Big names. Big goals. Big Night In for the Arts!
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 on March 11 at 7pm, where it will be closed captioned and audio described (available by using the SAP function on your television). It will boast a super-star line-up, including Chatham County’s Mike Wiley, nationally acclaimed actor and playwright, who shines the light on key figures in African-American history through his performances; 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 Scotty McCreery, ACM and CMT Award-winning country music singer and Garner native.
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.
“Art transcends social distancing, travel bans and quarantines. Art will document these dark days yes, but art will also lead us out of them,” explained Wiley.
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.
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.
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 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.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
Linda and Rob Grew
Bruce and Jane Sharpe
Charles and Vicki Phaneuf
Peter and Donna Heffring
Charlie and Dena Silver
Smedes and Rosemary York
Chris Droessler and Elizabeth Grimes-Droessler
IN KIND DONORS