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ArtsGreensboro Commissions Poem for Frontline Workers

ArtsGreensboro thanks local healthcare and emergency services workers with commissioned poem.

ArtsGreensboro President and CEO, Laura Way, presenting gifts to local frontline workers.

GREENSBORO, NC—ArtsGreensboro presented local Guilford County healthcare and emergency services employees with a commissioned poem commemorating their hard work and perseverance throughout the pandemic. Poet Lavinia C. Jackson, an ArtsGreensboro grantee, wrote the poem “Your Presence is a Gift” specifically for Greensboro’s healthcare heroes. Over 13,000 Cone Health employees, Metro 911 dispatchers and Guilford County EMS first responders will receive a personal copy of the poem. On May 12, ArtsGreensboro President and CEO Laura Way presented each organization with a framed copy of the poem and a video of the poet reciting her work.

Left to right: Melanie Neal, Jim Albright and Dr. Mary Jo Cagle.

“The arts have the power to heal,” says Way when asked why she decided to honor local healthcare heroes. “The strain of the ongoing pandemic has made everything more difficult, but these workers never gave up on the community.” Way believes that the poem is a written expression of gratitude for employees who are not thanked enough. The poem is wallet-sized so that the healthcare employees can carry the poem with them throughout their shifts.

“Art of all forms can help us heal, whether from illness or stress,” Cone Health VP & Chief Philanthropy Officer Michelle Schneider says. “The Cone Health team is grateful for the continued support we receive from the community, and this poem is a meaningful reminder of their gratitude. We are thankful to Lavinia Jackson for her creativity and to Arts Greensboro for the many ways they partner with us to make art a part of the Cone Health experience.”

 “At Guilford Metro 911, we are so appreciative when our community recognizes our first, first responders in such a kind way,” says Melanie Neal, executive director of Metro 911. “We are the heart of public safety responses in Greensboro and Guilford County, and rarely get recognized, so thank you to ArtsGreensboro for doing so!”

ArtsGreensboro serves the greater Greensboro area by providing necessary funding and support to local artists and arts organizations. Donations to the ArtsFund make projects like these possible, enabling ArtsGreensboro to share art with the community.

Dr. Mary Jo Cagle and Poet Lavinia C. Jackson
artsgreensboro logo

About ArtsGreensboro:
ArtsGreensboro invests in programs that provide access to the arts for all citizens, support arts integration in our schools, build capacity for our arts community, and unify the community through the power of the arts.

To donate to the ArtsFund and support projects like these, click here.