Kelly Starling Lyons Selected as 2021 Piedmont Laureate
Kelly Starling Lyons, a Raleigh-based children’s literature writer, has been selected as the region’s 2021 Piedmont Laureate. During 2021, Starling Lyons will appear at virtual programming, including workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.
The Piedmont Laureate program is dedicated to building a literary bridge for residents to come together and celebrate the art of writing. Co-sponsored by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Durham Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, the Piedmont Laureate program’s mission is to “promote awareness and heighten appreciation for excellence in the literary arts throughout the Piedmont region.”
The program focuses on a different literary form each year, including poetry, novels, creative non-fiction, drama/screenwriting, children’s literature, short fiction, speculative fiction, and mystery fiction.
“Mrs. Starling Lyons’ heart work extends beyond her initial intent, and due to her humility and practicality, I’m not sure that she is even aware,” says Durham Public School Board Member Jovonia Lewis. “She is dedicated to creating opportunities for children to bring books to life, sparking an interest in reading and writing and serving her community through outreach and community projects for nothing more than exposure for those authors and for families.”
“We need more writers from traditionally under-represented backgrounds, and Kelly’s voice in this important movement for change has been powerful,” says former Piedmont Laureate (2013) John Claude Bemis. “I hope the writers, readers, educators, and artists in our rich Piedmont region have the opportunity to learn and take inspiration from Kelly Starling Lyons as our next Piedmont Laureate. Her efforts will undoubtedly make a lasting impact on our community.”
As Piedmont Laureate, Starling Lyons will receive an honorarium and serve until Dec. 31. Her duties will include presenting virtual programming which includes public readings and workshops, virtual participation at select public functions and creating at least one original activity to expand appreciation of the work of children’s literature.
A schedule of the Laureate’s 2021 activities will be posted on the sponsoring agency websites and on the Piedmont Laureate website.
Kelly Starling Lyons has been a published children’s book author since 2004. Her 17 titles for children span easy readers, picture books, chapter books, fiction, nonfiction, and series. She has been creating inspiring books that center Black heroes, celebrate family, friendship and heritage and show all children the storyteller they hold inside. She is a founding member of The Brown Bookshelf, a collective of writers who promote awareness of the myriad Black voices writing for young readers. She has led numerous workshops at venues including Central Carolina Community College and Duke Continuing Education program, has participated in national, regional and local conference programs including ones for the American Association of School Librarians, North Carolina Library Association and National Council of Teachers of English and regularly does author visits to schools in Wake, Orange and Durham counties and around the country.
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DAC Season Grants and Durham Arts Catalyst Grants 2021-2022
Season Grants and Durham Arts Catalyst grants support arts activities produced by nonprofits in Durham County.
Season Grants: Applicant must be a nonprofit organization based in Durham County or conducting the majority of their programming in Durham County. Applicant may request cash and/or use of space in the DAC Building.
Durham Arts Catalyst: Applicant must be a nonprofit organization based in Durham County which has not received a DAC Season Grant. Applicants can receive up to two Durham Arts Catalyst Grants. Applicant may request cash and/or use of space in the DAC Building.
The grants fund programs and activities that take place between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.
New applicants to both programs must communicate with the Director of Artist Services before applying. For more information and to get a link to a grant workshop email Margaret DeMott.
Applications for both programs will be available by February 26, 2021 at www.durhamarts.org. Information sessions will be scheduled in March.
These grant programs are supported by contributions to the Durham Arts Council Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.
Check out “prophesy” by Emerging Artist Grant Award Winner Monèt Noelle Marshall
I don’t actually know what you want to hear or what I should say. 2020 has stolen our illusions, our falsehoods and our lies. prophesy is an attempt to tell a bold truth. An old truth. An invitation to turn and return to the knowing that whispers and lives in the corner of our peripheral. It’s the unlanguagable wisdom in my Grandma’s mmm hmmm. — Monèt Noelle Marshall
In three parts, Monèt Noelle Marshall’s “prophesy” indicts, incredulizes and invokes. It is intentional in the ways it demands that we call forward something better in the midst of what many are calling an apocalypse. It is a hopeful message wrapped in biting truth and it is exactly the medicine we need. Click HERE to learn more about this short film.
Monèt Noelle Marshall is an Emerging Artist Grant recipient from the DAC and we are extremely proud to support the powerful art she is creating.
“The Hill We Climb” – Message of Hope from Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman.
Poetry can be so powerful, and we were blown away by Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s recital of her poem “The Hill We Climb” yesterday. We hope that she inspired you also.
“For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Did You Know…
Private tours ends this month, so don’t miss out! Tours resume in the month of April.
Stay up-to-date with the latest opening information and resources related to COVID-19.
The Arts are involved COVID-19 research. Read more HERE.
About the Durham Arts Council
The Durham Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and local arts agency dedicated to supporting the arts in Durham and the entire Triangle Region in North Carolina and has served the community since 1954. Each year DAC serves over 400,000 visitors and program participants, over 2,000 artists, and more than 300 arts and cultural organizations through classes, artist residencies, exhibits, festivals, grants programs, technical support, creative economy initiatives, arts advocacy and information services.
Durham Arts Council, Inc. is a catalyst in the cultural development of Durham – it leads, inspires, and promotes excellence in and access to the creation, experience and active support of the arts for all the people of our community. For more information call 919.560.ARTS(2787) or visit our website at www.durhamarts.org.
THANK YOU to everyone who has supported DAC through this pandemic year! We are humbled by your generosity. If you have not made your gift to support the arts and would like to do so, please click HERE to get started!
While our venue is currently closed, we are optimistic about our fall and winter events! Please contact Fay Marin to inquire about renting DAC for your next event!
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The Durham Arts Network is a free online directory for artists, arts and cultural organizations, arts businesses and venues in Durham and adjacent counties. Get Your Free Listing Today!
NC Artists Grants and Fellowships are available through South Arts. Learn moreHERE.
Co-presented by South Arts and the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking (NCCP), the Creative Placemaking Leadership Summit: South + Appalachia is an annual gathering that explores how arts and cultural programming can be forces for connection and community resilience throughout the southeastern United States. Register HERE.
TRACKS is looking for musicians! Have you produced at least a 5-track collection of music in any genre? Do you live and regularly (virtually) perform in the Triangle area? If yes, submit your music for consideration today!