FEBRUARY 18, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Katie Murray
Director, Orange County Arts Commission
NATIONAL AND LOCAL ARTISTS UNITE WITH FOUR LOCAL ARTS ORGANIZATIONS TO RAISE FUNDS FOR THE ARTS
Big Night in for the Arts Set to Bring the Triangle Together on March 11
HILLSBOROUGH, NC—We are so accustomed to living in an area surrounded by art of every kind that we may forget what it would be like if the arts disappeared altogether. The pandemic has given the world a preview of life without live concerts, art openings, or book readings, and we do not like what we have seen. That’s why arts councils from Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties, in partnership with WRAL-TV, are joining forces to rally support around the arts through a live event – Big Night In for the Arts. The regional fundraising initiative will be broadcast live on WRAL-TV on March 11 at 7pm. It will also be closed captioned and audio described, which is quite unique for a locally produced program – all in an effort to increase accessibility for everyone interested in participating. Dollars raised will go toward arts programming, initiatives for equity in the arts, and artist/arts organizations’ relief – and with the lingering effects of the pandemic, the help comes not a moment too soon.
Scotty McCreery, ACM and CMT Award-winning country music singer and Garner native joins the superstar line-up of artists performing, including: Ariana DeBose, Tony-nominated actress/singer/dancer and Raleigh native, who will be starring as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s upcoming film West Side Story; Mandolin Orange, nationally acclaimed folk music duo based in Chapel Hill, featuring singer-songwriter Andrew Marlin and multi-instrumentalist Emily Frantz; Branford Marsalis, three-time Grammy Award® winner and internationally renowned saxophonist based in Durham, who recently wrote the score for Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and Mike Wiley, nationally acclaimed actor and playwright based in Chatham County, who shines the light on key figures in African-American history through his performances.
“Our local arts communities need support now more than ever. This pandemic has been challenging in so many ways,” expressed Ariana DeBose. “Millions of people have suffered, entire industries have been brought to their knees with no relief in sight. In times of trouble, people turn to the arts. Now is the time for us to show up for each other in a radical way. That is why I am so proud to lend my voice to this event in efforts to support the community that has given me so much.”
A stream of local artists will also be participating in Big Night in for the Arts to help support their arts communities. Chatham County artist, Marcelle Harwell Pachnowski, who is nationally and internationally collected and exhibited, visualizes color and rhythmic patterns when she listens to music, resulting in paintings with a spontaneous mix of color, rhythm, texture, and movement. She will be creating a mixed media piece, which will be utilized to help raise additional funds for the campaign.
Regional and local leaders across the four counties are posting videos on social media in support of this vital fundraising event. Their messages highlight the devastation the arts have experienced due to COVID-19, while reminding us of the widespread positive effect the arts have on our communities. They implore our region to stand up and support a field that impacts the young and the old, the down-trodden and the affluent, and people of all cultures.
“The arts are the character and spirit of the Triangle region and a primary reason this is such a wonderful place to live. We are excited to join forces with our regional arts councils so we can give back to an industry that has given us so much,” states Katie Murray, Director of the Orange County Arts Commission.
Supporting Big Night in for the Arts
Arts supporters can join the effort prior to the event as sponsors or donate live during the event. Audiences and arts enthusiasts who have enjoyed the arts across the Triangle for years can make a gift to benefit the four counties collectively or designate which specific county they would like to support. Every dollar helps ensure the arts in the Triangle will survive and thrive long after this pandemic has lifted.
The Chatham Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, the Orange County Arts Commission, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County are grateful to the more than 70 generous corporate and individual sponsors who have already stepped up to support the arts through this event.
Join us on March 11 and lend a helping hand to the arts throughout the region! For more information on the talented artists headlining this event, sponsorship opportunities, or to donate prior to the event, go to BigNightIn.org.
ABOUT BIG NIGHT IN FOR THE ARTS
Born out of a love and respect for the arts, Big Night In for the Arts is a regional fundraising event to help local artists and arts/cultural organizations begin on a path of recovery and reentry after the pandemic has lifted. It represents the first time arts councils from Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties have joined together in support of a mutual cause. In partnership with WRAL-TV, the Chatham Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, the Orange County Arts Commission, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County are working together to maximize efforts to rally robust financial support for artists and arts/cultural organizations on March 11. For more information, please visit BigNightIn.org.
ABOUT THE ORANGE COUNTY ARTS COMMISSION
Created in 1985 as the official government agency on the arts by a Resolution of the Board of County Commissioners, the Orange County Arts Commission (OCAC) serves as a clearinghouse for arts information, facilitator of arts programs & advisor to the Orange County Board of County Commissioners regarding the arts. As the Designated County Partner of the North Carolina Arts Council in Orange County since 1985, the OCAC is responsible for sub-granting state and county funds to arts organizations, schools and artists throughout the county. Our mission is to promote and strengthen the artistic and cultural development of Orange County, North Carolina.
ABOUT WRAL-TV’S PARENT COMPANY
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. is a diversified communications company which owns and/or operates WRAL-TV, WRAL Digital, WRAZ-TV, WRAZ Digital, WRAL-FM, WRAL-HD2, WCMC-FM, WCMC-HD1, WDNC-AM, WCMC-HD2, WCMC-HD3, WCLY-AM, WCMC-HD4, Microspace, CBC New Media Group and Wolfpack Sports Properties (a joint venture with Learfield) in Raleigh, NC; WILM-TV, WILT-LD and Sunrise Broadcasting in Wilmington, NC; The Durham Bulls Baseball Club, Bull City Hospitality and Bull Durham Beer Co., and the American Underground startup hub in Durham, NC; and real estate interests including the American Tobacco Historic District in Durham, NC, and Rocky Mount Mills in Rocky Mount, NC; and Professional Builders Supply (an equity partnership) in Morrisville, NC.
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