Board of Directors
The North Carolina Arts Council is governed by a 24-member board appointed by the governor. The board advises the Secretary of the Department of Cultural Resources on the policies and programs of the N.C. Arts Council.
General responsibilities include evaluating staff recommendations on policy, operational guidelines and program guidelines to determine their consistency with enabling legislation; providing recommendations of a budget for the Arts Council as developed and proposed by staff in cooperation with the chairperson; serving as an advocacy organization for the arts; periodically reviewing and re-evaluating Arts Council policy.
Robert S. "Bobby" Kadis, Raleigh – Chair
Bobby was appointed to the Arts Council board in 1993 and has served as its chair since 2005. He is a founder and former president of Centrex Properties Inc., a commercial real estate development and management firm. Bobby is a potter and was a trustee and past chair of Penland School of Crafts. He currently serves on the board of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Bobby is a past director of the Goldsboro Community Arts Council, past president of the Wayne County Boys Club and trustee of its endowment fund, and former member or director of a variety of other community organizations.
Lisa S. Anderson, Wilson
Since moving to North Carolina 40 years ago, Lisa has been enthusiastically involved in the arts as a volunteer, professional and — at times — a maker of ceramics and flamed glass beads. She was the visual arts director of Wilson's Arts Council from 1980 to 1987 and an independent curator thereafter until 1993 when she opened The North Star, a gallery for art and fine craft in Wilson's then unrestored historic district. Although Lisa closed the shop in 2008, she continues to serve on the board of Wilson Downtown Development, chairing both the design and public art committees. She co-founded and co-chairs the Friends of the Visual Arts at Barton College. Lisa has also been on the board of Preservation of Wilson and the Wesley Shelter.
Other highlights of Lisa's board service include Penland School of Crafts, the American Craft Council and SECCA's Foundation board. With her husband Dudley, she has collected art in many media, with a focus on clay and glass. Since the early '90s she has been a board member of the Art Alliance for Contemporary Glass, a national group of collectors.
Lisa has been part of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park initiative in Wilson from its beginning, a project near and dear to her heart and to her belief that economic development and the arts go hand in hand.
Jim Barnhill, Greensboro
Born in Asheville, Jim Barnhill received his Bachelor's degree in Art Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1977. After his undergraduate work, he spent a year of study in Marburg, Germany and traveled extensively. In 1982 Jim received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Sculpture from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, studying the figure under the late Peter Agostini. He works from the live model, sculpting both fully in the round as well as in relief. Jim has successfully executed work for corporate, public, liturgical, and garden settings. More than a mere copy of the human body, his work seeks to marry the abstract principles of design and composition to the natural form of the figure making his work both engaging and inviting. He currently teaches as an Assistant Professor of Art at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, N.C.
Kristin Bernhardt Cooper, Raleigh
Kristin is a part-time attorney and full-time mother of three daughters. She also shares her Raleigh home with her husband, Roy, two Shelties, and two cats. Kristin grew up in Oklahoma where her father was a family doctor and her mother was a painter. She is very involved with local community theater and is on the Board of Directors of North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre.
Marchell Adams David, Rockingham
Marchell is the City Manager of Hamlet. She is an Adjunct Professor at UNC-Pembroke and a former member of the UNC General Alumni Association Board of Directors. She led the successful $11.3 million relocation and restoration project of the Hamlet Passenger Depot. She is currently leading the efforts to restore the historic Hamlet Opera House. When restoration is complete, the Opera House will take on its new role as the Hamlet Performing Arts and Community Civic Center. Marchell was named the Lumber River Council of Government's Manager of the Year in 2005 and currently is on the Board of Directors for the Hamlet Performing Arts and Community Civic Center and is a member of the Richmond County Arts Council.
Jill Dinwiddie, Charlotte
Jill has thirty years of experience in higher education administration, government service, and non-profit leadership. She has directed the administrative, counseling, and programming centers for foreign students and scholars at UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Texas, Austin. After moving to California in 1990, she served as Northern California Finance Director for Dianne Feinstein's 1992 U.S. Senate campaign. From 1995-99 she was a principal of Belvedere Partners, a Bay Area search firm. She was Vice Chair of the East Bay Community Foundation Board, a Director of the Chabot Space and Science Center and on the Advisory Board of the Institute of International Education. In October 2003, Jill and her husband Bernie Hargadon moved to Charlotte. Jill worked on Erskine Bowles campaign for U.S. Senate and on Bev Perdue's campaign for Governor. She most recently served as Executive Director of the N.C. Council for Women. Jill has served on the board of Lillian's List of North Carolina and Carolinas Concert Association and currently serves on the Board of Levine Museum of the New South and Planned Parenthood Health Systems.
Laura Edwards, Chapel Hill
Laura is president of New Rhythms, Inc., an independent video and film production company. She is a trustee and treasurer of the Julian Price Family Foundation, development chair and board member of Penland School of Crafts and co-founder and development chair of Lillian's List of North Carolina. Laura is active in the annual Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham.
Lynda D. Edwards, Oxford
Ms. Lynda D. Edwards, visual artist and retired visual art educator, is a native of North Carolina and comes from a long line of teachers. She received her B.F.A. in studio art from Hampton Institute (now Hampton University) in Virginia. After graduation, Ms. Edwards traveled extensively and drew upon these experiences to inform her painting. From 1980 to 1996, Ms. Edwards exhibited her art in a variety of venues both locally and nationally while also teaching art privately from her home studio.
After graduating from N.C. Central University’s teacher certification program, she taught in Person County as an elementary art teacher. She also taught art at South Granville High School in Creedmoor.
She is now creating her art full time and is also writing and lecturing with a special focus on social injustice, equality for women and people with disabilities. She advocates for the necessity of keeping the arts in public education.
Pierce Freelon, Durham
Pierce Freelon is an emcee, professor and journalist. He earned his bachelor’s degree in African and African American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with highest honors and his master’s degree in Pan-African Studies from Syracuse University. Freelon is an adjunct professor at North Carolina Central University and UNC- Chapel Hill, where he teaches courses in Political Science and African American Studies. Pierce is the former director of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz’s Bebop to Hip-Hop program, based in Los Angeles, Calif.
The leader and co-founder of the hip-hop and jazz quartet The Beast, Pierce has toured internationally in Ghana, India and Vietnam. He has performed and educated alongside such jazz greats as his mother, six-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Nnenna Freelon, Herbie Hancock, Bob James, Earl Klugh, Patti Austin, Robert Glasper, Chris Dave and Derrick Hodge. He has also shared the stage with hip-hop legends such as Doug E. Fresh, Grand Master Flash, The Last Poets and Dead Prez.
Philip Gerard, Wilmington
Philip is a writer and professor of Creative Writing at UNC-Wilmington. He was a North Carolina Arts Council fellowship award winner in 1993 and has served on the Council's literature panels as well as selections panels for the Ragdale Foundation and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. Philip has also served on the board of Associated Writing Programs, including as chairman of the Program Directors' Council and president of the board. He was the Blumenthal Series Winner in 1989 and 1994, Bread Loaf Fellow in Fiction in 1982 and 1987, and a nominee for the Ernest Hemingway First Novel Prize in 1986. Philip also has received several awards and other recognition for teaching excellence. He is the author of eight books of fiction and nonfiction, has scripted eleven documentaries for UNC-TV and currently has a novel and a collection of essays in progress.
Murray C. "Tripp" Greason III, Winston-Salem
Tripp is Counsel and Pro Bono Director of the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. He served as trustee of the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County from 2004 – 2010 (liaison to Associated Artists of Winston-Salem, Chair of the Membership Committee, Member of the Public Art Committee (advisory committee to Winston-Salem Arts Council)). He currently serves as a member of the board of ARTS North Carolina. Tripp serves as Vice Chairman of the board of Partnership for a Drug Free North Carolina; Treasurer of the board of Children’s Law Center of Central North Carolina; Immediate Past Chair of Exchange Club Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse of North Carolina, Inc.; Member of the Wake Forest University School of Law Community Law and Business Development Clinic Advisory Board; Member of the board of the Central North Carolina Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Vice Chair of the board of The New Winston Museum; and Member of the ECHO Council. Tripp is also a Member of the Winston-Salem Downtown Rotary Club and a Member of the Winston-Salem Downtown Arts District Association. Tripp chairs the Public Service Committee of the North Carolina Bar Foundation. Special recognitions include a tribute by the NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence / WomensLaw.org North Carolina Domestic Violence Pro Bono Alliance Tribute (2010); Legal Aid of North Carolina Service Award (2009, 2010, 2011); Fellow, The American Bar Foundation (2009); Business Leader Media Pro Bono Impact Award (2008); North Carolina Bar Association 2007 Large Firm Pro Bono Award (firm award for work with Katrina victims); Supreme Court of Louisiana and the Louisiana State Bar Association tribute (assisting those affected by hurricanes Katrina and Rita (2007); Louisiana State Bar Association 2007 Pro Bono Award (firm award for work with Katrina victims); Southeast Louisiana Legal Services 2007 Justice for a Greater New Orleans Award (firm award for work with Katrina victims); UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program Certificate of Recognition (2006); Trial Lawyers for Public Justice Award (pro bono work on behalf of families of victims of 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks).
Stephen Hill, Kinston
Stephen is president of Hillco, Ltd., CEO of Discovery Insurance Company and Chairman of Mother Earth Brewing, all in Kinston. He is a former president of the Community Council for the Arts (Lenoir County), and is chairman of Arendell Parrott Academy. Stephen has served on several non-profit boards and is in the process of the revitalization of his second building in downtown Kinston. Stephen was the recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award by the Kinston Rotary in 2009. Stephen is a member of several national and North Carolina associations. Stephen graduated from Lee's McRae College in Banner Elk and attended Appalachian State University. After college Stephen worked for the United States Congress where he met his lovely wife Holly.
A. Everette James Jr., Chapel Hill
Everette James, originally from Robersonville, grew up in a farming family. He is an honors graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Duke Medical School and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He served as a physician in Vietnam where he received the Army Commendation Medal. He taught at Harvard, Johns Hopkins, University College London and chaired the Department of Radiology and Radiological Sciences at Vanderbilt. Presently he is a lecturer at Johns Hopkins Medical Schools, adjunct professor and emeritus chair at Vanderbilt, and clinical professor at UNC-Chapel Hill. James is a collector of Southern paintings, North Carolina pottery, African American quilts and North Carolina waterfowl decoys. He has published over 500 articles and 20 books including Essays in Folk Art and Tales of the Dismal Swamp. His book North Carolina Art Pottery 1900–1960 has contributed to even greater appreciation for this art form. He has received numerous awards, most recently the Order of the Long Leaf Pine for service to the state. Dr. James and his wife, Dr. Nancy Farmer, live in Chapel Hill.
Marie Junaluska, Cherokee
Marie speaks Cherokee fluently and writes the Sequoyah syllabary. She presents educational programs throughout North Carolina and the southeast where she introduces the Cherokee language, leads activities based on Cherokee history and culture, and teaches songs in Cherokee. Marie is an outstanding translator and educator and has worked with Special Collections at Western Carolina University and has served as a consultant on many projects including the permanent exhibits at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
Bernard "Bernie" Mann, Greensboro
Bernie is owner and publisher of Our State: Down Home in North Carolina magazine. A long time promoter of North Carolina's rich cultural tradition and the arts, he was honored with the Charles Kuralt Media Award for his contribution to the promotion of North Carolina in 2003. Prior to his role as publisher of Our State magazine, Bernie owned and operated 12 radio stations in North Carolina, Virginia and Arkansas. He is a past board member of both the N.C. Shakespeare Festival and Eastern Music Festival, past President/board member of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra and past President of the Greensboro Rotary Club. He received his BA at Adelphi University in Garden City, N.Y., and attended Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Mass.
Scott A. Provancher, Charlotte
Scott Provancher joined the Arts & Science Council as president in July 2009. Since that time, he has successfully raised $20 million to complete an $83 million endowment campaign for the new Levine Center for the Arts and raised more than $14 million in annual support for Charlotte’s cultural community. Provancher serves on the Americans for the Arts’ Private Sector Council and the Knight Foundation’s National Arts Advisory Committee; the boards of the N.C. Arts Council, Greater Charlotte Cultural Trust, Charlotte Center City Partners, Charlotte Chamber Metro Chapter and Queen City Forward; and advisory boards for Queens University of Charlotte’s College of Arts and Sciences and the Eastman School of Music.
In his prior position as vice president and campaign director of the Fine Arts Fund in Cincinnati, Ohio, Provancher led key initiatives focused on growing audiences and participation for the arts and culture sector. Provancher has also been a successful executive director for several symphony orchestras across the country, including the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra in Rockford, Ill.
In 2000, Provancher was named an Orchestra Management Fellow with the American Symphony Orchestra League, with whom he gained on-the-job orchestra management training at assignments including the San Francisco Symphony, Aspen Music Festival and School, Sioux Falls Symphony and Fort Wayne Philharmonic.
Provancher earned a Bachelor of Music degree in percussion performance and an arts leadership diploma from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester.
Rob Pulleyn, Marshall
Right out of college and graduate school, Rob started a small, very unsuccessful documentary film business. He was also a tapestry maker and, with his newfound free time, started a small newsletter for those creating contemporary work in fiber. This evolved into Fiberarts Magazine, which he published for 30 years. He soon started and served as publisher and president of Lark Books, which specializes in craft and arts books, and is headquartered in Asheville. He sold his interests in these two endeavors to Barnes & Noble about a decade ago.
Some time before exiting the publishing business, he became passionately involved in ceramics, taking many classes at the Penland School of Crafts. His newfound, late blooming career has resulted in representation by many regional galleries, numerous exhibitions, some national collections and his never-ending search for the perfect surface.
Several years ago, Rob bought and rehabilitated an abandoned high school on an island in the French Broad River in Marshall, N.C. He has one of the 26 studios in what is now Marshall High Studios. He serves as chair of the board of the Asheville Art Museum, vice chair of the board of Penland School of Crafts and as a board member of ARTS North Carolina and the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. He also dabbles in architecture, restoration (several state awards), landscaping, art collecting and keeping a 1958 Packard alive.
He has also served as the Grand Marshall of the annual Christmas parade in downtown Marshall. He waved at more than 70 people.
Thomas S. Sayre, Raleigh
Thomas Sayre has designed and built public art projects all over the world and has been part of the design team for civic, educational and museum buildings. He, along with architect Steve Schuster, is a founding principal of the multi-disciplinary design firm Clearscapes and has collaborated to produce lighting, furniture, terrazzo floors and specialty surfaces.
Growing up in the shadow of Washington National Cathedral, Thomas' early art education, and his love and respect of natural materials, came from the stonecutters and the cathedral. His education continued at St. Albans School, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, and Cranbrook Academy of Art.
While occasionally producing studio pieces, most of his efforts are focused in the public arena. His commissions extend from Canada, Istanbul, Hong Kong, Thailand and all across the U.S., including San Jose, Tucson, Denver, Nashville, Portland, Raleigh and Washington, D.C.
Paul H. Sunu, Charlotte
Paul serves as chief executive officer of FairPoint Communications, a leading provider of broadband, voice and video services to communities in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and 15 other states, headquartered in Charlotte. He also serves as the chairman of the Board of Directors of Integra Telecom, an integrated communications provider serving 11 states in the western United States.
Paul is a strong believer in arts education having served on the board of Urban Gateways, a Chicago-based organization devoted to providing in and out-of-school arts education to Chicago area students through interaction with local artists.
Louise Toppin, Durham
Louise is professor and chair of the voice area at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and director of Videmus, a nonprofit arts organization committed to educational and collaborative projects on the repertoire of African-American, women and under-represented composers. She has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral, recital and oratorio performances in the United States, Japan, China, Uruguay, New Zealand, Czech Republic, Sweden, England, Spain, Scotland, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Colombia. She can be heard on 15 commercial recordings of American music (on Albany, Centaur and Cambria records). Her newest solo CD, Heart on the Wall (art songs with orchestra by African-American composers), is due for release in spring 2011. She was a finalist in the Munich International Competition and the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions. She has appeared in recital on many concert series including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. Dr. Toppin is a graduate of UNC-CH (B.M. piano); Peabody Conservatory (M.M. piano, M.M. voice); and the University of Michigan (D.M.A. voice).
Richard Whittington, Greensboro
Rich has served as managing director of Triad Stage since its inception nine years ago. He earned an MFA in Theatre Management from the Yale School of Drama and has a BFA in Acting and Directing from Marymount Manhattan College. He has previously served on the boards of ArtsNC and Downtown Greensboro, Inc. and has served on numerous grant panels throughout the state as well as for the National Endowment for the Arts. Rich has taught Theatre Management at Greensboro College and N.C. A&T University and has guest lectured at UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. School of the Arts, Wake Forest University and UNC Greensboro. A native of Dallas, Texas, Rich previously served as Managing Director for the Ensemble Company for the Performing Arts (ECPA), as Artistic Administrator for the Dallas Theater Center and Associate Producer of Dallas' The Big D Festival of the Unexpected. Prior experience also includes work at the Roundabout Theatre in New York and StageWest in Springfield, Mass.
John W. Willingham, Yadkinville
John is president of Indera Mills. As such, he represents the fourth generation to manage this family-owned business. He received his B.A. in economics from Yale University. In 1998, he moved his company from Winston-Salem to Yadkinville and became immersed in the community. Having been deeply involved in Winston-Salem with the Symphony Association and the Arts Council, he used these experiences to impact Yadkinville. For the past ten years he has led the Yadkin Arts Council as board president. His vision and leadership were instrumental in the creation of the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. The Center was completed in 2010 and consists of several buildings and significant open spaces. It is home to the Yadkin Arts Council and serves as anchor for the revitalization of downtown Yadkinville. John is devoted to the resurgence of small town American and the leading role that the arts play in this process.
Lynn York, Chapel Hill
Lynn York is a writer and a teacher. She is the author of two novels, The Piano Teacher (2004) and The Sweet Life (2007). She teaches writing at NC State University, High Point University and Duke Continuing Education and has led workshops for adults across the state and regionally. A graduate of Duke University, she earned an MBA and MA in Communications from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a managing partner for LBG Properties, LLC and serves on the board of the Arts Society of the North Carolina Museum of Art. She has been a Scholar at the Sewanee Writers' Conference and a Fellow at the UNC Institute for the Arts and Humanities. She lives in Chapel Hill.