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Steve Bryan swinging his daughter upside down

As an organization, Artsplosure is community-driven by the very nature of its pursuit to bring art to everyone.

One of the privileges of this endeavor is that we encounter the best of what our hometown has to offer – our people. In our decades of working to put on Artsplosure: The Raleigh Arts Festival and First Night Raleigh, we have been fortunate enough to have met so many outstanding, hard working, kind, and caring individuals. No person exemplified those qualities more than Steve Bryan.

The response to Steve’s request that gifts be made to Artsplosure in his memory has been heartfelt. Steve played many roles Artsplosure: key volunteer, trusted board member, strategic thinker, treasurer, and, even production supervisor. At the spring festival, Steve would be on-site at the crack of dawn for vendor load-in and end the day tapping and selling beer during the final main stage performances. In between, he’d troubleshoot with our executive director, and often keep him focused on the tasks at hand! At First Night Raleigh on New Year’s Eve, Steve traditionally volunteered for the late night shifts, helping close down and secure our festival. His last assignment on the board was developing a realistic long-range plan for the next five years. No matter what the role, Steve was always a diligent champion of our cause!

A music enthusiast and guitar player, Steve always took a keen interest in the performance lineup, in particular artists embodying authenticity and American roots music.

Steve was truly beloved, and his love for Artsplosure and it’s art for all mission will be perpetuated in future years. Beginning at this May’s Artsplosure: The Raleigh Arts Festival, we will dedicate the Saturday night headliner performance in his honor. The year’s headliner is legendary R&B performer and 2017 Grammy winner William Bell, who is about as authentic as you can get!

We are thankful for Steve’s all too brief time with us, and hope that this tribute to him will serve as a small thank you for all that he did for Artsplosure.

Image: Steve Bryan and his daughter volunteering at Artsplosure – The Raleigh Arts Festival

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