“Engagement” Is Key Project for Arts Council in 2015

"The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County has declared  2015 “The Year You Become Engaged,” as it showcases arts and cultural organizations and matches residents of the community with opportunities to be a part of the work of these groups.  Its vehicle for doing so is “The Arts Council Engagement Society” (ACES) which is holding an Open House 5:30 -7:00 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 14, at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts at 251 N Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem.

“We know there are many people in the community who would like to be more involved in the arts and cultural community, and we know there are groups who really need their time, their experience, their expertise.  It’s a matter of getting the two together,” said Jim Sparrow, President and CEO of The Arts Council. “That is what ACES is about.”

The Open House is free and open to the public, and there is no charge for membership in ACES.  “We would like to have a broad cross section of the community participate,” said Susan Morris, Director of Community Engagement.  “The arts enrich our lives every day, and there are countless opportunities for those who love the arts to become more engaged by not only learning about the variety of arts and cultural organizations we have in Forsyth County, but also actively participating as a volunteer or patron to support and strengthen the arts community,” she said.  “And it’s a wonderful way to meet new people who share your interests.”

The Arts Council will have representatives present to explain the work of The Arts Council itself, and various arts and cultural groups will be on hand with materials and explanations of how residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County can become engaged in their work. “I think people will be surprised at how diverse the opportunities are,” said Morris.  “They range from simply attending arts and cultural events to serving on boards and committees, collecting tickets, and working concession stands at events. Almost all the groups are volunteer-based, and the donation of even a few hours can be meaningful.”

Winston-Salem’s robust arts community accounts in large part for the recognition it continues to receive as a great place to live, learn, work and play.  The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County enriches the lives of area residents every day. It raises funds and advocates for the arts, sponsors events in conjunction with other arts organizations, promotes and funds arts education, creates cultural opportunities, develops social capital and aids economic development.  The Arts Council has made a total of 76 grants totaling $1,845,000 for 2015.  Organizational Support Grants, $1,615,000; Wells Fargo Arts-In-Education Grants, $100,000; Duke Energy Regional Artist Grants, $30,000; Innovative Project Grants, $100,000."

- A Press Release

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