ArtsGreensboro Annouces $1.2 Million ArtsFund Goal and Introduces Campaign Co-Chairs

Bouvier Kelly Chairwoman Denny Kelly and local poet Josephus Thompson III—both ArtsGreensboro Board members—will oversee the campaign


Greensboro, N.C., November 20, 2014 — ArtsGreensboro President and CEO Tom Philion announced a $1.2 million ArtsFund goal for the organization’s 2015 ArtsFund campaign.

Monies raised through the ArtsFund allow ArtsGreensboro to provide major support to more than 50 arts organizations, artists, and teachers every year. For the year ending June 30, 2014, ArtsGreensboro provided $1.2 million in funding and in-kind support to our local arts community.

At a Campaign Kickoff event held in the Cultural Center this morning, ArtsGreensboro Board Chair Florence Gatten introduced 2015 ArtsFund Co-Chairs Denny Kelly, Chairwoman of Bouvier Kelly, and Josephus Thompson III, local poet and Founder of The Poetry Project. Gatten said, “ArtsGreensboro is a catalyst for so much that is happening in our creative community, including the new Van Dyke performance space at the Cultural Center, the 17DAYS Festival, and the National Folk Festival. At the same time, we must focus strongly on supporting our local arts community, and Denny and Josephus will lead those fundraising efforts thoughtfully and creatively.”

After leading the applause for Kelly and Thompson, Philion recognized Dance Project artistic director Jan Van Dyke, who has pledged up to $1 million to create a new downtown performance space by expanding the room where the Kickoff was taking place. Van Dyke, a former professor of Dance at UNCG, addressed the group, explaining her years-long quest to keep dancers and other performers in Greensboro by providing them with an appropriate venue to showcase their work.

Philion encouraged the group to “fuel the arts wave that is propelling our community forward” by donating to the ArtsFund—and encouraging others to do the same—and by participating in our vibrant arts community.

City Councilmember Nancy Hoffmann cited Abraham Lincoln, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy, who all understood that “cultural heritage and the arts are essential to society.” Hoffmann continued, “We…understand the absolute importance and necessity of the…arts to this City…The arts teach us and enhance our lives every day. They even sometimes compel us to set aside our petty grievances and differences to think collectively about our humanity and the common good.”