To address the core question above, the following initiatives are currently being tested, with the support of $50,000 grants:
Intersections + Conversations: Building a robust and deeply connected network of local artists dedicated to leading difficult conversations about race, class, and power in Winston-Salem. Lab members and its network of over 25 affiliated artists will produce a dialogue-based event series that uses arts and art experiences to foster relationships between community organizations and businesses while generating awareness of and critical conversations around why some prosper in Winston and some don’t.
Artists Unite for Peace and Diversity was their most recent engagement held on January 20, 2017; the event was produced by over 80+ artists and attracted 3000 people between the ages of 5 to 85. Take a look at photos from this event by the Winston-Salem Journal here
First Stop Service Center: Intentionally infusing arts and modern technology in all stages of supportive and social service programs to provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere that models and promotes reciprocity, respect, and sustainability. Human service providers in Forsyth County will work collaboratively with residents to screen for and seek out gifts, strengths, and talents, to shape and navigate creative pathways to holistic and individualized success.
Their most recent engagement, The First Stop Cultural Expo, was held on January 28th, 2017. Over 24 artists groups and 10 various organizations participated in service of the estimated 400 people in attendance.
Parents in Action: Using artistic practices to activate a trusting network of educators, parents, and community partners to address the root causes leading to race bias and barriers to literacy. Focusing on Cook Literacy Model School, the lowest performing school in the state of North Carolina, this initiative integrates artistic engagement practices into bi-monthly parent and teacher trust-building activities and engages parents, educators and the community in a Time-Banking experiment to enable them to share their gifts, skills, and talents with each other and the school.
The Parents in Action initiative most recently organized a session called Hook Up with Gigi, Time Banking, where parents, staff, and parents learned about time banking within their neighborhood and how to share their gifts, skills, and talents. You can keep up to date with Parents in Action via their Facebook Page
Inclusive Entrepreneurship: Mutual support structures for entrepreneurs, small business owners, and low-income residents who have been excluded from business development resources and access to capital. Using enhanced networking and storytelling to engage, inform and inspire, this cluster focuses predominantly on people of color, women, and others who have been historically disconnected from local capital and services.
On January 31st, this group filmed local entrepreneurs sharing their stories and elucidating the aspirations, hurdles, achievements and resilience of people of color and women business developers. Recording will continue through February. In the works is also a web platform, HUSTLE WS
, to support and serve the Winston-Salem community’s business development needs.
The Seed Grants, each supported by a $3,500 award, are:
- Mary’s Mavens Loan Fund: The grant supports a 0% interest micro-loan fund of $500 to $1000 for creative women entrepreneurs participating in the Maven network.
- Salon Engagement Series: A bi-weekly series utilizing music/performance-spoken word as well as the use of video game and augmented reality (AR) technology to generate awareness, conversation, and action towards conversations about race, class, and power.
- Parent Arts Advocates Network: The grant supports the building of a network of parents at the lowest performing schools in Winston-Salem to build a powerful network of parents committed to advocating for arts education.
- Elementary Arts Adventures: The grant supports an after-school program in creating learning journeys for students to cultural assets in Winston-Salem, many of whom the organizers met during the Lab.
- synHERgy Empowering Women Entrepreneurs: The grant supports the use of video to turn an in-person training program into an on-demand online training program for creative women entrepreneurs.
- A Reach Inside: The grant supports thePiedmont Wind Symphony building relationships with the local prison and jail to offer concerts inside and invite people coming out of the prison system as guests of honor at concerts when they return home.
- Recycling at The Olio: The grant supports the creation of new high-quality jobs aimed at unskilled workers recycling glass for a local glassblowing studio.