The lavish spread of food has always been a draw at the Arts Council of Wilson's annual fundraiser, A Banker's Holiday, now being rebranded as Banking on the Arts.
By Lisa Boykin Batts
The Arts Council of Wilson’s signature holiday event, A Banker’s Holiday, is getting a new name and a new date.
“It’s just time to shake it up,” said Tracy Wellington, who chairs the event.
Banking on the Arts is Oct. 13 from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. in Wilson Gymnasium at Barton College.
The event, which serves as the Arts Council’s main fundraiser, will continue with the features that made it so popular for decades: good music and good food and drink.
Wellington said Banking on the Arts is still a dressy event, “So pull out your best!”
There were several considerations that went into moving the event to October rather than December. For one, the Wilson Arts Center, where A Banker’s Holiday has been held, is undergoing renovations.
Also, there’s usually so much going on the first weekend in December, when the event is held, including the Christmas parade and A Downtown Christmas.
“And people were always exhausted,” Wellington said, because so many of those attending took part in all of these events.
Wellington is excited about trying something new.
“You’ve just got to be willing to say, ‘We’re are going to do it and see what happens.”
Barry Page, outgoing executive director of the Arts Council, said fall is a wonderful time for a party, when the temperatures outside aren’t too cold.
“The excitement about the new event has opened the doors for new energy, and the committee has really become energized,” he said.
Tony Tilley, general manager of Barton dining services, will be a featured caterer for the event. Two others, yet to be named, will join him.
The Band Punch will be making a return appearance.
The partner banks are BB&T, Cornerstone Bank, First Citizens Bank, First South Bank, KS Bank, PNC, Southern Bank, Wells Fargo and Select Bank & Trust.
“Early Bird” tickets go on sale Aug. 13 and will be $50 per person. On Sept. 13, the price goes up to $65 per person ($75 at the door).
Reserved seating tables will also be available.
Tickets can be purchased at the Arts Center, any of the participating banks or from a member of the Arts Council Board of Directors.
Page stressed how important this fundraiser is to the Arts Council and what programs it provides.
“Without the success of this event, our children would not have ACT! for Youth or the Visual Arts Creative Kids program,” he said. “And in all likelihood the community would not have a ‘dressy’ affair to celebrate together from so many different walks of life. This event brings everyone together.”
Page said when he speaks to civic group and the board of directors, people tell him they can’t believe how the Arts Council reaches out and provides so many opportunities.
“Banking on the Arts makes these opportunities happen.”