My Arts Story: Denny Kelly

Chair of the Sternberger Artists Center Commission and Supporter of The ACGG

I believe that the arts are the heart and soul of any community. Across time, various art forms like drumming, dancing, singing, elaborate architecture, paintings and more, have become the definition and the legacy of their creators. It follows that I want to see the arts in my own community thrive. Over the years, I have invested consistently, both personally and from my business before I retired, to support the creative environment that sustains each of us individually and as a community.

The truth is, I am a wanna-be artist. As a child at my mother’s side, we designed stylish doll clothes that she would sew for the one doll I cared about. By the time I was 7, we spent Sunday mornings drawing and embellishing the illustrations in NY Times ads. During high school I jumped at the chance to create posters and flyers, act in any play and squeak on my violin. I spent my college years at William & Mary taking art courses for every elective allowed until I had a minor in Fine Art. It was at that time that I realized that I had neither the temperament nor talent nor money to be an artist. But the next best thing was the Ad Agency/PR business in which I got to work with graphic designers, illustrators, photographers, studio musicians, writers, and other creative folks every day. It was a job made in heaven for me.

Over the years, Bouvier Kelly has donated untold financial support and pro bono services to local arts organizations including, among others, the Carolina Theater, Greensboro Symphony, Triad Stage, Greensboro Ballet, National Folk Festival, and especially The Arts Council of Greater Greensboro (The ACGG). I trust The ACGG to know where my investment will generate the best returns for our overall arts environment.

My personal involvement did not end with my retirement. It is my privilege to Chair the Sternberger Artists Center Commission and serve on the Board of the NC Folk Festival. The best part is the joy of being in the audience of the many awesome arts activities that make Greensboro what it is!