Archive for the ‘NC Arts’ Category

Three Towns in NC are Awarded “Our Town” Grants from the NEA

July 27, 2012

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) has awarded 80 Our Town grants totaling $4.9 million across the country including projects in Charlotte, Kinston and Star, North Carolina.

The Our Town program supports creative placemaking projects that help transform communities into lively, beautiful, and sustainable places with the arts at the core. Projects revitalize downtowns and neighborhoods, instill a sense of place and pride in residents, attract creative workers and cultural travelers and create sustainable economic development.

Funding for the North Carolina projects total $250,000. Recipients include:

The Arts & Science Council in partnership with the City of Charlotte and the McColl Center for Visual Arts, have been awarded $100,000 to commission public artwork to help in the revitalization of the North Tryon Street Corridor in downtown Charlotte.

The City of Kinston, in partnership with the NC Arts Council, and the Kinston Community Council for the Arts, have been awarded $100,000 to finalize the African American Music Trail Park and promote connectivity around existing culturally significant African American music locations and the arts around downtown Kinston.

The STARworks Center for Creative Enterprise, the Town of Star and Central Park North Carolina have been awarded $50,000 in its effort to grow a vibrant glass arts community in the area, as well as launch a major event next spring.

“These projects show how a community with rich arts and a strong, unique sense of place can partner with state and local government and nonprofits to create economic growth,” said Wayne Martin, Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “These awards are a tribute to the vision of the leadership in Charlotte, Kinston and Star.”

The announcement from the NEA brings the total investment in creative placemaking to $11.5 million in Our Town projects in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The program, created by NEA Chair Rocco Landesman, started in 2011. “Cities and town are transformed when you bring the arts — both literally and figuratively — into the center of them,” Landesman said. “Communities are pursuing creative placemaking, making their neighborhoods more vibrant and robust by investing in the performing, visual and literary arts. I am proud to be partnering with these 80 communities and their respective arts, civic, and elected leaders.”

In Charlotte the grant will be used to improve the neighborhood livability of the North Tryon Street Corridor by commissioning public artwork as part of planned neighborhood revitalization initiatives, including a “green” streetscape infrastructure project. The partners will work with a selected artist and residents to integrate the environmentally based artwork into the new streetscape plan, and into a proposed urban farm project by local partners Vision Ventures and Cultivatis.

Project activities will include an artist selection process, a three-month residency for an environmental artist to work with local citizens and stakeholders, and the design, fabrication, and installation of public art. Together these projects will position the North Tryon Street Corridor as a model for sustainable initiatives in Charlotte, benefiting the entire center city area as well as approximately 2,700 residents, 562 businesses and more than 5,500 employees in the neighborhood.

“The Our Town grant and partnership with the City of Charlotte and McColl Center for Visual Art provides a unique opportunity to revitalize a central neighborhood through creative placemaking,” said ASC President Scott Provancher. “We are excited to help transform the North Tryon Street Corridor for future generations.”

In Kinston the project has three major components: Finishing the design and construction of the music park, creating a new African American Music Trails cultural district along South Queen Street; Connecting culturally significant areas that are directly related to the trails as well as other arts-centered areas around downtown Kinston; and continued planning for the development and the promotion of the music trails project.

“This is a great opportunity to put Kinston and the arts on the national stage,” said Kinston Mayor BJ Murphy. “This is further proof that the African American Music Trails is having a tremendous impact on Kinston and the region. I am proud to see a project funded that highlights the cultural contributions of Kinston’s African American community.”

The Kinston Community Council for the Arts was an early partner with the N.C. Arts Council in documenting the African American musical traditions in the region. “It is to the credit of the musicians, community stakeholders, the City of Kinston and the N.C. Arts Council to have faith in our belief that that the arts not only impact the quality of life in a community but are key catalysts in economic and tourism development,” said Sandy Landis, Executive Director of the Kinston Community Council for the Arts.

Central Park North Carolina (CPNC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting an economy based on the sustainable use of natural and cultural resources. The region is nestled near the Uwharrie Mountains, and the eight counties of Anson, Davidson, Montgomery, Moore, Randolph, Richmond, Rowan, and Stanly surrounding the Yadkin-Pee-Dee River.

Starworks is located in Montgomery County and is a 187,000 square foot former textile mill site converted into the Center for Creative Enterprises where there are ceramic and glass studios as well as other entrepreneurial businesses in agriculture, and alternative energy.

“Primarily, this funding will allow us to launch a major event next spring that we’re calling FireFest,” said Nancy Gottovi, executive director of CPNC. “FireFest will celebrate the role of fire in the creation of art, with a focus on sculpture.”

FireFest has been in the works for some time and NEA Funds will allow the region to grow a vibrant glass arts community in Star, Gottovia said.

“We are thrilled to have STARworks in our community,” said Star Mayor Susan Eggleston. “We are especially excited about this project that promises to bring thousands of people to our town. Growing a glass community here fits perfectly with the work we are doing to revitalize Star.”

The NEA received 317 applications for the Our Town program in three primary categories: Arts engagement, Cultural Planning and design; non-metro and tribal communities.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Our Town grant support, please visit the NEA web site at (

Media contacts for North Carolina Projects:

Charlotte: Krista Terrell, Arts & Science Council, e-mail at ( or call 704/335-3035

Kinston: Sandy Landis, Community Council for the Arts, e-mail at ( or call 252/527-2517

Central Park: Rhonda McCanless, e-mail at ( or call 910/428-9001

The North Carolina Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning. The Arts Council accomplishes this in partnership with artists and arts organizations, other organizations that use the arts to make their communities stronger and North Carolinians—young and old—who enjoy and participate in the arts. For more information visit (

The NC Arts Council is a division of the NC Department of Cultural Resources, which annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the NC Arts Council, and the State Archives. The NC Department of Cultural Resources serves as a champion for North Carolina’s creative industry, which employs nearly 300,000 North Carolinians and contributes more than $41 billion to the state’s economy. To learn more, visit (




NC Arts Council Slated For Cuts in North Carolina Budget

May 11, 2012

Well, it seems that North Carolina’s arts community is headed for the same kind of cuts that have been going on in South Carolina for a decade or more. It just goes to show what you get when you vote in a Republican legislature to run things – tax cuts for the rich and powerful and cuts in funding for the arts and poor.

People of NC – you better wake up and make some big changes this fall. If you like the arts you better vote BIG D – all the way. And you better let your voice be heard loud and clear right now on this issue. If they want to wage a cultural war – lets give it to them.

We just received this notice, which I’m sure is just the first of many from arts groups around NC.

We believe that substantial cuts to the North Carolina Arts Council are being considered in the House budget deliberations, including the reduction of 6 positions at the North Carolina Arts Council. While no formal vote has been taken, it is imperative that we speak for the arts before votes are taken.

Please act no later than 5pm, Monday, May 14, 2012.

You can also access contact sheets on these Legislators that include all contact information and grants that were made in their counties at (

Wayne Martin Named Executive Director of the North Carolina Arts Council

May 3, 2012

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Linda A. Carlisle announced today that H. Wayne Martin has been named Executive Director of the NC Arts Council, based in Raleigh, NC.

Martin, who succeeds long time director Mary B. Regan, has more than 25 years experience in arts management with more than half of that time working in the arena of arts-driven economic development.

“During the last 15 years Wayne has played a critical role in collaborating with other state agencies, and regional and local governments to ensure that the arts are an essential component of community development,” Secretary Carlisle said. “His experience in a wide range of Arts Council programs and his vision and love of North Carolina — combined with his leadership qualities — puts him in a unique position to guide the Arts Council into a new era.”

He currently serves as Senior Program Director for Community Arts Development, which includes a staff of eight and management of the Grassroots Arts Program, a $2.3 million program that delivers support for arts development to all 100 counties in the state. He also oversees the Public Art and Community Design program, the Folklife program, and cultural tourism development. During the past year he has focused on planning the Arts Council’s new SmART Initiative to spur arts-driven economic development across the state, and worked the last three years in developing a new arts council in Wilmington.

“Wayne’s comprehensive knowledge and appreciation of our varied Arts Council programs and activities is impressive,” said Bobby Kadis, chair of the Arts Council Board. “Having worked with Wayne for many years, I am confident that he will make an excellent executive director and I look forward to working with him.” Kadis served on the interview committee for the position.

A national search for the position was conducted earlier this year when Regan retired in March 2012 after 39 years. During Regan’s tenure Martin played a critical role in creating the Blue Ridge Music and Cherokee Heritage trails projects as part of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative. This interstate collaboration set the stage for the Congressional designation of western North Carolina as the Blue Ridge Heritage Area. In 2004 Martin received the first Preserve America Presidential Award on behalf of the Blue Ridge Heritage Initiative.

Since then, he has been actively involved in the planning and implementing of other regional projects including the African American Music Trails in eastern North Carolina, a revision of the Blue Ridge Music Trails in 28 western counties and Historic Happy Valley in the Upper Yadkin Valley watershed in Caldwell and Wilkes counties.

Additionally, Martin has worked with a wide range of the Arts Council’s programs. He joined the agency in 1981 as the Arts in Education Director, where he directed the Visiting Artist Program, and was an original staff member of the Office of Folklife Programs. In 1988 Martin helped establish the North Carolina Heritage Award Program, which has honored more than one hundred traditional artists from all regions of the state. In addition, he has produced recordings of some of North Carolina’s outstanding folk artists.

The North Carolina Arts Council works to make North Carolina The Creative State where a robust arts industry produces a creative economy, vibrant communities, children prepared for the 21st century and lives filled with discovery and learning. The Arts Council accomplishes this in partnership with artists and arts organizations, other organizations that use the arts to make their communities stronger and North Carolinians-young and old-who enjoy and participate in the arts.

For more information visit (

Flat Rock, NC, Tailgate Market To Hold Annual Christmas Market – Dec. 10, 2011

November 7, 2011

The Flat Rock’s Tailgate Market is offering a very Special Annual Christmas Market to be held on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, from 2 to 5pm in the area in front of Hubba Hubba Smokehouse and behind Hand in Hand Gallery along Little Rainbow Row in downtown Flat Rock, NC, (on Highway 225, Greenville Highway). This seasonal event will be free and open to the public.

Christmas Annie

Come warm your hands by the fire and enjoy some seasonal music while shopping at this festive event featuring many of the usual vendors of the Flat Rock Tailgate Market with a few new surprise additions. Just some of the items you will find to help with your Christmas shopping and enjoyment are hand spun wool scarves, jams and jellies; locally grown Christmas trees, wreaths, greens and cypress garlands; goat and cow cheese; all cuts of pasture raised Angus beef; organic chicken and eggs; lamb; pork; granola; winter squash and greens; fresh and pickled peppers; fresh and dried shiitake mushrooms; wild mushroom soup starter; mushroom logs for gift giving and “Shiitake Happens” tee shirts; dried Henderson County Pink Lady apples; holiday hard candy; handmade furniture; herb baskets; baked goods including cookies, Christmas breads, pies and tarts; and special holiday Greek food offerings.

The Flat Rock Tailgate Market is sponsored by the Flat Rock Merchants Association. For more information about the Christmas Market, please call 828/697-7719.

Artspace Projects Needs to Hear From Gastonia, NC, Artists About Their Needs for Space

November 7, 2011

Artspace Projects, a national nonprofit arts organization, Gastonia community leaders, and the City of Gastonia are, with funding support from local donors Merryman Cleveland, Richard and Sarah Park Rankin, Marshall Rauch, Juliette Shelley, T.J. Solomon, and Pam Warlick, considering developing affordable, new space where artists may live and work, rent studio and/or other creative workspaces in Gastonia, NC.

Artspace visited Gastonia and conducted a preliminary feasibility study in October 2010. Based upon the findings of that study, including evidence of a broad-based and interested arts community, ample real estate opportunities suitable to this project concept, and local leader motivated to pursue a mixed-use arts facility, it was determined that there was potential for an Artspace modeled community to succeed. Now, as a next step, a survey is being conducted to better understand the space needs of artists of all disciplines in Gastonia and the surrounding region. Your input is key, as the results of this survey will help us secure funding for the project, determine how many spaces to build, and to design a facility that meets the unique needs of Gastonia area artists.

The survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. The survey can be found by visiting (

Advocacy Workshop at the NC Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC, Has Been Rescheduled

January 27, 2011

PechaKucha Night, Midnight at the Mint, Takes Place in Charlotte, NC – Oct. 1, 2010

September 26, 2010

PechaKucha Night Charlotte, the winner of Charlotte Magazine’s 2010 Best of the Best (BoB) Award for Best Creative Gathering, will stage a special 7th installment of its presentation series on Friday, Oct. 1, 2010, as part of the Mint Museum‘s 24-hour grand opening of its new Uptown location.

PKN Charlotte Volume 7 (“Midnight at the Mint”) will be held in the Main Atrium of The Mint Museum’s new Uptown location at 500 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC. The event will begin at 11:59pm and run approximately two hours.

Covering a broad range of topics and media, the evening will place emphasis on performance/entertainment-oriented presentations appropriate for this momentous occasion and the later-than-usual timing of the event. Featuring a carefully crafted lineup of exceptional individuals/groups from the region and around the country, this special PKN Charlotte presentation will include the following artists from Charlotte, Atlanta, Charleston, Raleigh, and even Scotland.

Jonathan Brilliant is a spatial artist from Columbia, SC, who has exhibited nationally and received numerous international fellowships. He is currently executing a series of site-specific installations in 13 galleries over two continents, concluding with as an Artist in Residence at The McColl Center in Charlotte.

Ahmer Inam is an engineer, strategy consultant, and photographer born in New Delhi and currently based in Charlotte. He shoots with a Fujifilm F30 P&S, Nikon D300, and 35mm and medium format film. His presentation will also feature Alla Prima (Emily Higgins & Kirsten Carrell Osborne).

Hardin Minor is a mime in Charlotte who has been entertaining audiences at parties, fundraisers, and Fortune 500 events for over 25 years, including 15 different comedic personas with make-up, wardrobe, props, and a custom written script for each event.

Dimeji Onafuwa is the Founder and Creative Director of Charlotte-based visual communications firm Casajulie. He is also a painter represented by RedSky Gallery in Charlotte and 5ive & 40rty Gallery in Winston-Salem, NC. His paintings are in private and public collections.

Fahamu Pecou is a painter based in Atlanta, GA, who has been featured in several solo and group exhibitions in the US and abroad. His work has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications, including Art in America, Harper’s Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, and Mass Appeal Magazine.

Carlos Salum is the President of Salum International Resources, a management consulting firm based in Charlotte that focuses on Performance Architecture that aligns knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits to improve executive training and corporate events for clients in the US and abroad.

Anthony Schrag is a visual artist from Glasgow, Scotland, who creates interactive installations and performances to manipulate the expected experience of a space. He has exhibited internationally and is currently an Artist in Residence at The McColl Center in Charlotte. Schrag’s presentation will also feature various other artists.

Ce Scott is a nationally exhibited visual artist as well as the recently named Creative Director of The McColl Center for Visual Art and Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture. She will present along with Mitchell Kearney, a Charlotte-based portrait photographer.

George Smart is the Founder of Triangle Modernist Houses, a 501c3 historical archive of modernist houses in the Triad area. He is also Managing Partner of Strategic Development Incorporated, a Raleigh, NC-based leadership development and executive coaching firm.

Quentin “Q” Talley is a Charlotte slam poet who placed 12th at the Individual World Poetry Slam, 2nd with team Slam Charlotte at the National Poetry Slam, and twice as the Southern Fried Regional Champion. He also founded On Q Productions to produce performance works that reflect the minority experience.

Born in Tokyo in 2003, PechaKucha – Japanese for the sound of conversation – is a unique show-and-tell social event where local creatives from all disciplines present 20 slides for 20 seconds each – an exhilarating kaleidoscope of inspirations, ideas, and work. It is an opportunity for people in their communities to express their opinions, share their observations, and work out ideas to a diverse and broad audience in a casual supportive social environment. Akin to an intellectual happy hour, worldwide in around 350 cities, the local Charlotte-region series was founded in September 2008.

Admission to PKN is free. However there is a $10 entry to the museum, which also allows access to all the galleries, shows, as well as all the other 24-hour events/entertainment of the Grand Opening Night. The museum opens to the public at 5:30pm on Oct. 1, 2010, and will remain open for the next 24 hours. A cash-only bar will be available.

For more details and updates, please visit (

Lobster Bake to benefit the Randolph Arts Guild in Asheboro, NC – Sept. 17, 2010

September 9, 2010

Do you love the Arts? Do you love eating Lobster? Then come on to the Randolph Arts Guild Lobster Bake Benefit courtesy of Dwight Holland and his sister, Phyllis. Help make a difference Sept. 17, 2010, at 6:30pm for the arts in Randolph County while feasting on 1 1/4 pounds of lobster (chicken available by request), corn on the cob, potato salad, dessert, beer an’ wine an’ tea an’ coffee.

Tickets are $50 each (of which a portion is a charitable contribution). For those who have never been to Mr. Holland’s house before, getting a chance to see his pottery collection is worth $50 by itself – these tickets will go fast! Only 30 tickets remain.

For more information contact the Randolph Arts Guild at 336/629-0399.