My Turn: Arts both fast and furious in Beaufort County

Published 11:14 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012

By Joey Toler

Executive Director; Beaufort County Arts Council

The holiday season has been a fast and furious time for the Beaufort County Arts Council.
BCAC is usually very busy this time of year with holiday programming, but an early Christmas present came to us in mid-October. We received a phone call from Virginia Finnerty regarding the annual Holiday Homes Tour, an event that has been a fundraiser for the Turnage Theater for the past 12 years.
Virginia was adamant that this event should not be forsaken this year — that is was important that the tour happen to keep the momentum that has been established and to perpetuate the event for the future. It was her idea that the homes tour take place and that BCAC be the beneficiary. My first question was if she could manage the project. When she said yes, we were off and running.
Virginia, who owns and operates the Pamlico Bed & Breakfast on Main Street in Washington, and is an active and passionate community supporter, quickly put together a committee of dedicated volunteers that began the process of identifying homes and locations for the tour.
In just a few weeks, they managed to come up with 10 destinations — three churches and seven residences — to make up the tour. BCAC supplied all administrative needs, and another group of volunteers were assembled to serve as docents on the day of the tour. What a wonderful gift this was for the arts council!  The fundraiser raised over $3,500 for BCAC and introduced us to a whole new audience, as well as to many new friends and supporters of BCAC. We cannot thank Virginia enough for her time and effort that led to the success of the homes tour.  The feedback we received was wonderful, and the public was honestly grateful to BCAC for keeping the tradition alive.
In addition to the homes tour, BCAC also presented its annual seasonal programming including the Holiday Arts & Craft Show and the HeART of the City Christmas Concert. The holiday show was one of the best ever, thanks to creative and quality vendors and a very generous public. And the annual city Christmas concert was welcomed back to the Civic Center after an absence of four years.
BCAC has big plans for 2013, but we can tell you more about that later. In the meantime, we wish our community a wonderful holiday full of fun, food, family and friends, and we look forward to bringing you a new season of art events in the upcoming year.