This study explores how local nonprofits partner with the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System to provide a strong arts program for the next generation of “Artists and Innovators”. Ultimately, this study argues in favor of expanding the participation of nonprofit organizations and programs in order to promote community art and music literacy. The relevancy of this study is based largely on the pressing need to address the current downward trend of children participating in art classes and the funding needs for school-based arts programming. Comparative geographical statistics, interviews with local arts administrators and nonprofit partners, budget analyses, and relevant academic research has informed this study. Perspectives analyzed includes community members’ opinions on Winston-Salem’s brand as the “City of Arts and Innovation”, determining the community’s current condition compared to surrounding cities, and suggestions for new or re-imagined programs. In order to better fit the description as a city of “Arts and Innovation”, the community requires a re-imagining to better fit the needs of Forsyth County. This would entail increasing allocated funds for children-aged arts opportunities and a revamp of current public opinion on the importance of arts programs within the county.
Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Peyton Corder moved to Winston-Salem, NC to attend Salem College. While studying at Salem, they discovered ways to make a meaningful impact within their local community while working towards their passions. Focusing on children’s education and music, Peyton hopes to work within the nonprofit sector to combine their passions into possibilities. In addition to career-related goals, in their free time they like to embroider, roller-skate, and antagonize their cat.