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About Us

Our Story

On August 9, 1949, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County became the first locally-established arts council in the United States. The Junior League of Winston-Salem brought national community arts consultant Virginia Lee Comer to town in 1943 to study the cultural life of the community. Her strategy for cultural planning was to build connections between the community and its arts activities. Seed money of $7,200 was set aside by the Junior League in 1946, and in 1949, representatives from twelve cultural groups convened to form the arts council. Our earliest purpose was "to serve those members and to plan, coordinate, promote, and sponsor the opportunity for, and the appreciation of, cultural activities in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County." As the chief advocate of arts and culture in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, we are eager to push our arts and cultural sector to the next level. This will require us to explore new ideas, expand our reach, and respond to needs of our community through the lens of arts, culture, and creativity.

Value Proposition

Arts Council is the chief advocate of the arts and cultural sector in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Our goal is to serve as a leader in lifting up, creating awareness and providing support to grow and sustain artistic, cultural and creative offerings throughout our region. We acknowledge that it takes every voice, every talent, and every story to make our community a great place to live, work, and play. Arts Council is committed to serving as a facilitator, organizer, and promoter of conversations that are authentic, inclusive, and forward-thinking.

Diversity Commitment

Arts Council respects and values the full spectrum of self-defining differences among people. Arts Council is committed to reflecting that diversity in the composition of its Board and staff, and throughout all aspects of Arts Council’s operations, including in the outcomes and other impacts of its work. Anchored by that core commitment, Arts Council strives proactively to promote an environment and experiences in our community that includes, celebrates and supports, in an equitable manner, the needs, perspectives and contributions of all people in our diverse community.


Arts Council's Impact on Our Community

Thanks to Arts Council's 2023 Community Fund for the Arts, we invested $1.2 million in grants, awards, and programs for artists and organizations in FY23. Arts Council is in the process of making FY24 allocations to support annual grants from monies received from our annual operating budget.


Through the Forsyth County American Rescue Plan Act and the City of Winston-Salem's Transformational Grant, Arts Council is further stewarding $5.5 million of financial support for arts and cultural programming across Forsyth County. 

Learn More About Our Funding Opportunities

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Our Future

Visioning Roadmap

Following a discovery period and series of planning sessions, Next Stage has developed a roadmap outlining the vision and strategic direction for Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County informed by a Strategic Visioning Task Force and board and staff leadership at a recent retreat. This roadmap articulates four (4) overarching goals with nine (9) objectives in service to them. The goal setting builds upon feedback received by the organization, summarized as a part of Next Stage’s Current Conditions Memo published in December 2021.

Next Stage recommends this strategic planning roadmap memo for review and endorsement by Arts Council’s CEO and board of directors ahead of a second phase of work to build an implementation strategy including strategies and tactics to realize it.

View Visioning Roadmap

Our Team

Chase Law

Chase Law

President and CEO

Shannon Stokes

Shannon Stokes

Director of Community Impact and Programs

Susan Brittain

Susan Brittain

Director of Grants and Special Projects

Leo Morello

Leo Morello

Director of Production

Lauren Wieland

Lauren Wieland

Operations Intern

Rebecca Bender

Rebecca Bender

Chief Operating Officer

Corinne Bass

Corinne Bass

Director of Programming

Craig Mounce

Craig Mounce

Building and Maintenance Manager

Cory Jones

Cory Jones

Database and Operational Support Manager

Miguel Londoño

Miguel Londoño

Lead Custodian

Katie Hall

Katie Hall

Chief Marketing Officer and VP, Development

Cécile Boynton

Cécile Boynton

Community Grants and Services Manager

Eric Turpin

Eric Turpin

Venue and Facility Services Manager

Joshua Ling

Joshua Ling

Front of House Coordinator & Marketing Fellow

Board of Trustees

Dr. Lynn Anthony  

Senior Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs, Wake Forest

School of Medicine

Todd Bankhead
Senior Vice President of Clinical Operations and Chief Operating Officer of Clinical Service Lines, Atrium Heath Wake Forest Baptist

Steve Berlin

Managing Partner, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Chad Cheek

President & Owner, Elephant In The Room

Iris Cole 

CEO and Co-Founder, She Raises the Bar

Clare Fader

Founder of Fader Real Estate

Linda Gaskins

Community Volunteer

Drew Gerstmyer

Project Manager, East Coast Capital

Shannon Henry

Community Volunteer

Sue Henderson

Executive Director, Wake Forest University's Face to Face Forum

Jason Kaplan

Associate Vice President, Space & Master Planning, Wake Forest School of Medicine

Camille Kluttz-Leach

Governance & Strategic Advisor Board Secretary, Northeastern University

Mike Lancaster

President/CEO, Frank L. Blum Construction Company

Chase Law

President and CEO, Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County

Jeff Lindsay

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Novant Health

Robin Miller

Private Banker, First Citizens Bank and First Citizens Wealth Management

Dr. Rosa Otero

Director of Visual and Performing Arts and School of Music Administration, Salem College

Courtney Payne Benfield

Triad Market Executive, Bank of America

Kenneth Pettigrew

Executive Director, Winston Lake YMCA

Tracy Preston

Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Corporate Secretary, HanesBrands, Inc.

Peggy Reingold 

Community Volunteer

Amy Reynolds

Senior Vice President of Marketing and Customer Engagement, Flow Automotive Companies

Claire Tuttle 

Community Volunteer and Consumer Advocate

Howard Upchurch

Community Volunteer

Jake Wharton 

Partner, Womble Bond Dickinson

Jacinta White

Principal and CEO of Deeper Dive Consulting

Talitha Vickers

Marketing & Business Development Manager, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP

Annual Reports

Arts Council's Annual Reports provide extensive information about our organization's financial and other operating results for the fiscal year covered. In addition to recognizing all of our donors, each Annual Report includes a message from our Board Chair and/or President and CEO, information about recipients of Arts Council grants and other direct financial support, and information about programming and the multi-faceted support services Arts Council provides to numerous arts organizations and individual artists who comprise our community’s vibrant and diverse arts constellation.

2020-21 Audit Report / Form 990

2019-20 Annual Report / Audit Report / Form 990

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Find Us


Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts

251 N Spruce Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101

Hanesbrands Theatre

209 N Spruce Street

Winston-Salem, NC 27101


Monday - Friday  9:00am-9:00pm

Saturday  9:00am-4:00pm

Sunday  closed

Contact Us

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