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The arts community has suffered two major losses within days of each other with the deaths of Phil Hanes, 84, of Winston-Salem, and John McNeil Smith, Jr., 92, of Greensboro. For obits of these distinguished men, see http://www2.journalnow.com/news/2011/jan/16/10/phil-hanes-dies-84-ar-699583/ and http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/01/15/922739/former-nc-lawmaker-mcneill-smith.html.
Hanes was far more prominent in the arts and culture, but Triangle residents will also recall Smith as one of the major forces behind the establishment of NC Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. One of Raleigh's senior arts administrators writes that his presence at the helm of the new organization "lent it credence and attracted other prominent attorneys to the board. The subsequent success of NCVLA was clearly due to his imprimatur."