City Council Candidates

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Robbie Perkins


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Nancy Vaughan Nancy Vaughan (D), 52

Message to Voters
I have a history of fighting for what I believe in. I have never taken the easy way out. I am prepared and focused to move Greensboro in a positive direction.

Top Issues
Jobs & Economic Development: Greensboro is a resilient City. We are transitioning from our legacy employers to more diverse industry clusters. We must make sure that we have a prepared workforce and the infrastructure in place to support economic growth.

Neighborhood Stabilization We must invest in strong neighborhoods. Neighborhoods across the city deserve the same level of service and attention. Safe affordable housing, access to resources, safety and economic development.

Solid Waste Management We must find a long-term cost effective solution for our solid waste disposal. We must create and implement a plan for long-term sustainable waste management, waste reduction and recycling.

What have you done, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
I think we should revisit the Council Financial Disclosure form. Use a form similar to what is used at the state level, modified for Council business and extended to Board and Commission members.
Nancy Vaughan
Occupation: Community Volunteer
Education: Fairfield University, Fairfield, CT (1979-1981) Local interest: Impact Greensboro and Undoing Racism
Age: 52
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: VaughanforMayor@gmail.com
Phone: 336-215-0192
Nancy Vaughan on FacebookNancy Vaughan on Twitter

Marikay Abuzuaiter Marikay Abuzuaiter (D), 59

Message to Voters
My voting record proves that I have kept my promise to listen to ALL citizens & to have all stakeholders "at the table" on issues/concerns.

Top Issues
Economic development: Council can not CREATE jobs, but creating the proper environment to attract employers should be our top priority. Site-ready acres are important, but I also believe that addressing small business concerns will, in turn, attract larger businesses.

Infrastructure and maintenance New infrastructure may attract economic development, but our current infrastructure (roads, water system, buildings) is crumbling. We MUST prioritize the maintenance for what we have before we pursue new initiatives. Businesses DO notice!

Poverty/wants and needs 20% of our children live in poverty. While we are able to raise millions for what some citizens "want" it appears to me that we should be raising millions for what we NEED. In these economic times we need to listen to what our citizens NEED!

What have you done, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
When a citizen requests information from me I have supplied it! Many times it has only been an answer to a question or direction on where to find an answer. I have never ignored a citizen request.
Marikay Abuzuaiter
Occupation: Owner, Mahi's Restaurant
Education: Graduate of Greensboro College, Impact Greensboro, Greensboro Citizens Academy, Greensboro Citizens Police Academy
Age: 59
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: Abuzuaiter@aol.com
Phone: 336-314-9620
Marikay Abuzuaiter on FacebookMarikay Abuzuaiter on Twitter

Mike Barber Mike Barber (D), 51

Message to Voters

Top Issues
Job Growth: It is important that we create, and market, a Greensboro that is attractive for job growth, relocation, and local investment.

Community Safety: Closely examine the metrics that reflect crime clusters and incidents and reallocate resources to address issues. Identify the top 7 or 8 commercial and entertainment districts, not simply Downtown, and provide adequate policing.

Fiscal Management: Develop monthly, simple to understand, snapshots of the metrics that measure our city's financial health. Identify and examine our unfunded future debt, such as pensions, retirements and some debt obligations. Create and implement an employee suggestion program rewarding employees monetarily for finding cost savings, as opposed to feeling obligated to spend annual budgets to receive funding the following year.

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
Recommend utilizing key word software that places most emails on a server and available to the public, which will also reduce the high volume of public record requests and cost. Create a panel to review other correspondence and flagged emails. Create a 3rd public monthly meeting for speakers which actually allows for discussion between council members and public.
Mike Barber
Occupation: Attorney/CEO The First Tee of the Triad
Education: Grimsley High School.....UNC/UNC-G B.A. Economics/ Juris Doctorate-Campbell University5
Age: 51
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: MikeBarberlaw@aol.com
Phone: 336-580-4241

Jean Brown Jean Brown (R), 73

Message to Voters
I will represent all the citizens but especially those who believe that they do not have a voice in city government.

Top Issues
unnecessary spending The budget needs to be balanced and all expenditures that are not necessary for our city needs to be eliminated.

foolish regulations We should look at the many regulations that have taken control of our lives and brought us under government control.

Arts center We should not help finance anything that a majority of our citizens are against.

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
Meet more directly with citizens at town meetings and listen to the advice and complaints of the people we represent
Joseph Landis
Occupation: retired
Education: Graduated from Sumner School and Rockingham Community College where I majored in Travel and Tourism. Took additional classes at GTCC where I studied Spanish.
Age: 73
Affiliation: Republican

Email: ilbez4u2c@yahoo.com
Phone: 919 904 8222

Ben Holder Ben Holder (D), 42

Message to Voters
People should vote for me because of my track record and what I have gotten accomplished. I have continuously been a positive force.

Top Issues
Hire Police Chief: According to my sources, Miller told his command staff that he was leaving on Feb 1, 2014. The incoming GPD rookie class is the last one Miller will bring in. Hiring a chief is priority 1. We need a dynamic search for a great chief.

Hire City Manager Denise Turner Roth should not be our city manager. She has had a horrendous time since she obtained the position. She has lost the trust of many staff members and is not looked favorably upon in the publics eye. Greensboro must do better.

Hire City Attorney If there is one department in the city that operates at the lowest form possible, it's the legal staff. The current attorney well, here: http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Articles-Articles-c-2013-03-06-215024.112113-City-to-be-more-opaque.html

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
I have been the guiding light for Greensboro for a decade. Nobody in this city, not the media or the government, has fought for transparency and uncovered lies as successfully as I have. I do it.
Ben Holder
Occupation: Property Manager
Education: BA Salem College
Age: 42
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: benhgreensboro@aol.com
Phone: 336-988-9857
Ben Holder's blog Ben Holder on Twitter

Yvonne Johnson Yvonne Johnson (D), 70

Message to Voters
I love this city, and its people. I have served them with commitment, vision, and a deep sense of caring.

Top Issues
Jobs & Economic Development The city council should support economic development and job growth, by making sure we have site ready tracks of land, and infrastructure in place to attract new businesses to the city. We also need to continue to support our small businesses.

Good Quality of Life We need to maintain a good balance of activities ie., Arts, culture, and recreation, so the quality of life in Greensboro remains viable for our residents and others considering moving here.

Improve Public Transportation TA needs assessment should be conducted to see what is needed, and what people are not using, as well as to learn how we can better serve those who use public transportation.

What have you done, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
I have always tried to provide vital information when asked. Unless there is a personnel issue, I answer questions and share information.
Yvonne Johnson
Occupation: Non-Profit Executive Director
Education: Master\'s Degree in Counseling from NC A&T State University Honorary Doctorate from Bennett College BA in Psychology from Bennett College
Age: 70
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: Yvonne.johnson@greensboro-nc.gov
Phone: 336-255-3060
Website: www.yvonne2013.com
Yvonne Johnson website

Chris Lawyer Chris Lawyer (R), 34

Message to Voters
I want to help ensure that Greensboro is maximizing the vast potential that we have right here in our city in order to be the best we can be.

Top Issues
Budgets: We need to ensure that our budgets are focused on the needs of our city and not wants. Our budgets need to maximize efficiency in as many areas as possible. Being responsible with tax payer dollars is of the utmost importance.

Business/Jobs We need to focus on creating a business environment that is friendly and as seamless as possible for both large and small businesses. City Council can't create jobs, but it can make the environment for business as conducive as possible.

Public safety and Infrastructure. These two areas are a bedrock of city government. These are high priority areas that are a need and not a want. We must be sure that these are areas of focus rather than just another item in a budget.

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
When we are addressing an issue there must be full disclosure available at all times. We need to be as inclusive as possible of all citizens in the governing process.
Chris Lawyer
Occupation: Physician Assistant
Education: BS in Exercise and Sports Science, James Madison University '03 Master of Physician Assistant Studies King's College '05
Age: 34
Affiliation: Republican

Email: lawyerforcouncil@gmail.com
Phone: 324-9472
Website: lawyerforcouncil.com
Chris Lawyer websiteChris Lawyer on FacebookChris Lawyer on Twitter

T. Dianne Bellamy-Small


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Sharon Hightower


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Jamal Fox Jamal Fox (D), 25

Message to Voters
To become an innovative forward thinking city we must have the right blend of knowledge, experience, skills, and ideas to sustain our city.

Top Issues
Community Greensboro neighborhoods should reflect the needs of our citizens. It is critical that our community knows we care. We will strengthen our relationship, educate, and empower our citizens in hope to provide a sense of pride in their community.

Economic Development The City of Greensboro must be fiscally responsible. A responsible balanced budget is not a limitation but it is a road map to sustainable future with spending priorities established rationally and available funds allocated accordingly.

Public Safety The City of Greensboro must have a professional police force with sufficient personnel and resources to not only respond to crime in the area but also work to reduce crime in Greensboro.

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
I will strengthen the communication between the city and community i.e. town halls.I will work hard and be accessible to hear concerns, work with the community to find solutions and build trust.
Jamal Fox
Occupation: Adjunct Professor
Education: MPA, Capella University BA in Political Science, NC A&T State University
Age: 25
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: jamal@jamalfox.com
Phone: 336-612-3653
Website: jamalfox.com
Jamal Fox websiteJamal Fox on FacebookJamal Fox on Twitter

Jim Kee Jim Kee (D), 55

Message to Voters
When I was elected to city council in 2009, district two had two million dollars of economic development investment going on. Today, district two has over three hundred million dollars of economic dev

Top Issues
Economic Development Greensboro is the third largest city in North Carolina in size but ranks seventh in median income. City leaders have to give primary focus to providing ways of creating and sustaining small businesses, while attracting medium to large businesses

Public Safety We have done a good job keeping crime low and providing public safety for our citizens. However, there is always room for improvement. GPD has kept crime low and is currently down nine percent year over year. Our fire department continues to be

Infrastructure Providing new infrastructure in the right areas is key to growing and sustaining this city. We have to concentrate on areas of expected growth within our city limits and adjacent to our city limits that do not have annexation constraints or where

What have you done, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
I continue to keep the citizens informed regarding proposed investments such as the performing arts center and the Florida street extension. I encourage citizen participation on all items.
Jim Kee
Occupation: Developer and property manager
Education: Bachelor of Science in Economics from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
Age: 55
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: jimkee2013@gmail.com
Phone: 336-285-8378
Website: http://votejimkee.com
Jim Kee website

Zack Matheny Zack Matheny (R), 40

Message to Voters
My hope is that the citizens of Greensboro recognize my strength as a leader on City Council, my ability to rationalize and bring common sense to issues, and asking important questions in striving us to move forward.

Top Issues
Economic development/job creatin Our region lost 90k jobs from 2000-2010, we have to do what we can in ED. I currently chair the first ever City Economic Development Task Force, where we are actively working to create solutions for our City.

Public safety Our Police and Fire departments are a major backbone for our community. We continue to work diligently to tackle issues and maintain proper levels of safety in our City. I work with the Chief's to ensure they have the tools to do the job.

Fiscal Responsibility Throughout my tenure on Council we have never raised taxes (actually we had a decrease albeit small) and we continue to make solid investments in out community. I promise to continue to be a good steward of our taxpayer dollars.

What have you done, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
Over my years on council I have gotten closed meetings taped so at sometime they can be released for public and I have argued for meetings to be open to all. I am accessible and open with all topics.
Zack Matheny
Occupation: Entrepreneur
Education: North Carolina State University
Age: 40
Affiliation: Republican

Email: zackmatheny@gmail.com
Phone: 336-686-1336
Zack Matheny on Facebook Zack Matheny on Twitter

Wendell Roth Wendell Roth (R), 47

Message to Voters
Greensboro is an awesome place to live and work and I am confident we can make it even better. If elected, I will always be approachable

Top Issues
Jobs Job creation must be placed back at the top of the City Council's priorities. We need to award more city contracts to existing Greensboro based businesses, creating local jobs and revenues. As an entrepreneur, I have learned first-hand that start

Fiscal Responsibility Greensboro has the highest tax rate and highest unemployment rate of any city in North Carolina. Greensboro's tax rate is 65% higher than Raleigh's and our unemployment rate is about 30% higher. Higher taxes mean fewer companies which mean fewer

Term Limits The best way for a city to continuously improve is to ensure a constant influx of new ideas. I will promote an extension of the city council term to four years COUPLED with a three-term limit. Serving as Mayor would also count as one of the three

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
We need to conduct the public's business in front of the public. In addition, we need to simplify the city's accounting methods and require transparency for city funded initiatives and entities
Wendell Roth
Occupation: Entrepreneur and Consultant
Education: Bachelor of Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology
Age: 47
Affiliation: Republican

Email: wendell@wendellroth.com
Phone: 336.508.1981
Website: wendellroth.com/
Wendell Roth website Wendell Roth on Facebook

Nancy Hoffman


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Bill Knight


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Sal Leone Sal Leone (D), 41

Message to Voters
I am like my voters, a working and tax paying citizen.

Top Issues
The people must come first: The concept of the people first is simple but is it practiced in council. The council seems to give who they want loans. There always seems to be a conflict with council and anyone in real estate. The council needs to listen more often.

Unemployment: I am not sure council is aware of the unemployment rate. The number seems to stay in the same range for years.

Poverty : The rate is high in the Greensboro area but all I hear is talk. There are some lost council people. The council wants to spend millions on GPAC, millions on forgiveable loans, but children go hungry, the IRC is under funded.

What will you do, specifically, to increase transparency in city government?
The answer is to involve the community in major votes, community meetings for public feedback.
Sal Leone
Occupation: Law Enforcement
Education: AAS degree, over a 120 credits total. I have over 600 hours in FEMA traing, hundreds of other hours in law enforcement training, Advance law enforcement certification, general instructor for law enforcement.
Age: 41
Affiliation: Democratic

Email: Vote4leone@gmail.com
Phone: 336 554-5555
Website: www.leoneforcouncil.com
Sal Leone website

Tony Wilkins


This candidate has filed to run for office but did not respond to multiple invitations to add their information for free to this website.

Blogs & News

Candidates in the news and local blogs

Sorting out HP city election--Piedmont Publius
July 21st, 2014 -- 7:11 AM

Mayor Bernita Sims — with a legal cloud still hovering —- is out; state Rep. Marcus Brandon is in. Brandon had previously said he would not run for High Point mayor if Sims sought reelection. Sims said she is not seeking reelection because she wants to pursue statewide office, possibly the Senate District 28 seat […]

Greensboro To Buy Electric Motorcycles?--East Greensboro Performing Arts Center
July 15th, 2014 -- 8:46 PM

The Greensboro City Council is voting tonight on whether or not the City will spend $20,155 to go along with  $41,550 in grants from the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University to buy 2 electric motorcycles for the Greensboro Police Department.I'm not privy as to what brands or models of electric motorcycles they are considering but for those of you who haven't kept up with

Greensboro, North Carolina Considers Electric Motorcycles--Wackemall, Billy's Two Wheeled Musings and More!
July 15th, 2014 -- 8:45 PM

The Greensboro City Council is voting tonight on whether or not the City will spend $20,155 to go along with  $41,550 in grants from the North Carolina Solar Center at North Carolina State University to buy 2 electric motorcycles for the Greensboro Police Department.

I'm not privy as to what brands or models of electric motorcycles they are considering but for those of you who haven't kept up with the technology in recent years, at least 2 American companies Brammo and Zero are now making great bikes that would have no issues doing what police departments need motorcycles to do. After all, it's not like the next chief of police will be sending officers cross country depending on batteries.

As a matter of fact, several brands of modern electric motorcycles are quite capable of exceeding 100 miles per hour and traveling over 100 miles between charging the batteries. And considering that maintenance and operating costs for these new bikes are far lower than for conventional motorcycles it just makes scene.

Already US Special Forces are employing electric motorcycles made by Zero and the Brammo 6 speed electric motorcycle changed the way electric motorcycles are built.

Of course, nothing will ever replace Harley Davidsons leading the parade in the minds of most American motorcycle enthusiasts, even those of us who would like to own an electric motorcycle.

R. Ross Harris Joins Institute of Political Leadership as Executive Director--Yes!Weekly
July 6th, 2014 -- 2:40 PM

R. ROSS HARRIS
"Ms. R. Ross Harris has been named Executive Director of the Institute of Political Leadership (IOPL), effective July 1, 2014.
The Institute is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate future political and community leaders in modern campaign strategy, ethical decision making, and governance, such that its participants will have a sound grounding in ethical behavior, consensus building, and cooperative and collaborative leadership. No other program in North Carolina offers such a comprehensive curriculum in strategic non-partisan political leadership development. In 2013, IOPL merged with the NC Center for Women in Public Service.
Harris is a native of Greensboro, and graduated from Duke University with an AB in Public Policy and an MBA from the Fuqua School of Business. She has extensive experience as both a campaign manager and political strategist in partisan, nonpartisan, and referendum campaigns in North Carolina.
Additionally, Harris has over 30 years of experience in marketing, public relations, and communications, both domestically and internationally, for several Fortune 500 companies as well as many companies and organizations in North Carolina. She was a VP at the Leo Burnett Company in Chicago for 14 years, returning to her native North Carolina to become a Divisional VP at Burlington Industries in 1994. After four years at Burlington, she spent seven years at Trone as SVP. In 2007, she began her own marketing and communications consulting company, The Harris Partners.
Harris is well-known in the Triad area for her recent work as Project Manager for the Steven Tanger Performing Arts Center, a two-year initiative that involved input from the entire Greensboro community. Her efforts included development, City Council approval, and community support for the project.
“I was pleased and delighted that we were able to attract such a wealth of candidates for this position, with diverse backgrounds and impressive experience,” said Justice Henry E. Frye, Chair of the Board of Directors.
“I have known, and worked with, Ross for several years, and am very happy that we were able to secure the services of someone as highly respected as she, and who shares the energy and passion we have for IOPL’s mission,” added Frye. “I am confident that she will be an asset to increasing the visibility of IOPL throughout the state.”

IOPL began in 1987, and it offers two annual Fellows classes and one Women in Office Program. Participants exchange ideas in a politically, culturally, and philosophically diverse climate, building relationships with current and future leaders with whom they will interact throughout their careers."
A Press Release

Police Chief Ken Miller Announces Retirement Plans--Yes!Weekly
July 2nd, 2014 -- 8:32 PM

POLICE CHIEF KEN MILLER
"City of Greensboro Police Chief Ken Miller announced today his plans to retire from the City of Greensboro and pursue police or executive leadership opportunities in other jurisdictions or corporations. Miller intends to retire between September 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014.

According to City Manager Jim Westmoreland, the City is appreciative of Chief Miller’s work and the positive growth of the police department under his direction.  “Chief Miller has improved relationships between the police department and community, he’s worked hard to drive down crime across the city, and the men and women of our police department have focused on keeping Greensboro safe and secure during his watch,” says Westmoreland. “Because of his efforts, we’re moving in the right direction as a department and I expect our next chief build off the foundation that Chief Miller has established.”

Miller joined the Greensboro Police Department in 2010 after serving as deputy chief for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for four years. As Greensboro’s chief, he’s overseen the reorganization of the department with a focus on improving discipline, operational efficiency, crime reduction and partnerships among police and the public.. He has helped shepherd the development of an emerging Family Justice Center to better address local problems of domestic violence and child/elder abuse.  Overall, crime in the City is at its lowest levels in four decades and overall community satisfaction with the work of the department has climbed to 80 percent.

“Chief Miller has served this community well and will be missed,” says Mayor Nancy Vaughan. “He has done a great job responding to multiple requests, serving various needs, and creating ties with the community. Most importantly, he’s leaving our department in better shape than he found it and should be commended for accomplishing that goal as our chief.”

Before joining Greensboro, Miller worked for Charlotte-Mecklenburg police for 21 years (1989-2010) and was an auxiliary deputy sheriff in Greeneville, Tennessee for two years. He also served as a security police sergeant in the United States Air Force.

“For the past four years, I have loved calling Greensboro my home.  The community warmly embraced my family and me, and has welcomed the many changes in the department and in our policing strategies.” says Miller. “I have had the good fortune of working with a great City leadership team, and working with outstanding and committed employees of the police department.  Policing a free society is difficult work, but I have found the men and women of the Greensboro Police Department to be prepared and willing to meet the challenges directly and lift the department and community to new heights along the way.  Words can hardly express my pride in the GPD and our community for all we have done together to make our city safer. I look forward to watching more exceptional progress in the coming years.”


The City will begin the process of hiring a consultant to guide the selection process for a new chief. Depending on the timing of Miller’s departure, the City is prepared to name an acting chief to serve in the transition between Miller and the newly hired chief."
A Press Release

A Golden Opportunity to End Hate.--Liv Jones
July 2nd, 2014 -- 12:45 AM


A Golden Opportunity

2008 European Union Decision on Hate Speech and Xenophobia
and
The Amending of the Criminal Justice Act of the United Kingdom


Beware of The Jabberwocky

                “Silence”, the queen yelled. “Off with her head!” she sentenced Alice. The freedom to say unpopular and shocking things has been a part of Western canon and culture, and the concept of government censorship so vilified and warned,  one must ask the question of how Germany’s “nie wieder” approach to hate-speech become an European Union demand of its twenty-seven member countries?  Can Atlanticist states such as the United Kingdom manage to sell this continental-style secession of freedom to its citizens? What is the cost of freedom of speech? If hate had doomed Europe to a Clash of Civilizations, was this their golden opportunity to change society for the better, and stop war?

Continental Right

            From knights’ honor, and courtly behavior, to Napoleonic Code, Europe itself is constantly refining the value of a person’s life by what a good individual deeds. Continental law has given empires the right to conquer the world, queens the ability to colonize new frontiers, and with the drafting of Germany’s post-WWII Grundgesetz, the power to better itself by legislating a better society for its citizens. Rather than the acquisition of colonies, today’s civil laws attempt to criminalize hate speech to better Germany and repress patterns of hate that led to the holocaust. Today, this government policy of bettering has spread to the European Union most prominently through German Philosophy derived from Immanuel Kent’s metaphysical “looking glass” approach to hate speech:
 ‘Freedom to speak or write can be taken from us by a superior power, but never the freedom to think!’  - Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason
Kant argued in favor of “innocuous” speech generally, though he was always careful to disclose the need to control and restrict this privilege for some (clergy, officials). More importantly the Kantian “interpretation of human dignity” (speech should not infringe upon others’ freedoms,) (Haupt* 2005)would not only find its way into German law, but eventually spread to the entire European Union.

E.U. Legislation on Hate Speech: Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA

On June 12, 2008 Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA came into force by the European Union, and by that action, it would be necessary for member states to come into compliance with it in under two years (11/28/2010). Effectively, the decision consisted of a series of laws that prevented racist or xenophobia behavior within the European Union territory. The decision outlawed certain forms of speech or action defined as hatred towards persons of a particular race, color, descent, belief, nationality, or ethnic origin. In addition, written material such as pamphlets or pictures, which similarly perpetuated hate, was outlawed. Furthermore, the decision banned denying crimes against humanity, such as holocaust denying, or stating that the Armenian Genocide did not happen. The punishment for an individual who is in violation of this decision would be liable to serve one-to-three years in prison as determined by the member state. In addition a violator could lose government benefits, lose business licenses, be given a criminal record, or even have his or her assets, or business assets liquidated.  (Union 2008) With the passing of this decision, the question now became how to define freedom of speech, a long held human right also held by the European Union, with this new outlook on civility.


Yet those who opposed this decision, like Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, of the International Free Press Society, equated such “intrusions” of liberty with the former Soviet Union: “Today, in 21st century Western Europe, our right to free speech is being shut down quietly and systematically with an effectiveness that the commissars in the old Soviet Union could only dream of.” (Sabaditsch-Wolff 11) What appeared as insidious to some was seen as a misunderstanding by the Council of Europe who created a pamphlet in 2009, entitled the Manual on Hate Speech. It described a perspective in which thought, a component of freedom of speech, was now separate from external expression. In essence, while each individual has the right to freedom of thought, even in hate, this internal freedom is different than freedom of expression of such beliefs and words. (Weber 2009) In other words, with great freedom, comes great responsibility and the lack of it is now a crime.


Of course it’s easy to jump to absolutisms, as Wolff attempted to. It’s difficult to ask the question, if this decision might actually provide greater freedoms by limiting some, when we’ve all been threatened with Orwell’s 1984 thought-crimes, and cringe in expectation of Godwin’s law. Without jumping to the worst possible scenario, is it possible that the rationale behind such laws can win out Europe’s cultured love affair with freedom of speech?

 

Migration and Xenophobia in the European Union

The question is why now? We know that anti-immigration sentiment in mainland Europe served as the primary catalyst behind the change, followed by the rising tensions against Muslim-Europeans in the wake of September 11th.  The decision served to unify diversity, and to prevent polarization of hate. ‘In the Third Annual Report on Migration and Integration, published 2007, the European Union emphasized the point that the “…integration of third-country nationals is a process of mutual accommodation by both the host societies and the immigrants and an essential factor in realizing the full benefits of immigration.” ‘ (Thomas 2009) At the center of it all was French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who in 2007 was keen on genetically testing French citizens to prove their legal status. Around the same time, several publication were questioning the European Union’s ability to address these issues and had several people calling the Universal Declaration of Rights a “glaring failure” (Thomas 2009). The unity of the European Union, and its trade partners in Africa were now in question. New quotas for expulsion of immigrants in France evoked memories for some, of the 1942 rafle du Vel d’Hiv, in which French citizens were deported by their own government to Nazi camps. (Thomas 2009) To make matters worse, France was one of several countries refusing to ratify the Lisbon treaty.  France’s paranoia was not completely without merit, as it found itself ridiculed by the United States and United Kingdom for being the NATO member in opposition of military intervention in Iraq. France feared that the alignment of Europe with American causes might bring war to French soil. France viewed America’s declaration of war, without their approval, as a breach of the European unity (and international unity). Anglo-American dissent fell upon French President Jacques Chirac, who was the target of “various American and British commenters.” (Jacque Chirac n.d.) Chirac fell into unpopularity as the result of scandals in his second term, despite vindication in refraining from war when no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq. However, Chirac’s nationalistic policies proved to be popular with his successor, Nicolas Sarkozy, and perpetuated resentment towards the rest of Europe. Validating France’s policies were the London bombings of July 2005 which led to France having to choose between protecting itself against terrorism, or choosing not to appear xenophobic and hateful towards Islamic immigrants.


Proof of France’s disfavoring was written into the decision as it “directly refers to the crimes of genocide committed against the Jews during World War II, and mandates that speech acts which deny, minimize or trivialize the Holocaust - crimes defined by the Tribunal of Nüremberg  article 6 of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, London Agreement of 1945  - be criminalized and punished.” (Burcu Gültekin Punsmann 2011) This subsequently led to France passing a law which had no criminal implication, but stated that they recognize the genocide of 1915, yet this was a completely unnecessary action as the 1990 Gayssot Act had already illegalized diminishing crimes against humanity.


Europe’s new reaction to hate served to thwart off national identities which embraced ethnocentrism, or even entitlement. Carefully, the decision was drafted in a manner that would lead to its ratification, despite the objections that proved to be problematic in previous U.N. hate speech legislations. (CERD and ICCPR) (Mchangama 2010) France (and other countries) could do little to oppose the directive without appearing prejudiced, and was successfully capitulated back into a willing member of the European Union despite conservatives. Bruno Gollinisch, a far right French politician who ran on sovereignty and tradition, threatened to vote against it and said:


“Why is such a text relevant or appropriate at this time? At a time when Europe’s borders have disappeared, causing an explosion of illegal immigration and cross-border criminality, is it not more urgent to ensure the security of the European people in their own territory than to worry about penalizing expressions that are allegedly racist?” (Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou 2007)

 

The Argument Against.

Like France, several other countries (including the United Kingdom) had objections to the decision. Most of these countries were obsessed with their physical boundaries, immigration and even a bit of Euro-skepticism. They were inclined to denounce hate speech but reluctant to join any regional or global effort that would limit their sovereignty. The potential future sovereignty of a nation is directly in conflict with its participation within the European Union. (Bernd Baumgartl 1995). This Union, a community formed under the Treaty of Rome which “made no specific commitment” on social cohesion but did, in the preamble, cryptically bind member to “’reducing the differences’” (Bache, George and Bulmer 2011, 423) managed to successful pass the decision despite these complications.


This decision is the sum effect of differences on immigration and national identity, and the European Union’s attempt at maintaining unity in response to state’s aversion to loss of some sovereignty. It sets a precedent that human rights, protected by the European Union, are more important than state’s citizen’s rights, and its national sovereignty. Indeed the climate within the European Union suggests that it is these issues, “born from a strong sense of nationalism [that] is often blamed for Europe’s infinity for war and conflict”. (Tiersky and Jones 2011, 394) Without a “pan-European identity”, allowing free movement where nationalities can meld, there can be no European market only “war and conflict”.


Similar to previous unionizations of trade, monetary issues, and later security, this latest endeavor is now expanding the social cohesion of the Union, and its ability to create a homogenized and functional bond between the many members and their various different cultures. The goal of which isn’t entirely without cause, since the Lisbon European Council (March 2000) alludes to these steps towards social cohesion, as a result of “becoming ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world’” (Fitoussi 2005, 177)In essence by banning hate-speech, and xenophobia, the European Union  hopes to create a minimal standard of cooperation between work and private life as to foster “secure incomes”, and promote social integration. This “European Social Agenda – approved in December 2000 at the Nice European Council” (Fitoussi 2005, 178) ultimately reduces poverty, improves equality, and creates a more valuable human capital which continues to benefit not only the individual citizens involved by improving their lives, but also by improving the economy of the union they are a part of.


As with trade, unionization of physical and social borders juxtaposes a certain amount of hypocrisy that is often over-shadowed by the  louder declarations of human rights. The idea that an inclusive union exists among member states, but excludes others (thus forming a border) is questionable at best. Do these “human rights” only exist within the realm of the European Union? Ironically a citizen residing outside of the European Union may not only be denied freedom of movement into (or work in) the European Union, but be the victim of xenophobia, merely because there exists a boarder to the Union. Ultimately, xenophobia, or dislike of foreigners, is manufactured by the Union’s own attempt to eradicate it. Indeed, Jus Soli (“right of soil”) still creates tiers of acceptable xenophobia as states apply to memberships within the European Union (Tiersky and Jones 2011, 392). 


Preparing for the worse

This Union however is much more diverse than even parallel multi-state unions (such as the United States of America). A single social reformatting, or Social Darwinism approach would likely result in failing to meet the “needs of citizens who live so [far]” away from each other, and “who face completely different problems”. (Fitoussi 2005, 179) So instead, what was created were “common agreed objectives” or targets, which each member state would in their own way, attempt to meet. These were called National Action Plans, and they were to be implemented against a ‘knowledge-based’ database of statistics and information that would, through indicators, allow the individual state to implement, and meet these desirable thresholds.


The state of Europe today, is an awareness unlike ever before in history. While xenophobia and hate speech persist in Europe, there is now a conscience effort to record, acknowledge and even defend against these once easily overlooked crimes. The Fundamental Rights Agency, established in 2007 (founded under regulation 168/2007), is charged with collecting and analyzing data from racism, xenophobia, LGBT issues, and religious hate crime. It serves as a conduit between “key stakeholders” and “policy makers”. It’s capable of advising European Union member states on policy implementation, as well as request of a European Union institution in matters of grave urgency (European Union for Fundamental Rights Agency 2011, 1). It was shortly after the agency was manifested into service that it released its report, called Report on Racism and Xenophobia in Member States of the European Union, and which would ultimately lead to the 2008 European Union decision by the same name. The report was stark, and painted a picture that despite efforts to publicize and educate member states, told of a continued atmosphere of under-compensation to victims, and a lack of implementation to combat these crimes. Despite the Union’s efforts, crimes persisted, and response to them by member states continued in their former minimizing attitude. The following admission by interim director Beate Winkler in her forward would be enough to send shockwaves through a post-September 11th Europe.


“In around half of the Member States, even with laws and procedures in place, there were no indications of any sanctions being applied.” (Fundamental Rights Agency 2007, 4)


The findings were devastating as curriculum vitaes were sent out in Sweden, France, Slovakia, and Hungary to gauge the hiring response by using stereotypically Arabic sounding names verses traditional alternatives:


“In Sweden it showed that having an Arabic-sounding name significantly reduced an applicant’s chances of finding work, and another study showed that changing to a Swedish name improved them.” (Fundamental Rights Agency 2007, 9)


With regards to housing discrimination, the Fundamental Rights Agency described the situation in Roma as a “vicious circle of exclusion and segregation (p11)”. It suggested that member states often blame the gap between education differences of population groups on “individual’s deficiencies” (p12) (lack of language or understanding of national culture) rather than a failure in the education system.


It became even more maddening when it came to violent racism and crime. The report states that as early as 2006, five member states reported no data when it came to these crimes. Ten had “limited” data, and only two (United Kingdom and Finland) had comprehensive data collection. It was clear that whatever obvious injustices were occurring, very few were being taken seriously, leaving one to wonder how far the silence may have censored the misdeeds of the member states.


To make it worse, eleven of the largest states in the European Union reported upward trends (including Germany, France and the United Kingdom). This is despite the Union’s public declaration that 2007 (named Equal Opportunities for All), and 2008 (Intercultural Dialogue) would be the years they had designated to condemn “in the most absolute terms all manifestations of racism and xenophobia.” (p15)  The conclusions of this report demanded that the draft of the framework decision on racism and xenophobia be adopted, and that member states take a criminal approach to those who intentionally conduct themselves in a manner which incites:


Violence or hate towards a group of people, or a person belonging to a group, defined on the basis of race, colour, descent, religion or belief, national or ethnic origin, as well as the public condoning, denial or gross trivialisation of crimes against humanity and war crimes.” (p148)


For the first time, Europe looked in the mirror and viewed itself for what it really was. In the weeks and month following, it collectively chose to fight this perceived threat to its unity by passing the decision on xenophobia and hate. The time was right in Brussels, but could member states manage a similar collective will to seize the day?



United Kingdom


“All that matters is what we do for each other.” 
                                                      ― 
Lewis Carroll


Continental Tradition & History Of Freedom of Speech in the United Kingdom

                In 1601 the Golden Speech, (as it would later be known,) by Queen Elizabeth-I in her final Parliament set the standards for the value of words. The speech, so loved, that it was later said that the “speech ought to be set in letters of gold'. (Speech’ 2005) Elizabeth-I was also one of the key figureheads of modern continental tradition, that government is given the power to “change society”. (Butty and Fleiner 2005) In Elizabeth-I’s case, she conquered the new world while simultaneously censoring Shakespeare. In a similar manner, royal colonizers, turned revolutionaries decided “individuals entering into a society, must give up a share of liberty to preserve the rest.” (Washington 1787)

Britain has always been an innovator of civility. Consider Beowulf who Thomas L Wymer and Erin F Labbie, describe as a story of “civilized rage” (Labbie and Wymer 2004) and where we begin the formation of civil society. As religious blasphemy laws are repealed that banned movies such as the Life of Brian, and outmoded norms on acceptable behavior are replaced with more encompassing laws that not only protect the church from hate, but prevent it from being the sole provider of it, new dilemmas arise. British philosopher John Stewart Mill “argued that free speech does not entitle us to perform speech acts that harm others, concluding that there is no right to defame others, or to shout "fire!" in a crowded theatre (causing panic, and perhaps deaths).” (O'Neill 2006)

Civic Republicanism, which should allow enlightened individuals to navigate society by clearly separating “the private and public sphere”, (Lister 2007) and with it intellectual morality from religious values, appears to have failed to turn us into self-governing/directed citizens, leaving us more under the category of “slavish and dependent human beasts fit only for life under despotic governments.” (Sleeper 2010) 


United Kingdom: Amending the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act

            Months prior, and in anticipation of the European Union’s 2008 Framework Decision on Xenophobia and Hate Speech, the United Kingdom quickly amended the Criminal Justice Act of 2003 to come into compliance with it. This change occurred buried in legislation which included laws against child pornography, nuclear terrorism, and murder.  With such spectacle legislation shadowing Section 74 and Schedule 16, Parliament managed to pass revisions to the public code that redefined freedom of speech and condemned hate.

               No doubt, it was a carefully choreographed move since most “British do not have a ‘gut instinct’ in favor of European integration, and they would likely see this law as a secession of not only national sovereignty, but personal sovereignty as well.  Indeed “there can be a tendency for Britain[…] to stick to moral absolutes and points of principle”, making freedom of speech an all or nothing right without compromise. (Koutrakou and Emerson 2000, 28) Indeed, the fallout afterwards was a media blitz which continuously prompted members of parliament to minimize the legislation as a “revision” of blasphemy laws, and reminded the public that Britain has always had a “negative right” to freedom of speech. (Freedom in all that which is not prohibited by law.) (Fernandes 2003)  Indeed those blasphemy laws were repealed by this same act.

The Public Response

During the initial implementation period in the United Kingdom you could find the constant civilian absolutism being combated by a government seeking a compromise. By 2009, one was able to witness the application of this law by calm and collected police constables outside of pubs in the United Kingdom, as drunken young men and women would exit using racial slurs towards fellow pub-crawlers. Upon advising the individuals that they were in violation of the Criminal Justice Act, and the legal repercussions for their civil discourse, they’d often walk over to the victim and apologize. (L. Jones 2012)

Soon however tensions grew among followers of religion(s) who considered portions of their beliefs in conflict with the law. These views, if publically expressed could be in violation of the law and construed as hate speech, or xenophobia. Such was the case about twenty-one days after the amending of the Criminal Justice Act, when street preacher Dale McAlpine told a police officer that homosexuality was a sin, and cited the Bible as his reasoning. Charges were eventually dropped, however it demonstrated exactly how unclear the definition of hate is in regards to freedom of expression. “Police commander for West Cumbria, said: ‘We would like to reassure the public that we respect, and are committed to upholding, the fundamental right to freedom of expression.’” (BBC 2010) Yet many would continue to insist that such reversals of “fortune” perpetuate the former mechanisms of xenophobia which the criminalization of such acts had hoped to eradicate.  I’m reminded of Moisés Kaufman who penned The Laramie Project and who asks of us to consider that each time someone uses hate in verbal form, that it plants the “seeds of violence” and by that act is violence. (Kaufman 2002)


U.K. Immigration

Things were about to get much worse than some drunk teenagers or a Hyde Park preacher. Tensions had been building since 1989, when the Cold War had come to an end, and coincidentally this new phobia replaced it. Initially “over the Iranian fatwa against Salman Rushdie after the publication of his 1988  novel The Satanic Verses(Jones, et al. 2011, 200) and later the July 7, 2005 terrorist attacks on London’s public transport. These events (in addition to 9/11 and the subsequent wars) transformed Britain’s accepted, and integrated Islamic community, which had existed for decades, into target for the new nationalistic identity emerging. A once (and technically still is) diverse melting pot diverged a rift between minorities (called outsiders [slur]) and the manufactured, traditional, secular British image. The result of this altered British identity was a perpetuation of torment towards individuals who were described as “burnt” or “Polish” as exemplified by the thirty-four year old Emma West, in her now famous YouTube captured Underground declaration called #mytramexperience:


'What has this country come to? A load of black people and a load of ****ing Polish. A load of ****ing, yeah... you're all ****ing... do you know what I mean? 

'You ain't English. No, you ain't English either. You ain't English. None of you's ****ing English. Get back to your own ****ing... do you know what sort out your own countries, don't come and do mine.

Go back to where you come from, go back to ****ing Nicaragua or where ever you come from. Just ****ing go back.

'I work, I work, I work, this is my British country until we let you lot come over.
'So what. It is my British country, you ain't British. Are you British? You ain't ****ing British. **** off.

'You ain't British, you're black. Where do you come from?

'No, someone's got to talk up for these lot. Look the whole ****ing tram, look at them. Who is black and who is white.

'There is all black and ****ing burnt people.' (Allen 2011)


West was charged, and remanded into custody ‘for her own safety’, and now awaits trial in June of 2012. She joins an ever growing list of court cases setting legal precedents not only in the United Kingdom, but around the Europe.

West might have a reason to be concerned, as the first successful prosecution under the country’s hate-speech legislation occurred just this past February (2012) when three Muslim taxi drivers were sent to jail for distributing pamphlets during a gay pride parade which suggested that the only way to prevent the corrupting of society is through the death penalty (stoning) for homosexuals. (BBC 2012) “Two other leaflets called Gay - an acronym for "God Abhors You" – and Turn or Burn were distributed around the same time.” (Brown 2012)They now face up to seven years in jail.

The Outcome.
What’s interesting about the publicity around the legislation, and subsequent application of the law is the increased dialogue not only of those convicted by it, but of their victims who are now free to explain, without retaliation, the terror of hate speech, because the perpetrators are now incarcerated. In the case of the Muslim taxi drivers, several recipients of the printed material were gay:

“During the trial, gay residents told of the impact the leaflet campaign had on their lives. They gave their evidence from behind screens because they said they were terrified of the group knowing they were gay.

One gay resident summed up the atmosphere in the area.
‘It used to be lovely round here,’ he said.

Now, because of these people, you don’t feel safe. I don’t have any problems with Muslims. But these lot need to realise we live in England, not some Islamic state.’

‘Sometimes I wondered whether I would be getting a burning rag through the letterbox or if I would be attacked in the street” -witness” (BBC 2012)

As the U.K. attempts to balance unity against sovereignty, a clearer picture emerges on the effectiveness of criminalizing hate. In 2009, there were 52,028 reported hate crimes. (Association of Chief Police Officers n.d.) By 2010 that number had dwindled to 48,127 (UK Home Office 2012). But this doesn’t necessarily paint a clear picture, as the 2009 numbers was the first time an annual inter-U.K. data collection had been polled. Previous years as estimates indicate a 12% increase between 2008-2009 at 46,300 (Hughes 2010). Yet advocates of the law state these numbers still “mask” the problems associated with hate-crime, and under-reporting of the crimes by victims and/or police continue to persist, though it may explain the increase in data numbers.

The numbers become even more interesting when you consider who has benefited the most from this law. White men (“75% White British Category”, “68% men”) statistically are the majority of the victims of reported hate crime, and interesting it’s men who are typically the defendants (suspected perpetrators) in hate-crime cases. (Natale 2010, 3)

           Considering who is really benefitting from the law, one has to ask of the skeptics, what personal sovereignty have you seceded? Indeed, Sigrid Rausing calls such behavior “paranoia” and finds this new “scare” a frightening response to a non-existence threat. While she makes her case against identity cards for immigrants, there is very little proof that immigrants or Brussels’s British-sized xenophobia laws are any cause for loss of sovereignty or personal freedoms. But the phobia that first occurred in 1989 is still prevalent among the British public. Referring to detained Russian women immigrants she states:


“Seeing the young Russian women in that room, I was struck by how ironic it was that one of our criticisms of the Soviet Union was that it refused to allow its citizens to emigrate.” (Rausing 2009)

Most of Europe traded the Cold War for xenophobia of immigrants at some point in the last twenty years, and the subsequent legislation both in the European Union directive and the amending of United Kingdom’s Criminal Justice Act serve as preventative measures to what could lead to ethnic wars from the inside out. While the United Kingdom has been an island unto itself in past wars, this one breaches all borders and states, including the English Channel. Those who argue that their freedom of speech is at risk are likely those same individuals who would have owned a fall-out shelter or food-storeroom, thirty-to-forty years ago. The Iron Curtain is no longer some set of bordering countries to communism, but the cultural differences that divide us.


It’s the words and actions of the individual that perpetuates this divide, and ultimately it’s the will of the larger civilization to dictate what is acceptable and what will ultimately define society. The fear of evaporating rights is simply another mechanism to aid anarchy, and the laws against it designed to maintain control of a very small amount of people who would risk the welfare of nations on their extreme personal beliefs.

Interestingly it’s not English pride, but prejudice towards immigrants which has invoked this climate of fear in the United Kingdom. This has led to the aforementioned discrimination, and results in hate and violence. It makes sense then, that only those who would be directly affected by laws which limit a person’s right to express prejudice, be the same individuals who perpetuate the phobia of sovereignty loss.

The poster child in Britain against the Criminal Justice Act, and who coincidentally is guilty of violating it several times over, is chairman of the British National Party, and member of the European Parliament, Nick Griffin. In addition to denying that Jews were ever gassed in Holocaust Germany, he has praised the concept of black separatism, and called Islam a “wicked faith.” When asked how to handle immigration, Nick Griffin stated boats en-route should be sunk into the ocean in order to prevent their crossing:

"I didn't say anyone should be murdered at sea — I say boats should be sunk(Griffin 2012)

It’s this mentality that Darcus Howe, a recent citizen of the United Kingdom and by birth Trinidad, and Tobago, would argue is the fraternizing xenophobia that immigrants are forced to endure for years to reach citizenship. Yet he reminds us of the fact that most native Brits, such as Griffin, would likely fail the citizenship test proposed for new migrants. He narrows down his observations of the climate within the United Kingdom to what I suspect would be a good description of what the Criminal Justice Act hopes to accomplish: “being a good neighbor” (Howe 2003).


          It’s these anti-hate laws which are integral in “maintaining public order… for the interest of minorities” who cannot compete in the “marketplace of ideas”[1] and provides equality to all citizens. (Fernandes 2003) The absence of such laws, prior to the Criminal Justice Act created a vacuum in which some had greater levels of freedom of speech than minorities or immigrants. This imbalance, much like in the scales of justice, invokes the idea of fairness.

For the Criminal Justice Act to be legitimate it must be applied uniformly and provide equitable fairness for citizens to express themselves without infringing on others’ rights. Fairness is often a difficult thing to measure, as a balance of freedom surely requires one of the invested parties to lose something to balance the other party’s gain. Historically speaking such behavior resulted from a dwindling public commons in reference to cramped geographical borders. (Snell 2003) This, an ironic revelation considering Britain is an island. We can clearly see human behavior at work, by recalling The Tragedy of The Commons.  In essence, it’s greed which causes us to demand inequality in our benefit. In freedom of speech, the former system of xenophobia and hate benefited some British citizens who saw an eroding (spoken) commons by incoming immigrants. When their advantage, their “freedom of speech”, was leveraged in a more balanced and fair manner, the end result was to claim the law is unjust.
Elsewhere Receives a 2014 ArtPlace America Grant for South Elm Projects--Yes!Weekly
June 26th, 2014 -- 11:36 AM


GREENSBOROElsewhere announced today that it is among 55 grantees selected out of 1,270 applicants for ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) in 2014. Elsewhere received a $200,000 grant to activate four alleyways and green-spaces in the vibrant, naturally occurring cultural district of its South Elm neighborhood in downtown Greensboro, NC. This ‘artscaping’ project will connect downtown’s core with surrounding neighborhoods, advancing creative partnerships, social access, and walkability in public passages. Projects will be commissioned from more than 20 national and local artists, designers, and collectives.

"In 2003, when we first entered my grandmother's store in what was then a very sleepy downtown, we knew that Elsewhere's success was intimately tied to the growth of South Elm as a neighborhood," said George Scheer, Elsewhere’s Co-Founder, Director, and grandson of former store proprietress Sylvia Gray. "From day one we worked to be a catalyst and anchor for a creative evolution. Artplace marks the next stage in that transformation. In advance of mega development, we have an opportunity to grow and secure the collaborative character and inclusive spirit of our neighborhood."

Linda A Carlisle, Former Secretary, NC Department of Cultural Resources, remarked, “Elsewhere demonstrates the power of visionary arts and grassroots culture in revitalizing our city. Elsewhere is putting Greensboro on the map for creativity and innovation.”

"Greensboro is endeavoring to utilize art to spur economic development in the city. The value of this project is that it utilizes art to affirm and increase the life of the city" said Robert L. Powell Jr., Assistant Professor at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University and advisor on South Elm Projects.

“Investing in and supporting the arts have a profound impact on the social, physical, and economic futures of communities,” said ArtPlace Executive Director Jamie L. Bennett. “Projects like these demonstrate how imaginative and committed people are when it comes to enhancing their communities with creative interventions and thoughtful practices.”

South Elm Projects will engage a dynamic process of community visioning and cultural imagination and extend Elsewhere’s 12-year legacy of re-purposeful design and collaborative partnerships into the streets, starting with the alley behind our building, and extending throughout our neighborhood. Scheer expressed excitement for the project, “We are so privileged to be on this amazing adventure with the opportunity to commission new artworks that will further connect our neighborhood.”

To learn more about South Elm Projects, meet our partners, and become involved, visit http://goelsewhere.org/southelmprojects.


About Elsewhere:
Elsewhere is an artist-run, non-profit art organization and residency program, set in a former thrift store in downtown Greensboro, NC. Utilizing the massive 58-year inventory, Elsewhere’s environment of art and everyday objects invokes new modes for creative response, living, doing, and exchanging in our downtown neighborhood and across the world.


About ArtPlace America:
ArtPlace America (ArtPlace) advances the field of creative placemaking, in which art and culture plays an explicit and central role in shaping communities’ social, physical, and economic futures.  To date, ArtPlace has awarded $56.8 million through 189 grants to projects serving 122 communities across 42 states and the District of Columbia.

ArtPlace is a collaboration among the Barr Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.

ArtPlace seeks advice and counsel from its close working relationships with the following federal agencies: the National Endowment for the Arts, the US Departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

ArtPlace has additional partnership from six major financial institutions: Bank of America, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Chase, MetLife and Morgan Stanley.

The deadline for submission for a 2015 grant application will be announced later this year. For more information or to join ArtPlace’s mailing list, visit www.artplaceamerica.org.

For additional information about ArtPlace contact: Bow Bridge Communications, LLC, New York City, Libby Mark, Managing Principal, 917- 968-5567, info@bow-bridge.com.



A press release.

Marshville Mayor's Unlikely Story Being Made into TV Movie--News 14 - TOP STORIES
June 24th, 2014 -- 4:04 PM

Franklin Deese's unlikely story of rising from a convicted felon who served more than 10 years in prison to being elected mayor is being turned into a TV movie. That movie is filming this week at the Union County Jail.

Eastern Music Festival Announces 2014 Season with over 100 music related events--Yes!Weekly
June 23rd, 2014 -- 6:07 PM





"Celebrate 53 Years of The Best Music with Eastern Music Festival!  Join EMF and Music Director, Gerard Schwarz for five weeks filled with more than 100 music-related events. Enjoy great music every night of the week during June 23 – July 26, 2014!  Approximately 200 young artists and 80 faculty musicians return to Eastern Music Festival (EMF) to study, enjoy and share classical music with the community. 
“Our 53rd season continues with the broad focus of our festival: great music from the 18th Century to the present, a superb faculty orchestra, and some of the world's greatest guest artists,” states Music Director Gerard Schwarz. “Many of our Festival Orchestra concerts begin with an American work, and we combine the greatest standards of the repertoire such as the Barber Violin Concerto and the Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with lesser known works, such as the Ibert Concertino da camera. Our chamber concerts on Mondays and Tuesdays combine the forces of our distinguished faculty and guest artists playing a wide range of chamber music, and our special events include performances of Faure’s Requiem and a concert of concertos by Vivaldi, whichever  brings our festival out into the entire community.”
Exceptional guest artists joining EMF this season include cellist Lynn Harrell, flutist Sir James Galway, violinists Elmar Oliveira and James Ehnes, as well as pianist Jon Kimura Parker. Other season highlights will include the Fifth Annual Piano Competition and  performance at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts, the EMFkids camps Family Concert,  a collaboration with Greensboro Ballet performing George Balanchine’s® Serenade set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, op.48, the inaugural EMF Fun Run to raise money for a 2015 student scholarship, and this year we are featuring guest artist CD sales and signings; also Gerard Schwarz will be signing DVDs of the Emmy Award winning All-Star Orchestra!
To purchase tickets to any EMF event, visit our website at www.EasternMusicFestival.org or contact the Eastern Music Festival Box Office at Triad Stage by calling 866.579.TIXX or 336.274.0160. 
  
The Joseph M. Bryan, Jr. Festival Orchestra Series
The Eastern Music Festival Board has honored one of its longtime stellar members by naming its signature Saturday evening series for Joseph M. Bryan, Jr.
Stephanie Cordick, Executive Director notes, “Joe has been an intricate part of the life of Eastern Music Festival for many seasons as he has served on its Board of Directors off and on for the past 30 years. He served as President of the Board from 1981-1984 and again from 2000-2005. At the Board’s request, Joe stepped in to serve as unpaid Executive Director for EMF, at one point. The outstanding leadership and valuable fiscal director that Joe provided during that time in no small way helped ensure EMF’s celebration of its 50th Anniversary Season in 2011.” 
The popular Saturday evening series, sponsored by Lincoln Financial, opens on June 28th with guest artist Lynn Harrell, cello. Sir James Galway, flutist (July 5) and Elmar Oliveira, violinist (July 21), Jon Kimura Parker, pianist (July 19), and James Ehnes, violinist (July 26). Repertoire highlights include Bloch: Schelomo; Hebraic Rhapsody; the World Premiere of Corigliano: Lullaby performed by Jeffrey Multer, violin (made possible through ten years of commissions provided by Bonnie McElveen Hunter); and Dvořák Symphony No. 8. All Festival Orchestra Series performances are on Saturday evenings at 8:00 pm, in Dana Auditorium, on the campus of Guilford College. Be sure to come early for our Concert Preludes on the Dana Lawn at 7:15 pm each week! For guest artists’ biographies, as well as more information concerning each evening’s performances, please visit our website at www.EasternMusicFestival.org

Monday and Tuesday Night Chamber Series
The Monday evening UNCG Chamber Series presents thoughtfully selected repertoire performed by our talented professional musicians and faculty members. Join us each week when the EMF faculty performs chamber selections alongside our outstanding guest artists including Lynn Harrell, cello, William Wolfram, piano, Elmar Oliveira, violin, Robert Vernon, viola, Jon Kimura Parker, piano, and Keith Spencer, baritone. Elmar Oliveira will be signing CDs following the Monday Night Chamber Series performance on July 14. Concert dates are June 23, June 30, July 7, July 14, and July 21 at 8pm in the UNCG School of Music Recital Hall.
For even more chamber music, join EMF each Tuesday at Christ United Methodist Church     (410 North Holden Road) at 8pm for our EMF Chamber Series at Christ United Methodist Church. Concert dates are June 24, July1, July 8, July 15, and July 22. Our talented faculty members perform “the music of friends” in this intimate setting.

Wednesday Friends & Great Performers Series
From pianos and organs to concertos and operas, the Friends & Great Performers Series showcases a range of diverse events in distinctive settings. Kicking off the series is the annual EMF Piano Gala on June 25, at 8:00 pm at Dana Auditorium, Guilford College featuring pianists, Gideon Rubin and William Wolfram.
Join us July 2, at 7pm at Carolina Theatre for a collaboration between EMF and Greensboro Ballet presenting George Balanchine’s® Serenade set to Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, op.48. “Sing To Love”, an EMF and Greensboro Opera collaboration on July 9, 8pm and The Music of Antonio Vivaldi featuring EMF musicians on July 16, 8pm, at Temple Emanuel (1129 Jefferson Road). Rounding out the Friends & Great Performers series on July 23 is The Organ and Choral Music of Fauré & Langlais featuring Gerard Schwarz, conductor, Carole Ott, guest conductor, Kathryn Mueller, soprano, Keith Spencer, baritone, and Andre Lash, organ, 8pm, at Christ United Methodist Church
Tannenbaum-Sternberger Young Artists Series
The Tannenbaum-Sternberger Young Artists Orchestras are comprised of EMF’s outstanding pre-professional musicians. These gifted students, aged 14-22, come from around the world to study and perform in Greensboro. Each week, you will hear them rise to the challenge of an increasingly demanding repertoire. During the final week of the festival, young artists are the featured soloists in our Concerto Competition Winners concerts. All concerts are held every Thursday and Friday at 8:00 pm in Dana Auditorium at Guilford College. 
José-Luis Novo and Grant Cooper, associate conductors,  lead the students through their musical journey and performances; in additionally, they will perform under the baton of Maestro Gerard Schwarz. Repertoire highlights for the Young Artists Series include Strauss: Stravinsky: Le Sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring); Cooper: Appalachian Autumn; Beethoven: Symphony No. 2 in D major.
Performing alongside our Young Artists are notable Guest Artists Neal Cary, cello (July 4) Jeffrey Multer, violin (July 11); and William Wolfram, pianist, (July 18).
For a complete listing of Young Artists Orchestra Series dates and repertoire, visit our website at www.EasternMusicFestival.org
Family Tickets - EMF Family Pack: $5 /Adults (up to 2 adults), $1 / Children (up to 4 children)
**Made possible by the generous support of Dr. Samuel M. LeBauer

Bonus Concerts and Special Events
On Sunday July 13, come dressed as your favorite character from Star Wars and run or walk to raise money for a 2015 EMF student scholarship in the inaugural EMF Fun Run & 5K, 9am on the campus of Guilford College! Register now at www.EasternMusicFestival.org and receive a free t-shirt at packet pick-up! The Young Artists Orchestra Pops Concert will also be held on Sunday, July 13, at 6:30pm, on Founders Lawn at Guilford College featuring GUEST CONDUCTOR, in conjunction with the Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park.
EMFkids camps presents the 2014 Family Concert on Saturday, July 19, 1:30pm at Dana Auditorium on the campus of Guilford College. Featuring Associate Conductor Grant Cooper’s, On the Appalachian Trail, and Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. EMF Family Pack: $5 /Adults (up to 2 adults), $1 / Children (up to 4 children). Pre-activities, food and fun, for families begin at 1pm.
Opening the 2014 EMF Fringe Series in collaboration with Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park will be Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba Sunday July 20, 6:30pm, on the Lawn at Dana Auditorium on the campus of Guilford College, admission is free.
Eastern Music Festival Piano Sale will be held July 25-27 on the campus of Guilford College. Seiler pianos used by EMF guest artists are available for sale at a fraction of their true value. 
For best selection, please schedule a preview appointment today:  (800) 203-4548.
Guest artists Master Classes will be held throughout the season. For more information and a complete listing of Bonus Concerts, visit our website at www.EasternMusicFestival.org
For the most up-to-date Festival information, be sure to follow us on Facebook (Eastern Music Festival) and Twitter (EMFGreensboro). 

Tickets
To purchase tickets to any EMF event, visit our website at www.EasternMusicFestival.org or contact the Eastern Music Festival Box Office at Triad Stage (232 South Elm Street) by calling 866.579.TIXX or 336.274.0160. 
Season and single tickets are currently on sale. Triad Stage service fees will apply to all ticket purchases made via phone or online. For a list of detailed prices and more information on tickets, including discounted and group specials, visit www.EasternMusicFestival.org

About Eastern Music Festival
The Eastern Music Festival’s mission is to promote musical enrichment, excellence, professional collaboration, innovation and diversity through a nationally-recognized teaching program, music festival, concerts and other programs which will enhance the quality of life, health and vitality of our region. Eastern Music Festival is distinctive, set apart by our accomplished faculty, exhilarating repertoire, brilliant students, world-renowned visiting artists and extensive community outreach. 
The Eastern Music Festival and School, founded in 1961 in Greensboro, North Carolina, by Sheldon Morgenstern, is an internationally-renowned classical music festival and institute for young musicians that runs for five weeks each summer. The institute accepts students ages 14 through 22 from around the country and the world. The EMF faculty consists of world-class performing artists selected from top orchestras and music schools nationally and internationally. Led by music director Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Music Festival and School celebrates its 53rd season in 2014.
The 2014 Eastern Music Festival season is made possible with support of the Lincoln Financial Foundation and the following sponsors: Lincoln Financial Advisors,  Top Jewish Foundation, Audio & Light, The Carl & Toby Sloane Family Foundation, Bluezoom, Christ United Methodist Church, DMJ, Whole Foods of Greensboro, Arts Greensboro, Guilford College, High Point University, Green Valley Grill, Greensboro Ballet, The Mebane Foundation, McMillion Capital Management, The Music Academy of North Carolina, NC Arts Council, Pennybyrn Maryfield, Piedmont Music Center, Seiler Piano, Print Works Bistro, O Henry Hotel, Wyndham Championship, Carolina Theatre, Zildjian, Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation, Summit Rotary, Temple Emanuel, News & Record, 88.5 WFDD, Hugh Hodgson School of Music, UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, BB&T, Well Spring, Greensboro Rotary Club, Rice Collision Center, and GoTriad.
Proximity and O.Henry hotels are the Official Hotels of the Eastern Music Festival.
Major financial support for Eastern Music Festival provided by the United Arts Council of Greater Greensboro.
For the most up-to-date Festival information, be sure to follow us on Facebook (EasternMusicFestival) and Twitter (EMFGreensboro)."
A Press Release

GREENHILL PRESENTS FOLLOWING THREADS, A DRAWING & FIBER EXHIBITION--Yes!Weekly
June 19th, 2014 -- 11:30 PM


Greenhill announces the exhibition Following Threads:
Fiber Art and Drawing on display from Sept. 19-Nov. 9.

Becky Joye, Lantern, 2010, acrylic

and pencil on paper, 30 x 22 inches

©Becky Joye, Courtesy Greenhill

"Following Threads highlights four artists, Harriet Hoover, Becky Joye, Leigh Suggs, and Jason Watson, who investigate the drawn and stitched line in figurative and abstract works that stretch the definitions of drawing. Hoover, Joye, Suggs and Watson all have artistic practices that embrace several mediums, producing studio drawings as well as works utilizing fiber, collage, hand and machine sewing, and installation.  Thematic threads link their graphic and fiber work as well as their multidisciplinary approaches which explore personal narrative spaces.

Line, Touch, Trace, an exhibition presenting 13 North Carolina artists focusing on draftsmanship curated by Edie Carpenter, was developed concurrently with Following Threads and is on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art from August 31, 2014 through March 4, 2015. 
Harriet Hoover’s works combining several media are informed by the artist’s desire “to uncover stories of a place and its history.” In Following Threads Hoover associates drawing and collage in a new group of works that may be viewed from two sides, including large-scale floor to ceiling collages. Hoover’s assemblages, like her 2-d works, are composed from found materials and often bear the names of the places where the artist gathered them.  These cast-off remnants are “manipulated, stitched and bound” by the artist in free-standing sculptural pieces that possess a strong material presence and poetic resonance. Greensboro-based artist Harriet Hoover has attended the Penland School of Crafts and studied landscape architecture at The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She holds a bachelor’s degree in textile technology and fiber arts focus from NC State University and a MFA from UNC-Greensboro. She currently teaches at NC A & T State University. Recent exhibition venues include LIGHT, Art and Design in Chapel Hill, Art in Odd Places in Greensboro, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. 

Harriet Hoover, Sporting with an Overturned Cart,

2014, paper, gouache, Sumi ink, 54 x 38 inches©Harriet Hoover, Courtesy Greenhill

Becky Joye’s acrylic and pencil drawings on paper depict imaginary structures resembling farm silos, communication towers, or fairgrounds.  Nostalgic machine-age constructions are depicted with precisionist line.  Ductwork and pylons are often festooned with floating kite-like appendages in bright colors evoking aerial circuses and dreams of flight.  At Greenhill Joye will present a new group of larger drawings on paper inspired by “industrial winding towers and vintage toys” from a recent trip to Germany.  These works on paper will be seen in association with the artist’s machine-sewn fabric collages in vivid patterns and new three-dimensional works. Charlotte native Becky Joye graduated from the UNC-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2003. She is currently a member artist at Artspace in Raleigh after being a Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence in 2013. She recently was in the exhibition Thought Maps & Ladders with artist Ray at Artspace. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including The Drawing Show, Pump Project, Austin, TX; a solo exhibition at Designbox, Raleigh;  Unraveled at the Block Gallery  in Raleigh and Contemporary South at the Visual Arts Exchange in Raleigh.  She was a 2014 Artfields finalist, in Lake City, South Carolina.
Leigh Suggs produces painstakingly crafted works involving “the use of singular pattern producing gestures such as weaving, wrapping, stitching, and adhering.” Ink pen line drawings in geometric patterns form polyhedrons and subtle variations in the flow of ink create pulsating effects of light line against a dark ground. In some of Suggs most well-known works, hundreds of petal shaped paper elements of are stitched in concentric circles, overlapping petals varying in opacity and density forming large circular wall constructions.  Seen together Suggs’ works reveal a practice both precise and obsessive, in which light as much as line is enlisted by the artist to produce subtle shifts in reading and evoke organic as well as celestial metaphors. Leigh Suggs is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Leigh is a recent recipient of the NC Arts Council Fellowship Grant and has shown her work at LIGHT, Art and Design in Chapel Hill, the Weatherspoon Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh.
Jason Watson is a mixed-media artist, whose work combines interests in the figure, found objects, and text fragments as visual material.  Watson’s drawings and collages are visual assemblages of remnants of our collective cultural past. Starting with historic statues and portrait busts sketched in museums or at historical monuments, his works serve as storybook-like illustrations providing a pictorial space for various cultural artifacts to inhabit. The artist’s interest in the object is pushed to the extreme in new works combining drawing, stitching and assemblage.  Watson has exhibited in galleries, universities and non-profit spaces including in Drawing Revisited at Greenhill in 2010 and Jason Watson: A Second Look, at the Jersey City Museum in 2007-2008.   Watson recently completed an artist residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC where he was the Wesley Mancini Artist in Residence for 2013. 


Associated Programs and Events
·        Public Opening: Friday, September 19 | 5:30-8:30 pm
Between 5:30 – 6:30 pm Greenhill Members are invited to hear Curator Edie Carpenter’s comments in The Gallery.  At 6:30 pm The Gallery opens to the public. Cash Bar and light hors d'oeuvres provided by The Fresh Market.  

·        First Friday: October 3, 6-9 pm: Live music at 6:30 pm by Farewell Friend

·        Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Presentations by Leigh Suggs and Jason Watson where they will discuss the themes, intentions, and material processes employed in their artworks.

·        Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Presentations by Harriet Hoover and Becky Joye where they will discuss the themes, intentions, and material processes employed in their artworks.

·        First Friday: November 7, 6-9 pm, Live music at 6:30 pm the Triangle Improvisation Collective

About Greenhill

The mission of Greenhill is to promote the visual arts of North Carolina by engaging a broad community of artists, adults and children through dynamic exhibitions and educational programs and providing a platform for exploration and investment in art. Greenhill is the only non-collecting organization dedicated to presenting, promoting and advocating for contemporary visual art and artists of NC.  Since its founding in 1974, the organization has presented and sold artwork of over 9,850 visual artists and engaged nearly one million visitors through free access to The Gallery, The Shop & ArtQuest, the award-winning education program for children & families. Greenhill is located in downtown Greensboro in the Greensboro Cultural Center. www.greenhillnc.org"
A Press Release

GREENHILL PRESENTS FOLLOWING THREADS, A DRAWING & FIBER EXHIBITION--Yes!Weekly
June 17th, 2014 -- 12:55 PM

"Greenhill announces the exhibition Following Threads: Fiber Art and Drawing on display from September 19 through November 9, 2014.

Following Threads highlights four artists, Harriet Hoover, Becky Joye, Leigh Suggs, and Jason Watson, who investigate the drawn and stitched line in figurative and abstract works that stretch the definitions of drawing. Hoover, Joye, Suggs and Watson all have artistic practices that embrace several mediums, producing studio drawings as well as works utilizing fiber, collage, hand and machine sewing, and installation.  Thematic threads link their graphic and fiber work as well as their multidisciplinary approaches which explore personal narrative spaces.

Line, Touch, Trace, an exhibition presenting 13 North Carolina artists focusing on draftsmanship curated by Edie Carpenter, was developed concurrently with Following Threads and is on view at the North Carolina Museum of Art from August 31, 2014 through March 4, 2015. 
Harriet Hoover’s works combining several media are informed by the artist’s desire “to uncover stories of a place and its history.” In Following Threads Hoover associates drawing and collage in a new group of works that may be viewed from two sides, including large-scale floor to ceiling collages. Hoover’s assemblages, like her 2-d works, are composed from found materials and often bear the names of the places where the artist gathered them.  These cast-off remnants are “manipulated, stitched and bound” by the artist in free-standing sculptural pieces that possess a strong material presence and poetic resonance. Greensboro-based artist Harriet Hoover has attended the Penland School of Crafts and studied landscape architecture at The Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. She holds a bachelor’s degree in textile technology and fiber arts focus from NC State University and a MFA from UNC-Greensboro. She currently teaches at NC A & T State University. Recent exhibition venues include LIGHT, Art and Design in Chapel Hill, Art in Odd Places in Greensboro, and the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro. 

Becky Joye’s acrylic and pencil drawings on paper depict imaginary structures resembling farm silos, communication towers, or fairgrounds.  Nostalgic machine-age constructions are depicted with precisionist line.  Ductwork and pylons are often festooned with floating kite-like appendages in bright colors evoking aerial circuses and dreams of flight.  At Greenhill Joye will present a new group of larger drawings on paper inspired by “industrial winding towers and vintage toys” from a recent trip to Germany.  These works on paper will be seen in association with the artist’s machine-sewn fabric collages in vivid patterns and new three-dimensional works. Charlotte native Becky Joye graduated from the UNC-Charlotte with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2003. She is currently a member artist at Artspace in Raleigh after being a Regional Emerging Artist-in-Residence in 2013. She recently was in the exhibition Thought Maps & Ladders with artist Ray at Artspace. Her work has been featured in numerous exhibitions, including The Drawing Show, Pump Project, Austin, TX; a solo exhibition at Designbox, Raleigh;  Unraveled at the Block Gallery  in Raleigh and Contemporary South at the Visual Arts Exchange in Raleigh.  She was a 2014 Artfields finalist, in Lake City, South Carolina.
Leigh Suggs produces painstakingly crafted works involving “the use of singular pattern producing gestures such as weaving, wrapping, stitching, and adhering.” Ink pen line drawings in geometric patterns form polyhedrons and subtle variations in the flow of ink create pulsating effects of light line against a dark ground. In some of Suggs most well-known works, hundreds of petal shaped paper elements of are stitched in concentric circles, overlapping petals varying in opacity and density forming large circular wall constructions.  Seen together Suggs’ works reveal a practice both precise and obsessive, in which light as much as line is enlisted by the artist to produce subtle shifts in reading and evoke organic as well as celestial metaphors. Leigh Suggs is currently an MFA candidate at Virginia Commonwealth University and holds a BFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Leigh is a recent recipient of the NC Arts Council Fellowship Grant and has shown her work at LIGHT, Art and Design in Raleigh, the Weatherspoon Museum, and the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh.
Jason Watson is a mixed-media artist, whose work combines interests in the figure, found objects, and text fragments as visual material.  Watson’s drawings and collages are visual assemblages of remnants of our collective cultural past. Starting with historic statues and portrait busts sketched in museums or at historical monuments, his works serve as storybook-like illustrations providing a pictorial space for various cultural artifacts to inhabit. The artist’s interest in the object is pushed to the extreme in new works combining drawing, stitching and assemblage.  Watson has exhibited in galleries, universities and non-profit spaces including in Drawing Revisited at Greenhill in 2010 and Jason Watson: A Second Look, at the Jersey City Museum in 2007-2008.   Watson recently completed an artist residency at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC where he was the Wesley Mancini Artist in Residence for 2013. 


Associated Programs and Events
·        Public Opening: Friday, September 19 | 5:30-8:30 pm
Between 5:30 – 6:30 pm Greenhill Members are invited to hear Curator Edie Carpenter’s comments in The Gallery.  At 6:30 pm The Gallery opens to the public. Cash Bar and light hors d'oeuvres provided by The Fresh Market.  

·        First Friday: October 3, 6-9 pm: Live music at 6:30 pm by Farewell Friend

·        Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 15, 2014, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Presentations by Leigh Suggs and Jason Watson where they will discuss the themes, intentions, and material processes employed in their artworks.

·        Artist Talk: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 5:30 – 7:00 pm
Presentations by Harriet Hoover and Becky Joye where they will discuss the themes, intentions, and material processes employed in their artworks.

·        First Friday: November 7, 6-9 pm, Live music at 6:30 pm the Triangle Improvisation Collective

About Greenhill

The mission of Greenhill is to promote the visual arts of North Carolina by engaging a broad community of artists, adults and children through dynamic exhibitions and educational programs and providing a platform for exploration and investment in art. Greenhill is the only non-collecting organization dedicated to presenting, promoting and advocating for contemporary visual art and artists of NC.  Since its founding in 1974, the organization has presented and sold artwork of over 9,850 visual artists and engaged nearly one million visitors through free access to The Gallery, The Shop & ArtQuest, the award-winning education program for children & families. Greenhill is located in downtown Greensboro in the Greensboro Cultural Center. www.greenhillnc.org"
A Press Release

For local elected officials (and the News & Record)--Roch101
June 9th, 2014 -- 10:45 AM

GREENSBORO, NC -- To our local elected officials who insist on planting their online presence exclusively on Facebook (usually with a mandatory log in, no less): I'm sure the ability to be able to "block" people who ask incontinent questions has its appeal, but you should think about what the guy in this video has to say and the implications of requiring your constituents to use Facebook as the online conduit to you.

What are you asking us to acquiesce to to be able to connect with you? This is applies too to the News & Record too, who not only requires a FB log in to post comments, but requires that users accept the FB tracking cookie just to be able to even see comments.

Should High Point Road have an 'International Restaurant Row?'--The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area
June 9th, 2014 -- 6:59 AM

High Point Road in Greensboro is home to a diverse array of restaurants and a Greensboro city councilman wants to see that celebrated. Fox 8 reports that Greensboro City Councilman Tony Wilkins has proposed branding a two-mile stretch of the road south of Interstate 40 as “International Restaurant Row.” There are 38 restaurants there, and while some of them are fast-food chains, there is an ethnically diverse selection, Wilkins says. The city plans to change the road's name to Gate City Boulevard…

Special entitlement--Roch101
June 5th, 2014 -- 9:45 AM

GREENSBORO, NC -- Joe Killian of the News & Record writes of city council woman Nancy Hoffman's downtown properties being cited for code violations. Specifically for violations of the downtown "good repair" ordinance, an ordinance approved with the intention of keeping downtown properties from becoming eyesores.
"City Councilwoman Nancy Hoffmann’s company, South End Properties LLC, was cited by the city on Wednesday for violating the Good Repair ordinance — a regulation she helped craft and pass." [emphasis added]
[snip]
"The citation said Hoffmann’s company received a warning about violations such as broken windows and boarded-up areas last July." [note: According to county records, Hoffman's company purchased both buildings in October of last year.]
[snip]
"Hoffmann said she bought the buildings last year and has been working toward a renovation of them using historic tax credits."
Hoffman also was quoted as saying:  "These things don’t happen overnight."

Here's the problem, Hoffman not only voted for the ordinance she is violating, she helped craft a more-stringent version (that did not pass) and was unmoved by concerns expressed at the time by follow council person T. Dianne Bellamy-Small about "expediting improvements versus compassionate treatment of property owners."

Now Hoffman is pleading that these kinds of repairs take time and for some compassionate understanding. She may have a good point. However, if Hoffman is finding the ordinance, under which her properties were cited, is too demanding, she should go back to council and, with her experience as a guide, suggest loosening the requirements of the ordinance. What she cannot do is remain in support of the ordinance while she makes excuses for why she is not complying with it. That kind of self-serving double standard is not desirable in elected officials.

Bruce Davis for HP mayor?--Piedmont Publius
June 4th, 2014 -- 11:34 AM

High Point Enterprise reports Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis is considering a run for mayor: Davis told the Enterprise that he would make a decision about whether to run for mayor after consulting with his family. “To go into another campaign — it takes a lot,” he said. “It is something I have not ruled […]

MAYOR NANCY VAUGHN TO LEAD GREENBORO’S TRIBUTE TO MAYA ANGELOU AT THE CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM --Yes!Weekly
June 2nd, 2014 -- 11:48 AM

"The International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM) will celebrate the life of the Piedmont Triad’s legendary poet Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014), Fri., June 6, 6:30 p.m. The tribute coincides with the monthly First Friday festivities. Mayor Nancy Vaughan will lead the program with the presentation of a resolution signed by members of City Council. The instrumentalists and vocalists to appear include: harpist Rycal Simmons Blount who performs with the Temple Brass at Providence Baptist Church; Northeast High School Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Yelverton, and as well the Vocal Honors Ensemble and Musical Misfits under the direction of Robert Jarrell; and The Brothas, a band whose versatility ranges from gospel to jazz to hip-hop. Several local women will share their reflections on Angelou’s legacy as they read selections of her poems. Among the lineup of “phenomenal women,” as the famed poet would call them, are: Amelia Parker, founding executive director, ICRCM; Shirley Frye, Chair, Joseph M. Bryan Foundation; Adri-Anne Jones, professor of English, North Carolina A & T State University; Valerie A. Johnson, director, Honors Program, Bennett College for Women; and others. The First Friday event is open to the public free of charge.

Angelou is highlighted in ICRCM’s main exhibition—The Battlegrounds—that examines efforts of committed activists to dismantle institutionalized practices of racial segregation and oppression. During her varied career Angelou served as editor of the Arab Observer while living in Cairo, Egypt, and as feature editor for The African Review, and writer for The Ghanaian Times while living in Accra, Ghana. She also taught in the School of Music and Drama at the University of Ghana in nearby Legon. During her time in Ghana, Angelou met Malcolm X. Upon returning to the United States she worked with him in building the Organization of Afro-American Unity, inspired in part by the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union). When the organization dissolved following the assassination of Malcolm X, Angelou would serve as the Northern Coordinator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, at the invitation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who headed the civil rights organization.        
Celebrated around the world, Angelou like many others, had humble beginnings. The Oprah Winfrey Foundation underwrote one of the Museum’s long-term exhibitions in honor of Angelou. Bearing the title of one of her signature poems, And Still I Rise!, the installation features African American performing artists and athletes who broke racially restrictive barriers with relentless determination. An excerpt from the poem introduces the exhibition with a profound sense of optimism as it proclaims:

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise

Like the lives of those who achieved success on the most celebrated stages and fields of competition, Parker reflected on the life and legacy of Angelou with these words: “She was a gift to this world, and she showed us how to live life even when you are challenged by obstacles.”




A TRIBUTE TO DR. MAYA ANGELOU

International Civil Rights Center & Museum
134 South Elm Street
Greensboro, North Carolina 27401

Friday, June 6, 2014
6:30 p.m.

336.274.9199

www.sitinmovement.org

Robbie Perkins, Roy Carroll, TREBIC, RUCO and Downtown Noise--Abner's Inquisition
May 30th, 2014 -- 9:46 AM

"Perkins made his announcement surrounded by friends in the real-estate industry,
including developer Roy Carroll and lawyer Henry Isaacson.

“The realtors and the builders have been my base for my candidacy for 17-18 years,” Perkins said.

“In fact, before I even got into politics,
Trip Brown and I worked to get an organization together
that was the precursor of TREBIC way back when.

And we started that because we wanted better communication with the city and the county
because we knew that we were creating jobs doing what we were doing for a living
and we needed to communicate with the city and the county
as to what they were doing with their regulations.”

"Communicate," as in reduce "regulations"?

Chester “Trip” Brown Jr. is the chairman of the board of Brown Investment Properties.

The organization they helped establish,
the Triad Real Estate and Building Industries Coalition, or TREBIC,
is a prominent player in city-county politics
and has been involved with virtually every aspect of city policy concerning land use and housing.

Didn't TREBIC argue against having one tree per new lower income home?

Where does Robbie stand on the one tree rule?

Despite the close relationship,
Perkins has become a vocal supporter of the city’s proactive rental housing inspection program,
which TREBIC has attempted to dismantle.

Doesn't the RUCO advisory board meet at TREBIC headquarters?

Perkins is the president of NAI Piedmont Triad, a commercial real estate company.

“If you’ve got a conflict, you disclose the conflict and you abstain,”
the candidate told a reporter after the press conference,
adding that he believes the benefits of being involved in the real estate industry outweigh the negatives."

How about the conflict of taking a Guilford County Tax Break
for a shopping center?

Jordan

Dear Greensboro City Council:--Abner's Inquisition
May 30th, 2014 -- 9:46 AM

Please stop soliciting campaign cash
from those with business coming up with Greensboro City Council.

Just because City Council may vote to give incentive money to X,
doesn't mean X should be asked for money.

Please stop.

GH

Pornography, Porno, Porn, XXX in Greensboro, North Carolina--Abner's Inquisition
May 30th, 2014 -- 9:46 AM

If pictures of women in tennis attire is pornographic,
should all Greensboro women’s tennis programs be cancelled?

Should all children in public school
be taught that evil is compatible with an omnipotent and benevolent God?

If some believe pictures of women and men in bathing suits is pornographic,
should public swimming pools will be closed?

Are members of a church more likely to give campaign contributions
to a "pious" Council Member who attends the same church,
after said church’s preacher gives a sermon on the dangers of pornography?

If pictures of women and men wearing dancing tights is pornographic,
should all publicly funded dance groups be disbanded?

If all men not wearing shirts in any pictures on the internet is pornographic…?

Should public schools should be segregated by sex?

Should dancing be prohibited?

Should Roman statues be covered?

If a Catholic Priest says it’s OK for him to touch you wherever he wants,
should you believe him?

Should public employees using phones with internet access
be denied access to pornographic web sites?

Should clergy who support political grandstanding
receive privileged access to Greensboro’s political and municipal executives?

Does the government always act in the majority’s best interests?

Should a married pregnant unemployed high school drop out
who knows the child will have AIDS and autism
have to receive permission from her husband to get an abortion
after being raped by her schizophrenic brother-in-law?

Should “abstinence-until-marriage” education
replace explicit sex-education programs,
school-based clinics, and the distribution of contraceptives in schools?

Should contraceptive measures for raped woman be outlawed?

What is the likelihood that the God of rectangle shaped people has four sides?

Should school curriculums teach Creationism,
and have a disclaimer before any evolutionary topics,
like biology, or chemistry, or geology, or platectonics,
or world history, or dinosaurs, or physics?

Should morning prayers be instituted in public schools
and end with “in Jesus’ name we pray”?

Should Jewish children be prohibited from dating Christian children?

Can an atheist be superstitious?

Should no mosque on American soil
be within a mile of an elementary school?

Should religious and/or alternative sexual orientation
be a required disclosure on all public identification?

Are all Muslims terrorists?

Can a robot be one of God’s children,
and if so, is it OK to enslave intelligent machines?

Should all children be taught at the earliest ages
that their parents are obligated to give 10% of their families income
to their religious leaders?

Should Biblical dietary and punishment laws be strictly enforced?

Do you get to wear clothes in heaven
but not in hell?

Are all men who look for porn at the library child molesters?

Should special police in charge of monitoring moral behavior
be given the right to use corporal punishment on anyone under the age of 21?

Should elected lawmakers seek to avoid imposing their religious views
upon the communities in which they reside?

Should the United States of America officially declare war on Islam?

If the government arrests a citizen for pornography,
should the accused be publicly humiliated before trial,
unless they are related to or are good friends with a public official?

What do you believe that you can’t prove?

Are all women who look at porn at the library lesbians?

Are communities who lean towards religion infused government
more or less likely to pass religious based legislation
like alcohol prohibition, dancing, female submission, book burning,
what could be unnecessary pornography restrictions,
public school curriculums, abortion or homosexuality?

Why are weak governments and/or fringe political movements
more likely to embrace religion or nationalism
in times of economic and social instability
and/or when distractions appear helpful to bury other more important issues?

Should any man caught "sexually" looking at women in public libraries be removed?

Should all sexually active homeless persons within the city limits be removed?

Should all those of a religion other than those sanctioned by government,
wear an insignia stating their religion on their garments at all times in public?

Should anyone who disagrees with the will of a majority of a minority,
be prohibited in engaging in public discourse?

If sentient beings on another planet played chess with Earthlings
would God would be on our side, as long as the player is a white, not gay, Christian American?

Are you a robot?

Were we all predestined to have free will?

If I knew you were a robot,
would you want me to tell you?
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