Bing Davis, Rodney Veal to co-chair 2024 Culture Works arts campaign

Culture Works, Dayton’s longtime arts fundraising and advocacy organization, has named Willis “Bing” Davis and Rodney Veal as co-chairs of its 2024 Campaign for the Arts. Davis will serve as artistic chair and Veal will serve as community chair.

The internationally renowned Davis is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Ohio Governor’s Irma Lazarus Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009, the highest art award given in the state of Ohio, and the Citizen Legion of Honor Award in 2022, the oldest and most continuous recognition of volunteer servant leadership in the Dayton region. He was also a part of the 1992 community initiative that led to the merger of the Dayton Arts Fund with the Miami Valley Arts Council to become the Miami Valley Arts Alliance. In 1994, the Arts Alliance was rebranded as Culture Works.

In addition, Davis is a Dayton native who attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, graduating in 1959. He also attended the school of the Dayton Art Institute and received his Master of Education degree in 1967 from Miami University in Oxford.

When Davis retired from teaching in 1998, he opened the Davis Art Studio and EbonNia Gallery in the historic Wright-Dunbar Business District. He has continued offering youth and community art and cultural activities through SHANGO: Center for the Study of African American Art and Culture.

“One of the reasons it is important for people to support the arts in Dayton is that the arts add such a quality to life that cannot be added any other way. Art is one of the best ways to… touch all people in all neighborhoods,” said Davis in a news release. “Contributing to the arts is one of the best ways to touch all people and to add a richness to living. It gives us all a good feeling to contribute to something so worthwhile – art, music, dance, drama, and creative words.”

Veal is the host of the “Art Show” on Think TV as well as the podcast “Inspired By.” He has a long association with the arts in Dayton and with Culture Works, where he worked in 1999 as special assistant to then President John Clark. He also received Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District grants and fellowships through Culture Works.

He is particularly known for his work as an independent choreographer and interdisciplinary artist. His works have been performed as part of the Ohio Dance Festival and other regional dance festivals. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member for Sinclair Community College and has mounted a visual arts show at Indie West in Oakwood.



A native Daytonian, Rodney is a graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a B.S in Political Science and Visual Arts and he has an MFA in Choreography from The Ohio State University. Rodney is President of the Board of Trustees of Ohio Dance and serves on the boards of Friends of Levitt Pavilions Dayton, Dayton Live, Dayton Performing Arts Alliance, WYSO and Homefull.

“Culture Works serves as a protector of the arts ecosystem in the region, to make sure that this platform is there for people and organizations who create art, and to elevate the creativity that occurs there,” Veal said. “They play a necessary role in ensuring that there is a fair and equitable distribution of funding and services to artists of all kinds. We need voices at the table from artists who are creating and sharing their stories from many different and wonderful backgrounds, and they need to be supported. Culture Works provides the opportunity for all those different voices to be heard and their creativity to be experienced, which makes our community that much richer and more special.”

2024 marks the 50th year of Culture Works sustaining, promoting and advocating for the arts community in the Dayton region. Formed in 1974 as the aforementioned Dayton Arts Fund, the organization was charged with raising funds for arts groups in critical need. In addition to serving the Dayton Ballet, Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Opera, recipients of Campaign for the Arts funding have included Dayton Contemporary Dance Company, Muse Machine, The Human Race Theatre Company, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and more.

Organizers note the Campaign for the Arts, Culture Works’ principal grants program, unites gifts from individual donors, corporate supporters and workplace giving campaigns into funding for Community Arts Grants. Community volunteers award general operating support to local arts organizations through an open panel application review process.

“This year we’re celebrating Culture Works’ legacy of ensuring more arts experiences for more people,” said Culture Works President and CEO Lisa Hanson. “We celebrate 50 years of strengthening and supporting cultural arts organizations and artists throughout the Dayton region. I am pleased that our Co-Chairs, Bing Davis as Artistic Chair and Rodney Veal as Community Chair, have agreed to lead this year’s 50th Campaign for the Arts. Bing and Rodney have played key roles in shaping art and community. It will be an exciting fundraising season with them leading the effort. As we progress through this year’s campaign season, we look forward to acknowledging Dayton’s amazing history of artistic creation and expression through the stories that have had a profound impact on our lives and communities.”

Anyone wishing to participate in this year’s campaign can give at their place of business, give online at or call 937-222-2787 x102 to speak to a staff member.

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