Arts Council gives annual awards to county, individuals
Three individuals and an entire county received awards Tuesday night from the High Point Area Arts Council at its annual awards banquet.
The 2013 Arts Awards were presented for the first time at Centennial Station, new home of the arts council. Each year, the Arts Council gives awards for support of the arts in the community.
Guilford County received the 2013 Corporate Support of the Arts Award. Jim Morgan, Stan Grady and Sparky Stroud received individual awards.
Guilford County Commissioners Bruce Davis and Hank Henning accepted the award on behalf of the county. The award recognizes the county for being a partner to the Arts Council since 1974 and ensuring that arts are accessible to everyone in the country.
Guilford County is unique in that it is the only county in the state with two large cities. In 1989, Guilford County financially supported creating a cultural arts center in Greensboro. And in 2012, the Guilford County Board of Commissioners gave $200,000 to the High Point Area Arts Council to be used toward the purchase of Centennial Station, which is used for arts, entertainment and events in High Point.
Jim Morgan received the Arts Award for Individual Support of the Arts, which recognizes the individual who has demonstrated excellence and commitment in supporting the arts in the High Point area.
Morgan was instrumental in securing Centennial Station as the first permanent home for the Arts Council, and he is leading a capital campaign to settle the debt on the loan. An attorney, he negotiated the purchase and worked to gain public, city and county support.
“He has embraced all of these challenges with patience, intelligence, perseverance, dedication and a tremendous amount of raw courage,” said board member Melissa Painter, of WGHP-TV, in presenting the award.
Morgan and his wife Ann also received a Life’s a Gift award and corresponding sculpture for their work for the Arts Council and in celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary and the 50th anniversary of the Arts Council. Morgan is in the middle of two terms as chairman of the Arts Council board of directors, and he has led two fund drives.
Stan Grady, who teaches piano performance at Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, received the 2013 Arts Award for Teacher of the Arts. The award was established in 2001 to recognize a current or retired teacher who has demonstrated excellence and commitment in teaching a performing or visual art.
Grady previously taught at Welborn Middle School, Davidson Community College and Forsyth Technical Community College.
For the award, he was singled out for dedicating himself to generations of students who have benefitted from his teaching of music and hundred of people in High Point who have had their lives enriched by his talent. His mission has been to make music and the arts available to all ethnic groups and the community.
Sparky Stroud was named the Board Volunteer of the Year, an award that this year was additionally titled the Star Board Member Award in recognition of Stroud’s hands-on efforts as chairman of the Arts Council’s facilities committee. He has worked with city offices on renovations at Centennial Station, and he has served as a contractor and even made many of the repairs himself, including carpentry, electrical work, painting, roofing and installation of exterior storage containers.
Arts Council Executive Director Debbie Lumpkins, in presenting the award, called Stroud, her “go-to person for getting stuff done.” Stroud was nominated for the award by his fellow board members.
Caleb Hernandez, a harpist and student at T. Wingate Andrews High School performed contemporary music at the beginning of Tuesday night’s banquet and awards presentation. Members of High Point Ballet, an Arts Council affiliate group, performed selections from the company’s “Cirque 2013” production. April Talbott performed jazz at an after-party.