Sets Initial $10,000 Online “GoFundMe” Goal

Winston-Salem, NC (Wednesday, April 8, 2020) -- Art Nouveau Winston-Salem, an affiliate of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, has established an “Arts Council Artist Relief Impact Fund” and launched an online “GoFundMe” campaign to raise funds for it. The initial goal for the Fund is $10,000; all funds raised in the campaign will be used exclusively to support local individual artists who are being devastated by the impact of COVID -19 virus. GoFundMe is a free, crowdfunding platform that allows people and organizations to raise money for a host of worthy causes.

Shannon Stokes, Patron Services and Events Manager at The Arts Council, is working with Art Nouveau co-chairs Lauren Carroll and Toni Tronu to coordinate the campaign. Contributions can be made by visiting www.gofundme.com and searching for "Art Nouveau NC”. This special Art Nouveau fundraising initiative is parallel to, but separate from, The Arts Council’s 2020 Community Fund for the Arts annual campaign, which raises funds to provide substantial general support to a wide range of local artists and arts organizations.

“Theatres are dark. Galleries are closed. Music venues are silent,” said Stokes. “Artists’ livelihoods have been destroyed, but the bills keep coming for the necessities of life. People are suffering, and the need is now. The leadership of Art Nouveau -- which is comprised of young leaders in the arts community who also work in the business, education, government, technology and medical sectors of our community -- stepped forward enthusiastically to lead this effort,” added Stokes.

“We have artists who already are in distress,” said Lauren Carroll, “and we want to create capacity for relief as quickly as possible. Obviously the need is much greater than the $10,000 initial goal, and we will be looking for creative ways to accumulate more resources.”

Stokes noted that the local restaurant industry, which is a strong supporter of charitable events sponsored by the arts community, has included Winston-Salem/Forsyth County artists in its “Heard Collaborative Café” project, which provides lunches for food service employees and artists negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. “This demonstrates so well how we are a community. One big family. And like family, we are going to stick together and help each other in a crisis,” she said.

Fundraising has just begun and an application will be available on online soon at www.intothearts.org. Meanwhile, anyone interested in asking for assistance can send contact information to sstokes@intothearts.org.

Art Nouveau Winston-Salem, by building awareness of cultural opportunities and encouraging participation, strives to cultivate a community of young people with a commitment to supporting the future of arts and culture in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Winston-Salem, known as a “City of Arts & Innovation,” and Forsyth County have a robust arts community that enriches the lives of area residents every day and accounts in large part for the recognition the community is receiving as a great place to live, learn, work and play. Forsyth County’s nonprofit arts industry supports 5,559 full time equivalent jobs; accounts for more than $129 million in resident household income, and generates more than $14.8 million in local and state tax revenues.

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