Engage the power of creative community to ignite and transform your work at our annual summit!
The Creative Catalyst Artivate summit is an arts-infused experience that connects you with a vibrant and diverse community of creative leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs!
2018 MacArthur Fellow VIJAY GUPTA is a violinist and educator whose efforts to merge music with mental health are changing the world, note by note. He is the founder of Street Symphony—a musical advocacy program that empowers citizen-musicians to engage with communities experiencing extreme poverty, incarceration and homelessness, with extraordinary results.
Called “a riveting speaker” by The New Yorker, “at once jovial and intense,” Vijay Gupta is a violinist and passionate advocate for artistic voices at the center of social justice. Gupta joined the Los Angeles Philharmonic in 2007 at age 19, after having completed an undergraduate degree in biology from Marist College and a Master’s degree in violin performance from the Yale School of Music.
Once a southern capital of the tobacco and textile industries, Winston-Salem has re-envisioned itself as the City of Arts and Innovation. The Piedmont city was ranked the second-most livable downtown in America by The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and it has been recognized by a variety of news outlets for its thriving creative economy; medical, biotech and pharmaceutical research facilities; entertainment options; green spaces and walkability. Winston-Salem is home to four elite collegiate institutions (UNC School of the Arts, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University and Salem College), two major medical systems and the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter in the heart of the historic tobacco district.
The 330-acre Wake Forest Innovation Quarter—located in the heart of downtown Winston-Salem—includes 1.9-million square feet of office, laboratory and educational space, much of which is housed in former tobacco factories and warehouses. The Innovation Quarter is home to more than 170 companies with nearly 4,000 employees and is within walking distance of more than 750 apartments and condominiums, a 1.6-acre public green space, an outdoor concert venue and numerous coffee shops, restaurants and bars, making downtown an attractive place to work, live and play.
Located on the north end of Winston-Salem’s Downtown Arts District, ARTivity on the Green is an art-themed, half-acre public park designed by local architectural firm STITCH Design Shop. The park features 13 central towers—inspired by the tobacco factory smokestacks that filled the Winston-Salem skyline—that mist water in the summer, a bandstand and rolling grassy hills, all of which is lit up colorfully at night. The park’s mural wall features the work of local artists and is repainted each Spring during the “Concrete Canvas” festival.
At the center of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter is Bailey Park, which features 1.6 acres of public green space, a food truck court with dining tables and a covered stage. Throughout the spring and summer, community groups host a myriad of events at the park, including outdoor yoga classes, concerts, festivals, movies and other social events.
Winston-Salem’s Arts District is a loosely defined neighborhood on the north end of downtown, where tobacco farmers once brought their crops to sell at one of the many warehouses or auction houses along Trade Street. Today, Trade and Liberty streets feature eclectic galleries, craft shops and restaurants. Visitors who look closely can find a number of delightful art installations adorning the buildings, from colorful murals to whimsical sculptures perched high above the street. The public art park, ARTivity on the Green, celebrate the area’s creative reputation with a dedicated mural wall that features the work of area artists.
Art for Art's Sake (AFAS) builds, educates and celebrates community in Winston-Salem through art. Designed by Winston-Salem-based STITCH Design Shop, the 14,500-square-foot building, features illuminated panels and an adjacent art park, making the northern entrance to the Downtown Arts District. AFAS provides a variety of resources to the local creative community, including two galleries, an art center for community education, artist studios, meeting room, event space and offices. Most AFAS programs are free to the public in order to give all citizens the opportunity to create, experience and enjoy art.
In 2008, UNCSA faculty member and veteran lighting designer Norman Coates founded the Winston-Salem Light Project in order to expand the experiences of his students through public art installations. Each year, Coates works with a student committee to select a downtown Winston-Salem location, which they transform through projections and light for three nights. Each installation explores themes relevant to modern society and invites viewers to see and experience the built environment in new ways.