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Arts Council to Celebrate 70th Birthday

Arts Council to Celebrate 70th Birthday and Its Newly Transformed Milton Rhodes Center

Public invited to community celebration at 6:30 p.m. this Friday evening, August 9

Winston-Salem, NC (August 7, 2019) -- The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will celebrate two major milestones -- its 70th birthday and transformation of the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts -- this Friday night, August 9. The public is invited to the community celebration at The Milton Rhodes Center at 251 North Spruce Street in downtown Winston-Salem at 6:30 p.m.

“We completed the project right on schedule,” said Christine Jones, The Arts Council’s Chief Operating Officer, “and just in time for the National Black Theatre Festival. We hosted performances in two Center venues and in our adjacent Hanesbrands Theatre. The inaugural performance in the new black box theater, which is temporarily being called ‘Reynolds Place Theatre,’ came off without a hitch,” she said. “Our aim has been to create the kind of performance places that are most useful to our diverse local arts groups. We have done that, and the downtown arts scene has received a major boost with this cluster of three theaters in our complex – each with its own distinctive features.”

WXII TV anchor Talitha Vickers will serve as emcee for Friday night’s celebration. Entertainment will include performances by the Winston-Salem Festival Ballet, Winston-Salem Little Theatre, and readings by poet Jacinta White. Attendees will be treated to heavy hors d'oeuvres, and there will be a cash bar.

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, which was established 70 years ago, is the oldest arts council in the United States. “For seven decades, Winston-Salem has been viewed nationally as a leader in the community arts arena,” said Randy Eaddy, President and CEO of The Arts Council. “This anniversary is worthy of celebration, and it fortuitously aligns with completion of our transformation of the Milton Rhodes Center, so we are inviting the community to join in the fun this Friday evening, visit with friends and neighbors, and see for themselves the stunning enhancements to the Rhodes Center, including the new black box theater.”

The Rhodes Center lobby has been transformed into a welcoming, architecturally dramatic, open space with the “Arboreal Gallery” to the left and a patrons service desk, gift shop featuring work by local artists, and a concession area on the right. The Center’s signature mosaic floor ties the two sections together and directs theater goers to the new 210-seat theater with retractable seats that allow maximum flexibility. The Mountcastle Forum performance space on the third floor has been soundproofed and enhanced so that it can be used simultaneously with the new theater.

Winston-Salem, known as a City of Arts and Innovation, and Forsyth County have a robust arts community that enriches the lives of area residents every day and accounts in large part for the recognition they continue to receive as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Forsyth County’s nonprofit arts industry supports 5,559 full time equivalent jobs; accounts for more than $129 million in resident household income, and generates more than $14.8 million in local and state tax revenues.

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