Arts Council to host virtual birthday party to launch “Mask”-uerade Parade

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2020

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Facebook Live launch party Aug. 9

WINSTON-SALEM — The Arts Council of Winston-Salem & Forsyth County will host a virtual “Mask”-uerade Parade Launch Party from 4-5:30 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 9, its 71st birthday as the first arts council in the country. The virtual party to celebrate the arts will feature entertainment by local artists and arts organizations and messages from special guests, in support of The Arts Council’s 2020 Community Fund for the Arts campaign.

Arts advocates throughout Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will host small watch parties in their homes that observe COVID-19 recommendations.

The Aug. 9 virtual event will also be the launch party for The Arts Council’s upcoming community-wide mask-designing competition, which will culminate in a “Mask”-uerade Parade on Saturday, Sept. 19. The competition will include winners in king, queen and youth categories. Other details will be provided at the launch party.

Aliza Diggs-Bailey, The Arts Council’s vice president of fundraising, said, “With social distancing guidelines and mask requirements in effect, this is a great way to emphasize the importance of the mask and encourage individual safety behavior while boosting the Community Fund for the Arts campaign. We will be using the Facebook Live platform that now has become a familiar and fun way to engage with others globally. It’s an opportunity to reach audiences we haven’t touched before.”

The Arts Council is in the final months of its 2020 fundraising campaign and, like most nonprofits, has had to adjust significantly its campaign tactics because of disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The Aug. 9 virtual party and celebration is also an important fundraising effort as this year’s campaign draws to its scheduled close on Sept. 30.

The Facebook Live event will be hosted by WXII-TV12 news anchor Talitha Vickers. Earlier this year, Vickers was named by the Winston-Salem City Council as an outstanding women leader of Winston-Salem in a ceremony honoring trailblazing women in the city.

The entertainment program for the event will include music by SoulJam, dance by IDA (Institute of Divine Arts), artwork by Jazmine Moore and Affee Vickers, and music by Winston-Salem Symphony performers. Additional details will be provided closer to the event on The Arts Council’s Facebook page, Instagram and Constant Contact. Reservations should be made by Aug. 3 at

Randy Eaddy, president and CEO of The Arts Council, said, “In so many ways, these are challenging times. But as we struggle, we remember that the arts, and our amazing arts constellation in Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, are a part of our community’s very foundation. We are the oldest arts council in the United States, and the arts are part of our warp and weft.

“I urge residents of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County to step forward strongly and support the arts organizations they have created and nurtured, and our diverse collection of talented individual artists — many of whom we see just emerging. Participating in the virtual “Mask”-uerade Parade launch party and fundraiser, which people can do safely with friends and neighbors, and giving as generously as you can, is a great way to show that support,” said Eaddy.