Arts campaign opens with $2M gift

The Sawtooth Building

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A $2 million donation from Hanesbrands for a new theater has kicked off a $6 million capital campaign by the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

Hanesbrands, an underwear and hosiery manufacturer, has pledged $2 million to the Arts Council for a 300-seat black-box theater in Winston-Salem’s historic downtown district

Funds for the Hanesbrands Theatre are being raised as part of a $26 million capital campaign to establish and endow a downtown arts center in the city’s historic Sawtooth Building.

The building formerly housed a Hanes hosiery mill that produced men’s socks from 1911 to 1926.

The theater will be built in a remodeled garage adjacent to the new center.

Milton Rhodes, Arts Council president and CEO, says Hanesbrands has given $5.6 million to the Arts Council over the past decade, making it the top corporate contributor, mainly through employee-based giving.

Council officials plan to take advantage of the flexibility offered by a black-box theater, where seating and staging can be re-configured to accommodate theatre, dance and film.

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