From the President

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The 36th Outer Banks Forum season featured another great year of wonderful entertainment, and included new educational initiatives ranging from the first intern program of three high school students … to three exciting area youth groups performing at Forum concerts …to an amazing anonymous donation.  These important initiatives were designed to broaden the awareness of and involvement in performing arts on the Outer Banks.

For the second time, we partnered with the Dare County Arts Council’s Mollie Fearing Memorial Art Show, sponsoring The Outer Banks Forum Excellence Award.  The winner now graces our 2019-20 Playbill cover.  Artist turnout was gratifying and the winner selection challenging.

Once again we are working with the Town of Duck to promote their Annual Jazz Festival while they promote our October performance, Pop! Go the Classics.

Our financial performance was declining a bit in today’s challenging environment.  We have identified three reasons for the decline, and the board has balanced the 2019-20 budget by addressing them:

  1. Our auditorium has been filled mostly with repeat 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. We have also partnered with the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series to present the Virginia Symphony, a crowd favorite.

Special thanks to all of our incredible volunteers who help make the Outer Banks Forum a reality. Our volunteer organization has been reorganized to focus on the key challenges, with special focus on our education program and community outreach, and on defining the work to limit board time commitments and to provide an exit strategy. If you are interested in joining us, we will align the work with your interests and availability.

You can also help as a donor or sponsor. Donations are tax-deductible and donors and sponsors are recognized in the program and on our website. If you are already a donor or sponsor, thank you! We can’t do it without you!

In this next year you will notice some changes in our ticketing method. To simplify ticket purchases, anyone can now buy a ticket from any computer or mobile device by visiting our website. This is quick and efficient, but we will continue to accommodate those wishing to purchase by phone or mail. Season subscribers will receive a season pass at the door on their first visit, while individual show buyers need only present themselves at the box office. We have hired a part-time executive board administrator to help with this financial management and customer support.

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