The Arts Council In A Nutshell

The Arts Council supports, enhances and extends the beneficial impacts of the arts throughout our diverse community, “touching every corner” and advancing the community’s strategic agenda.

It does so by owning and operating several strategic performance, exhibition and event venues; delivering multi-faceted support services to numerous diverse arts organizations and individual artists; and providing critically-needed direct and indirect financial support.

The Arts Council is an essential element of the community’s constellation of amazing arts organizations and artists, and that arts constellation is a valuable “community asset”.

The Arts Benefit The Entire Community

The arts are not an ancillary indulgence for the elite. The arts are not limited to classical music or opera in a symphony hall, to formal exhibitions in a museum or to any other narrow conception.

The arts encompass a wide spectrum of diverse expressive forms that permeate the lives of everyone, much like the air we breathe, and the food we eat.

  • The arts provide jobs and attract visitors who spend at local businesses and generate tax revenue. (The most recent economic study, for 2015, showed that our arts industry accounted for over 5,500 jobs, generated $14.8 million of state and local tax revenue and had a total economic impact of $156.8 million.) 

  • Our arts constellation supports recruitment and retention of residents, from across the country and internationally, by our local businesses, colleges and other institutions. 

  • Exposure to the arts improves academic performance by our children, as well as teaches them essential skills that will promote their future creativity and innovation. 

  • The arts entertain, educate and inspire us; they are essential nourishment for the spirit and soul of everyone in our community. 

  • Arts events lead to shared experiences that help to build bridges and bonds among diverse peoples in our community, strengthening the community and fueling its attractiveness.

The Arts Constellation Is A Valuable Community Asset

Our community is the “City of Arts & Innovation”, and it is emerging as a great place to live, work, learn and play. Our arts constellation is at the core of that emergence. It is a valuable “community asset”, indispensable to the community’s continuing attractiveness.

Every life in our community, and the community itself, would be profoundly diminished if our arts constellation did not exist, or if its amazing stars were less luminous.

Our arts constellation did not materialize magically, and will not magically endure. It is the product of strategic cultivation and generous support by many, over many years. It must continue to be cultivated and supported, along with the community’s other valuable assets.

The Arts Council’s Pivotal Role

The Arts Council’s broad focus on the interests of the community as a whole is an essential element of the arts constellation. The Arts Council’s pivotal role includes the ownership as well as the operation of multiple strategic facilities, which are integral to the community’s

arts constellation and the revitalization of downtown Winston-Salem.

Our facilities provide cost-effective administrative spaces for several arts organizations, and dynamic performance, exhibition and special event venues that serve the entire community. They stage numerous community festivals, series and major events as well as artistic

productions, attracting over 100,000 visitors to downtown annually. They include: 

  • The trend-setting, multi-functional Hanesbrands Theatre. 

  • The multi-purpose Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts, containing these dynamic venues: 

    • the historic Sawtooth Building, which is home to The Sawtooth School for Visual Art;

    • the multi-functional Reynolds Place Theatre and Mountcastle Forum/Theatre; 

    • the dramatic Arboreal Gallery for rotating art exhibitions and host to myriad events;

    • a community arts gift shop, which promotes the creations of numerous diverse local artists.

  • The Arts Council Extension, which is the administrative home and rehearsal venues for the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and The Little Theatre of Winston-Salem.