Guest speaker urges city leaders to invest in arts, culture

Published 12:05 am Friday, March 4, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

With all of the art and culture advancements happening around the area, Salisbury has an opportunity to solidify it’s own arts culture, according to guest speaker Milton Rhodes.

The Salisbury Community Appearance Commission and Tree Board hosted the 2016 Biennial Awards Program on Thursday night in the Albert J.D. Aymer Center at Hood Theological Seminary.

Lynn Raker, urban design planner with the Community Planning Services, was the program facilitator for the eighth time.

The night’s theme was “The Art of the Community.”

Guest speaker Milton Rhodes spoke about the potential of Salisbury in the realm of the arts and culture.

“I think a unified effort on behalf of all groups to put together a plan for the future of arts and culture and conservation in this region is really important right now,” he said.

Rhodes became director of the Winston-Salem Arts Council at the age of 26. He then became president and CEO of the American Council for the Arts, now part of Americans for the Arts, an organization that advances the arts and arts education.

Rhodes managed the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and at age 60 he again became the leader of the Winston-Salem Forsyth Arts Council.

He played an important role in Winston-Salem’s downtown development and infrastructure improvements like Winston-Salem’s Creative Corridors Coalition, an organization put together to ensure bridges being built by the North Carolina Department of Transportation reflect the city’s “devotion to arts, culture and innovation,” according to the organization’s website.

From working with the LandTrust, a land conservation organization, Rhodes got to learn about and admire Salisbury’s arts scene, including its theaters, museums and other activities.

Rhodes talked about communities building themselves around “their own unique version of what their community feels makes it so special.”

“You’ve got an opportunity to really create an amazing place here,” he said.

Rhodes said because of all of the innovation and development happening around the area, the same can happen for Salisbury. He said city leaders should think about the arts and culture of the area when determining how they want to spend money in the future.

“What would happen if we really gave it a big boost, and you say, ‘We’re really going to spend some money on this area and get some creative dynamics going for the communities more than what you’ve got now,’” he said.

After Rhodes spoke, individuals and organizations were awarded for their part in creating a beautiful Salisbury.

Award winners were:

Special Tree Board awards —

  • Tree Planting Award: Kim’s Nails & Spa at 214 Faith Rd.
  • Tree Preservation Award: Yadkin Path Montessori School at 2135 Bringle Ferry Rd.
  • Tree Steward Award: Rowan Helping Ministries’ Robertson-Stanback Center at 221 N. Long St.

Community Appearance Commission awards —

Landscape of the Month awards:

Residential category 2014
JoLinn Cash
Mary Ann Martinelli
Pat Roos
Mr. and Mrs. Farrow
Hugh and Lori Smith
Marsha Wood

Residential category 2015
Ginger Fox
Maryann McCubbin
Shelia Seeloff
Seamus Donaldson
Cami J. Stevens
Robert Lambrecht and Jon Planovsky

Commercial category 2014
First United Methodist Church
First Bank
Livingstone College
Hair Associates
Reuhlen Plumbing Supply
Koco Java

Commercial category 2015
Catawba College
Wallace and Graham
Carolina Lily
Carolina Farm Credit
Queen’s Gift
Across the Pond

Downtown Holiday Storefront Decorations Awards for 2014 and 2015:
Abigail’s Bakery
Anna Craig Boutique
Dead Eds
Firehouse Sweets
Griffin’s Guitars
Kitchen Store & More
Lost and Found
Nashville Nights
Queens Gifts
Salisbury Wine Shop
Skinny Wheels
Textile Products

2014-2015 Development Awards
New Construction: Aymer Center at Hood Theological Seminary
Building Renovation: The Bernhardt Building
Façade Improvement: Davis Law Building
Site Improvements: Salisbury Foursome Sculptures at Exit 76
Best Signage: Saint John’s Lutheran Church

Neighborhood Improvement Award: Karl Sale

James A. Dunn Award: Shawn Campion, Integro Technologies

Susan W. Kluttz Sustainable Salisbury Award: Catawba College

2016 Mayor’s Cup: The Stanback family

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.