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.
BY Titus Gant, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF GANT SCHOOL OF MUSIC + JAZZ
Our mission is to break barriers. Growing up, my family had financial struggles. Losing my father and the lack of opportunity in the rural south exacerbated issues that came with economic hardship. Somehow my mom still managed to keep up the payments on the saxophone I started playing the year my dad died. By high school, I realized the gap that not having money creates. I couldn’t afford private lessons like those at other schools. I couldn’t afford to fix my instrument either. And if not for the encouragement of my community I probably would have quit.
When students see a musical instrument for the first time, they are supposed to be amazed. They are supposed to feel a passion welling inside. Financial insecurity makes that amazement fade. That shouldn’t be. The Gant School of Music and Jazz was born out of my real-life experiences. We help students get private music lessons and instruments. GMAJ has created the
Lesson Sponsorship program that allows students that are struggling financially to gain access to private music lessons. Through this program, students can get music
training from Gant School of Music and Jazz, or our partner organizations; Teach Me How LLC and Moore Music Co.
I realize that if it weren’t for the community that supported me, a family that loved me, and God that
directed me, my life story would still be in struggle. The Gant School of Music and Jazz is creating a path from struggle to success through the arts.
AG MAKING IT WORK
BY DARLENE J. McCLINTON, ARTIST, ENTREPRENEUR + GRANTS
MANAGER AT ARTSGREENSBORO
As a community leader in Greensboro, I wear several creative hats. I am an international artist, an arts educator at NC A&T State University, CEO, and co-owner of The Artist Bloc LLC, an arts venue where creative minds meet. Most recently, I became the Grants Manager at ArtsGreensboro.
I joined ArtsGreensboro to utilize my experience and expertise to help grow their grant programs to become more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. As their Grants Manager, I had the opportunity to collaborate this summer with the Arts Council of Winston Salem & Forsyth County on revamping the North Carolina Arts Council’s Artist Support Grant program. Historically, this grant program’s demographic lacked proper accessibility in our region and reached a narrow audience of artists. Through grassroots outreach and strategic marketing, we increased our pool of applicants from 34 to 195. More specifically, we increased diversity in applicants by over 442%.
The overall increase in data reveals transformation, a true representation of the Greensboro community, and access to funding for all cultures. The data also reflects more inclusiveness and a community of arts leaders listening to the community’s voice and taking action NOW. Through advocacy, artists and arts organizations are aware of the ArtsGreensboro grants program even more. As your Grants Manager, I’m committed to the arts community, and I am excited about the work we are doing!
Connect with Darlene via email at firstname.lastname@example.org and on social media at: Instagram: @djm_visualartist / Facebook: Darlene J. McClinton
ARTIST IN FOCUS
BY MICHAEL TOUREK, ACTOR + THEATRE ARTS PROFESSOR
I got into acting as a kid in Nebraska. After high school and a short-lived college career, I started working in local and regional theaters. I had dreams of the bright lights of Broadway and moved to New York to be an actor. NYC is a beautifully brutal city, and I loved every minute of it. For the next ten years, I traveled around the country performing musical theater classics in medium-sized cities and living in
New York City or Nebraska – depending on how flush I was with cash. During that time, I met my now wife, Sara Ruth, in an Indiana production of the Sound of Music. I followed Sara to Greensboro, where she attended graduate school at UNCG. I started performing locally at Triad Stage. A friend from TS introduced me to my agent in Summerfield who would prove important to launching my transition from stage to screen. When Sara made it clear our growing family was going to stay in Greensboro, I decided I needed to take the time to study acting and went to UNC Greensboro for my masters (Class of 2016).
Five years later and a handful of successful film and television credits, I keep working at it, striving for the next thing. Being a successful actor is like playing the lottery. Success comes from being prepared to tackle whatever comes your way coupled with a bit of luck.
I tell my students, “Getting the part is beyond your control. Act for the love of the art. Put yourself out there and then let it go.”
MY ART STORY
BY NANCY RADTKE, REALTOR + ARTSGREENSBORO BOARD OF DIRECTOR’S DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEE CHAIR
I was the little kid who drew in books, walls, and on other kids. I imagined through squinty eyes, life in the patterns on Jacobean wallpaper, picnics in the Toile upholstery, randomness in wood grain of floors and strictness in the patterns of the radiators. School was exciting – I was enamored with my art teachers, the Art Cart and later
the fully stocked art room! I loved piano, tympani, and French horn lessons. I was most enthralled by sitting in the community orchestra playing 4th horn, 7th chair enveloped in a big beautiful sound.
A public school with fully funded and professionally staffed art programs is the reason I was able to move through a University BFA in drawing and a successful career in apparel design taking me to NYC and around the world. Landing in Greensboro, I found the non-profit arts sector taking up the efforts that decreasing budgets and emphasis in public K-12 left open. My wish is for the kids of Greensboro to have opportunities like I did to build friendships, skills and careers out of their dreams. That is my reason for supporting ArtsGreensboro – It’s the most comprehensive source of funding for artists, arts organizations, teachers, programs and art projects that are meaningful to people’s lives and livelihoods. Now, in my second career in real estate, I am proud to introduce new and potential residents to the vast Art Culture in Greensboro. Thanks to all our artists, donors and supporters for this very special honor
ArtsGreensboro is dedicated to elevating the arts by creating awareness and promoting the vibrancy of our city; amplifying the impact the arts have in building strong and thriving communities for all citizens; and supporting arts organizations, artists, and teachers through grants, shared services, and professional development. For more information, please visit us online at artsgreensboro.org
Ways to Give:
Give online at artsgreensboro.org
Mail a check to: ArtsGreensboro PO Box 877 Greensboro NC 27402
Connect with us!