The weekend after Veteran’s Day—that’s November 14-16 this year—the Dare County Arts Council (DCAC) will be hosting their 2nd Annual Veteran’s Weekend. It includes great music from Nu Blu on Friday evening at The Lost Colony’s Soundstage Theater, but the highlight of the weekend is the Veterans Writing Project presented by Ron Capps, a combat vet who is also a professional writer.
The DCAC, working with a number of sponsors, especially the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, pays for 25 veterans to work with Ron on Saturday and Sunday, showcasing just one example of how the Arts Council is an integral part of the Outer Banks.
Celebrating its 40th year in 2015, the DCAC has grown from a group of local painters, sculptors and visual artists, to an organization that prides itself on working with the creative communities of this area.
Visual arts are still at the core of who and what the organization is—their gallery in the old County Courthouse in downtown Manteo is filled with some of the best paintings, photography, jewelry and pottery to be found on the Outer Banks.
Two major art shows, held over the course of the year, are also an important part of the mix. In February the Frank Stick Show will be held at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery in Nags Head, and in May the 18th Annual Molly Fearing Art Show will be at the Courthouse Gallery.
There are a number of programs, though, that have taken the organization beyond its roots. The Veterans Writing Project is an outgrowth of the Literary Arts Committee. The committee also sponsors a literary open mic on the second Thursday of every month at Glenn Eure’s Ghost Fleet Gallery beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The DCAC also began a community music school that offers free lessons to kids who otherwise could not have afforded lessons. The program has grown beyond the capacity of the Arts Council to manage, so a new organization, Motu, is taking over.
Working with other nonprofits, the Arts Council has also brought a number of visiting artists to classrooms of Dare County schools, including vocalists, instrumentalists, poets and artists.
All these programs take money, so the DCAC fundraisers often seem more like fundraisers. There are a number of sources for revenue, including donations, partnerships and grants . . . although grants for all nonprofits have dwindled over the past few years. But the events that everyone seems to remember are the fun fundraisers.
There’s a big one coming up on December 13, 2014, December Decadence, which includes great food, some wine and lots of auction items. The celebration of 40 years of creativity on the Outer Banks is already being planned. The 40th Anniversary Gala is scheduled for Saturday October 24, 2014, and should be a lot of fun.
There are other events as well. Rock the Cape, scheduled for May 29, 2015, is a great day of music held on the beach in Avon, and a portion of the proceeds go to pay for music lessons for kids. There is also Artrageous, which is a wonderful outdoor event that celebrates art in the community, how art impacts kids and how to have fun while being creative.
There are a number of programs and workshop scheduled throughout the year. Residents and visitors to the Outer Banks can call (252) 473-5558 or check out their Facebook page to learn about scheduled events that celebrate our local arts scene.