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Artsplosure staff standing against the Arts Festival wall mural

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.

Professional Staff

Michael Lowder

Michael Lowder

Executive Director
Terri Dollar

Terri Dollar

Program Director
Cameron Laws

Cameron Laws

Marketing and PR Manager
Glynda Westerbeek

Glynda Westerbeek

Bookkeeper and Volunteer Coordinator
Hannah Liebel Headshot

Hannah Liebel

Art Market and Vendor Manager

Artsplosure Interns

Atiya Batts Headshot

Atiya Batts

College Intern
Erin Wadsworth

Erin Wadsworth

High School Intern

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
Quest Academy

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

Ann-Cabell Baum
The Glenwood Agency

Clymer Cease
Clark Nexsen

Christopher Dumais

Tom Hester
Hester & Company

Ward and Smith, P.A.

Shelley Kelly
Propel Marketing Group

Lee Kirby
Smith Anderson Law Firm

Cynthia von der Lehr
Duke Home Care & Hospice

Linda Lillis
Duke Clinical Research Institute

Jennifer Nusbaum
Williams Mullen

Keith Satisky
Satisky & Silverstein, LLP

Shan Teel
First Citizens Bank

Analia Wehe-Lehmann
Hodge & Kittrell Sotheby’s

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