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Call for artists: Wyndham Rewards commissions Gillespie wall mural honoring Greensboro Six

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Call for artists: Wyndham Rewards commissions Gillespie wall mural honoring Greensboro Six

Partners with the city of Greensboro and First Tee - Central Carolina; invites interested creatives to submit qualifications by March 29

    PARSIPPANY, N.J. – Plans for a new Greensboro public arts project honoring civil rights pioneers, the Greensboro Six, took a major step forward today with the formal launch of a nationwide search for the mural’s artist.

    Slated for installation at historic Gillespie Golf Course, the outdoor project is being commissioned by Wyndham Rewards® -- proud title sponsor of the PGA TOUR’s Wyndham Championship -- and overseen by the city of Greensboro in partnership with First Tee - Central Carolina.

    “The Greensboro Six didn’t just change the history of Gillespie Golf Course – they helped change the game of golf. With this mural, it’s our hope that we can honor their historic contributions while celebrating the vital role Gillespie continues to play in our community through the work of First Tee.”

    Ryan Wilson, CEO, First Tee - Central Carolina

    A Civil Rights landmark

    In 1955, one week after Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus, six Black men led by Dr. George Simkins started a local movement of their own by defiantly playing a round at the whites-only Gillespie Golf Course. They were later arrested, convicted of trespassing and spent 15 days in jail.

    While it took seven years and numerous court cases before Gillespie would desegregate and re-open to all, the Greensboro Six’s actions helped contribute to the Civil Rights Movement, eventually seeing The Greater Greensboro Open (now the Wyndham Championship) become the first PGA TOUR event in the South to welcome a Black player (Charlie Sifford), and shortly thereafter, the full desegregation of professional golf.

    Today, Gillespie is home to First Tee - Central Carolina, a national youth development program using the game of golf to create life-changing opportunities for local youth on and off the course. It also has the distinction of being the first course in North Carolina to offer PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere), a national program leveraging golf to enhance the wellbeing of active-duty military and veterans and is one of the only courses in the Triad catering to players with spinal injuries and disabilities through adaptive equipment and free programs.

    Honoring the past, looking to the future

    Artist commission for the project is $30,000 inclusive of all related design service, artist time and insurance needs, with additional dollars budgeted for elements including but not limited to, community engagement, materials, equipment required for installation and maintenance.

    To be eligible, artists must have within the last three years completed at least one large-scale outdoor mural with a budget of at least $20,000. Applications must be submitted online and include, among other criteria, contact details, a 500-word statement of interest, relevant work samples and references. A detailed list of criteria, along with access to the application form, can be found here. All submissions must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. ET on March 29, 2024.

    Following the collection of eligible submissions, three finalists will be selected to move forward in the process with one finalist ultimately being awarded the project in May. All selections will be made by a special committee, consisting of key community figures and organizations. They include:

    • Chris Simkins – Son of Greensboro Six member Dr. George Simkins
    • Will Lowery – North Carolina native and golf media personality
    • Olajuwon Ajanaku – Co-founder of Eastside Golf
    • Jocquelyn Boone – Chief creative economy officer, city of Greensboro
    • ChesKesha Cunningham-Dockery – Greensboro Parks & Recreation commission chairwoman
    • Harold Martin – Wyndham Championship Honorary Chair
    • Davida Martin – Wyndham Championship Honorary Chair
    • Kimberly Marshall – Chief human resource officer, Travel + Leisure
    • Monica Melancon – Chief human resource officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts
    • Emily Furderer – Senior manager, Community and Inclusion, PGA TOUR
    • Mark Lathan – Director of programs, First Tee - Central Carolina
    • Terrington Myles – Director of programs, First Tee – Central Carolina

    “Wyndham Rewards recognizes that Gillespie is a local landmark and a spot treasured by the Greensboro community. For that reason, it’s incredibly important that the direction for this project is driven by the local community for the local community—starting with the selection of the mural’s artist. Our hope is that this project finally gives the Greensboro Six the attention they deserve.”

    Lisa Checchio, Chief Marketing Officer, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

    The Gillespie wall mural honoring the Greensboro Six is slated to be unveiled this August ahead of the 85th annual Wyndham Championship and is a part of larger efforts surrounding Wyndham Championship Fore! Good, the tournament’s signature philanthropic platform.

    For more information, visit

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