ZSR Welcomes New Public Art Advisory Council Members Council to recommend semifinalists and finalists for the Foundation's Inclusive Public Art initiative


Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) is welcoming new members to its Public Art Advisory Council (the Council), which will continue the work of ensuring that art is opening doors to conversations across the state.

The Council, which is comprised of a demographically and geographically diverse group of North Carolinians, is responsible for reviewing Letters of Intent and grant applications to recommend semifinalists and finalists to ZSR’s Board of Trustees for the Foundation’s Inclusive Public Art initiative. ZSR’s Board of Trustees make final decisions regarding grant awards.

Ultimately, the Council has a vital role in ensuring ZSR invests in public art initiatives that share stories of diversity, equality, inclusion and equity as they relate to the people and places of North Carolina, especially those whose stories are often untold or under told.

“After an impactful inaugural cohort of Inclusive Public Art grantees, ZSR knows that this effort can spark important community conversations that result in a shared and fuller understanding of our common history — and common bonds — as North Carolinians,” said Maurice "Mo" Green, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

Below is a list of Council members:

  • Lizette Cruz Watko, Founder and Executive Director, Diamante Arts and Cultural Center (Raleigh, NC)
  • José Galvez, Pulitzer Prize-winning Photojournalist/Documentarian (Durham, NC)
  • Napolean Hill, Independent Artist/Muralist (Whitaker, NC)
  • Zena Howard, Principal and Managing Director, Perkins & Will (Durham, NC)
  • Tonya Jefferson Lynch, Executive Director, The Black Light Project (Greenville, NC)
  • Angelina Jumper, Cultural Resource Supervisor, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians/Junaluska Museum (Robbinsville, NC)
  • Janet Kagan, Founder and Director, Art-Force (Wilson, NC)
  • Manoj Kesavan, Founder and Executive Director, Que-OS - BOOM Charlotte (Charlotte, NC)
  • Dewanna Little, Executive Director, YMI Cultural Center (Asheville, NC)
  • Kim Pevia, Founder, K.A.P., Inner Prizes (Red Springs, NC)
  • Dr. Marvin Richardson, Vice Chief, Haliwa-Saponi Indian Tribe (Hollister, NC)
  • Dr. Arwin D. Smallwood, Professor and Chair, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University - Department of History and Political Science (Greensboro, NC)
  • Dr. Benjamin Speller, Historian, Dean, Professor, North Carolina Central University School of Library and Information Sciences, retired (Edenton, NC)
  • Heather Wilson, Deputy Director, Cameron Art Museum (Wilmington, NC)

ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative addresses three main issues it identified after a statewide listening and learning tour: North Carolinians desire deeper connection with one another; issues of race and racism are not openly discussed in many communities; and the demographics of North Carolina’s communities continue to rapidly change.

“This initiative is one way the Foundation can offer a starting place for people to engage in important conversations about their communities’ past, present and future,” Green said. “Clearly, the pandemic has only deepened the need for connection and community, while the global racial reckoning and the war in Ukraine remind us that public symbols matter.”

Letters of Intent for ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative were due in March. The Foundation expects to announce semifinalists in June. Semifinalists will receive a $5,000 planning grant and an invitation to submit a full application by early 2023.

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. Learn more about ZSR’s Inclusive Public Art initiative here: https://www.zsr.org/inclusive-public-art.

Thanks to a partnership with PBS North Carolina, the first cohort of inclusive art projects funded through ZSR are featured in a new broadcast series titled “Visibly Speaking.” New episodes air Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on PBS NC and the PBS Video App. Learn more at http://ow.ly/1k1b50IZsmj.