The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources announced today that Jeff Bell has been named as the next director of the North Carolina Arts Council. Bell currently serves as executive director of the Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park and Museum in Wilson and Arts Innovation coordinator for the city of Wilson. Bell brings more than two decades of arts experience to the role, including leadership positions at 21c Museum Hotel in Durham, CAM Raleigh, and Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
“The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is excited to announce Jeff Bell as the next director of the North Carolina Arts Council as we continue to build and strengthen arts infrastructure across our state,” said Secretary Reid Wilson. “Jeff Bell’s hands-on experience in using the arts to stimulate creativity, enhance quality of life, and spur local economic development have prepared him to ably lead the North Carolina Arts Council as it helps artists and arts organizations thrive and connect all North Carolinians to the arts.”
Founded in 1967 with the democratic vision of “arts for all citizens,” the NC Arts Council sustains and grows the arts for the benefit of North Carolinians and their communities. The NC Arts Council strives to deliver resources for arts development to all 100 counties of the state through programs that are fair, transparent, and accountable. The Arts Council is an agency of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
“I have worked with Jeff on many projects across Eastern North Carolina and have seen his impact on the state’s art resources,” said Stephen Hill, chair of the NC Arts Council board. “He is a good leader, and he will be a great asset to the North Carolina Arts Council and the whole state art scene. I look forward to working with Jeff as we continue to make North Carolina the most creative state in the country.”
“I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact the North Carolina Arts Council has on our local communities,” said Bell. “The arts in North Carolina are incredibly strong, one of our state’s greatest assets, and it is vital that everyone has access to and can benefit from what the arts have to offer. I am honored to work with a committed and driven staff as we move forward to expand opportunities for artists and arts organizations.”
Bell is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington with degrees in Art History and Studio Art. He earned a Master’s in Fine Art from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Bell is a sculptor and has exhibited his works across the state. He currently lives in Wilson, N.C. with his wife, Amanda Duncan, and their children, Finnegan, Teague, Cullen, and Tegan. Bell will start his position June 13.
About The North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. http://www.NCArts.org
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state's natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR's mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state's history, conserving the state's natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.
NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, three science museums, three aquariums and Jennette's Pier, 41 state parks and recreation areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C. Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, and the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.