From the President

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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT   

The 37th Outer Banks Forum season has been full of educational initiatives ranging from the first Shadow Program  of three high school youth … to three exciting area youth groups performing at Forum concerts …to an amazing anonymous donation.  All designed to broaden the awareness of and involvement in performing arts on the Outer Banks.

The Shadow Program is composed of three talented students from First Flight High School who are interested in learning the inner workings of an entertainment organization.  The programs provided 10 hours of seminars with board members as well as hand-on behind-the scenes participation in performance events.  Learn more details under Education Mission, page __

Youth from an array of area elementary, middle and high schools provided amazing performances at two Forum concerts.   At one a group of piano students played a variety of piano pieces before the performance.  At another a trio played chamber music before a performance while another “choir” played classical music during intermission.

For the second time, we partnered with the Dare County Arts Council’s 22st Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show, sponsoring The Outer Banks Forum Excellence Award.  The winner now graces our 2019-20 Playbill cover.  Artist turnout was tremendous and the winner selection most challenging.  All entries can be viewed on our website and our Facebook page, and the competition details appear on page ___.

Once again working with the Town of Duck to promote their annual jazz festival, this year promoting our October ‘Pop go the Classic’ concert. And we continue our educational mission by providing two college scholarships.  The winners are listed on page ___.

Our financial performance is declining a bit as you can see from the summary on page __.  We have identified three reasons for the decline, and the board is addressing them:

  1. Our auditorium has been filled mostly with season subscribers. We are reaching additional demographics with our expanded marketing.
  2. Competition for business sponsors is increasingly intense. We are enhancing our sponsor benefit programs to attract new sponsors and win back old ones.
  3. High-quality entertainment is increasingly expensive. We continue to work with performers to mesh efficiently with their schedules and make our program exciting for them while bringing great performances to the Outer Banks.

You can help as a donor or sponsor. Donations are tax-deductible and donors and sponsors are recognized in the Playbill and on our website. If you are already a donor or sponsor, thank you! We can’t do it without you. And special thanks to all of our incredible volunteers who help make the Outer Banks Forum – a 99 percent volunteer organization – a reality.

Some changes you will notice: to simplify ticket purchases, anyone can now buy a ticket from any computer or mobile device by visiting our website.  This paperless method is quick and efficient, but we will accommodate those wishing to receive tickets by mail as we help subscribers through this new process. We have hired a part-time Executive Board Administrator to help with this financial management and customer support, allowing our volunteer board members, through newly formed committees, to focus on program development and marketing.

Now, welcome to the 37th year of the Outer Banks Forum – bringing excellent entertainment to our community.  Enjoy the 2019-20 season!

 

David Connaughton

President, Outer Banks Forum