BOCO Town broadcasts the arts

Published 6:57 pm Tuesday, April 14, 2020

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Arts galleries are shuttered, and the Turnage Theatre marquee is dark. But if you know where to look, there’s plenty of art to be found.

One of those places is on Arts of the Pamlico’s website, in a new podcast called BOCO Town.

“It focuses on the arts, culture and community, which is the focus of Arts of the Pamlico,” said Debra Torrence, AOP executive director.

Co-hosting BOCO Town with Torrence is Steve Barnes, who has a long history with radio broadcasting — Barnes was the voice of the Durham Bulls, the triple-A baseball team now affiliated with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and famously featured in the 1988 movie “Bull Durham,” starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.

Arts are a whole different ballgame for Barnes, who recently made the move to Washington.

“The guy who knows very little about art is hosting the show about the arts,” Barnes laughed.

Barnes is learning on the job as he interviews local musicians and artists, art historians, actors and directors on the weekly show, recorded in the sound studio backstage at the Turnage.

According to Torrence, AOP supporter Henry Capogna came up with the weekly podcast plan. Capogna has a background in radio ad sales. Northside High School teacher and filmmaker Jennifer Woolard donated the equipment. Barnes provides the voice of radio experience.

“The podcast idea has been rolling around for a while, but it didn’t happen until we came here,” Barnes said. “Essentially, this is morning radio on the internet, and Henry has a ton of experience in radio and what we need to do to sound good.”

Five installments of the podcast have been recorded, featuring AOP Artistic Director Jeffery Phipps; Beaufort County Traditional Music Association’s Linda Boyer; musician Chuck Phillips; ceramic artist Jenny Mastin, guitarist and singer Jay Costello; and others.

While the current stay-at-home order prompted by the COVID-19 virus has altered the studio process, BOCO Town podcasts are giving art lovers the opportunity to check in with the local arts scene — an opportunity Torrence said she hopes to expand in the future.

“There’s going to be a lot of people working on this. Hopefully, this will eventually become a variety show, along the lines of Garrison Keillor,” Torrence said.

To tune in to BOCO Town, visit