of consecutive International Design Awards and the National Award for Outstanding Professional Achievement in Graphic Design by the Southeastern College Art Conference. She holds a BFA in Illustration and an MFA in Graphic Design from VCUarts. An ardent supporter of design education, Meena led the National AIGA Design Educators Community 2020-2022. She has exhibited at the Type Directors Club, Chicago Design Museum, and galleries throughout Italy, North America, Asia, and Europe. Meena’s work is in permanent collections around the world and the Library of Congress. She is featured in Issue 05 of The Great Discontent. Her research is driven by her experience as an Iranian-American and daughter of a small business owner. Her work explores new media in design, cultural identity, and generational storytelling.

More about Meena Khalili



Nicole McConville

Photo by Nicole McConville (www.nicolemcconville.com)

Owner, Nicole McConville Photography

Nicole McConville is an Asheville-based photographer serving the creative entrepreneur and business community with head shots and portraits, product photography, food and beverage photography, and fashion photography. Her previous career in lifestyle publishing greatly informs her perspective on the power of images in a constantly evolving media landscape. She is passionately driven by creative collaboration and the act of empowering others through photography. 

More about Nicole McConville



Jillian Ohl

Assistant Professor of Graphic Design, Illustrator 

Jillian Ohl is an artist and illustrator from Winston Salem, North Carolina. She received her BAD from NC State University’s College of Design and her MFA in Illustration and Visual Culture from Washington University in St. Louis. Her work is inspired by personal narrative, pop culture, fashion, femininity, and the culture of built environments. Jillian has exhibited throughout North Carolina and she has a wide range of commercial illustration clients. She has taught at Appalachian State University and is currently Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Western Carolina University. 

More about Jillian Ohl



David Jon Walker

Graphic Designer / Letterer

David Jon Walker is a recent graduate of Master of Fine Art (MFA) program in the School of Art for Graphic Design. He grew up in Tennessee earning degrees from Tennessee State University (B.A. Studio Art) and the University of Memphis (MFA in Web Design). Before attending Yale, David taught web and graphic design courses at Austin Peay State University in Tennessee as an Associate Professor. Beyond the academy, he loves traveling, going to galleries and libraries, running and hand-lettering. He is also principal of Rhealistic Design, a design consultancy that is active locally and nationally. As a sought-after creative, David works with national political candidates, PACs, large non-profits, governmental entities, and varying businesses lending his talents to their marketing efforts to increase awareness and further campaigns. Exploring our present, he examines social cues and the historical past to shape the aesthetic of his visual voice for personal lettering projects with fun and intention. His award-winning works have been recognized by The Type Directors Club, Graphic Design USA, Campaigns and Elections, the International Association of Business Communicators, AIGA, Typism and the College Media Association.

More about David Jon Walker



Applications are now closed for 2023
Please contact us to learn more: education@asheville.aiga.org with questions.


Grab a drink, get to know community members, and hear behind-the-scenes insights and stories from our members. Join us every 3rd Thursday for a Creative Hangout.