Arts InFocus - September Newsletter
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.
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 technical assistance. For more information visit artsgreensboro.org
ARTIST IN FOCUS
BY JASMINE Y. MALLORY, ARTIST
Who am I? Some might describe me as a “Jackie” of many trades. Although I am skilled in many areas, my gifts remain in the arts. I’m a poet, author, speaker, freelance model, photographer, blogger, and entrepreneur. Simply put, I am Jasmine aka Butterfly Beauty. I’ve authored two books, Feet That Leap Off Ledges and Book of Juneteenth. Currently, I’m working on a third book which will be released at the end of August. The title will be revealed upon publication on Amazon.
As a local artist, I am known for my spoken-word poetry. I have performed at several events and venues from the Greensboro Cultural Center, to Triad Stage, and the Artist Bloc. I am also a feature poet on season one of The Poetry Cafe live. In 2017, I launched a historical blog entitled “ReCreate,” to celebrate the lives of legendary African American men and women whose stories are forgotten. To produce the blog, I recreate the subject’s vintage photo, adding a modern day spin to it.
Whether I’m performing poetry for diverse audiences, writing books, conducting public speaking workshops for young students, or highlight African America heroes through my blog, I am constantly finding ways to share, educate, ad bring light to my local community and to the world at large… a reminder to never underestimate the power of your voice.
The very essence of the North Carolina Folk Festival thrives on the mass gathering of people each year in downtown Greensboro to experience and enjoy the creative expressions of folk and traditional artists from across the world. The global pandemic, with its health, safety and financial challenges, has wreaked havoc on the arts and events industry – impacting traditional ways in which we present and enjoy the arts. While some of our peers have had to make difficult decisions to cancel their events and concerts, others like us have been able to pivot our programs to online experiences.
Produced in partnership with 7 Cinematics, the EMMY-award winning video and streaming company, we believe our 2020 Virtual Concert Series will stand out as a unique celebration of regional identity – highlighting a taste of who we are as North Carolinians, and as residents of Greensboro. The performers we hired represent an evolving legacy of diverse cultural traditions that emanate from our home state. Each of our film locations have historical and cultural significance to the past, present and future of our home city. Tying it all together are the unsung heroes – our staff and dedicated team of local event production professionals who plan, administer, record, edit, and amplify this pairing of NC artistry with the sights of Greensboro as a backdrop.
The 2020 North Carolina Folk Festival Virtual Concert Series will be free to view, and we invite the entire community to enjoy a front row seat from home! Your support allows us to offer this experience free of charge. If you’d like to contribute, please visit us online at ncfolkfestival.com/donate.
ArtsGreensboro is now accepting applications through October 4th for Artist Support Grants. This grant program supports talented artists in a variety of genres such as visual arts, performing arts, music composition, choreography, and literary arts. The grant provides direct support to individual artists for professional and artistic development, either to enhance their skills and abilities to create work, or to improve their business operations and capacity to bring the work to diverse audiences.
Eligible candidates can either be emerging, mid-career, or established artists. Artist Support Grants build on the success of the previous Regional Artist Project Grants but in FY 2020 nts, -2021, the program was re-designed to provide critical support to artists during the COVID-19 pandemic. One goal for the new program is to cultivate community partners to promote the opportunity to diverse and nontraditional artists.
In August, ArtsGreensboro along with the Arts Council of Winston Salem and Forsyth County, hosted two information sessions to answer questions from local artists interested in applying for the grant. There were 70 participants on the first call and over 100 on the second call. These artists came from diverse backgrounds and a variety of artistic disciplines.
Grants will range from $500 to $2,000 and applications must be submitted by 11:59pm on October 4th, 2020. The Artist Support Grant program is a partnership of the North Carolina Arts Council and Arts Davidson County, Davie County Arts Council, High Point Arts Council, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, Randolph Arts Guild, and ArtsGreensboro.
Being neither a visual artist nor artist of any sort, I have the opportunity of enjoying painting and sculpture without the pressure of producing something myself. At an early age, I knew I would always be an observer and not a maker of art. While in high school, I had the opportunity of traveling to Europe visiting many of the great museums and monuments from London to Rome. Later, as a student at UNCG, I was fortunate to attend art history classes taught by an excellent faculty and take advantage of the fine works on view at Weatherspoon Art Museum. If I could not paint nor sculpt then I would help those who can. So, I found a career in arts administration working several years for two separate arts council raising funds and furthering their missions. Now, in my later years, I volunteer and continue to be inspired and enjoy works of other artists. For spiritual beauty, I can think of no other place better than the monks’ cells in the friary of the Museum of San Marco in Florence. The frescoes on the walls of the cells by Fra Angelico are moving and beautiful in the simplicity and sincerity. They touch your soul no matter what your religious beliefs are. Seeing those frescoes caused me to appreciate simplicity and subtlety in art. Now, I am drawn to artists such as the lesser known 20th century Italian painter, Giorgio Morandi, who painted the same vases, bowls, flowers and landscape over and over, all slightly different but all calming and exquisite. This leads me to a local artist, who creates beauty out of everyday objects. My husband and I have always been fans of Rebecca Fagg who can take basic subjects such as a chair or a box and create something lyrical and soothing. We are fortunate to own a few of her pieces and look forward to the day when GreenHill will be able to present the planned retrospective of her work. Until then, I continue to enjoy simple, quiet, beautiful things I see every day. This is the only remedy I can think of during these “pandemic times.” To view Rebecca Fagg’s artwork, please visit rebeccagfagg.com.
The arts connect us as a community through shared experiences. Cancellations and closures are a stark reminder of our new reality and its devastating impact on Greensboro’s artists and arts organizations.
Your gift today to the ArtsFund will ensure that when this crisis is over, the arts will be here to enliven our city for generations to come. Please give today!