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 DAVID HOLLEY, GENERAL AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, GREENSBORO OPERA
My wonderful high school choir program in a small New Jersey town inspired me to pursue a college degree in choral conducting at Furman University. I never thought I would have a career in opera instead. After frequently finding myself in the opera department during graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin, I decided to earn my master’s degree in opera performance. Post-graduation, my collegiate teaching began in Texas and then continued at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1992, the opportunity to return to the Carolinas presented itself, and I became the UNCG Director of Opera, all the while continuing my professional operatic singing career.
I immediately became involved with Greensboro Opera, and in 2002, I began producing one of my favorite artistic endeavors to date: Opera at the Carolina
(OAC), GO’s signature educational outreach. For over twenty-five years, Greensboro Opera has collaborated with the Guilford County Schools to provide over 150,000 GCS fifth graders the opportunity to experience the magic of live opera performed at the historic Carolina Theatre.
Since I became General and Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera in 2013, I have directed and produced all of GO’s productions and look forward to our Porgy and Bess starring Rhiannon Giddens in January of 2022 at the Tanger Center for the Performing Arts.
Over the years, I’ve thought of myself as an “ambassador for opera,” having the opportunity to work with Greensboro Opera’s world-class artists while guiding young singers at UNCG with dreams of attaining careers. I feel that I have the best job in the world.
BY: BRAYLIN CAMPBELL, ARTSGREENSBORO INTERN, UNCG STUDENT
ArtsGreensboro Hosts Public Art Scavenger Hunt
Since last year’s outbreak of COVID-19, life as we know it has been flipped upside down. From drastic health precautions to the closures and cancellations of many beloved businesses and events. Finding ways to continue to engage within the community has been challenging. Despite those challenges, times like these make for good opportunities to be imaginative and take advantage of the resources surrounding us. As the world continues to navigate the new norm, establish your own norm by seeking new ways to stay creative and active within the community. Whenever you’re looking for fun around town, Greensboro offers many amazing shops, beautiful parks, murals, and art venues to be immersed in while maintaining social distancing.
Upcoming in April for iHeart Arts Month, ArtsGreensboro will be hosting a free art scavenger hunt that’ll challenge locals to get out of their comfort zones and into the community to discover the artistic beauty of Greensboro. With an easy download of Action Greensboro’s Engage Greensboro app, participants will be able to indulge in challenges that will send them adventuring around the Greensboro area. Participating in the scavenger hunt allows a great opportunity for friends and families to create fun memories while taking selfies in front of their favorite murals. The event is free to participate in, and you can go at your own pace to discover the sites and complete the challenges to compete for prizes. When you register, you’ll have an opportunity to donate to the ArtsFund, our community-wide campaign to support our local arts organizations and artists. Be one of the first 75 to register and donate, and we’ll send you an Arts Through it All window cling so you can proudly display your support of the arts.
AG Making it Work
BY REBECCA BUFFINGTON, ARTSGREENSBORO BOARD CHAIR
Why are the arts not better represented?
ArtsGreensboro is a community-supported organization that provides resources to and advocates for the arts. The arts are a public good. They lift our spirits, improve our quality of life, and are vital to our children’s education and development. The arts are also good business. They attract residents and visitors to our city, provide jobs, benefit our local businesses, and have a significant economic impact.
So why are the arts so rarely represented as an important and necessary community asset? Why are the arts not at the table when discussing our city’s future, revitalization efforts, and brand development? Why are they considered a “nice to have” instead of a “need to have”? The arts are more than mere decoration; they are a vital part of our history. They celebrate our differences, empower our beliefs, and attract businesses to our city. They are an essential part of who we are and the city we want to be.
I love the Boomerang Greensboro project launched by Action Greensboro. It is a brilliant marketing campaign to recruit young professionals back to our city. Did you know that a huge part of relocation decisions involve a city’s ability to engage and inspire? That is arts and culture all day long.
Here is what Holly Wheeler, VP Global Brand Marketing for Wrangler, has to say, “Art has a profound impact on all aspects of a city and can be quite transformational in bringing a community together. For businesses, especially, a robust art scene encourages employees to engage with their community, creating a vibrant city that provides employees with a great place to live and work.”
The moral of this story – don’t take the arts for granted. Insist that they are represented in making decisions for and about Greensboro’s quality of life. Let your voices be heard. The arts are essential, not just for our well-being, but for our city’s future.
What the arts are to me…
There is no question that the “arts” in the broadest sense are critical to the fabric of the community. Some of us are observers; others are personal participants by painting, playing an instrument for personal pleasure, or, even as professionals. My wife and I enjoy going to Triad Stage, seeing plays and concerts at UNCG,
taking in exhibits at GreenHill and Weatherspoon, and attending festivals such as
the NC Folk Festival or Music in the Park. With the opening soon of the Tanger Center, there will be an even broader selection of activities.
Beyond our participation, most of us don’t often think about the role the arts play in the community’s economic health through direct employment and expenditures and indirectly through patron expenditures at restaurants, hotels, and other businesses. Studies have shown that the direct and indirect economic benefits of the arts run to the employment of hundreds of individuals and the generation of millions of dollars in economic activity.
That is why ArtsGreensboro is so important to Greensboro. It is the role of ArtsGreensboro to interpret the value and necessity of the “arts” to the community at large and to decisionmakers to protect, enhance, and nurture the
arts culture locally.
ArtsGreensboro frankly is the only organization that has the securing and distributing financial support across the arts as a continuing and ongoing function. In recent months, the Board has reaffirmed that this core role will have precedence over projects and programs.
There is no other organization in the community with broad reach and flexibility
supporting the arts continuingly. ArtsGreensboro doesn’t have to gear up to
focus here — it is ready on a daily basis.
And it is the basis of what “the arts are to me” – an economic generator, a quality of life developer and assurer, and
activities for personal growth and enjoyment for my family.
Read more from Richard “Skip” Moore HERE.
“We are grateful for their advocacy for all artists and proud to be affiliated with this great organization.”
“TAB Arts Center Non Profit Incorporated has been a 501c3 since 2015. Our organization is known for bringing quality art education, art therapy, and beautification projects to underserved communities. We have strived to be a source for artists during these challenging times and have led
the way on social justice issues that affect our community. ArtsGreensboro has been a primary funder for our organization and has been an
excellent resource. We were able to hire local artists and others who have been negatively affected by
the pandemic because of their generosity.
They have funded projects such as our ‘Say It Loud’ Street Mural, assisted with funding our virtual town halls, and have been instrumental in helping our organization grow and expand. We have been able to financially structure our nonprofit because of the hard work and diligence of ArtsGreensboro’s talented and skilled staff. We are grateful for their advocacy for all artists and proud to be affiliated with this great organization.”
Sunny Gravely Foushee, Executive Director
TAB Arts Center Nonprofit, Inc, and
ArtsGreensboro Honorary Campaign Co-Chair
Your gift to ArtsGreensboro makes a difference every day.
Your donation today, at any level, will make a difference in keeping the arts thriving for generations to come.
Thanks to you, ArtsGreensboro supports our local artists and art organizations in planning for the future, even in these challenging times.
Please consider a monthly recurring donation to the ArtsFund. It’s easy to set up and helps support the arts every day.
Thank you for supporting ArtsGreensboro.