Who We Are
Artsplosure is Raleigh’s nonprofit art and cultural events production studio. We are curators, collaborators and risk-takers dedicated to fulfilling our mission of bringing rich cultural experiences to the community we serve. With each of our events, we hope to inspire and entertain, inform and celebrate, create and share.
Art for all. We strive to produce quality events that make the works of the most imaginative and celebrated artists accessible to the public – all in an effort to enrich our community and inspire greater love for the visual and performing arts.
To ensure all people in this area have the chance to enhance their cultural perspective through the visual and performing arts.
Since its first festival in April 1980, Artsplosure has presented scores of outdoor programs and large-scale festivals featuring thousands of established and emerging visual, performing, and interdisciplinary artists in numerous traditional and non-traditional indoor venues and outdoor settings.
Artsplosure was initially organized in 1978 by the Raleigh Arts Commission to produce high quality and accessible arts festivals, and to serve as an umbrella organization for emerging and established arts groups seeking to reach wider audiences. The first event was remarkable: a citywide arts festival that combined an “explosion” of art activity with people’s “exposure” to all types of art. This month-long celebration of the arts featured 58 different performing groups and presented 560 artists in 16 sites around the city.
Since then, Artsplosure has put on dozens of other events, including the popular First Night® Raleigh beginning in 1992. Other events have included the Jazz & Blue Music Festival, a series of Arts Alive on Lichtin Plaza events, and the African American Cultural Festival.
Contract Staff and Consultants
In addition to their permanent staff, Artsplosure fills other essential administrative and festival-related positions by contracting with some of the region’s most talented administrative, production, educational, programming and visual arts consultants. These include accountant and volunteer coordinator Glynda Westerbeek, ticket sales manager Natalie Garfield, technical supervisors Cameron Duncan, spring Art Market co-coordinator Sarah Wolfe, sign and banner coordinator Nicole Rowe and children’s programming coordinator Jamie Andrews.
Each festival, a local agency generously serves as the event’s marketing sponsor to develop a comprehensive marketing campaign. In recent years, Artsplosure has partnered with Mottis, Three Post, Sinclair & Co., Metro Productions, R+M Agency, Front Door, Cherry Blossom Studio, CapStrat, Ulanguzi Creative Services, New Kind, Cross and Associates, CCA, and other local marketing agencies. Fleishman Hillard’s Triangle area office provides festival media and public relations services.
2017-2018 Board of Directors
A volunteer Board of Directors of up to 30 members governs Artsplosure. Members of the policy-making and governance body represent the organization’s broad constituency. The board maintains the efficacy of Artsplosure’s programming, fund development and sponsorship initiatives, and its members take on critical management and other essential volunteer leadership roles during each festival.
Carolina Russell, President
Kacy Hunt, Vice President
NC Department of Transportation
Elizabeth Hedrick, Secretary
Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP
Thomas Miller, Treasurer
SunTrust Wealth Management
Lori Vitale, Immediate Past-President
Vitale Family Law
The Glenwood Agency
Hester & Company
Ward and Smith, P.A.
Propel Marketing Group
Smith Anderson Law Firm
Cynthia von der Lehr
Duke Home Care & Hospice
Duke Clinical Research Institute
Satisky & Silverstein, LLP
First Citizens Bank
Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s