Leaders from local arts organizations including the Orange County Arts Commission, Playmakers Repertory Company, The ArtsCenter and FRANK Gallery, participated in ArtsDay 2017 in Raleigh March 28-29. They met with Representative Verla Insko and, together with representatives from the Durham Arts Council, Representative Graig Meyer to ask for their support of proposed budget increases for the North Carolina Arts Council. If approved, the increase would provide an additional minimum of $30k in arts funding per county. Arts advocates also discussed the passing of H97, requiring the State Board of Education to require one credit in the arts in grades six through twelve. Currently, 25% of students in North Carolina do not receive any school-provided arts programming. Arts programming in schools is linked to improved standardized test scores, lower drop-out rates, and improved engagement. The bill has been approved by the House has yet to be voted on by the Senate.
ArtsDay attendees also enjoyed a closing performance by notable artists with ties to Orange County. Spoken word artists Phillip Shabazz (Chapel Hill resident) and Donovan Livingston (UNC-Chapel Hill graduate) performed with musical accompaniment by John Brown (UNC-Chapel Hill graduate and faculty member).