ZSR Announces Members of Advisory Council for Inclusive Public Art Initiative Council members from across the state to provide expertise as the Foundation moves through the process of selecting award recipients

Announcements, News

The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is pleased to announce the members of a Public Art Advisory Council (PAAC) for its Inclusive Public Art Initiative. ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative is one of three initiatives that the Foundation is supporting under its Exploratory, Visionary Ideas Strategy as part of All For NC: Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation’s Framework for Grantmaking and Learning.

Members of the PAAC are comprised of a demographically and geographically diverse group of North Carolinians, who possess expertise in art, public art, history, public history and/or community engagement. The PAAC will be responsible for reviewing Letters of Intent and grant applications to recommend semi-finalists and finalists to ZSR’s Board of Trustees. ZSR’s Board of Trustees will make final decisions regarding grant awards.

Below is a list of PAAC members:

  • Angela Thorpe, Acting Director, NC African American Heritage Commission
  • Antoine Williams, Artist & Professor of Art at Guilford College
  • Dr. Benjamin Speller, Historian & Retired Dean and Professor of the School of Library and Information Sciences at North Carolina Central University
  • Dr. Darin Waters, Associate Professor of Department of History at UNC Asheville & Executive Director for Community Engagement
  • Endia Beal, Artist & Director, Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University
  • Dr. Gerald Bolas, Senior Fellow, Community Histories Workshop at UNC Chapel Hill
  • Hernando Ramirez-Santos, Journalist & Board of Directors of Casa Azul of Greensboro
  • Janet Kagan, Founder, Art-Force
  • Jessica Moss, Artist & Founder of The Roll Up & Professor of Art at Queens University of Charlotte
  • Kim Pevia, Founder, K.A.P., Inner Prizes
  • Lizette Cruz Watko, Founder, Diamante Arts and Cultural Center
  • Manoj Kesavan, Founder & Executive Director, Que-OS - BOOM Charlotte
  • Dr. Richard Starnes, Dean & Professor of History at Western Carolina University

“North Carolina is fortunate to have so many individuals with deep experience in public history, art and public art across the state,” said Joy Vermillion Heinsohn, assistant director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation and lead staff managing the initiative. “Since public art is a new field of investment for ZSR, we are grateful to the members of the Public Art Advisory Council who are willing to give their time and talent to review applications and recommend a set of semi-finalists and finalists. This initiative will be greatly enhanced due to their expertise.”

The Foundation’s Inclusive Public Art initiative stems from what we heard during our statewide listening and learning tour, from 2016-2017. As we traveled the state, it was evident that legacies of racism and segregation were pervasive in many communities we visited, but are not discussed often in public unless there is a major issue involving race. Combined with the historic and recent controversies regarding public art, monuments and race, the Foundation wanted to explore how art could serve as a starting place for people to engage in important – even difficult and courageous – conversations about their community’s past, present and future. ZSR’s investment in inclusive public art is intended to share stories of diversity, equality, inclusion and equity as they relate to the people and places of North Carolina, especially those whose stories have not been or are often untold.

This initiative aims to include historically marginalized people in the decision-making processes about art in public places and is intended to spark healthy dialogue. The community engagement aspect of these grants will be just as important as the art installations themselves, and the Foundation is looking for communities that will authentically engage a cross-section of their communities in telling, discussing and perhaps even producing the story(ies) depicted in the art.

ZSR will invest in up to 10 projects with awards of as much as $50,000 each. Additional resources will be available for community engagement activities surrounding each art project. Projects must be permanent, visual artwork, accessible to the public and not performance based.

Letters of Intent for ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative were due on October 8, 2018. The Foundation received 82 Letters of Intent from communities across the state. In November 2018, selected semi-finalists will receive an invitation to apply with a deadline in the spring of 2019.

Learn more about ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative.