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Community Milestones

Community Milestones

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The Piedmont Opera recently recognized its volunteers during a celebration in the backyard of the Opera House. More than 40 volunteers attended.

During this event, the performing arts group honored a volunteer, Steve LaCosse, who has "gone above and beyond the call of duty."

LaCosse has directed many of Piedmont Opera's productions and traveled with one of its groups.

He donates his culinary skills to the Magnolia Ball, set for 6:30 to 11 p.m. May 22 this year at SECCA, 750 Marguerite Drive, Winston-Salem, and auctions himself off to cook an in-home meal.

He also comes to the Piedmont Opera office every day at noon to discuss opera on the newly created broadcast Opera Talk.

Judi Wallace was honored as well. Wallace has volunteered at Piedmont Opera for the past 37 years. She was recognized for her longevity and devotion to the company as she moves to Portland, Ore., in a few weeks. 

In other news, the Piedmont Opera is planning a trip to Asheville and the Biltmore Estate Nov. 30-Dec. 1. For information, call 336-725-7101 or visit


A collective cultural survey commissioned by The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County is helping the arts and cultural sector prepare for post-COVID reopening strategies. Forsyth Futures, a local data-research nonprofit, sent out more than 57,000 email surveys to arts audiences of many local arts and cultural organizations, including: a/perture, Bookmarks, NC Black Repertory Company, Piedmont Craftsmen, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Spring Theatre, The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County, Winston-Salem Delta Fine Arts (Delta Arts Center), Winston-Salem Symphony and Winston-Salem Writers.

The survey prompted 1,700 responses. A key finding was a desire of audiences of all ages to return to in-person arts and cultural events as soon as vaccinations and immunity rise to a level high enough to substantially eliminate risk of infection.

Outdoor events ranked high among persons surveyed, followed closely by indoor events and virtual events. 

When asked about preferred cultural experiences in the post-COVID era, respondents listed music, theater, festivals, film and visual arts, in that order. 

Looking forward at its own strategic planning process, The Arts Council asked those surveyed what role they would like to see The Arts Council play in the community. The most commonly selected role for The Arts Council was that of arts advocate, but more than half of the respondents selected the other three roles – community asset, grantmaker and fundraiser – as well. 

Some 61 percent of respondents indicated they now provide financial support for the arts. Interestingly, younger respondents indicated they would be willing to increase their support going forward while others said they most likely would contribute at the same level in the future. 

The survey results are presented with both narrative and extensive charts, and the survey is available in its entirety online at

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Nitro Circus will bring the high-flying You Got This tour for a show on Aug. 14 at Truist Field in Winston-Salem.

Nitro Circus’ roster of elite athletes, including champion BMX and scooter rider Ryan Williams as well as skilled professionals in freestyle motocross, skate and more, are expected brave the world’s largest jumps. The 45-foot Giganta ramp will launch athletes into the sky at 40 miles per hour while moto riders will send it 65-feet high. Nitro’s daredevils will also attempt the craziest stunts imaginable on new contraptions.

All tickets from Nitro Circus’ original 2020 Winston-Salem show will be honored on the new Aug. 14 date. Additional tickets are also on sale now and are available at


The following Scouts, all members of Boy Scout Troop 916 of United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church, have received their Eagle Awards:

  • Austin Leftwich and Cecil Leftwich Jr., sons of Cecil and Mia Lynn Leftwich of Winston-Salem and the grandsons of Charles and Caroline Leftwich. For his project, Austin refurbished the outdoor sitting areas and landscaped two courtyards for Trinity Glen Retirement Center in Winston-Salem. COVID-19 restrictions impeded his plans, but the residents were able to watch through the windows as Austin and his Troop upgraded the outdoor sitting space. They painted the rocking chairs and tables, filled the playground box with recycled mulch and planted shrubs and flowers. Cecil sponsored a toy and essential items drive for the Ronald McDonald House for his project. More than 500 items were collected and delivered to the house including toys, socks, toothbrushes and face masks. 
  • Justin X. Lewis, son of Aurdres and Regina Lewis. For his project, Lewis chose to build and install a Ga-Ga Ball Pit for the Union Cross Elementary School playground in Kernersville. He raised more than $3,000 in donations to his online campaign. 

Also receiving his Eagle Award was Evan Andrews, son of Al Andrews and Lynne Fuller-Andrews, a member of Troop 910 of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church and a former member of Troop 916, transferring to Troop 910 at the age of 13. For his project, with the help of his mentor, Freddie Hall and several others, Andrews constructed and installed two little free libraries to provide children with easy access to literature. One library is located at the Winston Lake YMCA and the other is outside of the dental office of Dr. Mark Oliver located at 2621 New Walkertown Road in Winston-Salem.


The following N.C. A&T students recently were initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation's oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines:

Kernersville: Chenetta Mallette

Thomasville: Jason DePolo

Winston-Salem: Cynthia Downing, Marion Franks, Ian Livengood, Jacqueline McClellan, Aliah Sharp, Ashanti Williams, Darren Williams 


David Dresslar Nicholson and Kathryn Clare Quadland, both seniors at R. J. Reynolds Senior High School in Winston-Salem, have received the Morehead-Cain Scholarship, a four-year, undergraduate merit scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill.

In addition to tuition, books and room and board, the Morehead-Cain funds four summers of travel and experiential learning. It also offers scholars Discovery Fund grants for additional educational experiences.

Nicholson, is the son of Dana and Mark Nicholson of Tobaccoville.

Quadland is the daughter of Clare and Marten Quadland of Winston-Salem.

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The Eugene Corrigan-Bradley Faircloth Triad Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, celebrating its 30th anniversary, honored 29 Triad area football high school scholar-athletes this year.

Each scholar-athlete will be awarded a $1,000 scholarship to use toward the tuition at the college of their choice.

An additional top award, given in memory Rich Brenner, the former sports anchor with Fox8 TV, is presented to honor school and community service, and this year is given to John Jackson III of Atkins High School.

The scholarship recipients are chosen by their high schools in Alamance, Forsyth and Guilford counties for their excellence in the classroom, in the community and on the football field.

Local scholars include: Caden Davis, R.J. Reynolds; Jake Hill, West Forsyth; John Jackson III, Atkins; Markell Lloyd, Glenn; Jake Pascual, Reagan; Tre’sean Stewart, Winston-Salem Preparatory Academy; Max U’Ren, Mount Tabor; Scott Walker, Parkland; and Jonathan Whisnant, East Forsyth.

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