Adrienne Witherspoon, B.F.A.


Adrienne Witherspoon, a fundraiser, social justice advocate, and nonprofit manager, develops programs and generates funding for campus-community collaborations; tobacco control has been one of her greatest successes. Through interdisciplinary projects that build community and develop leaders, students are challenged to change their assumptions about and relationships with tobacco and the communities in which they belong and will serve.

Witherspoon’s approach to tobacco prevention and social justice activism has its foundation in her experience as an artist and arts administrator; seeing unlimited possibilities, creating programs with a vision of the desired outcome, and designing programs to not only elicit a particular response but also develop an audience.

Adrienne received a B.F.A. in Studio Art from North Carolina Central University and is completing a M.A.T. in Special Education with Concentration in Behavioral and Emotional Disabilities at North Carolina Central University.

As an arts administrator, she served North Carolina and the nation for over twenty years. In the capacity of staff with the United Arts Council of Greensboro, she provided advocacy and technical assistance for underserved communities and helped major arts organizations develop audiences. During five-year tenure at the North Carolina Arts Council, she annually trained and placed over 150 professional artists in public school and community college residencies throughout the State. A national perspective on the arts and communities was acquired through nine years of evaluating and awarding grants to arts organizations for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Through her professional pursuits and civic involvement, Adrienne has worked for social justice and equality at the local, state, national and international levels. In 1995, she served as a North Carolina delegate to the United Nations’ NGO 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing, China; in 1997, participated in the Sister-to-Sister Hemispheric Peace Initiative in Havana, Cuba. As a fundraising professional and nonprofit manager, she has successfully helped to advance the community building and social justice mission of eight Native American tribes and organizations; a regional participatory literacy organization; the State coalition against domestic violence and the early childhood education-family support program that was the predecessor to North Carolina’s nationally recognized Smart Start program. Her professional achievements include an Arts Administration Fellowship with the National Endowment for the Arts, an Education Policy Fellowship with the Institute for Educational Leadership, and the appointment to the selection committee for Marshall Memorial Fellowship of North Carolina a program of the German Marshall Fund and Board of Directors of the Women’s Foundation of North Carolina

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Last updated: 06/16,27/06 by Vic