Back in 2014, Winston-Salem officially earned the title “City of Arts and Innovation” thanks to a unanimous city council vote, and we think the description is a fitting one. (It had been known by that title for a while, but the 2014 vote sealed the deal.) One of the best things about living in this city is watching the ways in which both innovation and art run through its veins and continue to influence the way the city grows and evolves.
Here are just a few reasons we’re so on board with this city slogan:
Winston-Salem boasts a section of town dedicated to innovation – the Innovation Quarter! It’s home to 90 different companies, as well as the Bowman Gray Center for Medical Education – a new medical education building for Wake Forest School of Medicine – and Wake Downtown, a downtown campus that houses undergraduate courses in engineering, biochemistry and drug discovery. The area focuses on advanced data analytics, clinical research, population health, and regenerative medicine. (Innovative, indeed!)
Local Art Institutions
The arts are part of Winston’s fabric, with many major art institutions claiming Winston as home. Check out these local establishments:
- University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA)
- Reynolda House Museum of American Art
- Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA)
- Sawtooth School
The Arts District & Performing Arts
A part of downtown, centered on Trade Street, has been dubbed the Arts District, boasting art studios, galleries, shops, and restaurants. Every 1st Friday of the month there’s a gallery hop, when most of Trade Street is shut down to encourage shopping, strolling, and street art.
Winston is home to many performing arts venues and major events, including
- The Stevens Center
- The Ramkat
- RiverRun International Film Festival
- National Black Theatre Festival
- Gears & Guitars Fest
The Arts Council
The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County was formed in 1949, making it the first of its kind in the nation and really showcasing the city’s commitment to art.
Winston-Salem is also the place Art-o-mat machines were founded. These old cigarette-dispensing machines have been repurposed to dispense small pieces of art instead. Now that’s truly art and innovation coming together!