Arts in Our Community
Public Art projects continue...
The newest additions in the Arts Council's Public Art program are the bike racks on North Queen St and Heritage St. Working with the Parking Lot Enhancement Committee of Pride of Kinston and numerous donors and citizens, the Arts Council designed, fabricated and installed these great new racks! Both are part of the Mrs. J.S. Brody Permanent Public Art Collection of the Arts Council. Designer of both racks is local sculptor Rose Clark.
In addition, work has recently been completed on a mural for Lenoir Memorial Hospital. It was designed in cooperation with the Administrative staff of the hospital by local artist Carolyn Fletcher, and is in the hallway leading from outpatient into the hospital. It depicts a variety of scenes common to patient care in the hospital. Other local artists namely Dinah Sylivant, Anne Waller, Mary Jo Jefferson and Judy Sanders, assisted Carolyn Fletcher in the painting of the mural. These artists are all members of the Lenoir County Artists League. This is a partnership project between the CCA's Public Art Committee, chaired by local artist and CCA Board member, Mary Page Whitley, and Lenoir Memorial Hospital, Inc.
You may have noticed a wonderful new mural being painted on the south wall of the private property that borders Spring Hill and South Queen Streets. The mural designed and being painted by Niki Litts - former Visual Arts Director of the CCA will depict a scene of the Neuse River. The project is being funded by the Lenoir Committee of 100, Inc., Pride of Kinston and the Public Art Project of the CCA.
Both murals will also be included in the Mrs. J.S. Brody Permanent Public Art Collection and will take the collection to 37 pieces in the public sector. No other arts organization east of Raleigh can claim this number of public art pieces or the commitment of the arts to community enhancement.
We are thankful to the Lenoir Committee of 100, Inc., Pride of Kinston, several grantors over the years but most especially to Mrs. J.S. Brody who had the vision to provide restricted funds for the enhancement of the community through the arts.
A gift that truly "keeps on giving" to all of us and appreciably contributes to the quality of life that we enjoy in this community.
Your Arts Council – Working Each Day For You!
Making a Difference In:
Approximately $50,000 annually in grant funded programs presented by touring professional artists offered in the schools annually
In-house programs in traditional arts such as multimedia, pottery, painting and sculpting
Programs in theatre and performance arts
10 summer camps in the art of science, pottery, sculpting, multimedia, pottery, and theatre
70 music lessons taught weekly
75,000-80,000 visitors/year; representing every state in the nation and over 20 foreign countries
Rental facility – hosting business meetings, reunions, concerts, performances, exhibits, classes, weddings, etc. throughout the year
State of the art exhibition space for visual artists -over 300 artists represented each year
Permanent Model Train display attracting children of all ages annually
Private Artists Studios
The only Public Art program east of Raleigh with cutting-edge projects that provide community enrichment and enhancement
Numerous community partnerships
Development of programs & special projects that serve the community while augmenting tourism and economic development
Grant writing that is not required for an Arts Council but is considered part of our responsibility to the community. Grants that will serve the community, but put no dollars into the operating budget of the Arts Council for FY 2011-12 total approx $500,000
Hub of one of the foremost tourism projects in North Carolina – the African American Heritage Music project and 8 county trail
KOOL & THE GATE
Presented by Kinston Community Council for the Arts, ECU School of Art & Design, The Gate and Kinston Department of Public Safety
January 28 – February 17, 2010
Kinston comes together once again around its youth, listening to their voices and cultivating their talents. In KCCA’s Hampton Gallery, Kool & The Gate presents a large-scale exhibition of images and words created by youth (ages 8-14) and officers of Kinston’s Department of Public Safety, all regular participants at The Gate. Open in 2006, The Gate is a community development center funded partially by a grant from the NC Governor’s Crime Commission. This state-of-the art facility, located in an abandoned “Mr. Bingo,” is the vision of Kinston’s retiring Director of Public Safety, Greg Smith. With his leadership focused on development and crime prevention, the adaptive reuse facility was built and is supported by many highly motivated citizens including Kinston firefighters, police officers, students and volunteers from every area church. Still heavily reliant upon volunteers, The Gate provides a safe and enjoyable place for youth to pursue academic tutorials, social and recreational activities, and spiritual and artistic pursuits.
Lead artists of Kool & The Gate include Jasmine Coleman, Caleb Fisher, Tavon Green, Officer Kevin Jenkins, Tayler Morgan, Alexis Monshay Sutton and Officer Dennis Taylor. Anne Brennan, MFA Painting Candidate at ECU’s School of Art & Design spearheaded the project and acts as artistic coordinator. Text and images are culled from the participants’ journals, drawings, photographs, role-playing and performative exercises. KCCA wishes to thank the many individuals supporting this project including Eli Perry for providing work space, Wanda Jordan, Executive Director of The Gate, Greg Smith, Director, Department of Public Safety and Scott Eagle, Assistant Director, ECU School of Art & Design. Visit the project blog at http://koolandthegate.tumblr.com.
Music to their Ears
Brian C. Hanks, Managing Editor -- Kinston Free Press September 17, 2009
Although Kinston, Lenoir County and this portion of eastern North Carolina is home to legends in the blues and jazz fields, many locals are not aware of it. An announcement at the Kinston Community Council of the Arts on Thursday morning may change all that.
The N.C. Department of Transportation allotted $250,000 to the new African-American Heritage Music Trail, an endeavor that will be based in Kinston and will include stops in eight ENC counties: Lenoir, Greene, Jones, Pitt, Wayne, Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe. The project, which will help educate cultural visitors to those eight counties, will include interactive video and audio kiosks at dozens of sites. The trail is expected to be completed by 2011. Visitors will begin at the Arts Council building on Queen Street and continue to the sites all over ENC, where they will discover the music and talent that originated in this area.
The trail is a dream come true for arts council director Sandy Landis, who led the effort to bring the concept to life over the past five years. “These are creative economies in action,” Landis said. “This is using the arts to help with community development.” Landis was part of the announcement ceremony Thursday that included N.C. Secretary of Cultural Resources Linda Carlisle, Lenoir County Economic Development Director Mark Pope and Mary B. Regan, the executive director of the North Carolina Arts Council. Carlisle stressed the importance of cultural tourism to North Carolina — and gave a lot of credit to Landis for putting legs under the idea. “If not for Sandy Landis, we’d probably be announcing this project in another part of the state,” Carlisle said.
Before the ceremony began, an all-star ensemble of area music greats — including Maceo and Melvin Parker, Dick Knight, Sedatrius Boxley-Brown and Wilbert Croom — entertained those in attendance with an impromptu jazz performance. Following Carlisle’s speech, the ensemble played for another 10 minutes until Maceo Parker, who headlined his own world-famous band after playing with the likes of James Brown and Ray Charles, took the microphone to share his memories of growing up in Lenoir County. He regaled the assembled group with tales of his and his brother Melvin’s first meetings with Brown and thanked those who helped him as he was growing up in Lenoir County.
Those are the kind of stories Landis and Pope are hoping will be learned by visitors to the new music trail — and will encourage new owners of new companies to locate in this area. “Having this here will help enhance the quality of life,” Pope said. “Sites and buildings are nice when recruiting companies, but you have to sell the whole package. This helps enhance that whole package.”
Hundreds of Lenoir County school children come to enjoy an hour filled with tours, hands-on projects, and the opportunity to speak to one of our on-site artists.
Permanent Collection Loan Program
More than 50 pieces of artwork from CCA's permanent collection are available on loan to various municipal buildings and non-profit organizations throughout Lenoir County.