Arts Access Awarded 2024 Peace Prize

Sunday May 5, 2024

The North Carolina Peace Corps Association (NCPCA) presented its annual prize on Saturday, May 4, at a gallery Arts Access North Carolina recently opened in downtown Raleigh to showcase and sell the work of artists with disabilities. Following the award presentation, Robert Parrish, who is legally blind, spoke about the importance of arts accessibility. Attendees were also able to view the gallery’s inaugural exhibition by Durham-based artist Jean Gray Mohs.

Robert Parrish Speaks at the Peace Prize Ceremony about the work of Arts Access North Carolina.

NCPCA represents North Carolinians, especially those in the Triangle region, who have served in the Peace Corps. Its annual Peace Prize includes a $2,000 check and a hand-thrown vase from Raleigh Potter. The judges, all former Peace Corps Volunteers living in the area, select a winner that exemplifies the Peace Corps values of public awareness, education, cross-cultural understanding and community service.

NCPCA President, Jennifer Chow, presents the Peace Prize to Eileen Bagnall, Executive Director of Arts Access North Carolina.

“For more than four decades, Arts Access has been making the arts accessible across North Carolina,” said Jennifer Chow, NCPCA’s president and a former Peace Corps Volunteer in Mongolia. “It’s been a pioneer at the intersection of arts, education and disability, connecting adults and children with disabilities to the arts. It enables them to enjoy our state’s rich cultural scene and share their own artistic visions. Just like the Peace Corps, it’s making the world better for everyone.”

The North Carolina Peace Prize has previously honored nonprofits that assist refugees, support adolescent parents and pursue diverse other missions. Information about last year’s honoree, Community in Motion, which uses dance to assist vulnerable populations, is available online with a list of previous recipients.

“This is quite an honor, and we look forward to adding the vase to the Arts Access Gallery’s permanent collection,” said Eileen Bagnall, the executive director of Arts Access. “It’s wonderful to be recognized for our work by an organization that is known for creating an impact in the world.”

Members of the Peace Prize planning committee with Eileen Bagnall and Robert Parrish, Arts Access North Carolina.

You can read more about the organization on their website: Arts Access North Carolina (artsaccessinc.org)

Article and photos by David Jarmul, RPCV Nepal & Moldova.

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