Ewers selected as Arts Person of the Year

Since 2014, the Stanly County Arts Council has recognized an Arts Person of the Year. This person has made a significant positive impact on the arts in Stanly County and has worked diligently to support, promote, and create quality arts experiences for the whole community.

The Stanly County Arts Council selected Lisa Ewers as the 2024 recipient of the Arts Person of the Year. Ewers received her award at the Awards Ceremony at the 6th annual Celebration of the Arts on March 23 at the Stanly County Agri-Civic Center.

The importance of the arts even became more evident during Ewers’ acceptance speech.

While accepting her award, she took the time to recognize the current and all past arts educators of the years encouraging another round of applause, “for all arts educators who have to fight for what they do and what they have to do it with… They were the inspiration for me when I was a young person.”

She continued, “The arts are innate, it’s in our DNA. Before we walk, we dance. Before we speak, we’re singing. Before we’re writing, we are drawing….Please keep fighting for the arts in our schools. The arts increase our emotional IQ, which are the skills that we need as an adult for problem solving, collaboration, and empathy for others….. Please do your research, find out how important the arts are to each candidate, and keep that in mind when you vote this election year.”

Ewers is originally from New Jersey and came south to pursue a music degree from Pfeiffer College. Since graduating from Pfeiffer, she has worked as a program instructor for GHA-Autism Supports, completed graduate work in special education and school administration and served multiple churches in Stanly and Cabarrus counties as music director.

Ewers has taught special education at the elementary, middle and high school levels, and has been an elementary school assistant principal. The last several years of her educational career were spent at the district level, serving as a special education program coordinator and director.

Prior to, and since her retirement from education in 2023, Ewers has been involved with various arts groups in Stanly County. She has participated with the Stanly County Chorale, both singing and serving on the board, since 1995; with The Uwharrie Players (backstage, in the booth, and on stage) off and on since 1999; and has played in the Stanly County Concert Band since its inception 11 years ago. Ewers even had a cameo appearance with The Talent Company several years ago in “Bye-Bye Birdie.”

She currently serves as music director for the Stanly County Chorale, president of (and clarinetist in) the Stanly County Concert Band and chairperson of The Uwharrie Players’ Board of Directors.

She serves as music director at Epworth United Methodist Church in Concord and has provided music leadership in the Kairos Prison Ministry since 2009.

When not involved in these things, Ewers sings and plays percussion in a John Denver tribute band which performs in various places throughout Stanly County to raise money for charity.

Ewers joins previous Arts Person of the Year awardees of Charlotte Maness, Angela Moore, Wes Tucker, Carmella Hedrick, Tim Harris, John Williams, Aza Hudson, Kent Harkey/Edna Lipe-Harkey and Tim Hedrick.

For the year 2021, the Arts Person and Fine Arts Educator of the Year awards were combined and honored all arts educators in the county for their dedication to aspiring youth to pursue the arts during the pandemic.

In honor of the Stanly County Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary, all previous recipients were recognized at this year’s Awards Ceremony.

The Stanly County Arts Council was founded in 1974. It continues to promote and support all art forms in the community. Its mission is to encourage and promote broad-based cultural and educational activities in the arts throughout Stanly County.

The Stanly County Arts Council is supported by private donations and by the NC Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

For the latest information on the arts in Stanly County, visit www.stanlycountyartscouncil.org. Contact Renee VanHorn, executive director, at stanlycountyartscouncil1974@gmail.com.