2017 Targeted Initiatives

In 2015, in order to identify where the community wanted our focus, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem hosted a series of community “listening” events. That process resulted in a new Targeted Initiatives campaign , which we are excited to roll out in 2017. For the first time, donors are encouraged to direct all or some of their 2017 Annual Fund donation towards one or more of these important programs.

Early Learning and After-School Youth Arts Enrichment Program  

Making Forsyth County a leader in accessible arts-enrichment for youth by expanding our arts education program to reach infants (birth to age five) and students outside of the public school classroom

***This project was supported by the Reynolds American Foundation, AlphaBEST Education, Kaplan Early Learning Company and Stephens Financial Group.

Click here to make a donation to Early Learning and After-School Youth Arts Enrichment. 

The Arts Council has been partnering with the Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools for decades because we have always felt that the best way we could leverage the arts to make Forsyth County better was by ensuring that our children receive a high-quality arts education in the public schools. In addition to to the $100,000 we invest in arts enrichment in the schools every year, we recently took the following steps to make youth arts enrichment an even bigger priority: We funded $10,000 of professional development for arts teachers who work within the WSFCS. We re-evaluated how and where we were allocating these grant programs by working more closely with the lead arts teachers and their curriculum. Lastly, we rolled out our first “pilot” year of funding for Early Learning and After-School Youth Arts Enrichment to two commendable arts organizations: Authoring Action and Peppercorn Children’s Theater (2016-2017). Our hope is that this new fund will help us introduce more children from low-income families, families who speak different languages, or even families who don’t live close to downtown Winston-Salem to high-quality youth arts enrichment.

Creative Ventures

Providing seed funds and start-up support for new and creative ventures

***This project was supported by the DataMax Foundation.

Click here to make a donation to Creative Ventures.

So many of the community members and arts supporters we spoke with prioritized cultivating and supporting creative entrepreneurship. Indeed, it seemed as if of our visions for the future of this community all include a healthy ecosystem of entrepreneurial artists and creative workers drawing inspiration from the world around us, forging new ideas through inter-disciplinary collaboration, and exporting world-class original work that reflects the values and character of our community. This is the dream.

To accomplish this, however, we must pay close attention to feeding the resources and removing the obstacles to new creative ventures. What is it like for young artists and organizations in our community today? Do their business models look differently than they did 10 or 25 years ago? What is different about their audiences’ appetite for arts and culture? These are some of the questions we are setting out to answer through this initiative, which has already funded Creative Startups Accelerator and Angus Maclachlan’s new film, “Abundant Acreage Available” (2015-2016), and PhuzzPhest, Helen Simoneau Danse, and The Olio (2016-2017).

 Art in Unexpected Places Program

Creating access to the arts by bringing programs out of traditional museums and concert halls and into welcoming public spaces

Click here to make a donation to Art in Unexpected Places.

Simply put, in a City of the Arts, citizens don’t always have to buy a ticket to experience amazing art. They encounter it on the streets in unexpected places. We want to partner and support artists with ideas that bring art closer to the people and change the way we see the world. In its pilot year, this fund is supporting UNCSA’s Light Project (2016-2017).

 Novant Health Arts and Healing Program

Supporting creative arts and cultural experiences for patients and community members that create measurable improvements in the health and wellness of our community

***This project was supported by Novant Health, Wake Forest Baptist Health and Cook Medical.

Click here to make a donation to Arts and Healing.

Help us lift up the arts as integral to well-being because anyone who depends on music to clear their minds, writing to combat anxiety, and dance to get their heart rate moving, already knows that we are in a better position to achieve our community health goals with arts at the table.


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