• Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County
251 North Spruce St, Winston-Salem NC 27101


© The Arts Council of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County


Principal Operations and Strategy

The Arts Council raises and distributes substantial funds through several grant programs and initiatives that have provided over $17 million of funding to over the past 10 years. In our last fiscal year cycle (2017 to 2018) alone, we provided over $ 1.2 million in grants and other direct financial support to 48 arts organizations and 19 individual artists. More Information


We also provide other multi-faceted services that support and promote arts organizations, emerging individual artists and arts-based initiatives throughout the community. Such other services include our ownership and operations of facilities that are integral components of our community’s dynamic and vibrant arts and culture scene, providing several venues for performances, presentations, events and other activities.


The Arts Council’s operations reflect our community’s strategic decision to develop and enhance a series of small and intimate performing venues that focus on the needs of the community’s numerous, high-quality, resident arts organizations and artists who provide programming across a broad spectrum of theatre, music, dance, film and visual arts genres. 


In our last fiscal year cycle (2017 to 2018), over 1024 public productions and exhibitions were held, in venues owned and operated by The Arts Council. The recent strategic additions and enhancements to our facilities will increase those numbers significantly in future years. 


In addition to providing venues for theatrical, musical and other artistic performances and exhibitions, The Arts Council’s array of multi-functional facilities provide for the staging and hosting of numerous cultural festivals and series and other major community events. The long and growing list of such major events includes The National Black Theatre Festival; the River Run International Film Festival; the Hispanic League’s Fiesta; and Bookmarks’ annual Festival of Books and Authors. 


Our facilities also provide – on a cost-savings basis that confers significant indirect financial benefits – the administrative “home” for several arts organizations. These organizations include The Sawtooth School for Visual Art and its diverse offerings of instruction and programming, the Hispanic League of Winston-Salem, the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem, the North Carolina Black Repertory Company and Associated Artists of Winston-Salem.   


Beyond the above services and activities, The Arts Council is a key convener and facilitator for collaborative conversations and collective capacity building among multiple arts organizations in the community. We help them find ways to benefit through collaborative efforts and shared services, without compromising their respective programming missions and objectives. 

In embracing its role as an essential supporter and advocate for sustaining the vibrancy and diversity of the arts and culture in our community, The Arts Council is also focused on enhancing and augmenting the following other services:

  • We are helping to identify, validate and support new or special initiatives that expand the reach and deepen the impact of the arts in our community, and that keep our community on the cutting edge of art and cultural developments.


  • We are doing the deep-dive research, critical analysis and systematic planning that are required to convert the appealing concept of “shared services” into an effective reality that delivers tangible cost-saving benefits to our partner arts organizations.


  • We are developing strategies and initiatives to help lead a community-wide pursuit of substantially increased public sector financial support for the arts and culture as a strategic imperative.


  • We are devoting special attention to helping the arts teach our children and develop their skills, imagination and potential, for therein lies the ultimate fate of our community’s future.

We are uniquely situated to perform these services. They have become mission-critical functions of The Arts Council as a key contributor to the continuing success of our community as a “City of Arts and Innovation”.