Arts Council Names Joshua Ridley as Marketing and Communications Manager

Ridley to focus on promoting arts and culture in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County

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Joshua Ridley

Winston-Salem, N.C. (October 19, 2021) – Arts Council has named Joshua Ridley its Marketing and Communications Manager. Ridley comes to Arts Council after serving as Patron Services Manager for the Winston-Salem Symphony. His duties begin on Monday, October 18, and he will oversee communications activities focused on promoting arts and cultural organizations and individual artists in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

“As an artist, I am elated to be working with Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County to elevate, support, and advocate local talent in Winston- Salem. I am honored to be working on the front lines alongside amazing people who have also dedicated their lives to arts advocacy.”

Ridley is a native of Detroit, MI. He and his mother relocated to Durham, North Carolina in 2013 where he graduated from Northern High School. He attended the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, graduating with a BA degree in arts administration in 2020. His interest in arts administration was sparked by Durham Public School’s An Evening of Entertainment (E.O.E), a show choir and dance performance held annually at the Durham Performing Arts Center (DPAC). Ridley performed in E.O.E during his sophomore year of high school. Mary Casey, Director of K-12 Arts Education at Durham Public Schools, led the planning of this event along with the Durham Scholarship Fund board and staff. She was an inspiration for Ridley, which encouraged him to dedicate his career to arts advocacy.

Over the last five years, Ridley has committed himself to working in the arts. During his time at UNC-G, he interned with the North Carolina Black Repertory Company, after which he accepted a marketing associate position working full-time for the 2019 National Black Theatre Festival and part-time during its regular season while he finished his degree.

While at the Winston-Salem Symphony, Joshua worked alongside staff and the board of directors to launch their first season back since their last live in-person concert in March 2020. The Symphony had a successful first concert with The Lark Ascending, the first concert in their Classics Series, on October 2nd and 3rd. This season also marks the 75th anniversary of the Winston-Salem Symphony.

Alongside his professional ventures, Joshua is a singer-songwriter and releases music under the alias Rya. His genre of choice is Indie, and his sound features emotional piano ballads with atmospheric textures and swells of stringed orchestral movements. His debut album, When the Ceiling Caved in, was released in early February 2021. 

Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County is the chief advocate of the arts and cultural sector in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County. Arts Council’s goal is to serve as a leader in lifting up, creating awareness, and providing support to grow and sustain the arts and cultural offerings throughout our region, ultimately bringing our community together and making it a great place to live, work and play.

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