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Winston-Salem Arts Council Announces All-Star Line-up for Town Hall Meeting

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County today announced an all-star line-up for its upcoming Town Hall Meeting titled, "Art Works: The Impact of Arts and Culture on Communities," with the Chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, Rocco Landesman. Panelists for the discussion represent various arenas in arts and culture, nationally and in Winston-Salem, and were selected based on their expertise and stature to promote a lively conversation between panelists and audience members. The event takes place on September 10 from 2 to 3:00 PM at University of North Carolina School of the Arts' Performance Place Thrust Theatre.

Moderated by Belinda Tate, director of Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University, the panel includes:

Rocco Landesman, chair of the National Endowment for the Arts, earned a doctorate in Dramatic Literature at the Yale School of Drama. Landesman's ensuing career has been a hybrid of commercial and artistic enterprises. He started a private investment fund, which he ran until his appointment in 1987 as president of Jujamcyn, a company that owns and operates five Broadway theaters: St. James, Al Hirschfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O'Neill, and Walter Kerr theaters. Before and after joining Jujamcyn, Mr. Landesman produced Broadway shows, the most notable of which are Big River (1985 Tony Award for Best Musical), Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (1993 Tony Award for Best Play), Angels in America: Perestroika (1994 Tony Award for Best Play), and The Producers (2001 Tony Award for Best Musical). In 2005, he purchased Jujamcyn and operated it until President Obama's appointment to NEA chairmanship.

Linda Carlisle, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources: Secretary Carlisle was named to her current position by Gov. Bev Perdue on Jan. 5, 2009. Carlisle has been extensively involved in leadership roles in the non-profit sector, providing leadership, strategic planning, financial expertise and key resource development. Her community work has included serving on the Boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, UNC-G Board of Trustees and various roles with United Way, United Arts Council, Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., and the Girl Scouts. She is a persistent proponent of the arts as an economic development driver, downtown rejuvenator, and small-town catalyst.

RoseMary Harris, actress and member of the American Theatre Hall of Fame, is a winner of Emmy, Golden Globe, Obie and Drama Desk Awards. Harris is known for her consummate style on stage and screen. She artfully combined elegance and warmth, and made her American debut in The Climate of Eden (1952) and returned to New York as a member of the Old Vic to play Shakespeare's Cressida in 1956. Among her subsequent American appearances were several important roles with the Association of Producing Artists, including Alice in You Can't Take It with You and Lady Teazle. Her many memorable performances included Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter (1966), hassled actress Julie Cavendish in The Royal Family (1975), flamboyant Hesione Hushabye in Heartbreak House (1983), the worried wife Barbara Jackson in Pack of Lies (1985), dizzy West End star Judith Bliss in Hay Fever (1985), the guilty Mrs. Birling in An Inspector Calls (1994), the questioning wife Agnes in A Delicate Balance (1996), and the retired actress May Davenport in Waiting in the Wings (1999). Recently she appeared as Aunt May Parker in the films Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. Harris has also appeared in leading roles with numerous important American regional theatres.

Mabel Robinson, artistic director of the North Carolina Black Repertory Company is a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music. Robinson's illustrious career spans Broadway, television, film, opera houses and concert stages throughout the world. She is a director, choreographer, playwright and performer. She danced in prestigious companies including Alvin Ailey, Martha Graham, and Talley Beatty. Robinson has appeared in feature films, Cotton Comes To Harlem, Funny Lady, and The Wiz, and television movies, Dare to Love and Sister-In-Laws. The Houston Grand Opera's TV production of Treemonisha garnered Robinson an Emmy Nomination for choreography. She's served as Cultural Specialist teaching the art of movement in dance and drama at International dance seminars in Russia, Belgium, Holland, Budapest, and Zimbabwe.

Joshua Morgan, co-founder and co-artistic director, of No Rules Theatre Company, Washington, DC, and Winston-Salem, graduated from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and Judith Blazer's 2005/2007 company of the Artist's Crossing. No Rules' mission is to present the broadest spectrum of high quality, accessible, truthful theatre that will open the minds and expand the expectations of a diverse audience. No Rules has performed to rave reviews, with Washington Flyer magazine recently saying, "The new kids in the (Washington DC) district are proving they can hang with the big boys."

This Town Hall Meeting is part of the festivities to open the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem that will feature a performance by Tony Bennett on the evening of September 10 and more than 100 arts and cultural experiences at the Center on September 11 and 12. For more information, call The Arts Council at 336-722-2585 x1109, or visit

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