Raleigh, N.C.—The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) announces that George Holt, the NCMA’s director of performing arts and film, has been selected to receive a 2014 Raleigh Medal of Arts by the City of Raleigh Arts Commission. The Raleigh Medal of Arts is awarded for extraordinary lifetime achievement in the practice or support of local arts.
“It’s wonderful to be honored by the Raleigh Arts Commission for a long and privileged career in the arts,” says Holt. “It’s been my good fortune to have worked with so many talented artists from throughout North Carolina and the world during my years with the North Carolina Arts Council and the NCMA. The recognition is icing on the cake!”
As director of performing arts and film at the NCMA, Holt is responsible for developing and producing a diverse schedule of indoor and outdoor movies and concerts. Summer performances, which take place in the 2,900-capacity Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., Theater in the Museum Park, range from local musicians and folk singers to internationally acclaimed rock bands. The Museum’s year-round film program includes an indoor fall classic film series and a series of popular movies screened outdoors in the summer.
In addition to his work with the performing arts, Holt was managing curator of the Museum’s first pottery exhibition in 2005, The Potter’s Eye: Art and Tradition in North Carolina Pottery. The exhibition celebrated the state’s most distinguished traditional potters.
Before joining the Museum in 1996, Holt organized the first North Carolina Folklife Festival in 1976 and established the Office of Folklife Programs in the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR). He served as director of this office from 1977 to 1994 and as director of the grand opening celebration of the North Carolina Museum of History in 1994. Additionally, he served as program director of the 18-day Southern Crossroads Festival in Atlanta during the 1996 Olympic Games.
“The Museum would not be what it is today—and Raleigh’s art scene would not be what it is today—without George Holt,” says Lawrence J. Wheeler, director of the NCMA. “George not only has led a world-class performing arts program, bringing in national and local music acts for our ever-expanding audience, but also produced the Museum’s first pottery exhibition to showcase pottery from our state. His innovation, perseverance, and vision have helped establish the Museum as one of the leading performing arts venues in North Carolina, and I congratulate him on this much-deserved award.”
“George Holt is a cultural treasure. He understands communities and cultures here and around the world,” observes North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. “The support accorded traditional artists through the North Carolina Folklife Program that he founded, and the appreciation of international artists he brought to the stage at the North Carolina Museum of Art, have enriched many lives. He is a worthy recipient of the Raleigh Medal of Arts.”