The highlight of ArtsGreensboro’s annual meeting on June 19 was the announcement from 2019 ArtsFund Campaign Chair Jada Monica Drew. This year’s ArtsFund campaign surpassed the $850,000 goal with over $865,500 raised so far from 780 donors. Drew stated, “ “Whether it is art in schools, innovative public art projects, art in our homes, performance artists in local restaurants and businesses, or even art through technology and apps; art inspires us all. This journey for our fundraising task force has been about reconnecting to what makes our city vibrant. Our ArtsFund Campaign was and is about seeking to work Better Together. I’m proud of our accomplishments as we develop deeper partnerships in our community.”
ArtsGreensboro Board Chair, Jill White, noted that the organization successfully transitioned under the interim leadership of North Carolina Folk Festival Director Amy Grossmann, with hiring new President & CEO Laura Way, as well as Catena Bergevin as Director of Development. Since Way took office in April, the organization’s new logo signifies its renewed focus to elevate, amplify, and support the local arts community.
Way explains the new outward focus of the organization, inspired by research of other successful models such as Louisville’s Fund for the Arts, and her intent to connect the impact the arts are having in all 165 community neighborhoods. Her monthly arts meetings provide a place at the table for the artists and arts organizations who are making a difference every day and provide more opportunities for collaboration. According to Way, “With the City Council’s adoption of the Creative Greensboro Cultural Arts Master Plan, we have a roadmap for a vibrant and colorful community. ArtsGreensboro sees itself not only as a partner to the City of Greensboro but as an essential collaborator in achieving the goals and objectives put forth in the plan. We are excited about the possibilities ahead of us, recognize the challenges, but are energized by all the creative individuals who are pulling in the same direction as our city. This plan and ArtsGreensboro embrace the arts as a catalyst for economic development, enhanced quality-of-life, and a more inclusive and diverse creative community playing an important role in the future of our city.”
Way’s vision for the future was reinforced by remarks from by community changemakers Preston Lane, Founding Artistic Director of Triad Stage; local artist Raman Bhardwaj; and musician Kate Tobey and the presentation of the 2019 Betty Cone Medal of Arts Award which was bestowed posthumously to writer, poet, blues musician, teacher and community activist, Logie Meachum.