Boro Laureates Lead Programs and Arts Initiatives in the Community

Earlier in 2017 Cultural Arts Murfreesboro launched the first term of the laureate program, honoring three chosen creative professionals in the fields of photography, painting, and poetry. Now just a few months into their term, they are hard at work making the arts more accessible in our community.

Painter Laureate, Ginny Togrye, has begun a series of art making demonstrations, the first taking place at Simply Pure Sweets during the October Boro Art Crawl. Future events will be held at the Boys and Girls Club, Special Kids, and Discovery Center. Art work created during the events will be exhibited as an assemblage at the Laureate Exhibit to be held at City Hall Rotunda at the end of their term. Ginny is also researching community building and devising a plan for taking the Murfreesboro art community to the next level, which would involve working with an expert consultant to create an action plan for our area. She says she plans to continue this work well beyond her post as Painter Laureate. Ginny is also developing ideas for a creative mingle networking event and has already created an online Facebook group entitled, “Creative Connector.”

Poet Laureate, Kory Wells, recently celebrated the first year anniversary of Poetry in the Boro during the August Art Crawl. Kory represented the laureates at Banned Together: A Censorship Cabaret, in celebration of Banned Books week, as well as at a performance of Pirates of Penzance at Center for the Arts. At both of these events and several others Kory gave attendees information about the laureate program and her Poetry in the Boro program. Kory will also be debuting a new column in the October issue of the Murfreesboro Pulse entitled, “Poetry Pulse.” She continues to be recognized at a variety of events and publications for her appointment as Poet Laureate as well as her writing and advocacy.

Photography Laureate, Jessica Nelson, is in the process of planning two photography programs for local youth, made possible by cameras donated by the community. Anyone interested in donating cameras for these programs can contact us at, or by dropping cameras off at Patterson Park Community Center in care of Erin Hartsfield. She is also organizing several photography exhibits, one featuring local artist, Amber Vongsamphanh, and a bigger photo festival set to take place Spring 2018 including a juried show at the City Hall Rotunda. Most recently, Jessica held the first Photography Mingle which took place at Gateway Island on October 5th. Approximately thirteen attended, each giving much needed feedback about the local photography community, and several plan to volunteer in assisting with Jessica’s future events.

All three laureates are also preparing individual works of art as well as a collaborative piece all to be shown at the City Hall Rotunda exhibition at the end of their term. The city and its residents appreciate the hard work of these three very talented women and thank them for all they are doing to improve the local art community.

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