We are all feeling an impact from the COVID-19 outbreak right now, and that includes our local organizations. The Historic Turnage Theatre managed by the local arts council, Arts of The Pamlico (AOP), has been closed since March. The Historic Turnage Theatre is a local gem that brings hundreds of visitors to the area.

In an effort to deal with this financial burden, AOP Executive Director Debra Torrence said, “the forced closure of the theatre encouraged us to come up with creative ways to keep the arts moving.” AOP have teamed up with other local organizations, like us, on some projects and have produced multiple virtual experiences for all ages through the Open Sky Arts Initiative!

In collaboration with The Harbor District Alliance, the Washington and Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, and the Washington Tourism Development Authority, a new Facebook group, “BoCo Music” was created to spotlight Beaufort County, or “BoCo,” musicians. Together, we organized an online two-day virtual music festival where local musicians livestream into the group and advertise their cash sharing handles for tips. If you miss live music, join the group and tune in! There are daily livestreams from some of the best musicians in the county.

If you are able, go to AOP’s website and make a donation today or become a member! Every little bit helps. Want some bang for your buck? Below are a variety of virtual activities AOP has provided on their website for a small fee. Visit artsofthepamlico.org for more information.

Kids driving you crazy? AOP has options! You could sign them up for AOP’s virtual “BRAVO! Art for Kids.” This program has an upcoming class session on creative writing. AOP plans to continue class sessions throughout the duration of the shelter in place order featuring topics like playwriting. Another option is the nature art video available on the AOP website. This video features at-home art projects for those who like to stay active and be hands on.

Simply missing the theatre community? Well, AOP has plans to record one act plays that will be virtually available. They have recorded a virtual costume tour to keep you entertained as well. Also, if you want to keep your theatre skills sharp during the shelter in place order sign up for “AOP Readers Online Theatre.”

Netflix getting old? Follow the BoCo Town Podcast that features a connection between art, culture, and community. This podcast is co-hosted by Torrence and Steve Barnes. It features news and updates on Arts of the Pamlico’s events and programs, along with interviews with the people behind everything that happens at the Turnage Theatre.

Again, anything helps. A like or share on Facebook, virtual program participation, listening to the BoCo Town podcast, or even a monetary donation may seem like small things, but I promise, they will make a big impact. Please support your local arts community, without the arts staying at home wouldn’t be the same.