Winston-Salem Walk of Fame unveiled ahead of NBTF

Family and friends of the late Larry Leon Hamlin look on as Mayor Allen Joines and City Councilmember Denise “D.D.” Adams unveil Hamlin’s star on the Winston-Salem Arts, Culture and Entertainment Memorial Walk of Fame.

Winston-Salem Walk of Fame unveiled ahead of NBTF
August 01
00:20 2019

While the National Black Theatre Festival (NBTF) may have started on Monday, July 29, with the Opening Night Gala at the Benton Convention Center, the unofficial start of the 16th biennial celebration of African American theatre, art, and culture, may have been three days earlier when city officials unveiled the Winston-Salem Arts, Culture and Entertainment Memorial Walk of Fame, which included a star for NBTF founder Larry Leon Hamlin.

Discussions about the Walk of Fame began in June 2015 when the Winston-Salem City Council voted to approve the project. The local walk of fame, that is located on the sidewalk outside the Benton Convention Center, is similar to the stars you’ll see on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, with bronze stars embedded in the sidewalk.

During a brief ceremony before the unveiling, Mayor Allen Joines and City Council Member Denise “D.D.” Adams talked about the long process to bring the Walk of Fame to life. Joines said shortly after The “5” Royales were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, they started having discussions about ways to honor the group and others from this area who have made significant contributions to the arts.

“We’re doing this for a number of a reasons, but obviously to recognize the individuals who have played a role in the history of the arts and culture in our community,” continued Joines. “It’s been worth the wait and I can’t wait for you to see the markers themselves; they’re very striking.”

Adams, who serves the constituents of the North Ward where the Walk of Fame is located, said she was excited to see the project finally come to life. She said when you look at the contributions of the inductees, it shows that Winston-Salem is not just some run-of-the-mill place, and the best time to do that was during the National Black Theatre Festival. She also recommended that new inductees be added to the Walk of Fame bi-annually on the Friday before the festival begins.

“We wanted to coincide it with something special and unique and what better way than to connect to the hype of the Black Theatre Festival,” continued Adams. “I made the suggestion to the mayor that we do this every two years before the festival starts, just to start bringing it back into perspective how important the National Black Theatre Festival is to our community and to the great wisdom and creativity of Larry Leon Hamlin and the others we are honoring today.”

Inductees enshrined on the Walk of Fame include: Larry Leon Hamlin, Phil Hanes, William Scales, The “5” Royales, John Iuele, Chris Murrell, Dr. Robert L. Wise Sr., John Heath, Norman Johnson, and Doris Pardington.

To be inducted into the Winston-Salem Arts, Culture and Entertainment Walk of Fame, nominees have to meet certain criteria including, exhibited and sustained excellence in his or her field for at least five years; made distinguishing contributions to the community and civic-oriented participation; lived in Winston-Salem for at least five years; and made a significant contribution to the arts or entertainment industry in one or more of the following areas: music, dance, theater, writing, visual arts, motion pictures, television or radio. The nominee must also be deceased.

For more information on the Winston-Salem Arts, Culture and Entertainment Walk of Fame, visit

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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