BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Wayne Barry, Kitty Hawk
Diane Childress, Nags Head
Dianne Denny, Kill Devil Hills, Treasurer
Lynne Hutchins, Martins Point
Juliane Kelly, Nags Head
Bob Muller, Nags Head, Vice Chair
Sara Munford, Southern Shores
Demetri Poulis MD. FACS., Kill Devil HIlls
John Tucker, Southern Shores, Chair
Didi Tupper, Nags Head
Jane Webster, Kill Devil Hills, Secretary
Don Bryan, Nags Head, Deceased
Freddie Hutchins, Martins Point, Deceased
Bob Oakes, Nags Head
Nina Teller, Southern Shores
The Bryan Cultural Series strives to inspire, educate and challenge through presentations of the visual, literary and performing arts.
The series will offer high quality programming from regional and national talent.
Programming for each category will be curated by persons familiar with the respective field.
The Series strives to be a cultural destination for residents and visitors alike.
Funding comes from sustaining patrons, sponsorships, grants and admissions.
The Outer Banks Community Foundation manages our endowment.
We thank the Outer Banks Community Foundation for supporting free tickets to the New York Gilbert and Sullivan performance of HMS Pinafore
About the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series
Founded in 2012, the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series grew from a desire by former Nags Head Mayor and retired Air Force Colonel Don Bryan and his wife Kay to make the Outer Banks a cultural center for locals and visitors alike. The Bryans convened a small group to discuss how best to achieve their goal. This group became the board of the Don and Catharine Bryan Cultural Series.
Starting with our first event in 2013 the Bryan Cultural Series has entertained, inspired and educated thousands of locals and visitors alike. From Pulitzer Prize winning authors to poets, painters and pianists the Bryan Cultural Series has continued to bring events of the highest quality to the Outer Banks that attract an audience of locals and out of town guests.
This year’s lineup features a trip to Broadway, a visit from Frederick Douglass and an outstanding lineup of chamber music. The highlight of the year will be a visit from US Poet Laureate Joy Harjo in September. Also in the fall we are working with our partners at the Dare County Arts Council to present Latin Dance and culture to the Dare County Schools.
Education remains a key component of the Bryan Cultural Series. we offer free student tickets to most of our events including the speakers like Larry Sabato and performances iike the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players. You can see the student’s response in this video. In 2016 more than 1,000 students from all Dare County Schools participated in programs sponsored by the Bryan Cultural Series and the Watercolor Society of North Carolina provided $5,000 in grants to local art teachers for classroom supplies as part of their annual exhibition sponsored by the Series. In 2018 we brought Terrance Simien and his zydeco music to every student in Dare County. This video lets you look behind the scenes of that event and this video features Simien with the chorus singers from the Dare County Schools.
Funding for the Bryan Cultural Series comes in part from the endowment established by the Bryan's and managed by the Outer Banks Community Foundation. Ticket sales provide additional revenue but the group has kept its ticket prices affordable for all. Events are generally priced at $15 in advance and never more than $20 in advance. The Series has also received support from local businesses and the public and applies for grant funding when its program goals align with those of the funders. The Series is incorporated as a charitable nonprofit and has received 501(c)3 status from the IRS. You can find our recent financial statements and tax forms below.
A brief look at the Series history finds that in 2013 author and historian David McCullough read to a packed house at First Flight High School from his soon to be published book on the Wright Brothers. The Series’ four-day visit by historian Clay Jenkinson in 2014 brought visitors from central North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee. About a third of the tickets for the 4 events were brought by visitors from outside the county. More recently painter Jesi Pace Berkeley drew over 200 visitors to her gallery show in Nags Head, held 3 standing room only workshops for area artists and worked with students and art teachers at 5 local schools. Many of Pace-Berkeley’s fans from Hampton Roads and western Virginia came to Nags Head to see the show.
2015 also saw the Bryan Cultural Series engage two major partners. Along with the Outer Banks Forum for the Lively Arts the Series brought the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players to the First Flight High School stage for two performances of The Pirates of Penzance. The Series also partnered with the Outer Banks Patrons of the Arts to host a concert by renowned pianist Soyean Kate Lee. Other highlights of the year included a return visit by author McCullough and a performance by former Martha Graham principal dance Christine Dakin.
The 2016 schedule included another partnership with the Patrons of the Art, a statewide water color competition and a production of the play Driving Miss Daisy featuring acting stars Charlene Tilton & Clarence Gilyard. We brought Mark Twain to the area in the form of Ryan Clemens an actor from the Virginia Stage Co., and a great grandnephew of Samuel Clemens.
Among the highlights of 2017, we played host to the Ciompi Quartet from Duke University, enjoyed the four-handed piano mastery of Barry Ambrose and Rachel Gragson. and provided students with a wonderful performance of HMS Pinafore. The fall saw a visit from organist Dorothy Papdakos and our first invitational art show.
In 2018 we danced with Elbert Watson former principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, enjoyed the operatic stylings of Tshombe Selby and helped celebrate the 100th anniversary of the remarkable rescue of the Mirlo in 1918 with the Chicamicomico Historical Association. We held our second Invitational Art Exhibition, and our fourth Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series. We worked with the Dare County Arts Couucil to bring Zydeco musician Terrance Simien to every public school student in Dare County.
2019 saw visits from renowned historical interpreter Clay Jenkinson and political analyst Larry Sabato. We brought another 4 Seasons Chamber Music Festival performance to the area. Works on Paper was the theme of our Annual Invitational Exhibition and our Surf and Sounds Chamber Music Series entertained audiences at 3 elementary schools as well as the public.
For more information and to find out how to support the series you may send an email to or visit our Contact page.