13 sets of people who should meet or collaborate

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Kayla Lewis

by Eric Ginsburg

One of the greatest benefits of having three cities so proximate to one another is the opportunity to connect with people who hold similar passions who operate in a different — yet accessible — community. It’s the kind of thing that happens regularly, and it is heartening that this inter-city connectivity appears to be occurring with greater frequency.

There are plenty of examples, including RiverRun Executive Director Andrew Rodgers working with Greensboro filmmaker Harvey Robinson on “Crooked Candy,” Triad Stage joining forces with Hanesbrands Theatre or SECCA, Elsewhere and Chaos Kitchen co-hosting an event together.

Our Editor-In-Chief Brian Clarey talks about part of our mission being to act as connective tissue, bringing people together who would benefit from each other’s insights, experiences and ideas. It’s like professional and social matchmaking, drawing commonalities between similar work or concepts across communities that we cover.

One of the most rewarding parts of our recent anniversary party was the ability to introduce these folks in person — connecting the folks behind Preyer Brewing in Greensboro with Hoots and Small Batch in Winston-Salem, or the host of WFDD’s Dining Room series with Greensboro restaurateur and food movement vet Mary Lacklen. Senior Editor Jordan Green enjoyed introducing former Guilford County Republican Party chairman Michael Picarelli to Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School Board member and Democrat Elizabeth Motsinger.

But there are so many other people that I would hope could sit down together and get to know each other, letting ideas bounce around and germinate.

For simplicity’s sake, the first person mentioned in each duo lives in Winston-Salem while the second person lives in Greensboro.

  1. Artists Laura Lashley and Beka Butts have a similar eye for pattern and colors, and would appreciate each other’s aesthetics.
  2. Both John Bryan and Eric Robert have sunk considerable time and money into renovating huge mills, though Bryan’s West End Millworks has more tenants.
  3. Former alderman and Winston-Salem State University professor Larry Little and Black Lives Matter activist Irving Allen would enjoy an intergenerational conversation about the legal system, community organizing and policing.
  4. Poets Jacinta White and Kayla Lewis (above) have an affinity for the spoken word, and would probably end up hosting events together.
  5. It would be surprising if preeminent foodie Nikki Miller-Ka and Ethnosh organizer Donovan McKnight hadn’t met yet, but a deeper conversation about food might spring forth some pop-up ideas.
  6. Photographers Melissa Melvin-Rodriguez and Stephen Charles would appreciate each other’s work and likely get along easily.
  7. Winston-Salem City Councilman Dan Besse and urbanist/writer Kristen Jeffers would have a rich conversation about city planning, development and the future.
  8. The folks at Reanimator Records, which is also a bar/show space, would enjoy hanging out with the dudes at Revolution Cycles, where there are 10 beer taps. Maybe they’d end up creating some freaky side project together.
  9. Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership leader Jason Thiel and downtown Greensboro consultant April Harris no doubt know each other, but a longer or more frequent conversation would lead to actionable, urban ideas.
  10. Freelance journalist Jonathan Michels and Bennett College journalism professor Tom Lipscomb wouldn’t run out of things to discuss.
  11. Councilmen Derwin Montgomery and Jamal Fox have much in common, both in terms of their jobs, their districts and being the youngest members of their respective city councils. They already know each other, but should still team up.
  12. Black Mountain Chocolate pastry chef and chocolatier Megan Peters and Crafted restaurant owner and chef Kristina Fuller could potentially create the most fantastic of food events together.

    Evan Hawkins (left)
    Evan Hawkins (left)
  13. Visual artist Evan Hawkins projects trippy, acid-like moving images behind Jared Draughon for Must Be the Holy Ghost, but Hawkins could collaborate with Adam Graetz of Dance from Above.