Hickory Playground 6

Saturday, July 20, 2022
7:30 to 9:30 PM

Drendel Auditorium
243 3rd Avenue
Hickory, NC


The Hickory Playground is an arts advocacy non-profit with a mission to invest in the artists of tomorrow by nurturing artists and offering financial support to arts departments in public education. The organization is now in its seventh year of operation and earned its 501(c)(3) status in 2018. Since its inception in 2016, the company has granted more than $55,000 to 18 different public schools in Catawba County and beyond from pre-school to high school. All grants Hickory Playground receives are directly reinvested back into emerging artists and public school arts departments to lift the diverse voices of the artists, leaders, and activists of tomorrow. 

The organization was founded to promote arts activism and awareness, initially in Catawba County, North Carolina and to be a national blueprint to promote the arts in public schools in communities around the country. We advocate for students in public education, often victimized by budget cuts, by providing independent earmarked funding for arts in our schools. 

HPG also provides a platform to emerging artists by producing an annual forty-eight-hour play festival as well as our diverse array of programming. Through the years, the organization has worked with and compensated over 200 artists spanning across multiple disciplines including theatre, film, visual arts, music, dance, creative writing, podcasts and more.

HPG is a safe place for artists of all kinds and experience levels to thrive.

New Art. New Artists. One Community. That is what is at the core of Hickory Playground. We are building a network of young artists around the country to create new work and share ideas with each other, all while creating opportunities and instilling the belief that anyone can be an artist, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or any other societal barrier. HPG continues to draw nation-wide attention and is selectively curating artists from around the country to present their work.

Hickory Playground was conceived by Dylan Tashjian, Jordan Makant, and Robert Fuller when they were 19 years old as an effort to make the arts accessible to all of the communities in Catawba County. Since 2016, HPG has been involved in numerous community activities and have exponentially increased the diversity of participants in its programming.  We reach out to all communities as a space to tell personal stories through the arts.  HPG believes that every person has a unique story, and we want to be a united community platform that practices active listening and inclusion; we believe that starts in our public schools.

Hickory Playground received the Friends of the Arts Award by the North Carolina Arts Educators Association in 2019. The award is given to organizations with an exemplary record of supporting the arts in public education in North Carolina.


Jul 30 2022


7:30 pm - 9:30 pm