Archive for the ‘triangle creative news’ Category

A+ Schools of North Carolina, with Arts Integrated Curriculum, Begins Recruitment for New Schools

A+ Schools of North Carolina is a state and national leader in providing quality professional development that supports comprehensive arts education and other creative and cutting-edge educational practices. Currently, there are 56 A+ schools across the state that are part of a network of schools that teach the state standards through multi-discipline collaboration with the arts continuously woven into the learning experience.  A-NC-Horiz-Filled-Blue-940x443If you have not heard of A+ Schools of North Carolina, learn more here.

“The number of schools joining the A+ Network is at its highest number since A+ was initiated more than twenty years ago,” said Michelle Burrows, A+ Schools Director. “The continued growth of the program speaks to how successful the arts can be in engaging students in learning and in providing inspiration for every subject area.”  Research shows that students’ proficiency and overall school performance increases following implementation of A+ practice and philosophy. A+ schools also report improved attendance, fewer disciplinary problems, stronger teacher satisfaction and higher levels of community and parental involvement. To view a list of A+ schools in NC, look here.

Want to learn more? A+ Schools of North Carolina began the recruitment process for summer 2019 entry with two information sessions in March. Find out more about the process here.  Letters of intent are due on June 15.


See Saw Projects Brings Applied Theatre to the Triangle

One of the newest theatre organizations in the Triangle is See Saw Projects, a company that will offer projects in “applied theatre.” According to Artistic Director Amy Sawyers-Williams, “applied theatre” is an umbrella term for “theatre practices that use theatre as a tool for social justice, education, healing.” SeeSawLogoCreated by Amy Sawyers-Williams and Ellen Brown, See Saw works from a participant-centered model, which means that their projects are created “with” communities rather than “for.” They work side-by-side with professional artists and community members who may not consider themselves artists, which allows creation of a project that meets the needs of the community they are working with.

Artistic Director Sawyers-Williams is a theatre artist and arts educator who currently oversees Arts Outreach & Engagement at Arts NC State, is a teaching artist for Raleigh Little Theatre. She is joined at See Saw by Education Director Ellen Brown. They started the company because they saw a need for more interactive theatre for social change in the Triangle.

Although the focus at See Saw is on the development of participant-created works, two “out of the box” offerings are available for presentation in schools and community groups.  Books Got Talent is an interactive drama piece geared towards elementary students in 2nd-4th grade that asks students to think about the role of books and technology in their lives. The Arab Spring Process Drama is an interactive drama created for 8th-12th graders that explores the events leading up to the Tunisian Revolution of 2011. Through placing students in role as Tunisians who have to make difficult choices leading up to the revolution, students learn about this historical event by “living through” and in turn, reflect on parallels to their own lives.

Their initial work has been leading theatre & improv based workshops for leadership development at Durham Academy and their next project will be holding a series of meetups with local artists and community stakeholders who are interested in collaborating on theatre and creative placemaking projects in our community.

You can listen to Sawyers-Williams talk more about See Saw Projects and applied theatre in general in this Artist’s Soapbox podcast, check out their website, or connect with See Saw on Facebook or Twitter (@seesawprojects).

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The PIT – Performance Venue & Classroom Space on Franklin Street

We are thrilled to report that 462 West Franklin Street in Chapel Hill is returning to use as a arts performance venue and classroom space. People’s Improv Theater, which has two New York venues already, has recently completed a renovation of the upstairs performance space and bar and “The PIT- Chapel Hill” began welcoming performance acts to their stage on December 16 and are already hosting a weekly Pitch Jam and Open Mic nights. The new stage is handicapped accessible and has flexible space for multiple performance types. Despite the name, The Pit will not be just an improv venue, but is currently open to all genres of performance. “We want to be open 7 nights a week and be a multipurpose arts venue”, explains Will Neville, Artistic Director at The Pit.

Interested?  Here is the form to submit a performance request.

IMG_8621_previewA more dramatic renovation is taking place in the downstairs space at The PIT and in the lobby. The lobby is getting a coffee shop, while the basement will include two classrooms, a podcast recording studio that can be rented out, and a gathering/co-working space for classroom participants, as well as customers of the coffee shop. Classes will start in January. Current offerings include classes on improv and podcasting, but Neville says he is open to discuss proposals for new classes in any arts discipline. Find the current class schedule here.  Contact information is here.

Neville recognizes that the venue is a work in progress. “We want to be here to serve the arts community” and will adapt use of the space and programs to meet that goal.  “Our first year will be very different from our third year”. To find out more about The Pit, visit their website or Facebook page.

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Triangle’s Newest Film Festival Highlights All Aspects of Filmmaking

Beyond Film Festival Announced for The Cary Theater

The Triangle’s newest film Festival “BEYOND: The Film Festival” will be based out of The Cary Theater and seeks to celebrate the many facets of the art of storytelling through film. The Cary is already a hub and resource for the Triangle’s film community, hosting regular Rough Cuts Reviews (free screening nights for local filmmakers), as well as  Zombiepalooza and Sick Chick Flicks Film Festival and regular screens national new and classic independent films. Beyond will be a 4 day event, including workshops and other art forms exploring the Festival theme.Logo_Beyond.TFF_Cary Theater_BW.Reversed

It was The Cary Theater’s focus on cinema that led to creation of the festival.  Operations and Programs Supervisor, Joy Ennis, explains, “When we opened The Cary, we put “launch a signature film festival” on our list of goals. It’s been 3 ½ years and we feel like we’re at a point in our growth to take on a new challenge, so we decided to take the plunge. Our intention has always been to create an event that supports the mission of the theater – to provide a unique setting for cinema and live performance that creates a community centered gathering place in Downtown Cary and makes The Cary an institution in the downtown landscape. Since our primary focus is film – an event that celebrates the magic of this art form seemed like the perfect fit for us.”

Beyond will highlight all aspects of filmmaking, featuring a short film competition and screenplay writing competition. Each year, the festival will explore a new theme and focus on a different aspect of the filmmaking process. “We love the idea of looking “BEYOND” the final product of the finished film. Our intention is to highlight a “behind the scenes” area of filmmaking each year.” Joy added, “We’re starting with screen writing – because it is the bedrock that the film is built on. We envision each year to highlight a new aspect of filmmaking – cinematography, costume design, directing.”

Beyond 2018 – Focusing on Hometown Stories and Scriptwriting

For its opening year, the theme for the screenwriting competition and short films will be “Hometown Stories” and the Festival will explore the foundational aspect of filmmaking – the script. The call for applications elaborates: “Hometown Stories have a sense of place. It is where we grew up. Hometown has resonance of things past, things we hold dear, things we have abandoned. No other place we live will ever have the impact of our hometown. Whether the genre is comedy, drama, documentary or farce, the hometown always becomes a character and exerts its influence over the narrative. Hometown stories tell us about our beliefs, biases, dreams and nightmares. What’s your Hometown Story?”

To apply to this year’s Festival

Competition Short Films must have been completed after January 1, 2016 and should not exceed 30 minutes in length, including credits. All non-English language films must have English subtitles. Each film must follow the theme of “Hometown Stories”, but is not limited to genre.

Screenplays must have been completed after January 1, 2016. Submitted screenplays should be for short films and should not exceed 40 pages in length and written in English. Each film must follow the theme of “Hometown Stories”, but is not limited to genre. Click here to submit<

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NCCU Debuts Teaching Artist Certificate Program for Visual and Performing Artists

North Carolina Central University has introduced a new online certificate program for visual and performing artists who want to bolster their arts education credentials. The NCCU Teaching Artist Certificate Program (TACP), will concentrate on skills required to plan, design and implement arts experiences for general audiences, such as auditorium performances, school residencies, and cultural-arts programs for schools and community-based organizations.nccu logo

The Teaching Artists program, offered by the College of Arts and Sciences, is open to junior and senior NCCU students and members of the general public who have either an Associates degree and background in the arts, a Bachelors degree in an arts discipline, or five years as a professional practicing artist with a high school diploma. The 16-hour program consists of seven courses such as Cooperative Learning for Teaching Artists, The Business of Art for Teaching Artists and   Methods and Teaching Practicum for Teaching Artists.

According to According to Carlton E. Wilson, Ph.D., NCCU interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, the program is ““The certification is unique to the University of North Carolina System and the first of its kind at a Historically Black College or University.”

More information on the program is available on the NCCU website.

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New Longleaf Arts Grant Supports Programs for Underserved Communities & Spaces

A new art grant was recently announced by Longleaf Collective. Titled “Longleaf Collective – “Engaging Communities in the Arts in Unexpected Ways” the grant targets projects that engage underserved communities or bring art to nontraditional spaces. Here’s more from Longleaf Collective.


Longleaf Collective Chair, John Coggin, explains its new grant to arts leaders at the Grant Launch Party.

“The Longleaf Collective challenges nonprofits in the Triangle* area to submit proposals for innovative programs that bring art into nontraditional spaces and/or engage underserved communities in the arts in new and creative ways. In particular, the Collective seeks projects that foster art creation in addition to art appreciation and that bridge cultural or social divides. Project proposals are not limited to nonprofits that have a mission specifically focused on the arts, and may involve any artistic medium(s) and serve any population(s) within the Triangle community. Applicants that advance past the initial application will be invited to have a 1-hour conversation with Collective members. (*Organizations in the following counties are eligible to apply: Chatham, Durham, Franklin, Granville, Johnston, Lee, Orange, and Wake.)”

At least one proposal will receive seed funding and volunteer support from Longleaf Collective members in 2018 to explore and/or initiate implementation of their project. The Collective aims to raise between $10,000 and $20,000 for this year’s grant(s).

Triangle arts leaders gather at Longleaf’s arts grant kick-off.

Access the grant application here.  All applications must be submitted online at  by 11:59 PM on September 22, 2017.

The Longleaf Collective is a nonpartisan giving circle of members ages 18-40 that believes in the ability to make a meaningful impact in the state of North Carolina. Through a donation of 0.5% of the salary of each member, the collective will be able to make innovative gifts each year to nonprofits to benefit the citizens and state of North Carolina.


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Two New Triangle Artist Residencies

Two new Residency Programs for artists have just been launched in the Triangle. Here’s the scoop:

Anchorlight’s Brightwork Fellowship Program

Anchorlight Director, Shelley Smith and Anchorlight artist Alia El-Bermani.

Anchorlight Director, Shelley Smith and Anchorlight artist Alia El-Bermani.

The Brightwork Fellowship is a residency program located within Anchorlight Studios, an “interdisciplinary creative space for artists, designers, and craftspeople” in Raleigh. This Fellowship “focuses on service, leadership, and professional development in the visual arts. The Fellowship provides opportunities to artists through exhibition, group critique, community engagement, and service learning experiences.” Brightwork Fellows receive one year of free individual studio space, as well as shared community work space. In return, Fellows provide 15 hours of service per month to Anchorlight and/or their community partners. This service comes in the way of a teachable or leadership building experience that is in line with each artists interest and focus. At the end of the fellowship, Fellows receive a solo show at Anchorlight.

Applications will be available in early 2018.


American UndergroundAmerican Underground “Creative in Residence” Program

As described by American Underground, “This 6-month residency is for underrepresented Durham artists who are turning their craft into a viable business. CIRs receive free workspace and access to creative and professional mentorship. They develop leadership skills as they serve as a creative resource within the AU and as an organizer for the greater arts community. Our mission is to develop opportunities for artists to create, build community, and connect with the startup scene at American Underground.”

There are a number of selection criteria, but basically applicants should be artists of any discipline who are willing to commit to the program and want to expand the entrepreneurial side of their art.  Specifically, applicants need to be a Durham resident, over 18, and a member of an underrepresented community.

Chosen artists will recieve a one year space at American Underground, some expenses, mentoring from BaD Consulting Con Artists and access to other events and support programs at AU.

Apply here. Deadline is September 11, 2017.


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Four Regional Leaders Join Triangle ArtWorks Board

by Annie Poslusny

Crucial to the success of Triangle ArtWorks is a strong Board of Directors. In its July meeting, ArtWorks Board of Directors welcomed four new members: Amy Russell, Jack Arnold, William A. Gregory, and Cynthia Deis. 

Amy Russell

Amy Russell joined Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) as the Director of Programming in 2014, curating a multi-disciplinary season of 40+ performances, engaging artists in unique fellowships across campus, and maintaining CPA’s global artistic relationships. Amy has played a lead role in developing the vision for CPA’s newest venue, CURRENT, a black box theater and studio space dedicated to installations and other immersive experiences, scheduled to open in the fall of 2017. Prior to joining CPA, Amy oversaw programming for the North Carolina Symphony, and served as Executive Producer of their radio broadcast series. A lifelong student of music, she holds a degree in performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Amy Russell

Amy Russell

Jack Arnold

Jack Arnold has taught at colleges and universities throughout the US, the American Dance Festival, the Pilobolus Institute, and the Guangdong Dance Company in Guangzhou, China.

Jack holds a MFA from UNC-Greensboro and a BFA from UNC School of the Arts. You can often find him running trails at Umstead State Park or sneaking away for a quick morning surf session at Wrightsville Beach. Jack Arnold, a native of Enfield, NC, began his residential real estate career in Chapel Hill in 1996 and joined Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby International Realty in 2000. With offices in Raleigh and Chapel Hill, he represents buyers and sellers throughout the Triangle.

Jack came to real estate after a 20 year career in modern dance, including four years as a member of Pilobolus Dance Theatre. He has performed worldwide.


Jack Arnold

Jack Arnold 

William A. Gregory

William “Bill” Gregory is currently the Artist in Residence at Duke University Hospital. Bill helps manage the hospital art collection including installation, de-installation, and maintenance. In addition, he provides graphic design support for events, manuals, and promotional materials. Bill also created and implemented a self-guided walking art tour for patients and families.

Bill was a 11+ year North Carolina Community College instructor where he taught studio art and graphic design. During his time teaching, he also worked with art museums, art galleries, and local universities to create educational curriculum for traditional and non-traditional classroom settings. He managed the Frank Creech Art Gallery on the main campus of Johnston Community College.

He holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Montana, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts from East Carolina University.

Bill Gregory

Bill Gregory

Cynthia Deis

Cynthia Deis is an arts educator, retail consultant and writer with a lifetime of connections to the art and maker communities. Her career has ranged from non-profit arts organizations to for-profit crafts retail, with time spent in classrooms, studios and sound stages, but she is never far from her sketchbook or her notepad. An active enthusiast of the creative community in the Triangle, she can be found at art events of all levels, from black tie to untied sneakers

Cynthia Deis

Cynthia Deis


Annie Poslusny is an art history major and interior design/studio arts minor at Meredith College. She enjoys drawing and creating three-dimensional works of art, writing, and research.

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The Mothership Lands in Durham as a Home for Creatives

by Annie Poslusny

What do you get when you combine Krista Nordgren’s the Makery with Katie DeConto and Megan Jones’s Mercury Studio? The Mothership, which serves as an incubator space for small businesses of all kinds.

Mothership store front

Mothership’s retail space

The Mothership provides a holistic approach to supporting individuals with ideas. One of their recent workshops called “How to Begin” focused on the psychological hurdles creative people face. At the Mothership they will guide you as you think through the necessary steps to help you achieve your goals. Additional areas they provide assistance with include: time management and prioritization, work/life balance, financial intentionality, business development, cultivating and protecting internal resources, marketing, partnerships, and community engagement.

Co-working space at Mothership

Co-working space at Mothership


The Mothership is a home for ideas, filled with resources and support for all kinds of makers. They offer a workspace, a retail shop to showcase products, event space to gather and learn, as well as a collaborative community founded on acceptance. If you are looking for a supportive community for makers of all kinds The Mothership is located in downtown Durham at 401 W. Geer St. Learn more.

Annie Poslusny is an art history major and interior design/studio arts minor at Meredith College. She enjoys drawing and creating three-dimensional works of art, writing, and research. 

Horse & Buggy Press Move Expands Exhibition Space

Horse and Buggy PressBy Annie Poslusny

In February 2017, Horse and Buggy Press moved to their new location at 1116 Broad Street in Durham, down the street from Duke University. Horse and Buggy Press is an award-winning graphic design, letterpress printing shop and book production studio. At their new location, they now house a 500 square foot craft and art gallery, called “Horse & Buggy Press and Friends.

Twenty-five artists from North Carolina, Virginia, and South Carolina are currently featured, many of whom have collaborated with Dave Wofford, the gallery curator, as well as owner of Horse and Buggy Press. Exhibits rotate every three to four months, and there is a monthly open house starting in June from 5–8 pm the second Thursday of every month, which will include musicians or local street performers on the sidewalk in front of the store. Media presently on display includes: Glass, Painting, Printmaking, Photography, Fibers, Sculpture (small), Jewelry, and Wood.

Artists who are interested in having their work displayed at Horse and Buggy Press & Friends should contact Dave Wofford by email or drop by one of their monthly open houses. Gallery hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 11–3ish, and the open houses are the second Thursday of each month beginning on June 8th from 5–8 pm.

Annie Poslusny is an art history major and interior design/studio arts minor at Meredith College. She enjoys drawing and creating three-dimensional works of art, writing, and research.

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