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 ALEXIS BOONE
ARTSGREENSBORO MARKETING INTERN
APRIL PARKER, ELSEWHERE
April Parker is the Inaugural Creative Catalyst Fellow at Elsewhere, located in Downtown Greensboro, who promotes equity and inclusion through art, community, and administrative practices. She started Elsewhere as a volunteer, and now she is an arts administrator, cultural worker, and architect of black spaces. Parker helped spearhead an arts administration residency focused on creating a model for restructuring the “typical” nonprofit operating structure to be more equitable. Parker prioritizes action and accountability, and she prides herself in being a part of creating a safe space for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities to express themselves through art.
Elsewhere is a nonprofit creative hub that began as a three-story building filled to the verge with a gigantic assortment of collectible items amassed by a woman named Sylvia Grey. Grey found value in unwanted things, and this became the main method of inventiveness for artists to create in a functioning space. Founded in 2005, Elsewhere has turned its collectibles into an interactive living space, artist workspace, and museum.
April Parker has exciting plans for her own curatorial work and the Elsewhere organization. She is preparing to launch her second installation for Unveiling Monuments for Black August. More information about this installation can be found here. In the next five years, Elsewhere plans to increase accessibility in its building structure to reach communities that haven’t interacted with the museum before. The grand reopening of the museum space July 2, 2021, and then will reinstate in-person programming such as artist talks, workshops, and Open Stage events during the summer. If you would like to learn more about Elsewhere’s upcoming programs and ways to get involved, please click here.
AN EVENING WITH THE CREATIVE CLASSBY DUANE CYRUS, DIRECTOR OF THEATER OF MOVEMENT AND PROFESSOR IN THE SCHOOL OF DANCE AT UNCG
An Evening with the Creative Class is a series of community-engaged presentations and discussions on the arts with a panel of guest artists and scholars sharing their talent in an enriching evening of community, networking, and discussion. Topics are varied and target community engagement and access to art for general audiences.
Creative Class is curated by Duane Cyrus, director of Theater of Movement and professor in the School of Dance at UNCG. Cyrus notes that his goal is to “provide a forum where artists can share their work and connect in a discussion/process-oriented setting suitable for all audiences. An Evening with the Creative Class highlights a scope of exciting topics including, The Resistance Project. A project that unites ladies from the African Diaspora of different ages and backgrounds to draw in and examine scholarship, creativity, and community engagement.
The Resistance Project uplifts the voices and representation of women from the African Diaspora. Past guests have included Dr. Ayesha Boyce––an educator and scholar at UNCG; choreographer Germaul Barnes––former Bill T. Jones dancer, and David Blake–a star on London’s West End in Disney’s The Lion King. An Evening with the Creative Class has been introduced in scenes around the state since 2013, keeps on uniting crowds, filling in as an open discussion for understanding, and an extraordinary evening of entertainment!
For more information on upcoming sessions CLICK HERE.
AG Making it Work
COMMUNITY ELEVATION GRANT PROGRAMBY MIKHAILA ELLER, ARTSGREENSBORO COMMUNITY OUTREACH/EDUCATION INTERN
Exciting things are happening this summer at ArtsGreensboro! We are happy to announce the launch of our pilot program, the Community Elevation Grant Program. ArtsGreensboro believes in transformation through the arts, and this grant program promotes reshaping communities by integrating the arts in public, shared spaces. For the launch of this program, we focused our efforts on East Greensboro, District 2 at The Renaissance Shops to reimagine an existing greenspace based on the community’s voice.
“The goal of the Community Elevation Grant Program is to establish a collective vision for thriving, vibrant, and inclusive neighborhoods that spur positive community development driven by those who directly benefit.”
-Catena Bergevin, Director of Development, ArtsGreensboro
Thanks to our community partners at Second Harvest Food Bank, ArtsGreensboro has started to gather data to get a sense of what residents want to see in The Renaissance Shops. We will continue participating in community events throughout the summer to get a more accurate sense of community desires for the space. So, if you see us at a local event this summer, feel free to stop by our table!
A Call to Artists:
We plan to launch the grant program in Fall 2021.
We encourage artists and arts organizations to apply. Here are the criteria:
- Community benefit and engagement
- Artistic and cultural merit
- Community diversity
- Access to additional financial or in-kind support sources.
More detailed requirements will be available in the coming weeks, so please subscribe to the ArtsGreensboro mailing list here to stay up to date on all future announcements regarding grant opportunities.
Thank you to our partners at Cone Health, Second Harvest Food Bank, Self Help Credit Union, the City of Greensboro, Guilford County, DevCon Resources, Greensboro Permaculture Guild, Wells Fargo Foundation, and The Renaissance Shops for making this project possible.
And a huge thank you to the Duke Energy Foundation, Truist Foundation, Cone Mills Charitable Fund, Mary Lynn Richardson Fund, and The VF Foundation for supporting this amazing program.
My Art Story
BY JAYMIE MEYER, DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION AT GREENHILL CENTER FOR NC ART
I am Jaymie Meyer, Director of Education at GreenHill Center for NC Art. I have been with GreenHill for 20 + years, starting as an intern during the time GreenHill’s studios were for kids – then known as ArtQuest – while being built. At that time, I was in my last semester in the Department of Housing and Interior Design at UNCG. My experience in design school forever shaped me. Being a student in design school made me entirely driven by my creative endeavors – often forgetting to eat, in dire need of a good eight hours of sleep and loving every minute of it. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone in the arts who would not say the same thing about being swept up in the creative process.
There would be flyers on the department bulletin board seeking interns to help with small design jobs in the last phases of getting ArtQuest off the ground. I ended up drawing furniture plans for this new art studio designed just for kids and have been here ever since. The possibility of a genuine studio experience for children is as charming to me now as it was initially. After all these years, I am still strong-willed by a quest to understand what creativity is and what energizes it. I like to say the studios at GreenHill are the original “maker’s space.” They are what drew me to GreenHill while keeping things fresh. Watching the process of inspiration turning into creation is pure magic!
For more information about GreenHill Center for NC Art please CLICK HERE.
ArtsGreensboro is a community-supported organization, which means your donation to the ArtsFund is what allows us to keep the arts alive and thriving for future generations to enjoy.
Our sincere gratitude to our 2021 ArtsFund, Reentry & Reinvent Campaign, and Artist Relief Fund donors. We could not have done it without you. CLICK HERE to see a complete donor list.
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