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August 2021 Arts InFocus

AUGUST 2021

Each month, ArtsGreensboro brings you stories about artists, arts organizations, and individuals whose lives are infused with creativity. Join us in celebrating our vibrant city.

Artist In Focus

BY CARRIE K. THOMAS,
FULL-TIME CREATIVE ARTIST

Carrie K. Thomas is from Queens, New York. She has lived in the Pocono Mountains, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and currently lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Carrie grew up in the arts, musically inclined by way of her parents, the renowned duet ‘Thomas & Taylor,’ best known for “You Can’t Blame Love” in 1986. She received her BFA from the first HBCU, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the University of Pheonix. She has performed on & off-Broadway and featured in several independent films, with supporting and principal roles. Carrie has gone viral twice and in 2005 she landed a role in the film“Wander,” which was awarded best experimental short film at the Ivy Film Festival, and “BronxParadise,” winner of the best screenplay at the New York International Independent Film Festival.

Carrie K. Thomas is a Telly Award-winning spoken word artist who self-published her first poetry book through Amazon titled “Race with Love and Confidence” (Volume 1) and currently compiling (Volume 2). She recently wrapped up her short film “How Do I Shine” thanks to her producers and ArtsGreensboro for awarding her a 2020 Artist Support Grant. The short film was recently premiered at the AmStar Theater, Greensboro, NC, and is now being submitted to the film festival circuit. The first stop was in London on May 28, with the Bright International Film Festival placing the short film as a finalist. She plans to attend many more festivals, win, gain funding and compete for the entire poetry visual special.

Carrie is currently signed to Evolution Talent Agency for commercial, TV, and Film in Atlanta, GA, and Charlotte, NC. She is a full-time creative artist.

To learn more about Carrie K. Thomas, please visit www.carriekthomas.net.

Arts Happening

STEVEN TANGER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

BY JENNIE LANNING, DIRECTOR OF BROADWAY MARKETING

This is the moment we’ve waited for! The curtain will rise on our much-anticipated inaugural season of Broadway at Tanger Center this fall. Along with Broadway partners PFM and Nederlander, the all-new Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts is thrilled that all six of the originally announced Broadway shows will make their Triad premieres this season.

Broadway blockbuster WICKED will fly into Tanger Center to open the record-breaking series followed by fan-favorite BEAUTIFUL –THE CAROLE KING MUSICAL. Next, Tanger Center welcomes six-time Tony Award® winner DEAR EVAN HANSEN. The New York Times Critics’ Pick COME FROM AWAY sees the Tanger Center into the new year, followed by the triumphant regional debut of Disney’s THE LION KING. The season’s grand finale is MEAN GIRLS, the hilarious hit musical from an award-winning creative team.

The Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts wishes to express our deepest appreciation to our donors, Season Seat Members, and the Triad community for their support and patience during these unprecedented times for the live entertainment industry. We are excited to raise the curtain on Broadway’s newest home!

To learn more about the Steven Tanger Center’s health, please visit
https://www.tangercenter.com/patronhealth.

AG Making it Work

THE NEW CREATIVE INVESTMENT

BY LAURA WAY, ARTSGREENSBORO PRESIDENT & CEO

December 2020, Michael Kaiser, President of the DeVos Institute for Arts Management, told us that ArtsGreensboro must help strengthen the arts ecology of Guilford County. Too many arts organizations are not sustainable without external investment in bold plans. Funds are necessary to facilitate longer artistic planning calendars, transformational programming, sophisticated marketing, and collaborations necessary to engage new audiences and generation of supporters. A sector-wide marketing effort is essential to highlight the best work of local artists and arts organizations. Take advantage of this crisis to come out stronger.

In March, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed with significant funds coming into the City and County. If the ARP plan supported investment in the creative economy, we asked ourselves, should we make an economic case for an allocation? We did some deep-dive research on the ROI of investing in the creative economy, and the data supported our assumptions. The creative economy DRIVES economic outcomes for the community. We outline our findings and rationale in our case statement: The New Creative Investment. The key takeaway outlined in the New Creative Investment is that now is the time for a new model in a sustainable arts ecosystem. With an investment in the creative sector, we can ensure our community has strong and vibrant arts across the county, from corner to corner – arts that drive economic, educational, health, and community outcomes. An economy that will sustain artists’ careers, so they continue to live, work and create here. And perhaps perform from the Tanger stage.

New Creative Investment outlines the rationale, need, and outcomes from an investment of the ARP and one-third matching private dollars. ArtsGreensboro, on behalf of the creative community, respectfully asked both Guilford County and the City of Greensboro to allocate $2.5 million from ARP funds to support the creative sector throughout Guilford County.

2020 was a hard year for all in Greensboro, Guilford County, and beyond. Small businesses, schools, restaurants, bars, healthcare providers, and many more were negatively impacted. For the creative sector, 2020 was nearly a knockout blow. The pandemic exacerbated an already fragile ecosystem, and recovery will be tenuous without investment. So, the request we are making is not a bailout; it is an investment. An investment in a sector that is authentically local. An investment in building a stronger, more durable, and agile infrastructure. An investment in the future of our community.
With the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, it is time to look forward, but with caution. Much of what we learned and experienced in 2020 was a clarion call to us. We need to do better, think more strategically and equitably, and make sure our community benefits from a creative investment. I hope you will join us as we continue our work in making the case, asking for investment, and ensuring we have a strong creative ecosystem to support all we aspire to as a community.

CLICK HERE for an in-depth look at ArtsGreensboro’s New Creative Investment Initiative in partnership with High Point Arts Council.

My Art Story

BY SHERRI RAEFORD, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SHARED RADIANCE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY

I am the Artistic Director of
Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company, based in Guilford County. The Arts have always been a driving force and light in my life. My undergraduate work was in Theatre and Visual Arts Education. I enjoy acting, directing, producing, ballroom dancing with my husband, photography, playing my guitar, and sharing the magic that comes with artistic collaboration. After several years as a Theatre Arts teacher and getting an M.Ed. in Theatre from UNCG, I had the opportunity through Shakespeare Lives to do an intensive study with the masters of Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The program, based at UNCSA, and its curator, Bob Moyer, continue to influence my work. The Globe experience was life-changing, and I have returned for study twice. I also had the opportunity to work as Outreach and Education Director for
NC Shakes.

I was fascinated with the concept of “sharing the light” with the audience and attended a production with the NY Classical Theatre, in the light and traveling through Battery Park. After various formative experiences, I founded Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company in 2013 and produced Shakespeare “in the light,” with the audience following from scene to scene. Thus, the name Shared Radiance. Since then, we have performed in several venues across the state, including Hanging Rock State Park, Lindley Park, and Hagan-Stone Park,
produced and developed a school Shakespeare tour, and produced original and new works. Education has remained a large part of who I am and subsequently Shared Radiance’s mission.

For more information about Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company, please visit: www.sharedradiance.org

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