2016 Annual Awards

On September 26, during its 2016 Annual Meeting, The Arts Council gave out five awards of distinction to both individuals and community groups for their distinguished work in our community to promote the arts.

Arts Council Award

The Arts Council established the Arts Council Award to recognize an individual that exhibits a significant commitment to volunteer service and has made a lasting impact on our arts community. Our 2016 recipient embodied both of these principles and created a legacy that will live on for years to come.

The Arts Council proudly awarded Bonnie Poindexter this award posthumously.  The honoree selected as the recipient of this recognition award has exhibited a strong commitment of service and has made a significant impact and contribution to the arts in our community.

Bonnie Poindexter was a driving force and leader in our arts community – she put her touch on groups such as the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, the Winston-Salem Children’s Chorus and the Little Theatre.  She stepped in during pivotal times for The Arts Council, Sawtooth School and Piedmont Opera, serving as interim executive director and providing crucial leadership.  She also served as a mentor to the next generation of arts leaders, many of who are now at the helm of our partner organizations.



Arts Educator Excellence Award

In 2015, the Arts Council established the Arts Educator Excellence Award to recognize an educator or teaching artist who has enriched the education of our community’s youth and inspired the next generation of artists, patrons and creative individuals.

The recipient of the Arts Educator Excellence Award, Amanda Gordon, combines a passion for art with a dedication to provide art based experiences and memories to students through teaching. An art teacher at Diggs-Latham Elementary, she uses her education, training, and national board certification to create lessons that bring art alive and inspire one’s imagination the moment you step into her classroom. Amanda goes above and beyond the call of duty – writing grants; promoting professional development; organizing school-wide events, assemblies, and concerts; developing a school-wide reward system; and helping to promote an arts culture at Diggs-Latham.

Arts-Integrated Workplace Award

This year, the Arts Council established the Arts-Integrated Workplace Award to recognize a local company for their exemplary efforts to integrate the arts into their corporate culture and employees’ lives.  This award was given to Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center for their system-wide organizational path to join arts and healthcare.  Their work has included:

  • Creation of a full-time program manager to build and implement patient and team member programs around integrative arts
  • Creation of an arts respite tour that allows visitors and caregivers to take a break from the bedside while their loved one undergo tests and treatments
  • Development of a provider education workshop that utilizes professional actors in interactive dialogue scenarios to help physicians and caregivers to have more meaningful conversations around a patient’s wishes during difficult conversations
  • The use of African drumming as physical and occupational therapy
  • The creation of Novant Health Reads – an annual system-wide book discussion program for employees
  • The development of arts intervention kits, available to patients to ease boredom and anxiety during hospital stays
  • The expansion of therapeutic music and gallery programs as well as partnerships with arts organizations such as the National Black Theatre Festival and the Winston-Salem Symphony.
  • Finally – the establishment of an Arts and Healing Fund with The Arts Council, which will support creative arts and cultural experiences for patients and community members that create measurable improvements in the health and wellness of our community


AT&T’s Strategic Vision Partners Award

The Arts Council recognized two categories for this award.  The first category in which we recognized a Strategic Vision Partner is the Organizational Support Grant program, which sustains our integral arts institutions and promotes artistic excellence, community impact, and organizational efficacy. For looking the part, establishing sustainable support and creating an ethos of innovation, Reynolda House was chosen to receive the 2016 OSG Strategic Vision Partner Award.

Reynolda House consistently seeks to foster uncommon partnerships in the community.  They have paired impressionist music concerts and conferences on Southern landscape restoration with exhibitions to reinforce themes and deepen their audience’s experience.  They have also established a plan for their long-term financial stability through strategies that increase their annual fund and membership support and lessen their dependence on endowment distributions.  Looking to the future, and following their 2017 centennial, Reynolda House will debut a new brand identity that reflects, communicates and supports the Reynolda experience.

The second category in which The Arts Council recognized a Strategic Vision Partner was the Annual Event and Series Grant program, which expands the reach and impact of the arts through new creative ventures and leading grassroots organizations.aa-award

The 2016 AESG Strategic Vision Partner Award was given to Authoring Action.  Authoring Action teaches and develops young people as authors, artists and articulate advocates for social change.  Authoring Action is regularly called upon to provide the artistic voice of teens to represent and reinforce important themes and moments in our community.  And they utilize innovative collaborations to ensure the widest reach and impact of their work as well as their organizational stability.


R. Philip Hanes, Jr.  Young Leader Award

The R. Philip Hanes Junior Young Leader Award recognized an individual under 40 whose time, talent and energy have furthered the mission of promoting the arts and culture of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, leaving a legacy of service for future young leaders and for the future of the arts in this community.

John Bowhers conceived and co-founded Peppercorn Theatre with Anna Rooney in 2010 when they were still students at UNCSA.  Since then Peppercorn has established itself as an integral part of the greater Winston Salem performing arts community.  Peppercorn has produced 18 plus productions over the past six years, the majority of which have been original works, in collaboration with other local organizations including Reynolda House, SECCA, Old Salem, The Children’s Home, Helen Simoneau Danse, Carolina Chamber Symphony, and UNCSA.  Moreover, John has been serving for two years on the Board of The Arts Council’s Art Nouveau Winston-Salem and served as a friend and mentor to many young artists working downtown and graduating from UNCSA.