The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County held a public meeting Tuesday night at the Canteen Market and Bistro to launch its annual Community Fund for the Arts.
The Arts Council’s 2019 goal is $2.5 million, a goal that it exceeded in 2018.
The money is used to help fund local arts organizations, small community grants that are offered throughout the year, and for operating and administering the Arts Council.
Martha Bassett provided music for the kick-off, and LB The Poet performed spoken word.
Randy Eaddy, a long-time board member and retired corporate lawyer, became the president and chief executive of the Arts Council in August. This will be the first fund-raising effort for the Community Fund in his new role.
“The challenge is great, of course, but I have no doubt that individuals and business members of this community, who know the enriching and empowering value of arts and culture, will again demonstrate their generosity,” Eaddy said. “Only with such support can the Arts Council deliver on its essential mission to support (financially and otherwise) and promote the arts organizations and initiatives whose excellence makes us ‘a city of arts and innovation.’ ”
It’s also a first Community Fund drive for Connie Quinn, who assumed the role of senior vice president of administration/chief marketing and administrative officer in October.
Quinn previously served as executive director of the Little Theater of Winston-Salem and director of operations and development at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art.
“We are building on the momentum of the success of last year’s fund (drive),” Quinn said. “It’s a hugely important component of our upcoming year.”
The Arts Council is changing the structure of its fundraising team this year. Instead of volunteer chairs, the council has created a Development Committee chaired by board member Shaheen Syal, director of communications at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
“Shaheen will be, as she always is, a wonderful representative,” Quinn said.
“It’s a talented, resourceful, highly motivated group, and we are fortunate to have them in place and driving the 2019 campaign,” Syal said. “They share my determination that we meet our $2.5 million goal.”
“Our campaign is always volunteer driven, and each year we are amazed at the energy and enthusiasm our volunteers bring,” said Devon MacKAY, vice president of development and chief development officer for the Arts Council. “We seek to ‘touch every corner.’ We will be drawing on the help of arts advocates throughout the city and county. In turn, monies raised will enable grants and multifaceted support services that touch every corner of the community.”