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50 Artists For 50 Years

composite image of artist honorees and the words '50 for 50'
Courtesy of the North Carolina Arts Council

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council, the state agency decided to profile 50 artists with North Carolina roots. The project is called “50 for 50,” and it includes artists from bestselling-author David Sedaris to poet and musician Shirlette Ammons.

Host Frank Stasio talks to North Carolina Arts Council Executive Director Wayne Martin about the project. Asha Bala also joins the conversation. She is the director and an instructor at the Leela School of Dance in Cary. She was profiled in the 50 for 50 project. Bala talks about the South Indian dance form Bharatanatyam and how it transmits religious stories and culture to her students and the greater Indian diaspora.

bala leads a group of students in a dance studio
Credit Courtesy of the North Carolina Arts Council
Asha Bala dancing with her students.

Bala is also a recipient of a 2018 North Carolina Heritage Award. Bala will be performing at the 2018 North Carolina Heritage Award ceremony on Wednesday, May 23, at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh. 


Amanda Magnus is the executive producer of Embodied, a weekly radio show and podcast about sex, relationships and health. She has also worked on other WUNC shows including Tested and CREEP.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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