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Arts Council names new director

As new director of the Rowan Arts Council, Marietta Smith was pleased that her first responsibility was to help gather information about how local groups used Grassroots Grant funds from the N.C. Arts Council this past fiscal year.
The Arts Council named Smith its new executive director at its July 12 meeting.
“I am so impressed and excited that our local arts organizations accomplished such wonderful programs with a relatively small amount of money,” Smith said in a press release.
Each organization receiving funds reported on how they used the funds, which that organization had to match.
“It would be difficult to decide which organization used their funds in the best way,” Smith said in the release. “They were all wonderful and brought the arts to such a diverse audience in ages, cultures and situations. They were all great.”
For instance, Piedmont Players reached every student in the second-fifth grades in Rowan County with two full-length plays produced, staged and acted by children. All the schools, including public, private and home-schooled, were invited to attend for only 25 cents.
Other programs included:
– Carolina Artists received $1,000, which the group used for an art exhibit for school children. More than 600 entries were received and displayed with a large and diverse audience attending the exhibit.
– Carolina Baroque received $1,000 with which it produced a three-concert series “Salisbury Bach and Handel Festival.” A CD was produced, which reached a huge audience through public radio.
– The Concert Choir received $1,000, helping that group with three performances in Rowan County.
– The Rowan County Concert Association used its $2,500 to bring The Tamburitzans of Duquesne University of Pittsburgh, Pa. to perform songs, dances and unusual instruments of Eastern Europe.
– Rowan Blues and Jazz Society used its $2,500 on the Blues and Jazz Festival and music workshops for area youth. Those young musicians were invited to play in the festival.
– Rowan Museum received $600 to give a professional workshop to area teachers so that they would be equipped to bring history alive through hands-on artistic activities.
– The Rowan County Parks and Recreation Department’s Therapeutic Recreation section received $2,300 to reach people whose lives are hampered by disability and who would not, without the Grassroots grant, be able to enjoy the richness of arts activities. They attended theater, had arts classes and enjoyed the Silver Arts program.
– The Salisbury-Rowan Symphony Society invited William Henry Curry from the N.C. Symphony to conduct “Honoring Our Veterans,” a patriotic music concert held at Livingstone College. The symphony received a grant of $5,000.
– Waterworks Visual Art Center received $4,000, which it used for the Artes de Ninoz Temperana (early childhood arts) for special populations and outreach programs serving Hispanic families, exceptional needs groups and youth through senior citizens.
The Arts Council also used Grassroots funds to present the annual Art on Easy Street Festival, which allowed more than 50 visual artists to exhibit and sell their art and 59 dancers and musicians to perform free for the public.
“The active arts community is one of the main reasons my husband and I decided to choose Salisbury for our home,” Smith says in the release.
“I remember thinking that a town this small that has a professional orchestra, its own theater group and a fine visual arts center has got to be a town that loves the arts. I’m delighted that so many artists are moving here.
“This area is doing great things and is on the verge of doing even more. I’m honored to become part of the Rowan Arts Council and hope that I can be of service to all of the arts groups and individuals in Salisbury and Rowan County.”
Smith hours at the Arts Council’s office on Main Street in Spencer are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. She can be reached at 704-638-9887.
Applications for 2007-08 Grassroots Grants are due Sept. 1. Application forms are available at the Rowan Arts Council office and online at www.rowanarts.org.

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