2018 Panelists

The Arts In Wilmington Awards were reviewed by an outside panel of three individuals with extensive experience in the arts and arts administration. The selections of Arts In Wilmington Awards recipients represent their decision.

Arts In Wilmington values the importance and expertise in expert review panels and we thank each of the panelists for their time and thoughtful consideration of the nominees.

If you have questions about the review process, contact Craig Stinson, Manager of Arts In Wilmington, at 910-524-2679.

Panelists with the Arts In Wilmington Awards for 2018 are:

  • Sarah Bryan, Executive Director, North Carolina Folklife Institute, Durham, North Carolina
  • Dr. Jessica Turner, Museum Director and Head Curator, The Birthplace of Country Music Museum, Bristol, Tennessee
  • Mike Williams, Curator, ArtsNowNC, Raleigh, North Carolina

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Clockwise from Top:  Mike Williams, Jessica Turner, and Sarah Bryan with Pender County artist Eddie Hayes.


Panelist: Sarah Bryan

Sarah Bryan is Executive Director of the North Carolina Folklife Institute in Durham, North Carolina.  Bryan is a UNC-trained folklorist (MA, 2003) and writer, has worked in the field of folklife documentation for nearly two decades, specializing in the cultural heritage of the American South. She is the editor of the Old-Time Herald, a magazine about traditional string band music, and the Association for Recorded Sound Collections Journal. Sarah is currently working on an oral history initiative, supported by an Archie Green Fellowship from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, to document the experiences of morticians and funeral directors in North Carolina and South Carolina.  Visit Sarah’s personal website at:  sarah-bryan.com.

Panelist: Dr. Jessica Turner

Jessica Anderson Turner, Ph.D., is the Director of the award-winning Birthplace of Country Music Museum, an affiliate of the Smithsonian.  Previously, Turner taught Heritage Studies and Appalachian culture at a private college in Virginia after earning her doctorate at Indiana University. Her work in the fields of folklore and ethnomusicology examines heritage, community, and the arts, with particular interests in community arts and heritage. Her master’s thesis examined the strong community at the Carter family Fold, and for her doctorate she was awarded a Fulbright to do similar research in China. She believes strongly in the power of the arts, and a good biscuit, in bringing communities together.

Panelist: Mike Williams

Mike Williams is all about fostering community. He’s the creator and curator of ArtsNow (artsnownc.com), a digital home for the Triangle arts community. He enjoys working with visual and performing artists to share their perspective. Williams, a graduate of North Carolina Central University, is also a curator, public speaker, panelist and event coordinator. He also works with local non-profits that serve the youth.