ArtsGreensboro to Present Betty Cone Medal of Arts Today to Stephen D. Hyers

Greensboro  — ArtsGreensboro will present the Betty Cone Medal of Arts today to the family of Stephen D. Hyers, former Managing Director of Greensboro City Arts Drama Center. Hyers died in October 2014 after an 18-year battle with a brain tumor.

Hyers’ wife, Ashley, will accept the award posthumously, along with her daughter, Page, and Stephen’s mother, Barbara. The award will be presented by local arts champion Betty Cone, ArtsGreensboro Board Chair Florence Gatten, and ArtsGreensboro Awards Committee member Harriette Knox during the organization’s Annual Meeting at 5 pm today at the ACC Hall of Champions at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Media and the public are invited to attend.

Hyers joined the City Arts Drama team in 1990 as marketing and business manager. He was promoted to managing director in 2005. In this role, he created a wide variety of programs for the community, including:

·      The Greensboro Playwrights’ Forum: Produces three Evenings of Short Plays annually and provides playwrights the opportunity to have actors read their works in progress. Since its inception, the Forum has presented over 300 new plays

·      The North Carolina New Play Project: Annual contest open to any North Carolina playwright

·      Greene Pictures/Teen Greene Pictures: Filmmaking program

·      Improv Club/Soylent Greensboro: Improvisation and improvisation-performing programs

·      The Dramatists’ Playground: An annual one-day event during which “The World’s Newest Play” is conceived, written, and performed

Even more important than the programs he created were the lives Hyers changed forever—from children and teens who developed a love for the arts and discovered their own talents to adults who were able to find their voices through writing and producing. As one of his nominators explained, “[Stephen] gave people the opportunity to develop and showcase their talents. In some cases, he helped people find talent they never knew they had.”

First awarded in 1999, the Betty Cone Medal of Arts is the highest local award presented to artists. It recognizes artists who have achieved clear excellence in their disciplines and/or have made extraordinary contributions to their field or to the community at large through their artistry or expertise.

In addition to Hyers, ArtsGreensboro will recognize its other 2015 award recipients who received their awards at other events:

·      Kathy Manning, 2015 O. Henry Award

·      Tate Street Coffee, 2015 Arts in Business Award

·      2015 Arts Educators of the Year

o   Donnie Walter, Northwest Guilford Middle School

o   Cassy Whitley, The Academy at Lincoln

o   Mike Connors, Penn-Griffin School for the Arts (Runner-Up)

- a press release

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