At this year’s State of Downtown presented by PNC Bank, DRA has curated panels of perspectives you simply can not find together anywhere else. These vignettes bring the human element to our data-packed reports, adding context to a wealth of information. One of the event panelists–Carly P. Jones, president and CEO of Artspace–speaks often and directly about what it means to build a vibrant community that celebrates the human experience in Downtown Raleigh.
Her fellow panelists share similar ideals when it comes to elevating the possibilities of Downtown Raleigh and include Grady Bussey from John Chavis Memorial Park, Russ Jones of LODEN Hospitality, Christina Coffey of Lee & Associates, and moderated by Britt Thomas of Marbles Kids Museum.
Jones hails from Raleigh, and she brings over a decade of arts nonprofit experience and community work throughout the city to Artspace, an organization committed to increasing accessibility and broadening access to the arts. Being a theater artist, singer, arts advocate and cultural activist herself makes her an embodiment of the Artspace mission. Their belief that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the creative process has a champion in Jones, whose personal creed is to elevate social consciousness through the arts.
“Arts and cultural experiences are vital to connecting communities and bringing vibrancy and activity to Downtown Raleigh in partnership with neighboring businesses," says Jones, "With the rapid growth of Raleigh and the increasing demand for more local art, it is essential to include our downtown arts and culture stakeholders within the collective decision-making process and to support our working artists in this region."
Brokering the future
At any given moment at the Artspace office, you might meet an artist-in-residence, observe day camp students in their classes, catch staff preparing to go to Dix or Chavis parks for a community event, or find a passionate volunteer reporting for the day’s duties. Jones’ vision for the future of this organization is energizing. She aims to lead Artspace into its next chapter by broadening the reach of its education and artistic resources to support artists, families and children of all backgrounds - cultivating authentic partnerships within communities throughout her home city and beyond.
"Artspace will continue to be a hub for creativity and innovation for artists and arts patrons in the very heart of our city with the mission to inspire positive community impact through art.”
Jones previously served as the co-director for the North Carolina New Leaders Council. In recent years, Jones was selected to be a part of the inaugural regional cohort for South Arts Emerging Leaders of Color, and was awarded the African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh & Wake County's Trailblazer in The Arts Award for her arts executive leadership and community-driven work. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, where she earned degrees in music and arts administration.