Black On Black Project Curated Conversations EP 11 featuring Carly P. Jones and Nicole Oxendine.
On episode 11 of Curated Conversations we chat with the owner of Durham-based Empower Dance Studio Nicole Oxendine and artist, performer and arts administrator Carly P. Jones about their career paths, how they use the arts to impact the community and how their respective organizations are pivoting in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A Durham native, Oxendine attended both Hollins University and Columbia College Chicago and then returned to her hometown. She taught at Hillside High School and was a part-time faculty member at North Carolina Central University. Oxendine then founded Empower, which nurtures natural beauty, instills self-confidence and reinforces positive images of its students. She’s created a COVID-19 plan for her students by offering online classes for children and adults that will be accessible on platforms like Zoom and YouTube.
Jones, who attended Miami University in Ohio and earned a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance, a Bachelor of Arts in Black Music History and a minor in Arts Administration, has been a performing artist in the state for a decade. She’s appeared in a myriad of stage productions including North Carolina Theatre’s “In the Heights,” Theatre Raleigh’s “Carousel” and Howard Craft’s “Orange Light.” She currently serves as the Senior Program Director for Artists & Organizations at the North Carolina Arts Council.
In her role at the Arts Council, Jones helped the organization shift efforts to meet the needs of artists and organizations across the state amid COVID-19. Visit ncarts.org to read a letter from Executive Director Wayne Martin about the arts in North Carolina and COVID-19 plus a comprehensive resource guide.
Additionally, the Arts Council is supporting Under One Roof, a virtual music festival April 24 to 26 that will benefit North Carolina artists. Performances and appearances will include Anthony Hamilton, 9th Wonder, Ben Folds, Fantasia and more. Events will begin on the evenings of Friday, April 24 through Sunday, April 26 from 8 to 9 p.m. It can be streamed on Facebook and Twitch. Viewers can donate to the North Carolina Arts Foundation and all proceeds raised from Under One Roof will be sent to nonprofit arts organizations in the state that have established relief funds for artists in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(In the interview we reference the Americans for the Arts’ ongoing survey capturing coronavirus-related economic impact reports from artists, arts organizations and arts agencies. Follow along here for the latest numbers.)
Jones and Oxendine have previously worked with the Black On Black Project on exhibitions and programming related to the “Black On Black” exhibition trilogy produced by VAE Raleigh.
Curated Conversations features Black On Black Project founder Michael S. Williams chatting with people in the art community about their art practice and other related topics. Watch the entire Curated Conversations series here.