As Chatham Park continues to develop its community, they remain dedicated to supporting local art in Chatham County. As part of that commitment, Chatham Park is powering our Go See This series. They join us in inviting you to Go See This . . .
Big Night in for the Arts:
A Magical Evening to Benefit the Region’s Arts and Artists
co-written by Whitney Greer and Andrea Akin
Communities are defined by the artists who live and create in them. That’s a truth well-established in North Carolina, and specifically Chatham and its surrounding sister counties. It’s the reason why, during the pandemic, the arts councils for Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake counties partnered with WRAL to bring about Big Night in for the Arts – an evening dedicated to telling the story of the arts, showcasing their impact, and raising money for the vital arts programs across the region that allow communities to thrive.
The third annual Big Night In for the Arts airs March 9th at 7 p.m. on WRAL and WRAL.com, and offers a feast for the ears and eyes. Viewers can expect an exciting blend of time-honored traditions and fresh new perspectives, such as the Grammy-nominated country music writer and performer Rissi Palmer, who’s song Country Girl made her the first African-American country singer to top the country-music charts in the 2020s. Also performing – the Chatham Rabbits, a duo bringing together modern storytelling with “roots” music steeped in bluegrass and folk traditions. The latter were recipients of Chatham Arts Council’s 2021 JumpstART grant, which they used to propel them from Bynum Front Porch performances into a new album and national tour.
Viewers will also be treated to poetry from award-winning spoken word artist Dasan Ahanu, Tony-award winning singer and actor Beth Leavel, nationally renowned stick artist Patrick Dougherty, Larry & Joe, who fuse Venezuelan and Appalachian folk music with an unexpected mix of cultural instruments, and Cost n’ Mayor, a high-energy dance and choreography team whose Tik Tok videos regularly reach millions of viewers, and whose dances have been featured by well-known national brands.
In addition to artists, the broadcast will include community leaders and art lovers from across the region sharing their experiences with the arts and their impact. Chatham folks will recognize quite a few of their neighbors, including artists, students and local leaders from the county, discussing the the arts in education, how arts promote equity and positive mental health, and how the arts positively impact economies in the communities in which they thrive.
“WRAL is incredibly proud to partner with the Big Night In for the Arts teams for the third year. We know our arts community has been profoundly impacted by the pandemic in recent years and we are thrilled to share the message that arts performances are back in person and ready for our viewers,” said Joel Davis, Vice President and General Manager of WRAL-TV & FOX 50. “We know that support of local arts is critical to our community, to our neighborhoods and to our schools.”
To date, Big Night in for the Arts has brought in more than $615,000 to support the arts communities in Chatham, Orange, Durham and Wake counties. Now that pandemic concerns are reduced and people can gather again, this year’s fundraiser will include a Triangle-wide Watch Party at The Mayton Inn to celebrate past and future fundraising efforts! The party will feature a special performance by Rissi Palmer, to be broadcast live from The Mayton during the show.
“We are thrilled to once again be a part of this region-wide effort. Big Night In’s success over the last two years has shown just how committed folks in this area are to a vibrant arts community. We’re celebrating 40 years of nurturing creative thinkers here in Chatham, so it is such a joy to partner with other like-minded organizations in the region, to make sure the arts are not only supported, but thriving in our communities,” said Cheryl Chamblee of Chatham Arts Council.
In addition to viewing the event live stream on WRAL-TV, people are encouraged to make a difference with a direct donation.
- Who: Artists from the Triangle Region
- What: Big Night In for the Arts
- When: Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m.
- Where: Your living room or The Mayton Inn, Cary, NC
- Why: It’s a great way to experience NC artists from the comfort of your own home
- How: Tune into the broadcast on WRAL TV or stream live at WRAL.com
- Cost: Free
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