Archive for the ‘arts funding/grants’ Category

Arts Advocacy Brings More Money to Arts Statewide – What that means for the Triangle


By Ella Fang

Hand drawing money, isolated on white background

You may have heard the news that the NC General Assembly increased the North Carolina Arts Council budget in its last session.  Specifically, the new budget included these changes:

  • The Biennium (2 year) budget included a total increase of $800,000 non-recurring funding, including a $500,000 increase in Grassroots Arts Funds
  • Allocation of $715,422 for A+ Schools.
  • Total arts funding in the 2015 – 2017 Biennium budget went up $1,515,422 – a 14% increase in funding for grants and programs at the North Carolina Arts Council.

But what does this mean for the Triangle?


More Grassroots Funding for Triangle arts organizations

The Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) provides per capita-based funding for arts programming to all 100 counties across North Carolina ensuring opportunities for citizens to experience the arts in their own communities.  Grassroots money helps local arts organizations provide a diverse menu of arts opportunities, such as festivals, classes and performances, and also supports arts in schools, administrative overhead, and sub-grants to community agencies.  Grassroots funds are distributed to a designated arts organization in each county, which uses the funds for local programs and also regrants part of the money out to other organizations.   “Counties with more than 60,000 population are required to sub-grant/re-grant 50% of these funds. For some arts organizations, Grassroots funding is their only source for operating funds” said Leigh Ann Wilder, Arts in Communities Director at NC Arts Council.

Cary - Diwali

The Diwali Festival in Cary. Hum Sub is a receipient of a grant from United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County.

In the Triangle, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Chatham County Arts Council, Johnston County Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and Durham Arts Council distrubute Grassroots funds, often adding it to funding raised locally. “For us, it means we are able to provide nine more grants for the local arts community.” said Ragen Carlile, Vice President for Education and Community Programs at United Arts Council. This increased funding can make a real difference to the local arts organizations and artists that receive funding from their county arts councils. Click here for a listing of investments by county.  Read more about Grass roots Arts Funding here.

What are A+ Schools?

The A+ Schools Program “is a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to how teachers teach and students learn in all subjects.”  The program is creating and supporting a statewide network of A+ Schools – 50 so far – that have adopted the A+ philosophy and practice, and that make a commitment to participating in network activities. Learn more about the A+ Schools program here and find a list of the A+ Schools in your county here.

SmART Inititative

Another NC Arts Council program with a direct effect on the Triangle is the The SmART Initiative, which provides grants and leadership for municipal arts-driven economic development programs.  So far, four North Carolina municipalities have projects funded under this program, including Durham. The Durham project created, first, an Arts Vision plan to connect the downtown arts districts.  See that Arts Vision plan here.  Momentum from the initial SmART Initiative work has resulted in a successful NEA grant to continue this project. Read more about the NEA funded grant here.

Arts Advocacy works!

This funding increase is great proof that arts advocacy works! ArtsNC, the statewide advocacy organization for the arts, provided the leadership behind this successful effort. They organized advocacy events statewide to teach people how and why they need to fight for the arts and organized and led ARTS Day 2016, an annual two-day conference of art and action that draws hundreds of North Carolinians to their state capital to learn, network, celebrate, and speak with one voice on behalf of the arts. They also worked with local organizations to


Triangle ArtWorks Director, Beth Yerxa, led part of the Wake County delegation at Arts Day, seen here meeting with Rep. Yvonne Holley.

engage arts supporters to advocate for the Arts and give them the training and tools they need to be effective advocates.

Triangle ArtWorks worked with Arts NC to host such a regional training event, “Give a Damn About the Arts” on April 13, 2016.  To get a snapshot of that event, check out this video by Justin Gartman.  Arts advocates from across the Triangle also participated in Arts Day, meeting with their local representatives and telling them stories about how the arts impact their cities and their lives.

How do I apply for grants?

Triangle ArtWorks has links to all local and statewide granting opportunities on our website. Each county, and sometimes individual municipalities, have granting programs for nonprofit arts organizations, individual artists and arts projects.  The North Carolina Arts Council also supports arts organizations, emerging artists and individual artists. Find more information and links to all of these grant programs here.

Ella Fang is a new Raleigh resident, graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management. A strong believer that art works, she coordinates the International Festival of Raleigh, volunteers with local arts organizations, and fights for arts accessibility. In her free time, she loves painting, reading, and camping with her husband and their dog Smokie.

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Grants from Durham and Cary support Triangle ArtWorks growth!

DurhamArtsCouncil_LOGO_WC_blk2x2 (4)We are happy to announce that Triangle ArtWorks has received financial grants from both Durham Arts Council and Town of Cary to continue our organizational capacity building work into 2017!

Triangle ArtWorks has been serving the Triangle since 2010, but is still entirely run by volunteers (yes, really) and is funded by donations.  We are a critical point in our development, where the success of the work and the platform we are building exceeds our “capacity”.

What does this mean?  Well, that, the Region is seeing an impact from the work that we are doing and there is demand for us to do more, but the fact that we are run completely by a volunteer staff on limited donations affects our ability to expand our work and programs or even to keep up with current demand for our work.  For Triangle ArtWorks to continue to establish our place in the regional community, we need support from the Community we serve.  We need to be able to build what non-profit folksTownOfCary_PrimarySolo call “organizational capacity”.  That is, we need more people and financial support to get the work done.  These people can include volunteers and Board members, but realistically, we need to build towards having experienced and paid staff.  And we don’t just need people, we need to have the right tools and resources to do our work better and more efficiently.

Last year, a grant from Duke Energy allowed us to bring on a local consultant, the amazing Maggie Clay Love, to provide the expert support and services we need to develop organizational capacity and create a plan for sustainable growth.  This work has been transformative for the Organization and already the office is running more smoothly, our Board is building and we are developing better tools and resources to continue to serve the Organization and the community more efficiently and effectively.  But there is lots more to do.

Hand drawing moneyThis year, we began to reach out to the Region we serve for financial support and are excited to announce that, so far, both Durham Arts Council and the Town of Cary have agreed to support our Capacity Building work for Fiscal Year 2017!  This support will allow us to continue to transform this Organization towards sustainability and  continue our work in the Triangle. But perhaps more importantly, this financial support shows that Durham Arts Council and the Town of Cary understand the role of the arts industry in the future of the Triangle region and believe in the work that Triangle ArtWorks is doing to support the arts community.

We thank the Durham Arts Council and the Town of Cary for making this big step to support our work and, though us, the work of all artists and arts organizations across the Triangle. Learn more about other Sponsors of Triangle ArtWorks here.  We look forward to working with other Triangle municipalities this year to develop additional support.

Believe in what we are building and want to support us?  Find out more here.

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Call to Action for the Arts before 6/16 – Wake County

We have just received the following Call to Action from Arts NC:

Thank you for being a part of our action network!

Both the House and the Senate have appointed Conferees who will resolve differences in the two budgets. (The House budget included a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts Program as allocate by the North Carolina Arts Council. The Senate budget did not concur with the House.)

We now have a final opportunity–
and a real one–to encourage House Representatives to hold firm to their recommendation and for the Senate members to agree. Arts funding will be an issue in the Conference process. The game could go either way. It depends on what you are willing to do.

Sen. Chad Barefoot, Rep. Chris Malone & Rep. Marilyn Avila of Wake County…
…hold very important positions in the upcoming Conference process. We are counting on arts advocates to contact their key General Assembly member and help us secure the Grassroots Arts funding increase.

If you know these legislators personally, please place a telephone call and talk to the Legislative Assistant or leave your name on their message machine.
Sen Chad Barefoot: (919) 715-3036
Rep. Chris Malone: (919) 715-3010
​Rep: Marilyn Avila: (919) 733-5530

If you do NOT know these legislators personally,

Please drop a short, hard copy letter in the mail by noon on Thursday, June 16.

Sen Chad Barefoot: 300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 308, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

Rep. Chris Malone: 300 N. Salisbury Street, Rm. 603, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925

Rep: Marilyn Avila: 16 West Jones Street, Rm. 2217, Raleigh, NC 27601-1096
Make the letters short but personal, such as:

Congratulations on your appointment to the Conference Committee for the 2016-2017 State Budget. As a citizen of your district, I am asking that you hold firm to the House recommendation of a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts as allocated by the North Carolina Arts Council (or to your Senator…please concur with the House recommendation of a $500,000 increase for Grassroots Arts as allocated by the North Carolina Arts Council). Over 650 organizations in all 100 counties will benefit and 3.5 million citizens will be served by this remarkably efficient and effective grant program.

(Please conclude your written communications with a short paragraph about what the increase would mean in your county. This is important because we do not want the Legislator to think your communications are a form letter. Always end with a sentence of gratitude for their service.)

Thank you for your dedicated service to the citizens of North Carolina.

And please send an email to Arts NC at this address if you receive a response.

What’s at stake?

A resounding response to this Call to Action could have a major impact on the arts where you live. Wake County currently receives $203,047 in Grassroots Arts funding. The $500,000 increase would bring that amount to $244,422.
Take action no later than noon on Thursday, June 16.

Thank you, advocate!

Karen Wells
Executive Director


Learn more about the background of these issues on Arts NC’s Arts Advocacy page.

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Call to Action – June 7 @ 7pm – Support Raleigh Arts Funding


Its once again time to show up and stand up for the Arts.

If you live in Raleigh and work in or just support the Arts community, the Raleigh Arts Commission needs you.  Its time to start to implement the Raleigh Arts Plan and the Raleigh Arts Commission is asking the City Council for increased funding at Council’s budget meeting TOMORROW NIGHT!


Here is some specific information about how you can help from Nancy Novell, Raleigh Arts Commission Chair.

Funding the arts plan will kick-start the plan’s top five priorities, ensuring the entire community is included in the arts and included in enriching the identity of Raleigh.

  1. Create neighborhood arts programs
  2. Build capacity for ADA accessibility, cultural equity and audience
  3. Increase quality and quantity of public art and accelerate its
    appearance across the city
  4. Design arts marketing and community resources
  5. Grow arts partner (grant) programs

How can you help? 


Attend the Budget Hearing

Please attend the City’s budget hearing on Tuesday, June
7th at 7pm in the City Council Chamber.  Join the crowd and stand
when called upon to show your support for the arts. Please help spread the

Email the Mayor and City Council

Send an email message to the Mayor and City Council members showing your support. Messages should be short – quick and easy to read! Here’s some basic info, feel free to personalize:

Subject Line: Support for Arts Funding

I encourage you to increase arts funding to support the Raleigh Arts Plan:

    Coordinator ($60,000)
  • INCREASE PER CAPITA: $.50 – $.75 to support implementation of the
    Raleigh Arts Plan

Here are the email addresses:  

Mayor:, cc: MayorStaff <>
City Council: and cc: – It
will get to everyone.

On behalf of the Arts Commission, many, many thanks for your passion and
dedication and sharing your love of the arts. Your hard work is reflected in
making Raleigh so creative, inviting, exciting, unique and THE BEST!! 

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Behind the Scenes @ ArtWorks – Cindy Honickman & ArtWorks Board

This month, we are opening the doors and inviting everyone in to see behind the scenes at Triangle ArtWorks. Meet the people that helped us get off the ground in 2010 and those working hard today to keep us running. Learn why they are giving their time and talents to build this Organization to support you – the Triangle Arts Community.   Then support their work with a Donation to Triangle ArtWorks

Cindy Honickman


14f7b44Cindy Honickman is the local owner of WAKA Kickball & Social Sports and joined the Triangle ArtWorks team with a strong background in marketing, public relations, and event planning. She has helped the team with email marketing strategy and website editing, and has even conducted wordpress training for other volunteers.

Why are you willing to give your time/talents to support Triangle ArtWorks

“As a small business owner, there are certain times throughout the year when I have more free time available in my schedule. During these periods, I enjoy giving my time to non-profits where I really feel a connection to their mission.

Why do you think that Triangle ArtWorks is important for the Triangle arts community and the Triangle itself. 

“Through WAKA, I am building a community of young professionals and those young at heart who want to enjoy sports, explore local businesses and events, and grow their social circles. Triangle ArtWorks is building a community of people in the arts industry who can support one another in their endeavors. Everyone involved needs a different kind of help from knowing where art can be showcased, to getting the word out about classes or even just learning how to meet the right people. Triangle ArtWorks is reaching out and connecting these people to the right resources. I am very proud to work with an organization that is shaping the community in such an impactful way, one artist at a time.”

ArtWorks Board of Directors


Beth Yerxa, Director, with members of the Boards External Committee – Reed Colver, Brian Starkey, Andrea Mia and Melanie Stoer.


ArtWorks was built 5 years ago by volunteers and still run entirely by volunteers. This year, Triangle ArtWorks received a capacity building grant from Duke Energy to begin the work to move us beyond our “all-volunteer” status.  The Duke grant has enabled us to bring on expert guidance from local consultant, Maggie Clay Love.  But its ArtWorks current Board of Directors that is rising to the challenge and doing what’s needed to move this Organization to the next level … through lots of meetings, hard work and strategic thinking.  We are incredibly grateful to have such a strong and committed Board of Directors guiding us through this important year.  Thanks to them all.

So many volunteers are working hard to make the Triangle’s arts community stronger.  Please support their work with a donation.  This week, your donation will be doubled in our Matching Challenge! DONATE HERE!

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Is Triangle ArtWorks Having an Impact? Our Community Says Yes!

Although ArtWorks is only 5 years in, we are already making a difference in the Triangle.  See what our community has to say:

“We have an amazing community of creative people in the region but, for the most part, they labor alone. By encouraging collaboration, cross-pollination and growing resources, Triangle Art Works is filling a void in the local economy and providing support for our extensive arts cluster.” Dianne Reed, Chatham County Economic Development

“We need an organization to help us look beyond our next event or program and take stock in the collective riches we have as an arts community. We need help building a regional identity.” Leigh Ann Wilder, NCAC Arts in Communities

“I am particularly thankful for the real world, nuts-and-bolts approach that is the hallmark of their programming.”  Lynn York, Writer.

“Since Triangle ArtWorks has formed, we have been able to see our art events gain a much broader marketing base.  It has helped our community that is in the southern end of Wake County”.  Naomi Riley, Fuquay-Varina Downtown Revitalization Assoc.

“Triangle ArtWorks have fostered connections that I would not otherwise have made with other arts leaders in our community and beyond.” Annah Lee, Artspace

“When I saw a need for connecting, educating, and supporting local filmmakers, Triangle Art Works encouraged me. They introduced me to people who believed in the same vision, which helped grow our reach and therefore help more people in the film community.”  Camden Watts, TriFilm Society

“Many organizations have said that they have tasked themselves with integrating the arts community in the Triangle region and being a central resource for artists and arts organizations but Triangle Art Works is the only one I have found that is really walking the talk.” Frank Konhaus, Kontek, Cassilhaus



 This week – Give and your donation will be doubled!
We have a Matching Gift Challenge.
 Big or small – all donations matter to us!





Behind the Scenes @ ArtWorks – Leigh Ann Wilder

This month, we are opening the doors and inviting everyone in to see behind the scenes at Triangle ArtWorks. Meet the people that helped us get off the ground in 2010 and those working hard today to keep us running. Learn why they are giving their time and talents to build this Organization to support you – the Triangle Arts Community.


Leigh Ann WIlder and ArtWorks founder Beth Yerxa, back talking arts in a bar….how it all began. Leigh Ann Wilder

Leigh Ann Wilder

Leigh Ann was there at the beginning. Leigh Ann and ArtWorks Founder Beth Yerxa met while Beth was serving on the City of Raleigh Arts Commission and Leigh Ann on a CORAC Committee.  They spent months brainstorming around how to address some unmet needs they both saw in the Triangle’s arts community.  Togther they met and listened to people in the community and pulled together the “bones” of the idea for what is now ArtWorks.  While Beth took the idea and made it into Triangle ArtWorks, Leigh Ann was a founding Board member and served on the Strategic Planning committee.  Leigh Ann is now Arts in Communities Director at NC Arts Council and continues to be a champion for ArtWorks and sounding board for our Director.

Why are you willing to give your time/talents to support Triangle ArtWorks.

“From initial concept, Triangle ArtWorks was about collaboration and what could be realized if the arts groups in the Triangle were really talking to each other. I’ve been a board member, employee, donor, participant and volunteer among Raleigh arts groups for years. I’ve been to gatherings where the agenda was to bring Triangle arts groups together, but it was really a marketing pitch –more prescribed than organic.

The conversations about Triangle ArtWorks were wholly different from the beginning. These conversations were about vision and services and building a platform to support the creatives in the Triangle.”

Why do you think that Triangle ArtWorks is important for the Triangle arts community and the Triangle itself.

“Everybody in the arts are working at their capacity. We need an organization to help us look beyond our next event or program and take stock in the collective riches we have as an arts community. We need help building a regional identity.”

You too can support the work that Triangle ArtWorks is doing for the Triangle’s arts business community.  Donate here.  This week, your donation will be doubled in our Matching Gift Challenge!  Donate today!

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Behind the Scenes @ ArtWorks -> Nancy Novell

This month, we are opening the doors and inviting everyone in to see behind the scenes at Triangle ArtWorks. Meet the people that helped us get off the ground in 2010 and those working hard today to keep us running.  Learn why they are giving their time and talents to build this Organization to support you – the Triangle Arts Community.

Nancy Novell


Nancy Novell, a local potter, is currently Chair of the Raleigh Arts Commission and has long been very involved in the arts in Raleigh.   Nancy believed in Triangle ArtWorks from the beginning.  When ArtWorks began in 2010, she was a Founding Board member. She was one of the volunteers who stepped up to help with the huge task of research and writing to load the website.  As a Founding Board member, she also was involved in developing our initial Strategic Plan and a player in building the Organization you see today.


Nancy Novell in front of a painting by Bob Rankin at the Little Art Gallery in Cameron Village, where she also works a few afternoons a week.


Why were/are you willing to give your time/talents to support Triangle ArtWorks.

Triangle Artworks was and continues to be quite a large undertaking. In the beginning, I was able to jump right in as we were reaching out, community by community, organization by organization, to determine the scope of what was already available and happening in all areas of the arts in the Triangle region. Working with the Board on collating information, determining the brand, and creating the website were all positive steps toward visualizing a coordinated Triangle-wide creative community.

Why do you think that Triangle ArtWorks is important for the Triangle arts community and the Triangle itself.

Serving as a collaborative arts resource for the Triangle’s creative community can strengthen and enhance all that the arts are and do in each individual community. Triangle ArtWorks has the vision to work holistically and bring all things arts related to one accessible clearinghouse.

Join Nancy Novell and others in supporting Triangle ArtWorks!  Make a donation to support our work to build capacity in the Organization. Find out more about this work here.

Donate here.

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Support ArtWorks During Our Month of “Gratitude and Giving”!

TAW_bar_tagDecember 1 kicks off a “Month of Gratitude and Giving” here at Triangle ArtWorks! It has been a remarkable and transformative year for us. We’ve come a long way since a group of volunteers began this organization in 2010.  It is time to take pride in what we have built, but also a hard look at what needs to be done to continue our work.

During this month, follow our blog and social media, as we look behind the scenes at ArtWorks to meet the hardworking people who have volunteered their time and skills to create this great organization.  


Help us Continue our Transformation!

Triangle downtown development and arts council leaders helped us design and roll out the Tool-Kit.

Triangle downtown development and arts council leaders helped us design a Tool-Kit for promoting Pop-up Arts events in underused spaces.

Much like a start-up, ArtWorks is at the developmental stage where it has proven idea, but needs “seed funding” from people who believe in – and are willing to invest in – what we are building, to take us to the next level.

This year, thanks to a grant from Duke Energy, we have begun work with a local nonprofit consultant who is working hand in hand with our Board of Directors to, basically, rebuild our Organization from the ground up. We are already seeing amazing results, but we need financial support to continue this important work.

This month, we are raising $10,000 to continue this transformation work in 2016.


  • Do you believe in the value of the arts community to the future of the Triangle? Does your business rely on this region continuing to be a vibrant place filled with a diverse range of arts experiences and creative people? Then give to support Triangle ArtWorks continued work.

    L-R - Beth Yerxa, Triangle Artworks; Cong. Alma Adams (12th District); Karen Well, Arts NC; Rebecca Scoggins, Arts & Business Council.

    ArtWorks advocates for arts locally, statewide and at the National level – Executive Director seen here with Cong Alma Adams at Arts Day 2015. She is joined by Karen Wells from Arts NC (statewide arts advocacy group) and Rebecca Scoggins from Arts & Business Council, Mecklenburg County.

  • Do you benefit from Triangle ArtWorks services? Does our website and social media feed help you stay informed and benefit your work? Have you been educated in one of our legal workshops? Have you met collaborators or colleagues at our events? Then give what you can to keep us going!

Become a part of what we are building, by giving a little or a lot, to support Triangle ArtWorks.


THE WEEK OF DECEMBER 14TH – DOUBLE YOUR DONATION! – Two donors have agreed to match your donations! Give $20, we get $40!  Give $100, we get $200!


A Transformative Year

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The arts are big business in the Triangle, so we believe they need to be supported as businesses. (Image from NCDCR “Measuring the NC Creative Workforce 2014 )

Volunteers have spent 5 years building this amazing platform and network to recognize, value and support the arts as a business community in the five counties of the Triangle Region. This community is a vital component within the Creative Economy, the development of which many see as vital to the future of the Triangle region. Our work is intended to help the broader community – as well as the arts community itself – shift their view of the arts from “charity” to “business sector” and to ensure that this community has the resources and support it needs to continue to thrive.

ArtWorks’ work in the community gained a lot of momentum this year, including these highlights:

  • Our first office space at the vibrant Frontier in RTP;
  • A successful Open House, bringing the entire Triangle arts community together in our new space;
  • Increased recognition of the need for the platform and network we are building;
  • Kicked off convening work for the Triangle Theater community;
  • Worked with attorneys from across the region to create Law + ArtWorks, which hosts monthly practical legal seminars and is working on longer range projects to address legal needs of the arts community.

If you are just discovering Triangle ArtWorks read more about us here and here.





Big News at Triangle ArtWorks – Capacity Building Grant from Duke Energy and New Board Members Take Us to the Next Level

TAW_square_tagTriangle ArtWorks is taking big steps forward this year, thanks to a capacity building grant from Duke Energy. Triangle ArtWorks is a nonprofit that is fast becoming a centerpoint for the Triangle arts community.

ArtWorks Already Impacting Triangle Region

This year, there has been incredible growth in the recognition of Triangle ArtWorks’ impact and the need for our platform and network. Working efficiently with volunteers and local partners has allowed us to create programs that are already benefiting the Region, despite minimal funding and an all-volunteer staff. Arts and economic development leaders across the Triangle recognize the impact this organization is already having, as well as the need for its expansion.

As Nate McGaha, Executive Director of the Carolina Ballet explains, “Triangle Arts Works serves a vital role in the infrastructure that helps the arts to survive and thrive in the area. They serve as a valuable resource for both artists and arts organizations by connecting, educating and energizing their constituents. They facilitate collaboration of ideas and resources across a variety of issues and projects, while also acting as a valuable advocate for how crucial arts and culture are to growing and sustaining the Creative Economy in the Triangle.” Dianne Reed, president of Chatham County Arts Council, adds “We have an amazing community of creative people in the region but, for the most part, they labor alone. By encouraging collaboration, cross-pollination and growing resources, Triangle Art Works is filling a void in the local economy and providing support for our extensive arts cluster. Their work is vital for the Triangle and its arts community.”

Duke Energy Grant Supports ArtWorks Transition to Sustainable Nonprofit

Thanks to a Capacity Building grant from Duke Energy, Triangle ArtWorks has been able to hire nonprofit consultant Maggie Clay Love to help ArtWorks reach the next step. Her work will include board development, and assuming additional funding, a full organizational assessment. ArtWorks’ success has stretched the minimal volunteer staffs’ capacity to maintain the platform and current programs, while also working on fundraising and organizational development. Love’s work will bring the organizational and financial stability needed to ensure that Triangle ArtWorks can continue to grow and serve the Triangle arts community.

Four Regional Leaders Join Triangle ArtWorks Board

Crucial to the success of this work is a strong Board of Directors. In its July meeting, ArtWorks’ Board of Directors welcomed four new members: Richard Holly, Brandon Huffman, Andrea Mia and Melanie Stoer.

Richard Holly
Rich Holly is the Executive Director of ARTS NC STATE, having joined NC State University in this capacity in 2015. Prior to his appointment at NC State, Rich served as the Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Northern Illinois University, where he was also a Professor of Percussion for 32 years. Rich has been active in numerous arts ventures. He was a founding board member of the DeKalb (IL) Area Arts Council and active with the Rockford Arts Council. He was co-chair of the Higher Education Board for Arts Alliance Illinois, Panel Lead for the Arts in Education Panel of Chicago Public Schools, and collaborated frequently with the Illinois State Superintendent of Schools on a variety of arts initiatives. Active in arts advocacy, he frequently consults for arts organizations and school system arts programs. As a percussionist, Rich Holly remains active as a solo performer and clinician, and has appeared over 300 times at schools, colleges, universities, conventions and festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, Asia and South America. Rich received his formal training at the State University of New York at Potsdam and East Carolina University.

Brandon Huffman
Brandon J. Huffman is an attorney at Hutchison, PLLC in Raleigh. His practice focuses primarily on interactive media, internet and technology startups. Brandon counsels creative clients on day-to-day legal and business issues, intellectual property law and strategic business planning. Brandon also chairs our Law + ArtWorks committee.

Andrea Mia
Andrea’s corporate career was predominantly in the film business, working with directors and writers helping them clarify their visions and see them through to the screen. She has lived and worked in the USA, Japan and the Netherlands. Andrea is determined to help leaders and creatives make high-impact sustainable behavioral change. The hallmark of Andrea’s work is helping clients generate insight and translate that into action quickly. Andrea’s client list includes a broad cross section of industries and cultural backgrounds. She has coached at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where she has received a certification in Cross-Cultural Savvy and is currently training for accreditation with the International Coaching Federation (ICF) in Presence-Based Coaching. Andrea also has degrees from Columbia University in Philosophy and University of Southern California in Film Producing.

Melanie Stoer
Melanie Stoer is a local Raleigh glass artist and business consultant. After earning her B.A. in Business Management from Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, Melanie spent 15 years in the business world working in marketing and analysis. In 2008, she was certified by Synectics World as a creativity trainer. As a trainer, Melanie works with clients interested in team-building and innovation to generate, nurture and implement new ideas, processes, etc. As a glass artist, Melanie exhibits her work at local shops and galleries, and participates in art festivals in Raleigh and beyond. She is also an instructor at Pullen Arts Center, teaching glass fusing and slumping to adult students.