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Grassroots Grant

The Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) provides per capita-based funding for arts programming to all 100 counties across North Carolina ensuring opportunities for citizens to experience the arts in their own communities. Grassroots funds are typically awarded to local arts councils.

Grassroots funds are distributed to Davie County Schools as a Provisional County Partner. In counties without a Designated County Partner, the N.C. Arts Council has selected an organization to serve as the Provisional County Partner (PCP) to oversee the distribution and management of Grassroots funds on a temporary (year-to-year) basis.

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Leni Newell: 2021 - 2022 Artist in Residency

Leni Newell is an award-winning professional artist concentrating on abstract mixed media and Fiber Arts since 1986. She helped found and maintain a studio at Art Space in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina for 20 years before moving to Emerald Isle, North Carolina in 2006. Newell’s interesting, thought-provoking work is characterized by the layering of subtle collage elements with a textured application of acrylic pigment. Her fiber art installations are known for their vibrant colors and dynamic energy. Newell is a popular residency and Workshop leader known for encouraging others to think abstractly outside the box. Her exciting residencies have been awarded funding by both the National Endowment for the Arts in the North Carolina Arts Council since 1993. Newell is the recipient of a regional artist Grant from the North Carolina Art Council and other grants. Her Innovative work has been exhibited in museums and galleries around the country you can be found in many corporate collections such as IBM, Smith Glaxo Kline, Wells Fargo Bank and SAS.

Leni Newell completed a Batik Residency with 8th grade and High School art students - Students create their own individual, exciting Batiks, and develop an understanding of this success oriented, self-esteem boosting, fiber art form with both African and Indonesian roots. This unusual process involves melted wax and vibrant fabric dyes.  

Leni Newell worked with the class to create individual Batiks virtually. During the process, each student tilted their screens so the camera displayed their work. Ms. Newell provided individual feedback to each student.

A student creates the pattern for their Batik as Ms. Newell provides feedback and guidance along with Ms. Roberts.

Preparing the stencil that will be printed over the pattern on the fabric.

Students applying the white paint over top of the stencil to finish the Batik project.

Senora Lynch: 2021 - 2022 Artist in Residency

Senora Lynch is nationally known for her creation of exquisite American Indian handmade pottery. She creates each piece using a traditional hand-coiling method out of red and white clay, while adding a contemporary twist with her own style of etching designs into the surface.

“The spirit of clay has always inspired me. Working in clay takes me back to my childhood days of playing in mud, a free spirit.”

Senora became interested in making pottery at age fourteen after having been previously shown ancient pottery shards and assisting with a pottery class for her Haliwa-Saponi tribal elders. She also weaved chair bottoms alongside her mother and grandfather, learned to do beadwork, and started making American Indian regalia.  Years later, her passion transformed into a business that she named “Living Traditions” because the designs on her pottery are full of living traditional stories and beliefs of her people. The designs come through the Night Sky and are revealed to her in her dreams. She uses many American Indian symbols and motifs found in the natural environment, including bowls, turtles, lizards, maidens, smudge bowls, wedding vases, bears, which work in unison to convey the story being told on that piece of pottery. Senora’s pottery has evolved to include different shapes, including bowls, turtles, lizards, maidens, smudge bowls, wedding vases, bears, and plaques, among others.

Senora Lynch shares her pottery with students

Senora Lynch shares stories about her tribe and the pottery she creates.

A student puts the finishing touches on her clay turtle.

Mrs. Juhasz works with a student at Shady Grove to assemble his clay turtle.

Senora Lynch works with a student in Ms. Funks class to create his clay turtle.