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
JOSEPHUS THOMPSON IIITHE POETRY CAFE
“You are at the Poetry Café, We Feed Your Mind, Your Body, and Your Soul”, is the cadence and harmony that will be ringing in your ears long after you leave the show. Since 2009, The Poetry Café has been a staple in Greensboro for artists and art lovers alike. Whether you’re on the stage or not, you are part of the show when you enter the doors. Your energy, voice, claps, and snaps are all welcomed and necessary. This open mic is full of call and response, sing-along, catch the vibe, and throw it back as we build and grow and learn and adapt all together to the rhythm of life.
In 2012, the show’s popularity landed it a weekly spot on 90.1FM, opening the energy to a whole new audience in a whole new way. By 2015 it was touring college campuses up and down the east coast, encouraging and supporting student voices. In 2018 after celebrating a decade of poetry and music, it jumped to television with 12 episodes on MY48 before finding its way to Amazon Prime for two years.
Every year it continues to grow and expand it’s brand and vision. So whether it’s at a monthly show in person, via Livestream, on a weekly radio show, which will be syndicated nationally this year, or on an Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter post, get in where you fit in! You are welcome with open arms.
For more information about The Poetry Café, visit
reconsidered goodsBy Erin Stratford Owens, Executive Director
I’ve been a part of the Reconsidered Goods team since joining the start-up board in 2016. I’ve been a strong supporter, donor, customer, art-er and crafter, workshop attendee, and cheerleader for the past five-plus years. Now, full circle, I’m the organization’s Executive Director.
For a full five years, we’ve been asked often – so, what is a creative reuse center? Looks kinda like a thrift store from the customer side. Or an art store? A fabric store? But what about the vintage stuff? And hey … Reconsidered Goods has wigs and office supplies, records, and plastic containers for all your storage needs, but what is it? We have a maker’s space, a workshop/education hall, and are staffed by creatives from all mediums. But again, what is Reconsidered Goods? The short answer is, Reconsidered Goods is a creative reuse center. We take donated items that might otherwise end up in the landfill and give them a second life. This second life could be by using these items to make art or reusing items in a new, inventive way … or using items as they were intended but extending their life beyond their first owner. Whew!
There are the reconsidered “goods” then there is the educational programming that really is the fuel that makes our engine go. We are bringing back many of our favorite workshops and programs that make our Reconsidered Goods Fans squeal. We are making plans with the assumption that COVID won’t hit us backward too hard: our in-store Make and Take Lab will be back by Spring ‘22. Crafter-noon (2nd Sunday monthly) will be back by March ‘22. We are planning on offering youth summer camps for Summer ‘22. We will relaunch our Artist-led classes by Summer ‘22. We have Craft of the Month kits available for sale NOW in-store. Most exciting of all, we will be soliciting applications for our new Artist-In-Residence program to be launched in Fall ‘22.
Sharing information about reuse, recycling, reducing waste, and creating meaning through the items we live with daily is the air we breathe. We look to the future of Reconsidered Goods as a chance to bring more and more people into the CREATIVE REUSE fold.
To learn more about Reconsidered Goods, visit reconsideredgoods.org/
AG Making it Work
GRANT PROGRAMSBy Catena Bergevin, Director of Development
Thanks to the support of our community, ArtsGreensboro invests in the arts by providing much-needed resources to artists and arts organizations through our grant-making programs. Greensboro’s vibrant art scene is a testament to the breadth and depth of creativity and innovation that lives in our city.
Artist Support Grant Program
The Artist Support Grant Program funded by the North Carolina Arts Council creates an opportunity for artists in a variety of disciplines to advance their creative practice. ArtsGreensboro works in partnership with Arts Davidson County, Davie County Arts Council, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, and Randolph Arts Guild to provide grants to artists within the five-county region. This year, fifty-nine artists were selected out of 250 applicants for grants ranging from $400 to $2,000 in the following disciplines: visual arts and crafts, literature, film, dance, music, performing arts, and spoken word.
Multicultural Grassroots Grant Program
The Multicultural Grassroots Grant Program (for African American, Asian American, Latinx, or Native American art groups) provides Greensboro citizens access to quality art experiences. This program is funded through the North Carolina Arts Council and facilitated by ArtsGreensboro. Grant funds can be used for project-based expenses, including program costs, artists’ fees, travel, space rental, marketing, website, costumes, sets, music, and equipment rental. Ten organizations received grant awards this year: Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, Guilford Native American Association, Royal Expressions Contemporary Ballet, Joyemovement Dance Company, TAB Arts Center, Casa Azul, African American Atelier, The Poetry Project, Gant School of Music, and Save the Arts Foundation.
For 60 years, ArtsGreensboro has provided resources to our art community thanks to individual, foundation, corporate, and government funding. We are humbled by the outpouring of support and are grateful to the NC Arts Council for their partnership.
Our art community needs your help not just to survive but to thrive. Invest in the arts by supporting your favorite arts organization and give what you can to the annual ArtsFund.
My Art Story
By Tom ConeArtsGreensboro Board Member
I was reminded of the excellence of the arts in Greensboro a few years ago when Triad Stage and UNC Greensboro jointly presented a wonderful performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, South Pacific. I took my mother to see the show, and after the final curtain call, she announced that it was the best performance of South Pacific she had ever seen. I reminded her the she had seen the orginal 1949 run on Broadway with Ezio Pinza and Mary Martin (both of whom won Tony Awards for their performances, just two of ten Tony Awards that production won); she had also seen a later revival with Jerome Hines (better known for his lengthy opera career at the Metropolitan Opera) and a third presentation at Lincoln Center in New York. My mother assured me that the Triad Stage/UNCG version was just as good as any of those.
I will admit that Mom’s memory is not what it used to be, but she was not wrong. Our region has a deep well of talent and we do not have to travel far to see world-class visual, graphic, and performance artists. In fact, I am writing this just after hearing Greensboro’s own Rhiannon Giddens, along with an extraordinary cast and crew, in their stellar Greensboro Opera Company performance of Porgy and Bess. I saw a Lincoln Center performance many years ago and I must echo my mother: GOC’s was better!
In addition to performance, artists of all ages are nourished by local arts groups, museums, public schools, and through partnerships with local colleges and universities. Public art is flourishing, and we have become a destination for music events such as the annual North Carolina Folk Festival and Carolina Blues Festival. I am pleased and excited to be a part of ArtsGreensboro in its role as a supporter and catalyst for our thriving arts community.
To learn more about ArtsGreensboro visit artsgreensboro.org and follow us on social media #artsgso