Transitions Beginning at AOP

We are excited to share that AOP's strong and growing group of artists, art groups, members, sponsors, funders, business partners, staff and Board continues to grow a high-performing organization and a
rich menu of arts and cultural programs
for our community's residents and visitors.

We have weathered the COVID storm and are embracing transitions underway at AOP as we gear up to kick off a new fiscal year
and the return of events at the
Historic Turnage Theatre and across Beaufort County.

Here's what happening!

  • Board Transitions - AOP is installing a new Chair, with Virginia Finnerty taking the reins as Board Chair in July from Roland Wyman. Roland who has led the organization for two terms and guided the Board through the massive roof replacement project, COVID closures, AOP's leap into podcasting and virtual programming and more during his tenure, Nominations for Board members are coming in now and will be selected in June 2021.

  • Program Transitions - While COVID19 slowed us down, just a little, AOP pivoted to new forms of art and resulted in two new podcasts and virtual tours, a Fashion and Entertainment Museum at the Turnage and more. A robust menu of new and exciting arts and cultural programs is being built to kick off a series of summer outdoor music concerts in Belhaven and Bath, a stellar season of East Carolina University performances on stage, a vibrant array of art exhibits that has begun this month with the rich oils of Gunnar Hardt in the Turnage Gallery, the return of youth arts programs, ballroom dances, traditional music, comedy and so much more.

  • Building Transitions - Construction repairs inside the theatre are complete as AOP prepares for the next steps of restoring the vaudeville theatre set to begin this fall. With grant funding, AOP will be able to transition the moth-balled vaudeville theatre to a completely dry envelope. And repair the vaudeville interior stage being brought back to life from damages caused by water intrusion. This next step will transition the building to one able to withstand future storms.

  • Staff Transitions - Staff are transitioning too. Our Executive Director of 5 years, Debra Torrence, has begun transitioning her time to focus on grant development. As you know, under her leadership AOP has excelled in many ways and has built a strong foundation to support next steps. A search is now underway for this leadership position. AOP has also added a paid Artistic Director for the first time in its history, Jeffery Phipps, to lead the stage and museum programs. Pam Anderson has taken the helm overseeing art exhibits and sales, memberships and rentals. Anthoney Wooden has grown his skills in programs and facility management and is gearing up for youth arts to return in August with summer camps. He will be partnering this summer with the return of Program and Outreach and Theatre Management positions as AOP gears up for an array of outdoor and indoor events all year long!

There are so many exciting activities going on, too many to name!

Stop in! The theatre is currently open
Saturdays from 10 am - 2 pm through August.

Join in!
If you aren't member yet, join today and
be part of what's next at AOP!