News & Record – Congratulations to Betty Cone, who received the O.Henry Award at Thursday’s Greensboro Partnership annual dinner for her lifelong contributions to the community’s arts and culture.

Cone made history when she accepted the award from the Greensboro Partnership and ArtsGreensboro: She became the first person to win the award twice, having won the first time in 1975.

ArtsGreensboro, the arts marketing and fundraising organization, honored Cone at a reception before the dinner.

A member of one of the city’s most prominent families, Cone has played leadership roles in downtown rejuvenation, the arts and historic preservation since the 1970s – all without drawing a salary.

She is best known for her work to save the historic Carolina Theatre, and as volunteer executive director for Grassroots Productions Limited, which produced the Fun Fourth festival and the holiday Festival of Lights.

In December, Cone announced that she and Grassroots will step away after 23 years of producing the two festivals.

Grassroots will wind down nearly 37 years of operation by late summer. Cone, 73, will turn her focus to running her family’s commercial blueberry farm in Pender County.