For Immediate Release

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Kenan Institute for the Arts at UNCSA

Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts announces new board members

Winston-Salem, N.C. – The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) announces that Linda Carlisle and J. D. Wilson have joined the Institute’s Board of Advisors, effective May 2013. 

Carlisle, from Greensboro, N.C., is the former Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources and a former member of the UNCSA Board of Trustees.  Wilson is President and Chief Executive Officer of Excalibur Enterprises, Inc. in Winston-Salem and a former member of the UNCSA Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors.

Complete biographies of the new Kenan Institute for the Arts board members follow the press release.

 “We are thrilled with the diversity of expertise, experience and background that our new advisors bring to our work”, said Interim Executive Director Lynda Lotich.  “We expect that their input will significantly broaden our vision for the future and the impact of our work.”

Linda Carlisle

J.D. Wilson

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts ( is a privately funded program of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts that incubates projects that sustain artists at every point in their creative development through strategic partnerships that capitalize on visionary thinking in the arts. 

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit



Biographies of Kenan Institute for the Arts new Board Members


Linda A. Carlisle was appointed by Governor Beverly Perdue to be Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources from 2009 to 2012.

Carlisle is an experienced corporate executive, entrepreneur and community activist. In each role, she has excelled and shown extraordinary leadership and professional competence. Out of college, she worked for what is now Bank of America, and rapidly progressed through a broad range of positions to eventually become a vice president/metropolitan director in Charlotte.

In 1979, she left Bank of America to start her own business, Copier Consultants, Inc., headquartered in Greensboro. After developing the multi-million-dollar business with multiple offices in the Triad and western North Carolina, she and her husband sold the business in 1989. She remained as president of the wholly-owned subsidiary until 1997, at which time she retired to focus on her community and educational interests.

She has been extensively involved in the nonprofit sector, providing leadership, strategic planning, financial expertise and key resource development. Her community work has included serving on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, UNC-G Board of Trustees and various roles with United Way, United Arts Council, Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc., and the Girl Scouts. She served as co-chair of the UNC-G Students First Capital Campaign, surpassing the $100 million goal one year early.

Carlisle has been a strong supporter of various community arts organizations including Triad Stage, Community Theater of Greensboro and the Greensboro Symphony. She is a strong proponent of the arts as an economic development driver, downtown rejuvenator, and small-town catalyst.

J. D. Wilson is president and chief executive officer of Excalibur Enterprises, Inc., the Winston-Salem-based direct response marketing communications firm, which he founded in 1972.  He began his career as Director of the College Fund and Associate Director of Alumni Relations at Wake Forest University, where he graduated in 1969, and then as a photojournalist in the U. S. Army in Berlin, Germany.

Both as a professional and as a volunteer, he strategically helps businesses and organizations communicate more effectively and efficiently with clients and prospects to increase business or raise money, and helps develop creative visions and lead organizational turnarounds.  He believes in “giving back” and has a strong commitment to business, civic and community involvement for himself, his firm and its employees.  He has served on the boards of a variety of organizations including Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business Board of Visitors and Wake Forest’s Arts Advisory Committee; Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc.; Weatherspoon Art Museum Foundation at UNC-Greensboro; the Tanglewood Park Foundation; and the South African Environmental and Educational Project.

Wilson has chaired the boards of the Winston-Salem Symphony and Reynolda House Museum of American Art.  With his wife, Janie, he has co-chaired capital campaigns for the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), Salem Academy and College, and recently the $27.7 million, three-year, capital campaign that included creation of Winston-Salem’s downtown center for the arts.

He is a passionate advocate for Winston-Salem and for the role of the arts in its vibrancy, having recently helped broker the city’s branding as “City of Arts & Innovation,” leading the effort to feature the city in 98 pages of U. S. Airways Magazine in October, 2012, and facilitating the showcase launch of “Apollo 13: Mission Control” at Hanesbrands Theatre in 2013.  His primary community focus has centered on UNCSA, where he has served as a trustee and as chair of its Board of Visitors, and where he received its Giannini Award in New York City in 2002, and its first honorary degree for service in 2007.  Currently, he serves as a director on UNCSA’s Board of Visitors, on the boards of two entrepreneurial alumni outgrowths of UNCSA—No Rules Theatre Company and Peppercorn Children’s Theatre, and of the Winston-Salem Alliance.