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Dowdy Park Grand Opening Was “Artrageously” Successful

Thousands of adults and children gathered together at the Grand Opening of Dowdy Park on May 13 to enjoy live music, free art activities, an art show full of Outer Banks artists, and delicious food from various local restaurants.

Volunteers, nonprofit organizations, local businesses, restaurants and artists joined Dare County Arts Council and the Town of Nags Head in organizing a fun-filled day that focused on the importance of art in the community.

“I attended the grand opening celebration with my five year old son, 2 year old daughter, husband and mother in law and was blown away by the event,” said Outer Banks resident Ann Wood. “There was something of interest for everyone in my family. It made my heart melt to see my son paint the peekaboo wall, knowing that others will see that artwork created by the youth in our community for years to come. The inclusiveness of the park was incorporated into the event with the selection of youth represented in the ribbon cutting. What a fantastic family event!”

At 4pm, students from Nags Head Elementary School, who helped make the ribbon for the event’s ribbon cutting, stood on stage with Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards, Nags Head Major Pro Tem Susie Walters, Dare County Arts Council’s Executive Director Chris Sawin, Outer Banks Community Foundation Executive Director Lorelei Costa, Dare County Tourism Board Executive Director Lee Nettles, Trillium Health and Resources Project Manager Amy Corbitt, and family members from Dowdy Park’s original owner, Joe Dowdy to cut the ribbon.

“What a privilege it was to cut the students’ incredibly creative ribbon to open Nags Head’s newest public space,” said Nags Head Mayor Bob Edwards. “The ribbon cutting, and, in fact, the entire day, was symbolic of how we set about designing the park, with community collaboration and involvement driving the process. And, with much help from the Dare County Arts Council and their annual Artrageous event, we were able to make the grand opening extra special and truly an event for the entire community."

The event included Dare County Arts Council’s 28th Annual Artrageous, which offered over 20 high quality, inclusive kids’ art activities. Proceeds from Artrageous benefit DCAC cultural arts programming and the Artrageous Youth Scholarship Fund, which awards one scholarship to a senior at each Dare County High School. The 2017 scholarship recipients are Mack Doebler (First Flight High School) and Emma Alter (Manteo High School). A student from Cape Hatteras Secondary School will also be selected soon.

“It was an honor to serve the Town of Nags Head as they dedicated Dowdy Park,” said Dare County Arts Council Executive Director Chris Sawin. “I used to go to Dowdy Park as a child, and now my kids are enjoying it in their youth. That’s really special to me. Dare County Arts Council is very fortunate to have such a wonderful partner in the Town of Nags Head.”

RAVRA Productions coordinated live entertainment for the day, bringing an eclectic mix of talent to the stage including the Nags Head Elementary School Chorus, Atlantic Dance, Mustang Music School, Sensi Trails, Blurky’s Quirky Friends, and Major and the Monbacks. The event also featured an acoustic art walk with local musicians Andy Torrington, Graham Outten, Dan Butcher, and Static Attitude Acoustic Duo performing throughout the day. Sea Level Sounds ran sound for the event.

A special thank you to Trillium Health Resources, the Dare County Tourism Board, and the Outer Banks Community Foundation for their help in creating a park for all ages and abilities. Dare County Arts Council would like to extend appreciation to Artrageous Presenting Sponsor PNC Bank, Corporate Sponsors Southern Insurance Agency and The Bryan Cultural Series, and Business Sponsors Surf Pediatrics, Joe Lamb Jr. Realty, Stan White Realty, Midgett Insurance, and Super Wings.

For more information about Dowdy Park, contact the Town of Nags Head at (252) 441-5508.

Dowdy Park sits at the corner of South Croatan Highway and Bonnett Street in Nags Head.

PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (NYSE: PNC). PNC is one of the largest diversified financial services institutions in the United States, organized around its customers and communities for strong relationships and local delivery of retail and business banking including a full range of lending products; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. For information about PNC, visit

Dare County Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization dedicated to supporting the arts in Dare County. DCAC programming is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council.

The Town of Nags Head, North Carolina, is located on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, a chain of barrier islands along the Atlantic Ocean, 90 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia. A unique resort community, Nags Head takes pride in its clean water, low density of development, and abundant open spaces. Its 11 miles of oceanfront and 6.5 square miles of area are home to a year round residential population of 2,800 and a summer population of approximately 40,000.

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