In celebration of the Growth + Restoration Campaign reaching its $1 million goal, Piedmont Arts honored campaign donors with a reception at the museum on Aug. 23.
Piedmont Arts Board President Dr. Shana LeGrant, Executive Director Heidi Pinkston and Immediate Past President Guy Stanley spoke to the crowd of more than 100 guests about the importance of their contributions to the campaign.
Pinkston said the museum’s journey from a grassroots group of local artists to the accredited museum it is today reflects the true essence of community collaboration. "It is [community] support that fuels the growth of Piedmont Arts and ensures its relevance for tomorrow's artists, youth, and art enthusiasts. We are not merely securing the future, we are safeguarding a vibrant artistic legacy that will enrich lives and elevate our community for years to come.”
The Growth + Restoration Campaign was spearheaded in 2020 by the late Dr. Barry Dorsey, then a member of the Piedmont Arts Board, to raise funds to secure the museum’s future as an arts and cultural leader in the region. The museum was also in desperate need of funds to address many structural challenges, including a leaky roof, peeling paint, and an outdated HVAC system.
"We were on ladders daily, changing bulbs and addressing Band-Aid fixes,” said Pinkston. "These struggles, while we remained burdened by debt, limited our ability to channel resources where they were most needed.”
With Dorsey's guidance Pinkston formed a committee to oversee the campaign, appointing Dorsey co-chair along with Smith Chaney, Marty Gardner and Guy Stanley. Other committee members include Manly Boyd, Jill Dickens, Cindy Edgerton, Olivia Garrett, Natalie Hodge, Caleb Moore and Jennifer Reis; and staff members Pam Allen and Bernadette Moore.
"We embraced the uniqueness of our community,” said Pinkston. “And we worked hard to keep every dollar within our community as an emblem of our commitment to nurture and uplift our shared home."
Since the campaign was initiated, Piedmont Arts has completed many projects using campaign funds. Outside, the leaky roof was replaced, the parking lot was resurfaced, the building was painted, new LED safety lights were installed around the exterior, and ground was broken on a new pavilion in early August. Inside, damaged floors were replaced, new appliances were purchased for the catering kitchen, all lights—including specialty lighting in the galleries—were replaced with LEDs, and new first-aid equipment was purchased to help keep visitors safe. In the next phase of the campaign, the museum plans to install solar panels to reduce energy costs and its carbon footprint.
Pinkston stated that during the campaign, she and her staff were also able to retire the museum's long-term debt through careful management and stewardship, without using any campaign or endowment funds, making campaign contributions even more impactful.
In closing, Pinkston reminded guests that the museum's achievements are not merely measured in dollars and cents. "They are measured in lives touched, expanded horizons, and kindled dreams. [Piedmont Arts’] success is a testimony to the unbeatable spirit of a community united by a shared belief in the power of art to shape our world."