Posted 10.1.19

Visit Winston-Salem to Host 2020 Artists Thrive Summit

WINSTON-SALEM, NC (Oct. 1, 2019) – Visit Winston-Salem has announced a three-year contract as the host city for the Artists Thrive Summit, an annual four-day gathering of some 200 artists, art leaders, educators and funders from around the country. The summit will take place at The Kimpton Cardinal Hotel in downtown Winston-Salem for the next three years, beginning July 21-24, 2020. Entering its fourth year, the interactive summit brings together local partners to co-craft a unique experience for a national audience of artists, leaders and innovators. 

“The benefits of hosting the Artists Thrive Summit here in the City of Arts & Innovation are much deeper than the positive economic impact conferences typically have on our local economy and will extend well beyond the three-year commitment,” stated Richard Geiger, Visit Winston-Salem president. “The most exciting aspect is the business development proposition the summit brings to our local artists and organizations, who will get to share their stories with peers from around the country and learn ways to further develop this region’s thriving arts sector.” 

The growing Artists Thrive initiative (supported by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation) aims to raise the value of artists in every community through various activities, programs and resources that educate on what it means to place artists at the center of a thriving arts sector. Attendees will travel from across the country to learn from each other and experience Winston-Salem’s rich arts scene. A participant in the 2019 Summit said, “I brought back more than I ever imagined I would and I have grown as an educator, an artist, an advocate, and as one who works with artists in the rural south where funds and opportunities are limited.” 

The Artists Thrive conference series will be catalytic for our arts community in multiple ways,” stated President and CEO of The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth Count W. Randy Eaddy. “Among other things, each year’s conference will bring together individual artists and arts organizations to learn from and explore with each other strategic ways to develop and promote their artistic creations or programs as successful, thriving businesses, as well as enriching experiences for audiences. I also expect the core conference activities will ignite ongoing relationships among attendees, which will foster future collaborations we can’t even begin to imagine.” 

Centrally located in North Carolina, Winston-Salem offers diverse and vibrant experiences for meetings, conventions, and corporate events. Winston-Salem has an innovative vibe shaped by an intriguing mix of Moravian history, strongly supported arts community, and thriving industrial, financial, medical, and technology hubs. With more than 1,000 downtown hotel rooms within walking distance to the newly reinvented 105,000-square-foot Benton Convention Center, historic and innovative venues, Winston-Salem offers a variety of facilities to accommodate small groups as well as citywide events. 


About Visit Winston-Salem (

Visit Winston-Salem is the official sales and marketing agency for the Winston-Salem and Forsyth County tourism industry. A sophisticated meeting destination, Winston-Salem is conveniently and strategically located at the epicenter of North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad region. It is easily accessible by car via Interstate 40, Business Interstate 40, Interstate 77, Interstate 85 and U.S. Highway 52. Scheduled air service is available through Piedmont Triad International Airport, just 20 minutes east of Winston-Salem. 

About Artists Thrive (

Artists Thrive aims to identify the things that help artists pursue their vision and to enable communities to benefit from the arts in all aspects of life. Resources and tools within Artists Thrive help artists, arts organizations, and other groups that work with artists collaborate and craft meaningful stories about why art-making matters. The initiative began in 2016 when a group of arts professionals and artists produced the first draft of this field-wide assessment rubric. Through multiple rounds of feedback, Artists Thrive was publicly launched in 2017. Artists Thrive is driven by a leadership team of artists and diverse collaborators from different sectors and communities across the country and is supported by the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation. 


Maria Hayworth, Hayworth Public Relations


Marcheta Cole Keefer, Visit Winston-Salem


Heather Pontonio, Artists Thrive