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Arts Council Serves as Stop on Anchorman Farewell Tour

Bill Leslie
(Fayetteville, NC) June 14, 2018 — Ready for your close-up? TV cameras will be rolling into the Arts Council at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, June 21, as the only Fayetteville stop on a weeklong Farewell Tour for WRAL-TV morning and noon anchorman Bill Leslie, who is signing off after 39 years on the air.

For 90 minutes, the public is invited to come meet Bill, get autographs and souvenir giveaways, and even step into a “studio” with lights and a camera to record well wishes for his retirement. The warm greetings will be aired during newscasts the following week (Bill’s final week) on WRAL, an NBC affiliate.

“Bring a brown bag lunch and sit back and relax with anchorman Bill Leslie, who is a seasoned artist in his own right,” said Deborah Martin Mintz, Executive Director of the Arts Council. “We hear that Bill also will be singing and playing guitar.” 

The main event will be held in the Gallery of the Arts Center, home of the Arts Council, at 301 Hay Street in downtown Fayetteville. 

The Arts Council was chosen with four other locations throughout the viewing area for filming Bill Leslie’s Farewell Tour. The other locations include Mia Francesca restaurant in Raleigh, Johnston Community College in Smithfield, The Cary Theater, and American Tobacco in Durham. 

Janet Gibson, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Arts Council, added: “Let’s show Bill Leslie and the WRAL-TV crew that no one shows up and does hospitality quite like the folks in Fayetteville! This truly is a good news story for our city.”


The Arts Council of Fayetteville/Cumberland County was founded in 1973. As a link between artists, arts and cultural organizations and the community, the nonprofit agency administers programs in partnership with a variety of local agencies to stimulate community development through the arts. The Arts Council supports individual creativity, cultural preservation, economic development and lifelong learning through the arts. 

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The Arts Council’s grants, programs and services are funded in part by contributions from businesses and individuals, and through grants from the City of Fayetteville, Cumberland County and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.