2017 Best Downtown Special Event or Event Series
Elizabeth City, NC
The week-long annual art event called SPLASH takes place the first week of November in downtown Elizabeth City. During this week, artists and art lovers from all over converge on the "Harbor of Hospitality" to create, collaborate and cultivate the arts. Each year, there is open studio time for artists to create their works, master classes taught by well-known artists, an en plein air paint-out, and an opportunity for the public to purchase pieces of original art. There are also many social events and entertainment activities planned throughout the week for artists, art lovers and members of the community.
The five-year-old SPLASH event was the brainchild of a group of devoted Elizabeth City artists that wanted to promote the Elizabeth City region to other artists. As the event grew, the organization of the event was taken over by the Arts of the Albemarle, an advocacy agency for Elizabeth City, Pasquotank County, Gates County and Camden County. It is supported by numerous sponsors and hundreds of volunteers, artists, and businesses. SPLASH has grown to become a landmark art event for Northeast North Carolina.
The event costs approximately $8,000 per year and grossed approximately $11,000 last year. More than 300 artists have participated in the event since its inception in 2014, many returning year after year, and organizers say the energy and excitement of SPLASH is fueling more and more local art-related events and activities.