08/10/18 — Georgia Dees takes reins as interim Arts Council director

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Georgia Dees takes reins as interim Arts Council director

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on August 10, 2018 5:50 AM

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Georgia Dees stands inside the Arts Council of Wayne County on Wednesday. She was named interim director on Monday.

Georgia Dees accepted an invitation to join the board of the Arts Council of Wayne County and ended up becoming the interim director when Wendy Snow Walker left at the end of July.

Dees started her new job Monday, and plans on staying through the end of October -- or longer if needed.

"It wasn't something I'd planned, but I am excited about it," she said. "There's so much going and downtown and around Wayne County these days, it's important that the Arts Council remains a central piece of all the activity."

Dees said that art has always been a family interest for her as her father was a photographer for the North Carolina Museum of Art.

"So I grew up around that magnificent artwork and participated in summer arts programs they offered for kids," she said. "I have great memories of those times."

Photography is Dees' art of choice, too. She spent many hours in the journalism school's photo lab while at the University of North Carolina.

"Photographers see things differently, and it's so rewarding when we can capture and share a point of view of the world around us that others may not otherwise have noticed," she said.

Dees' career has included newspaper reporter, community college public information officer, trade association communications director for banking industry, North Carolina Department of Commerce public affairs director, long-term care marketing and health care public relations.

She is a graduate of Goldsboro High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

As interim director of the Arts Council, Dees is concentrating on some events that are coming up soon, like the second annual PEEP show exhibit, the North Carolina Poultry Festival, the Juried Art Show and second annual Pink Plunge.

"Our goal at the Arts Council right now is to continue to grow our programs and offerings so that anyone in this community can take part and find what's right for them," she said. "We want to continue to come up with creative fundraising events that people, businesses and organizations will get excited about and support, and we want to support and showcase our artists to help them promote and sell their work.

"We want to communicate our story better, too. Our board is very dedicated to ensuring that this organization succeeds, and one way to do that is to promote, promote, promote."

Dees said the arts are important to any community as an outlet for people to express their creativity.

"And there are so many different kinds of art," she said. "And people that are looking to move to a community, professionals especially, want to know what we have to offer in Wayne County. A lot of those people are looking for cultural activities and offerings. Art is the cultural activity in my opinion, whether it's painting, theatrics, music or whatever. I think it's really important that the arts stay strong."