About Us

Mission:

The mission of the Arts Council of Wilmington & NHC is to support artists and arts organizations through innovative public/private partnerships that support jobs, stimulate commerce, and showcase the region as an arts destination.

The Arts Council of Wilmington’s core functions:

  • to establish the region as an arts destination
  • to promote arts-driven economic development,
  • to significantly contribute to quality of life in the region,
  • to provide a stream of funding to support the sustainability of artists and arts organizations
  • to facilitate communication and collaboration within the arts community, and
  • to advocate for the arts at the local, state and national levels

 

The Executive Director

Rhonda Bellamy has served as interim executive director from December 2011 when the arts council was launched until being appointed to the permanent post in July 2012. A founding Steering Committee member and former co-chair of Wilmington City Council’s Task Force on Arts and Cultural Affairs, Bellamy has served on a variety of arts-related boards, including the Black Arts Alliance, Inc. and the North Carolina Black Film Festival, both of which she co-founded. She also served two non-consecutive terms on the board of directors of Cameron Art Museum. In addition to her work in the arts, she has more than 20 years of experience in broadcast news. She previously served as news director for Cumulus Media’s five station radio cluster in Wilmington, as well as hosting a daily talk show. Bellamy has also authored and edited three books.

A graduate of North Carolina Central University, she has been honored as Women of the Year-New Hanover Human Relations Commission, YWCA Woman of Achievement in the Arts, and was named one of the 50 Most Influential Arts Leaders (Stars News).

The Board of Directors

  • Loulie Scharf, Chair

Loulie Scharf is a full-time artist and art instructor living in Wilmington, North Carolina. She is a Georgia native, and her two lifelong passions are art and animals. Loulie owned a large-scale art school and now teaches mixed media at the Cameron Art Museum while painting commissioned portraits and developing a body of work. She uses her art as a way to raise funds and awareness for animals. She is involved in a variety of roles at Cape Fear Academy, and also currently serves on the Board of the local chapter of the National Charity League, an organization of moms and daughters who volunteer together. Loulie’s family includes a happy and supportive husband, two energetic teenagers and seven rescued animals.

  • Tom Priestley, Vice Chair
  • Kim Adams, Secretary

A 1984 Journalism and Communications graduate of Point Park University, Kim started her career as a general assignment reporter for the Pittsburgh Courier before she became part of an award-winning public relations and marketing team at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium. She became the assistant director of Community Services, Outreach and Education for the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust where her original programs ‘Cultural Crawl; Kids’ Night on Broadway; and Arts Pass for College Students” are still implemented. Kim accepted the position as communications manager for Sustainable Pittsburgh, a small “think tank” whose role was to impact regional decision-making through commissioning studies and rolling out reports in partnership with such organizations as The Brookings Institute; PolicyLink and Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity. It was Sustainable Pittsburgh who first commissioned Richard Florida. Kim currently serves as Program Specialist for the City of Wilmington.

  • Kelly Drouillard, Treasurer

Kelly Drouillard arrived in Wilmington in August 2015 to join Live Oak Bank following 30 years in Kansas City.  With a passion for economic development and an avid interest in all things art, Kelly joined in the Arts Council board in January 2017.  Additional board positions include Board member Women’s Capital Connection and Osteogenex.  Kelly is a CPA by trade and works in commercial lending to the insurance industry.

  •  Richard Crow

Richard Crow is general counsel for Castle Branch, a consumer reporter and compliance management firm.  He holds degrees from North Carolina Central University and Florida State. He resides in Wilmington with his wife and two boys.

  • Lou Anne Liverman

 

  • Gabe Lovejoy

Gabriel Lovejoy (born 1975) is an artist, educator, graphic designer, and curator. He received his BA with a concentration in studio art from The University of North Carolina Wilmington in 1998 and his MFA from The Savannah College of Art and Design in 2015. Gabriel exhibits his work nationally and has been featured in various publications. He also teaches high school and college locally while running a successful freelance graphic design business.

  • Deloris Rhodes

Deloris is a retired Outreach Liaison for the Watson College of Education, UNCW. She is a former teacher, guidance counselor, principal, and assistant superintendent in schools districts in Virginia, North Carolina, Massachusetts, California, Illinois and Department of Defense Schools . She earned degrees and certifications from Livingstone College, California State university, Auburn University, and University of Virginia Administrative Certification program. Additionally, she studied at Exeter College, Oxford England. She is married to former New Hanover County School Board member Nick Rhodes. They have two children and five grandchildren who live in Charlotte, North Carolina and Fairfax Virginia.