The mission of the Arts Council of Wayne County is to ensure the arts are thriving in our community.
“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.”
The Arts Council of Wayne County was organized November 1963. The Arts Council, as we know it today, is the result of a merger between Community Arts Council and the Goldsboro Art League. This merger was accomplished during 1980-1981 and was a move on the part of both organizations to coordinate all arts programs more efficiently and economically. From January 2001 to August 2011, the ACWC occupied a facility on the corner of Ash Street and Spence Avenue.
In August 2011, the organization moved to its wonderful new location in downtown Goldsboro. Located at 102 N John Street, the Arts Council, thanks to a generous Main Street Solutions grant, renovated the building to include an elevator and first-floor gallery and Art Market spaces. The second floor includes staff offices, a gallery, music classrooms, a resource room, and artist studios.
Staff and Board of Directors
Georgia Dees - Executive Director
Georgia is a lifelong lover of the arts. One of her earliest memories of Goldsboro is visiting Sunday in the Park in the early 1970s after her family had just moved here! Her father was a photographer for the N.C. Museum of Art when it was located in downtown Raleigh, so she spent many hours there as a child, and she followed in his footsteps with her passion for photography. Georgia was thrilled when one of her photographs was chosen for inclusion the ACWC’s 2016 National Juried Art Show.
Georgia’s professional background is wide ranging and includes reporting, editing, marketing and public relations. As a public information officer at one of the state’s community colleges, she had the opportunity to manage its Visiting Artist program. She also revived the school’s literary publication for students and staff. As Director of Public Affairs for the N.C. Department of Commerce, she wrote press releases, coordinated special events and wrote speeches for Gov. Jim Martin, Gov. Jim Hunt and several Secretaries of Commerce. She worked closely with the many divisions within the Department, including Travel and Tourism, Business and Industry Development and the state Film Office. As Director of Public Relations at Wayne UNC Health Care, she expanded the hospital’s events and programming for the public. Georgia has a degree in Journalism from UNC Chapel Hill and has received awards from the N.C. Press Association and the Carolinas Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Society.
In her free time Georgia likes to travel with her son Charlie, a senior at Wayne Country Day School and also an avid artist.
Karen Kestler - Office Manager
Karen joined the Arts Council of Wayne County team in April of 2016. She is a long time resident of Goldsboro. She has had a very diverse career path with two constants, her love of educating children and her passion for the arts. Her experiences include public schools, non-profits, and most recently sole proprietorship. Outside of working hours, Karen’s family is what brings her the most joy. Husband Joe and Karen are proud parents/step-parents of five incredible children and 4 grandchildren. She also enjoys reading, cooking, hiking and sewing.
Emily Figueras - Gallery Director
Emily joined the Arts Council of Wayne County team in July of 2016. A native of North Carolina, Emily has had a passion for the arts from a young age. She has a background in performing arts through dance and music. Since her youth, she has enjoyed anything creative. She has worked in filmography and video editing, interior design, lighting and stage design, and went to school for studio art. Emily has had the opportunity to go on mission trips around the world to experience different cultures and has a Bachelors Degree in Applied Theology. She and her husband, Matt, live in downtown Goldsboro with their dogs, Emerson and Jooniper. Emily is excited to be a part of seeing art promoted and the city being revitalized.
Amy Hobson - Assistant Gallery Director
Amy is from Goldsboro. She is passionate about the arts. She has a degree in Fine Arts and minor in Graphic Design from The University of Mount Olive. During her college experience, she held a work-study position in the art department assisting the professors with gallery display and clean up. Following a ceramic class, her passion has blossomed as she continues her love in art making. She hopes to grow her love for the arts through the arts council while encouraging others to pursue what they love.
Renita Allen Glatthar
Beverky Ann Kee
LaRose Sutton Daniels
Champion Level Sponsors
R.A. Bryan Foundation