Women in Business highlights the arts and connections
Published 12:00 am Sunday, November 13, 2022
By Brad Dountz
SALISBURY — The Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business program held a monthly event Thursday night at the Center for Faith & the Arts.
The group’s meetings are meant to support local women in business and they’ve helped them network with others in the area for more than 10 years.
“These are very popular to host because the businesses, organizations see this as a way to get some people in that wouldn’t normally come to either your business or organization,” said Elaine Spalding, president of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. “It’s great business networking, professional development, everything we can do to support our local business community and encourage everybody to buy local.”
Many businesswomen attended the event to meet, share contact information and learn about each other. A raffle offered prizes and plenty of food and drink were available for those in attendance.
The partnership with the Center for Faith & the Arts, a nonprofit that advocates for art in the community, also helped showcase female artists. Grants help fund the work with other local nonprofits.
“It’s a great opportunity for the women that are in the Chamber to learn all about what the Center for Faith & the Arts is all about because a lot of us have never been to this space before,” said Donna Groce, Rowan County Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Committee Chair.
Most of the art on display was purposely damaged to highlight how artists should let go of their ego and follow the belief that art is more spiritual and emotional than purely physical.
“Each piece is based off of a moral question we should ask ourselves as artists and then the second meaning of this was to not try control and know the art lives in you. Even if your work is destroyed. Even if you lose it, whether that’s circumstantial or whatever means, you should not stop creating from the grief of that because you are the art. It comes from you, you are an endless well,” said Shane Menier, the visual artist in residence for the Center for Faith & the Arts.
Some people come to the events because they see the value in building these kind of relationships and what that means for them and others.
“This first thing I did when I arrived in Salisbury was find the Chamber of Commerce,” said Elsie Smoluk, a representative for PPLSI with brands LegalShield and IDShield. “I’ve been a businesswoman for over 40 years and I’ve always enjoyed working with and supporting other women. So when I saw that there was actually a component of the chamber that focused on women in the business community I was thrilled.”
You can attend next month’s event to see what it’s all about for yourself. “If you’re interested in finding people who are like-minded and will be supportive this is a great place to be,” she said.