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Press Release

USDA Community Facilities Grant Awarded to Arts of the Pamlico


February 13, 2020– Washington, NC – Roland Wyman, Board Chair of the Arts of the Pamlico (AOP), announced today that the Arts of the Pamlico has been awarded a $714,000 USDA Community Facilities grant to support the replacement of the roof structure of the Historic Turnage Theatre located at 150 West Main Street in Washington, NC. Funding will leverage grants from the Fox Theatre Institute, City of Washington and private funders and donors, bringing the total raised to date to over $1 million. 

“AOP is pleased to announce this investment by the USDA in one of our City’s strongest economic drivers, the Historic Turnage Theatre. The theatre is a bustling community center offering a variety of arts and cultural activities year round. The theatre’s entire roof structure over the building closest to Main Street is in imminent failure and has sprung leaks throughout the building. Protecting this vital community facility will both preserve a historic landmark and support the stability of an important community economic engine that is fueling the downtown revitalization. Activities offered at the theatre support more than 60 area businesses and over a dozen community groups. This grant is critical to our efforts to raise the $1.3 million needed to raise the roof this summer. It truly takes a village – roof construction would simply not have been able to happen without this grant and the support of our community and partners.” Debra Torrence, Executive Director. 

About The USDA Community Facilities Grant – Essential community infrastructure is key in ensuring that rural areas enjoy the same basic quality of life and services enjoyed by those in urban areas. Community Facilities Programs offer direct loans, loan guarantees and grants to develop or improve essential public services and facilities in communities across rural America. These amenities help increase the competitiveness of rural communities in attracting and retaining businesses that provide employment and services for their residents. Learn more at https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/all- programs/community-facilities-programs

“This project and partnership with your community strikes the essence of what USDA Rural Development was intended”, said Robert Hosford, State Director USDA/Rural Development. “Rural Development is hoping to add to the renaissance of your town and community. It’s not one singular project that brings back a vibrant town such as Washington. But, a number of small efforts that snowball into a major change. We are proud of this project, happy for the Town of Washington and hoping for more projects, like this. When rural America thrives, all of America thrives.”, said Hosford. 

About The Arts of the Pamlico The Arts of the Pamlico provides cultural opportunities through initiation, support, and presentation of artistic programs in Beaufort and Washington Counties and the surrounding region. AOP is one the oldest arts councils in the state. With a 47-year history of serving its rural eastern NC with diverse programming, unique community collaborations and community lens for leveraging art to improve the quality of life and address social issues impacting the people of its rural home. 

The 32,000 square foot Historic Turnage serves as the home for the Arts of the Pamlico. It is composed of two buildings, erected in 1913 and 1928. The theatre houses art galleries, catering kitchen, a fully restored 432-seat palace theatre, recording studio, costume shoppe, full stage, a green room/open arts studio and dressing rooms. The theatre is a bustling hub for visual artists, youth, art groups, community organizations, a traditional music group, a writers group, a natural fibers group, comedians, dancers, community theatre for youth and adults and more. The Arts of the Pamlico is supported by hundreds of community volunteers and arts council members who have worked together for years to support and maintain this community jewel. In the past two years alone, AOP programs and fund development efforts have infused more than $2 million dollars into the community. To give to the Raise the Roof fund, donate at https://www.artsofthepamlico.org/raise-the-roof/ or contact Lexie Buck at l.buckaop@gmail.com

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Support the arts by becoming or renewing your Arts of the Pamlico membership, purchase tickets, sponsor an event, and/or learn more at www.artsofthepamlico.org or call 252-946-2504.

AOP is located in its Historic Turnage Theatre at 150 West Main Street in Washington, NC.

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