Project will do ‘wonderful things’ for W-S

Project will do ‘wonderful things’ for W-S
August 06
00:00 2015

In above photo: Vivian Reed presents insights into “An Evening with Vivian Reed” at a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 4, as part of NBTF (Photo by Tori P. Haynesworth)

By Tori P. Haynesworth

For The Chronicle

At a press conference on Aug. 4 at the Marriott on West Fifth Street downtown, the big news about the National Black Theatre Hall of Fame and Museum was announced.

In finally achieving the goal of making it happen, Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, along with other key officials, have brought the late Larry Leon Hamlin’s dream to a reality.

Nigel Alston, NBTF fundraising co-chair, gave a brief history lesson about Mr. Hamlin’s draft of having a museum of the arts in 1999.

“This preview [museum] is just a little insight into this big vision,” said Alston.

He went on to further talk about him and Frank Elliot discussing the beginning stages of creating that museum.

“The hall of fame is going to do wonderful things for Winston-Salem and our community as a whole,” said Elliot, who works for the city of Winston-Salem. “It’s going go boost our downtown, it’s going to boost our economy and it’s going to encourage more downtown development.”

Elliot further explained the visionary future of how the museum will attract national media attention, as well as being an inspiration to future generations to pave their way into theatre.

Jim Sparrow, member of Arts Council of Winston-Salem, expressed encouragement of how the museum and the NBTF is just the first steps of gaining more attraction to the city itself.

“The leaders before myself and others who are sitting up here thought big,” said Sparrow. “You heard Larry’s vision, you’re going to hear a lot in the next year about a lot of other visionary people who are thinking about what Winston-Salem could be.”

Lindsey Bierman, chancellor of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, gave the NBTF appraisal of fulfilling performing arts and theater.

“We are all key players, in creating the vibrant, Marvtastic cultural scene here in the city of arts and innovation here,” said Bierman.

Bierman stated the Americans for the Arts estimated that in 2012, the Arts and Culture industry collected more than a $112 million in household income, more than $5 million in local government revenue and $8 million in state government revenue.

The UNCSA has been partnered with the N.C. Black Repertory Company for 26 years in making the NBTF to where it stands today.

Bierman campaigned the UNSCA to expand further economic development.

During the rest of the press conference, directors, actors and actresses gave further promotions of their shows during the week.

Sandra McClain will be playing Barbara Jordan in “Barbara Jordan: A Rendezvous with Destiny” as she spoke about how honored she is to play Jordan continuously at the festival.

Vivian Reed presented “An Evening with Vivian Reed,” where she will reveal powerful vocals and speak of people who have made an influence on her career.

Director Woodie King promoted his production of “Accept ‘Except’ LGBT NY,” and Director Jackie Taylor showcased her skills for the show of “AT LAST: A Tribute to Etta James”.

Helena Lewis, award-winning actress, poet, playwright and director of the Midnight Poetry Jam, promoted the event while having two poets give a taste of what’s in store.

The New Winston Museum (which houses the National Black Theatre Hall of Fame and Museum) is at 723 S. Marshall St.

The hours are Monday through Friday, noon to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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