The Outer Banks is home to several thriving non-profits that add to our sense of community, including the Dare County Arts Council, whose mission is to encourage the arts through advocacy, enrichment, and opportunity. They offer several programs, events, and rotating exhibits in their downtown Manteo gallery to provide the opportunity to appreciate local artists and get involved in the local art scene. The council is known for hosting several annual art shows and festivals as well as the traditional First Friday, held on the downtown Manteo waterfront on the first Friday of the month from April-November featuring live music, activities for all ages, and local artisans.

Dare County Arts Council Events
James Melvin “Peace”

Upcoming exhibits at the gallery include James Melvin’s “Peace” solo exhibit on display from March 1st through 26th with a free & public opening reception on March 1st from 6-8 pm. His work in the show represents the joyful peace and glorious beauty of the Outer Banks.

SALTY- A foodART Exhibition

Another don’t-miss event in March is the SALTY foodART exhibition opening on March 22nd produced in association with the Outer Banks Taste of the Beach event featuring artwork inspired by a curated collection of local recipes found in the cookbook collection of the Outer Banks History Center.


TRIO is a traveling exhibit of art, music and literature that celebrates the inspirational power of great storytelling. TRIO is a testament to the way words, music and art can come together around the power of a single story. Each TRIO starts with a book, which is given to a musician and a visual artist, who then write a song, a piece of music, a work of art inspired by the story.

On Friday, March 1 at 7pm this event is free and open to the public and coincides with Downtown Manteo’s First Friday celebrations. The Trio exhibit is hosted and sponsored by SIBA member bookstores, including Manteo’s Downtown Books. For more information, click here. 

You can get involved in supporting the Dare County Arts Council by volunteering, attending receptions, events and fundraisers, becoming a member of the organization, or simply stopping by the gallery to admire the work of many talented local artists!