High Point Arts Council 2019 Arts Award winners
Each year, the High Point Arts Council sponsors the Arts Awards for those whose contributions to the arts make its mission possible. The 35th annual Arts Awards event was held on June 19 at the Centennial Station Arts Center. This year’s theme for the evening was Broadway – Fosse Style, a tribute to Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon’s style of dance and volume of work.
The High Point Ballet performed to “Dancin’ Dan” from Dancin’, “Lola” from Damn Yankees, and “Hot Honey Rag” and “Razzle Dazzle” from Chicago. The dancing set the tone for an evening of arts awards presentations! Steve Ilderton, board chair, presented the Arts Award for Corporate Support of the Arts to Huffman Paint Company. The Centennial Station Arts Center was built 81 years ago, renovated in the early 2000s, and in need of a facelift. Kerry Jones, the owner of Huffman Paint, coordinated the donation from Benjamin Moore of paint from their Historical Collection for the exterior of the Arts Center. This summer the Arts Center will get a fresh coat of paint and look as good on the outside as the inside! Accepting the award on behalf of Huffman Paint were Lora and Terry Patterson.
Tom Blount, board chair-elect, presented the Arts Award for Individual Support of the Arts to Brian Davis. This artist is doing his part to shape the aesthetics of High Point, one mural at a time. He is known for his green frog on English St., the blue-tailed skink on Lexington Avenue, the flowing river in front of the Convention & Visitors Bureau, plus many more. Organically, he is creating a “mural mile” that connects the core city through the Southside, Southwest, Downtown, Uptowne, and beyond. Mark Harris, Past Board Chair, presented the Arts Award for Teacher of the Arts to Sherri Raeford. She took early retirement to start her encore career and is now teaching drama on a larger stage.
She is the founder and artistic director of the Shared Radiance Performing Arts Company that performs Shakespeare Compilations in schools in Guilford County and across the state. The school performances are fast-paced and interactive which enhances the learning process and makes it fun! Debbie Lumpkins, the executive director, presented Star Board Member Awards. Individual arts organizations nominated a board member or volunteer whose star shone the brightest this past year. This year’s nominees were Sam Fowle for High Point Ballet, Mike Lasley for High Point Community Theatre, and Joe Gray for High Point Arts Council.
Lumpkins also presented a plaque to the outgoing board chair, Steve Ilderton, for his dedicated service to the arts. Jim Morgan, capital campaign chair, gave an update on the Centennial Station Arts Center. The building was purchased in November 2012 and the first note was paid off in April 2013. Thanks to a matching grant and a North Carolina state appropriation of $180,000 this fiscal year, the Arts Council is getting closer and closer to paying off the mortgage. Once that happens, there will be another celebratory event for the arts in High Point!