P.I.P.A. receives grant from city, planning move

P.I.P.A. owner Courtney Porter gives instructions during a recent practice. P.I.P.A. recently received a $60,000 grant from the city.

P.I.P.A. receives grant from city, planning move
January 17
02:00 2019

Thanks to a $60,000 grant from the city, Positive Image Performing Arts (P.I.P.A.) will be calling a new place home in the near future.

Founded by city native Courtney Porter in 2005, P.I.P.A. started with less than 20 members and has grown into a national award-winning performance studio. From humble beginnings in a small studio on Fourth Street, over the years the P.I.P.A family outgrew their original home and had to move several times before settling in at the former site of Samaritan Ministries, 1243 Patterson Ave., in 2015.

And now with more than 100 members, P.I.P.A. has outgrown their space again and is preparing to move.

According to Porter, the grant from the City of Winston-Salem will allow P.I.P.A to purchase a new space in the downtown area that she plans to have renovated to accommodate the growth of the program. Although the building may be changing, Porter said the P.I.P.A. mission remains the same. She said she wants to set an example for every child that walks through the door.

“…I picked a hard name to live up to because I wanted to make sure that I live my life in a way kids can see as an example.” Porter said.

Porter said the process to receive the grant was long but in the end it was worth it. In order to receive the grant, Porter had to get references, make a presentation to a committee of city officials and fill out loads of paperwork. She said, “It took a long time but it is something I am grateful for. It’s something I had to do from start to finish and for that I’m proud of myself for going through the process.”

She said although they didn’t plan on the move, when the opportunity came, she jumped at the opportunity. She said in order to sustain a presence in the community, sometimes change is inevitable.

“My future thoughts and hopes is that we can always sustain and always remain what our name is. I want to sustain for a number of years and continue to have kids who start with our program and stick with our program,” she said.

While finishing up renovations at the new studio, P.I.P.A. is currently housed at the Winston Lake YMCA. For more information on Positive Image Performing Arts, visit on Facebook or stop by the Winston Lake YMCA, 901 Waterworks Road.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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