“Big Night In” to Support Regional Arts Councils

In response to the pandemic, arts councils from Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties, in partnership with WRAL-TV, are teaming up to support the arts through a live event: Big Night In for the Arts. Sponsored in part by Duke Arts and Duke’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs, the fundraising event will feature performances from local and national talent, address the impact of COVID-19 on the arts, and highlight the efforts of our local arts councils.

Big Night In for the Arts will be streamed online and broadcast live on WRAL-TV and  on Thursday, March 11 at 7pm.

Duke Arts and the Office of Durham and Community Affairs
are sponsors of “Big Night In for the Arts”

“Big Night In” Event Info

The arts in the Triangle create more than 31,000 full-time jobs and upward of $850 million in total annual economic activity, and with arts venues among the first to close and likely the last to reopen, the arts have suffered disproportionately during COVID-19. Proceeds will fund arts programming, initiatives for equity in the arts, and artist/arts organizations’ relief.

Scotty McCreery, country music singer and Garner native joins the lineup of artists performing, including: Ariana DeBose, 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, saxophonist based in Durham, who recently wrote the score for Netflix’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and Mike Wiley, actor and playwright based in Chatham County.

Images courtesy of Big Night In for the Arts.

“Our local arts communities need support now more than ever. This pandemic has been challenging in so many ways,” DeBose said. “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.”

Among the many local artists who will participate in Big Night in for the Arts is Chatham County artist Marcelle Harwell Pachnowski, who 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 during the live event, which will be used to help raise additional funds for the campaign.

“The arts community in Durham and across the Triangle has been devastated by COVID-19. Thousands of jobs have been impacted and beloved arts venues are closed. Big Night In for the Arts gives us an inspiring way to raise critical relief funds for arts organizations and artists,” said Sherry DeVries, executive director of Durham Arts Council.

Arts supporters can join the effort prior to the event as sponsors or donate live during the event. Gifts can be made to benefit the four counties collectively or designated to a specific county.

learn more