Ocracoke Alive Plans Big for 2016

Press Release
Ocrachicks under the live oaks at Ocrafolk Festival 2015
Ocrachicks under the live oaks at Ocrafolk Festival 2015
Photo by Clayton Gaskill
What an exciting start to a new year!

In the last six months the Ocracoke Alive board has taken large strides to make the organization more effective, more efficient, and more in-touch with our community on and off the island.  As a fairly young non-profit we rely on donors, sponsors, and volunteers (like you!) to aid in the success of our many endeavors. We owe you more gratitude than we can adequately express. 

At the close of 2015, the members of the Ocracoke Alive board came to an exciting and daunting realization…over the past year we had grown much more than anticipated! With an increase in the number of programs that Ocracoke Alive produces and assists in producing, we have more work than can be asked of volunteers. So we made a few changes….

We Now Have a Home
That’s right! In April of 2015 Ocracoke Alive took over the lease of Deepwater Theater on School Rd. With fresh paint and renovations, we are slowly turning it into our home base. By this summer you will be able to stop in for information, to observe some of our classes, to receive assistance in booking sailing trips on the Wilma Lee, and to purchase cool memorabilia and show tickets for this season’s performances (Blackbeard: An (historical/hysterical) Account, The Ocrafolk Opry, and Molasses Creek). With classes, rehearsals, meetings and weekly shows…this space is starting to feel more like home already!
New Ocracoke Alive Staff Our renewed commitment to expand Ocracoke Alive’s programming began with a strategic planning workshop in November of 2015. In December and January our board officially approved two staff positions, Executive Director and Assistant Director positions.

These were granted to David Tweedie (face, elbow grease, and master organizer of Ocracoke Alive) and to Desirée Christa Ricker (island theater and dance guru). Currently, both these members are on the board, but they anticipate stepping off of the board to support the organization in their new roles. They will be working on development, programming, long term goals, community outreach, marketing, and much, much more.

We have also created a contract position with Laura McClain for Skipjack Wilma Lee curriculum development and implementation. Our intent is for this programming to begin on board the vessel and branch out to include many Ocracoke Island subjects and organizations.  We intend to begin trial runs of these workshops in the fall with regional student groups.  
Arts Partnership with Ocracoke School We are well into our second week of the 2016 Arts Partnership Program! This 16-week program introduces two artists per week to Ocracoke’s public and home-schooled students, pre-k through 12th grade. With Mexican cooking, polymer clay, baking and theater arts completed, the remaining 14 weeks promise to be just as diverse and exciting. In addition to this program we will still be working with the school on the 2016 Arts Week, which is a full week of art immersion for all classes!

Thanks to Kitty Mitchell, Nancy Leach, the teachers and staff of Ocracoke School, and the artist instructors for bringing this program to life.  Also many thanks to our program sponsors, John Charles Saunders, Al & Linda Scarborough, Norma Sigal, Chuck & Liz Hotchkiss, Connie Leinbach, Judith Saunders, and Jim Roberts & Susan DeLaney. You can visit our YouTube channel to find videos of this program in action, and visit our website to find out how you can make a contribution to the program.

2016 Arts Partnership Program Week 1 Watch the Video

Social Media
If you follow us on Facebook, you’ve noticed we have recently stepped-up our social media game. With so much going on and daily breaking news, we’ve been amiss to not share that with you! By following us you can stay up-to-date with our programs through photos, videos, articles, festival updates, and invitations to become more involved. We have expanded our reach and we can now be followed on FacebookGoogle PlusInstagramTwitter, and YouTube! So…send us your pictures, share your memories, reach out to us, and follow us!

2016 Ocrafolk Festival News

The Ocrafolk Festival Performer Lineup has been finalized! Gary Mitchell and the stellar Ocrafolk Festival Performer Committee has been hard at work since September 2015 crafting a shiny new festival for 2016! New performers this year include The Bucket BrothersLipbone ReddingThe Oak Grove String Band, and De Tierra Caleinte. Returning entertainers include Kaira BaBelezaDonald DavisMolasses Creek, Martin Garrish and friends, The Yes TeamCraicdownCassie & Maggie MacDonaldRodney KempRobbie Link and Allison WeinerBob Zentz & Jeanne McDougallJohn Golden, April Trueblood Jazz TrioJef the MimeThe Paperhand PuppetsThe Blue Eyed BettysMichael StanwoodThe Green Grass CloggersPhilip HowardRob Temple, and Ocrachicks. Whew! We are already worn out anticipating the fun! Find out all about the Ocrafolk Festival 2016 as it develops at http://www.ocracokealive.org/ocrafolk-festival.html

Interested in being an Ocrafolk Festival Artisan? January 1-March 15, Artisan Applications are open online for those who would like to apply to be considered for a juried artisan booth at this year’s Ocrafolk Festival.  We would like to invite everyone . . . but the island is small and we only have room for around 40 booths.  Find out more information at www.ocracokealive.org/artisan-application.html.

New in 2016 ~ Purchase Festival Packages now & avoid the wait! What a great Valentine’s Day gift for your OcraFanatic!
Your Dreaded Ocrafolk Festival Moment . . . you rush to the merchandise booth to secure your T-shirt and mug with the fabulous new design, and wrestling your way to the front, you discover that the last has just been sold!  

Okay, so you still have a fabulous weekend, but we hate that you missed out on your treasured memorabilia.  Each festival release is a limited edition, and once they’re gone . . . they’re gone.

Well, this year we are offering a remedy! Just in time for Valentine’s Day we will be releasing festival packages that allow you to pre-purchase Ts, mugs, stickers, and the like.  You may pick up your package from our merchandise booth, or even have it mailed to you if you can’t make it for the festival weekend.  That way you just pop off the ferry, don your shirt and button, and you are ready to strut the festival grounds!  We will send out a notice next week when all is in place and you will be able to find out more at our homepage at www.ocracokealive.org.
Fridays are Festival Days at our Social Media Sites
Each Friday is Festival Friday on our social media sites and we will be sharing festival information, artwork, new album releases, videos, photos, memorabilia and overall excitement building for June! Do you have a favorite photo you took at a past festival? Follow us and share it with us!

Festival Latino de Ocracoke, New in 2016 ~ Saturday, November 12 Ocracoke Alive Executive Director, David Tweedie, has been meeting with Hispanic members of the Ocracoke community to assist them in producing the first Latino festival on the island. This celebration, Festival Latino de Ocracoke, will happen at the Ocracoke School and Community Center on Saturday, November 12, beginning around 11 AM and lasting through the evening. Festivities include food, dance, music and games from different regions of Mexico. We will keep you posted as plans develop.  All we can say for now is that community participants have been meeting over at Deepwater Theater five nights a week, practicing traditional dances. Everyone is so excited! It is going to be great fun!
Want to Get Involved?
Visit our website or email us at info@ocracokealive.org to learn how you can sponsor, volunteer, or make a tax-deductible donation.  
The ability to look ahead with confidence- to plan, dream, and turn dreams into reality- these are things we could not do without your dedication and generous support. Our excitement remains grounded in our gratitude to our community, donors, sponsors, volunteers, friends and family, who readily give so much. You continue to inspire us. So from our new staff, the board, and from the hundreds of people who participate in Ocracoke Alive’s programming…thank you, thank you, and thank you! We’re looking forward to 2016! 

Ocracoke Alive Board
David Tweedie ~ Gary Davis ~ Allison O’Neal ~ Tom Pahl ~ Desiree Ricker ~ Crystal Canterbury ~ Sharon Brodisch  
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