When COVID-19 hit the nation and community, The Prizery was forced to draw the curtain and shuttered its doors.

Sadly, all performances, classes, educational opportunities and other events were cancelled, and like many in the community The Prizery unfortunately experienced significant financial hardship.

Since the closing, The Prizery’s Board of Directors have been waiting and planning for the day when it can welcome the community back into the building and once again offer quality theater and music productions, and arts education and programming.

Although not quite there yet, the board is working behind the scenes restructuring the organization and planning performances that can safely be held in the Chastain Theatre in 2021, and developing protocols so that The Prizery banquet hall and other rooms can again be available to the community.

Since The Prizery’s board members know the community misses the availability of arts and music, and the current COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines allow for outdoor events, the public is invited to “Cruise Towards the Future” on Oct. 24 in The Prizery parking lot from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Making live music available on this evening is the board’s way of thanking everyone for their patience and continued faith in the organization, and to kick off their annual fundraising campaign.

The band, Red Bank Revival, will be performing on the steps of The Prizery building during the event, and attendees are welcome stay in their cars and listen to the music or bring a chair and tailgate.

There is plenty of outdoor space, so The board members are encouraging everyone to cruise over for what is sure to be a wonderful evening of live music.

A suggested cash donation of $10 per car will be requested in support of The Prizery’s 2021 season, and attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a 50/50 drawing. Current COVID-19 health guidelines will be followed during the event.

Over the years, there have been many individuals in the community and region that have helped make The Prizery a successful and important regional arts facility.

As The Prizery moves forward into the future, a special thank you from The Prizery’s Board of Directors goes out to Chris Jones, who has from the beginning been one of the organizations guiding lights.

His leadership and dedication to The Prizery and its mission has been an integral part of the organization’s success and ability to provide quality programming.

Jones is retiring from The Prizery, but not the community, and will remain a friend of The Prizery and advocate for the arts in Halifax County.

The Prizery’s Board of Directors encourages the community to join them in wishing Jones all the best in his retirement from The Prizery.

“The Prizery plays an important part in the economic development and tourism industry in our region by drawing individuals to our area. We are not defeated by the current health pandemic and are working hard towards a comeback with expanded programming and community partnerships that will focus on arts education and relationships with regional organizations. Like many local businesses and programs, we need community support now more than ever,” said members of The Prizery’s Board of Directors.