Methodist University Uses Arts Council Grant to Support Friends of Music Guest Artist Series


FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. – Methodist University recently received a $3,000 grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County in support of the MU Performing Arts Department’s 2021-22 Friends of Music Guest Artist Series.

The Friends of Music Guest Artist Series provides up to 500 youth and adults in Cumberland County with live, in-person classical and contemporary musical demonstrations and recitals.

“The generous Arts Council grant enables us to bring nationally recognized talent to Methodist University, which directly impacts, not only our students, but also young artists in primary and secondary education,” said Dr. Susan Durham-Lozaw, chair of the MU Performing Arts Department. “The funds also allow us the ability to host these performers in concert, which provides for amazing musical enrichment opportunities for all in the Cumberland County area free of charge. We are so very grateful.”

This year’s series will feature Melvin Ezzell, tenor vocalist (Sept. 17, 2021); Taylor Eigsti, jazz pianist (Oct. 29, 2021); Eric Gilfus, French horn (Jan. 28, 2022); and Jeri-Mae Astolfi, piano (March 18, 2022).

Each visit includes an 11 a.m. workshop in MU’s Hensdale Chapel, a private workshop at Capital Encore Academy and a 7:30 p.m. recital in Matthews Chapel on campus.

Methodist University’s Series Support grant from the Arts Council will support this series. For more information about the guest artists, visit

“The Arts Council is pleased to partner with Methodist University in support of its 2021-22 Friends of Music Guest Artist Series,” says Bob Pinson, Interim President and CEO of the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County. “Project Support Grants for 2021-22 will help fund worthwhile arts, culture, and history projects throughout Cumberland County. These projects help strengthen our communities through festivals and concerts, youth education programs, arts exhibitions, workshops, and so much more.”

Project Support Grants increase opportunities for access to arts, science, cultural and historical programming in Cumberland County. The grants are awarded to nonprofit agencies in Cumberland County that demonstrate financial and administrative stability.


About Methodist University

Methodist University is an independent, four-year institution of higher education with approximately 2,000 students from across the U.S. and more than 40 countries. MU offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate degree programs (including doctoral-level options) on campus and online. MU features more than 150 student clubs and organizations, plus 20 NCAA intercollegiate sports. To learn more about Methodist University, please visit

About the Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County:

The Arts Council of Fayetteville | Cumberland County is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization based in Fayetteville, N.C., that supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development, and lifelong learning through the ARTS. Founded in 1973, the Arts Council has served as a link between artists, arts, and cultural organizations, and the greater community by administering programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community and economic growth, reinforce child education, and enhance the cultural identity of the arts and entertainment district.

In the fiscal year 2020-21, the Arts Council distributed $1.1M in grant funds and allocations to Cumberland County arts and culture nonprofit organizations, artists, and municipalities. The Arts Council’s grants, programs, and services are funded in part by contributions from community partners, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County, and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

About Capitol Encore Academy:

The Capitol Encore Academy is a free, public charter school offering integrated arts and core academic learning. We are a non-profit, independent school system in Fayetteville, NC governed by a local board of directors and operating within the NC Department of Public Instruction, working with The Romine Management Group. We currently offer K-8th grade, with a goal of adding a grade yearly to become K-12th grade. The Capitol Encore Academy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.


Story by Gabrielle I. Allison.