Director, Orange County Arts Commission
Hillsborough, NC—After nearly a year of closures and cancellations, the arts have suffered disproportionately from the destructive impact of the pandemic. For the first time ever, arts councils from Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties are joining forces to enlist support for the arts through a live event – Big Night In for the Arts. The regional fundraising initiative will broadcast live on WRAL-TV and livestream online, with closed captioning, on March 11 at 7pm. It will boast a super-star line-up, including Ariana DeBose, Tony-nominated actress/singer/dancer and Raleigh native; Mandolin Orange, nationally acclaimed folk music duo, based in Chapel Hill; Branford Marsalis, three-time Grammy Award® winner and internationally renowned saxophonist, based in Durham; and Mike Wiley, nationally acclaimed actor and playwright based in Chatham County. Additional national and local artists from each county to be announced.In partnership with WRAL-TV, Big Night In for the Arts will address the impact of COVID-19 on the arts, and highlight the missions of the four organizations that lead and support the Triangle’s local arts infrastructure. The fundraising event, taking place about a year after the first stay-at-home orders were implemented, marks a critical step forward in helping local artists and arts/cultural organizations begin their path to recovery. Dollars raised will go toward arts programming, initiatives for equity in the arts, and artist/arts organizations’ relief.“Without question, arts help heal and restore a community,” said Joel Davis, Vice President and General Manager of WRAL-TV & FOX 50. “The arts, in many different forms, bring joy, restore peace, and sometimes serve as a critical eye to the human condition. Through this lens, we recognize that supporting programming and fundraising like this is more important than ever, moving forward.”
Research shows the arts serve as an avenue for emotional expression and can be particularly therapeutic during stressful times. With the pandemic, arts venues have been the first entities to close and will likely be the last to reopen. Based on data from Arts & Economic Prosperity 5, a report authored by Americans for the Arts in 2015, the arts in the Triangle create more than 31,000 full-time jobs and upwards of $850 million in total annual economic activity. The arts are essential to the economic recovery our region desperately needs. With this in mind, organizers for Big Night In for the Arts have vital fundraising goals.
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 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.
Join us on March 11 and show your support of the arts! 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.