These stellar organizations have invested in us so we can keep investing in you.
Their generous support means more handpicked happenings, community gatherings and authentic stories rooted in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
Read on to discover just a few of the reasons you should give each a closer look.
To many, Old Salem Museum and Gardens is the soul of Winston-Salem.
This special place is a living history museum with historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and heirloom gardens, It is also home to the acclaimed Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA). Thoughtfully restored over the past 50+ years, Old Salem is more than a historical attraction – it’s a privately funded local gem full of heritage and heart. Among the beautiful 18th-century architectural details and award-winning gardens, there is the lingering presence of a progressive, peaceful Moravian culture that made Winston-Salem a town of many firsts including the first documented Celebration of Peace (Fourth of July celebration); the country’s oldest continuously operating private educational institute for women (Salem Academy & College); the state’s first brewery and distillery (Single Brothers House), as well as home to the oldest standing African American church in North Carolina (St. Philips Moravian Church). It’s also the first place Harrison and I were introduced as husband and wife. But I digress.
It’s also one of the first places you should take out-of-town guests. Or visit if you’re new to town. Buy a ticket and be a tourist for the afternoon, or better yet, become a member and visit anytime. Eat your weight in Moravian sugar cake at Winkler’s Bakery. Breathe in the smell of fresh beeswax candles. Learn the art of seed saving and swapping in the spring; learn how to press fresh North Carolina apples into cider in the fall. In the summer, bring your picnic blankets for live music and pickup organic goods at the Cobblestone Farmers Market. And in the winter, take a stroll back in time for month-long Christmas Time celebrations among the glow of Moravian stars.
No matter the season, just make it a point to go. And for all you Townies like us who love this historic place, consider making an investment its future.
Did you know that Winston-Salem is home to a nationally recognized opera company?
Piedmont Opera is a leader in the classical arts community and the second largest opera company in the state. The company currently attracts patrons from 20 states as well as professional performers and technicians from all over the world. They strive to create operatic productions of the highest artistic quality to enrich the Winston-Salem community and to advance the art form; their goal is to become the finest opera company in the nation of its size.
Now if I’m being honest, up until recently the mention of “opera” invoked images of busty women with braids and viking hats. (If you’re being honest you know you can relate.) But what I have learned through my partnership with Piedmont Opera, and have since fallen in love with is the complexity of this performance art. If you follow the blog, you probably know I’m passionate about personal stories that tap into the basic human emotions that unite us. I’m moved by art that helps us see, hear, and feel the world differently. And that is exactly what opera does my friends – in a big, powerful, captivating way. It truly is the most communicative art form in existence. Opera combines the visual, musical, dramatic and verbal to tell thrilling stories that explore the big themes in human life.
Each year under the well-respected general and artistic direction of James Allbritten, Piedmont Opera presents two coveted performances and hosts regular educational and outreach programs to connect the community with this centuries-old artistic expression. The 2016-2017 season will be one of strong women with Puccini’s Tosca in October and Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers in March. Each show is your opportunity to see up-and-coming and seasoned international talent who choose to perform in Winston-Salem because of its strong reputation and University of North Carolina School of the Arts ties. I hope you’ll join me this season to discover the drama of opera. If you’re an established fan, please consider becoming a donor; a mere 25% of Piedmont Opera’s expenses are covered by ticket sales.
Situated at the edge of a meadow is a beautiful white stucco bungalow with green shutters and a sloped roof bearing the surname of its original owner, R.J. Reynolds. Mr. Reynolds, a self-made tobacco baron, was one of the great American industrialists of the early 21st century, and his impact on the economic development of Winston-Salem is evident throughout town. But when it came to developing this special place, this rolling property dotted with historic cottages and natural beauty, it was his young, spirited wife Katharine who took the lead. Reynolda House was her home, her farm, her vision. She could have easily chosen a life of privilege and ease, but she instead chose a life of purpose.
She built the bungalow in 1917 for healthy living with lovely open-air porches, the use of white tiles and Monel countertops in the kitchen for hygiene, and emphasized food quality and safety for her family. The farm at Reynolda was a particular passion; she oversaw operations and tested best practices for crop rotation, soil analysis, and animal husbandry. She had a sincere interest in social reform, pressing her husband for better working conditions in his factories. She also championed the construction of a church, school and housing for farm workers. She made an impact on her community and that legacy lives on.
Reynolda was home to two generations of the Reynolds family. In 1967 the home was opened to the public after being reimagined as Reynolda House Museum of American Art. Today it is home to one of the country’s finest collections of American art ranging from the colonial period to the present. Inside the main house you’ll find restored interior rooms and furnishings that reflect the periods when the family lived there. The adjoining 30,000+ square foot Mary and Charles Babcock Wing houses education facilities and an auditorium, and hosts impressive traveling exhibitions each spring and fall. Continuing on Katharine’s legacy of community building, Reynolda House Museum of American Art hosts regular social hours, educational programming, camps and outdoor events where you can meet others and mingle and experience something new no matter the season. Just as she intended. Discover more natural beauty, rich history, and find inspiration at ReynoldaHouse.org
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