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The Community Appearance Commission Award 2016 - The Downtown Arts District Association

Downtown Arts District Day in commemoration of The" 30 Plus Festival" on September 27, 2015 by Winston-Salem Mayor, the Honorable Allen Joines.

DADA Short Form Description

The Downtown Arts Association (DADA) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization consisting of visual and performing artists, businesses and residents.

The DADA “footprint” includes a variety of artist’s studios, galleries, shops, retail businesses, restaurants, bars and residences located in this eclectic area of Downtown Winston-Salem, North Carolina located between 5th, 7th and Trade Streets.

Organized in 1995, DADA began to raise awareness of the arts community and the growing “Arts District”. Through it’s signature “DADA 1st Friday Gallery Hop” and co-sponsorship of various city events, DADA has infused the downtown with new life and energy, helping to build the arts district itself into a vibrant community.

In the DADA mission statement is the goal of “alter conventional perceptions about downtown–just as the post-WWI abstract art movement of the same name set out to emancipate the imagination.”

Long Form Description

In the early 1980’s a group of visual and performing artists took a chance on real estate in downtown Winston-Salem along 6th and Trade Streets to establish a location for artists to work and exhibit. This pioneer effort was a significant factor in the revitalization of downtown W-S and the seed in what has become the “Downtown Arts District”

Organized in 1995, the Downtown Arts District Association (DADA) began to raise awareness of the arts community and arts district through their “DADA 1st Friday Gallery Hop.” Due to this new public awareness of the area, growth continued to create the vibrant and eclectic mix of galleries, studios, shops, companies and homes saturated in the arts and the arts life that is found today in the Downtown Arts District.

DADA continues to bring countless visitors to downtown W-S every year while supporting our arts community where by helping W-S to remain the “City of Arts and Innovation.” *Appearance found in the Arts District today: Clean and safe area with “small town arts village” feel in the heart of downtown W-S. Area features public art including: large wall murals, 3-D art installations on the tops and sides of buildings (see attached self guided art tour info) flower displays around door entrances and also baskets and banners from DWSP.

Due to the ambiance created by the Downtown Arts District that exists today the following events have elected to stage their events along our streets. They include: Music on Trade concert series, Texas Pete Festival, Bookmarks Festival, International Bicycle Races, Arts on Sunday, Heavy Rebel Weekender, St. Baldrick’s Day event, Tomato Tasting event by W-S Journal, W-S Centennial events, Summer Reading Program from Central Library as well as countless, film location shoots, photo shoots, music video shoots, fashion shows, CD release events and DADA’s own 1st Friday Gallery Hops each month.

The Arts District today attracts multi generation patrons from a wide range of cultures and backgrounds. They arrive from locations across the US and abroad. The artists of the Arts District welcome and embrace them and make them feel welcome. 

Compiled and original contest by: M. Ingram

DADA Officers and Board of Directors:

Marilyn M. Ingram / President

Allison Hutchins / Treasurer

Nancy Smith Wells / Secretary

Board of Directors:  Rick Jones, Rachael Fern ( Membership ),

Will Knott (Past President), Jason Thiel, Yolanda Moses


website: –

Follow us on facebook – twitter – instagram!


DADA Headquarters and for more information: 
DADA Office 
c/o North Trade Street Arts Center 
604-A North Trade Street
Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Mailing Address: DADA - PO Box 21451 - Winston-Salem, North Carolina 27120

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