Each month, ArtsGreensboro brings you stories about artists, arts organizations, and individuals whose lives are infused with creativity. Join us in celebrating our vibrant city.
Artist In Focus
BY CARRIE K. THOMAS,
FULL-TIME CREATIVE ARTIST
STEVEN TANGER CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTSBY JENNIE LANNING, DIRECTOR OF BROADWAY MARKETING
AG Making it Work
THE NEW CREATIVE INVESTMENTBY LAURA WAY, ARTSGREENSBORO PRESIDENT & CEO
December 2020, Michael Kaiser, President of the DeVos Institute for Arts Management, told us that ArtsGreensboro must help strengthen the arts ecology of Guilford County. Too many arts organizations are not sustainable without external investment in bold plans. Funds are necessary to facilitate longer artistic planning calendars, transformational programming, sophisticated marketing, and collaborations necessary to engage new audiences and generation of supporters. A sector-wide marketing effort is essential to highlight the best work of local artists and arts organizations. Take advantage of this crisis to come out stronger.
In March, the American Rescue Plan (ARP) was passed with significant funds coming into the City and County. If the ARP plan supported investment in the creative economy, we asked ourselves, should we make an economic case for an allocation? We did some deep-dive research on the ROI of investing in the creative economy, and the data supported our assumptions. The creative economy DRIVES economic outcomes for the community. We outline our findings and rationale in our case statement: The New Creative Investment. The key takeaway outlined in the New Creative Investment is that now is the time for a new model in a sustainable arts ecosystem. With an investment in the creative sector, we can ensure our community has strong and vibrant arts across the county, from corner to corner – arts that drive economic, educational, health, and community outcomes. An economy that will sustain artists’ careers, so they continue to live, work and create here. And perhaps perform from the Tanger stage.
New Creative Investment outlines the rationale, need, and outcomes from an investment of the ARP and one-third matching private dollars. ArtsGreensboro, on behalf of the creative community, respectfully asked both Guilford County and the City of Greensboro to allocate $2.5 million from ARP funds to support the creative sector throughout Guilford County.
2020 was a hard year for all in Greensboro, Guilford County, and beyond. Small businesses, schools, restaurants, bars, healthcare providers, and many more were negatively impacted. For the creative sector, 2020 was nearly a knockout blow. The pandemic exacerbated an already fragile ecosystem, and recovery will be tenuous without investment. So, the request we are making is not a bailout; it is an investment. An investment in a sector that is authentically local. An investment in building a stronger, more durable, and agile infrastructure. An investment in the future of our community.
With the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, it is time to look forward, but with caution. Much of what we learned and experienced in 2020 was a clarion call to us. We need to do better, think more strategically and equitably, and make sure our community benefits from a creative investment. I hope you will join us as we continue our work in making the case, asking for investment, and ensuring we have a strong creative ecosystem to support all we aspire to as a community.
CLICK HERE for an in-depth look at ArtsGreensboro’s New Creative Investment Initiative in partnership with High Point Arts Council.
My Art Story
BY SHERRI RAEFORD, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, SHARED RADIANCE PERFORMING ARTS COMPANY
I am the Artistic Director of
Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company, based in Guilford County. The Arts have always been a driving force and light in my life. My undergraduate work was in Theatre and Visual Arts Education. I enjoy acting, directing, producing, ballroom dancing with my husband, photography, playing my guitar, and sharing the magic that comes with artistic collaboration. After several years as a Theatre Arts teacher and getting an M.Ed. in Theatre from UNCG, I had the opportunity through Shakespeare Lives to do an intensive study with the masters of Shakespeare’s Globe in London. The program, based at UNCSA, and its curator, Bob Moyer, continue to influence my work. The Globe experience was life-changing, and I have returned for study twice. I also had the opportunity to work as Outreach and Education Director for
I was fascinated with the concept of “sharing the light” with the audience and attended a production with the NY Classical Theatre, in the light and traveling through Battery Park. After various formative experiences, I founded Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company in 2013 and produced Shakespeare “in the light,” with the audience following from scene to scene. Thus, the name Shared Radiance. Since then, we have performed in several venues across the state, including Hanging Rock State Park, Lindley Park, and Hagan-Stone Park,
produced and developed a school Shakespeare tour, and produced original and new works. Education has remained a large part of who I am and subsequently Shared Radiance’s mission.
For more information about Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company, please visit: www.sharedradiance.org
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