Read along with Dare Arts and Downtown Books

Published 12:11 pm Sunday, February 18, 2024

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Dare Arts and Downtown Books are partnering on two upcoming community book club events as a part of North Carolina Humanities’ statewide book club, North Carolina Reads.

At the heart of North Carolina Reads is NC Humanities’ desire to connect communities through shared reading experiences, noted a Dare Arts news release.

The first North Carolina Reads book club discussion on the Outer Banks will be held on Monday, February 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Dare Arts in downtown Manteo. The event is free and open to everyone.

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In February, participants will be discussing Beyond Innocence: The Life Sentence of Darryl Hunt by Phoebe Zerwick, which is “a powerful non-fiction narrative about injustices, exoneration, and the life-long impacts of incarceration.”
The book club discussion will be led by Dare Arts executive director Jessica Sands and Downtown Books owner Jamie Anderson.

“North Carolina Reads is a wonderful way to bring our community together,” Anderson notes. “We hope many readers will join us as we delve into the story of one North Carolina man’s false conviction, ultimate exoneration and the tragic aftermaths of both. Reading together opens up not just a book, but our minds, thoughts and voices. I welcome everyone to pick up a copy of Beyond Innocence today and join us for a thought-provoking conversation on February 26.”

Community members who are interested in participating in this event can purchase the book at Downtown Books in Manteo or Duck’s Cottage Coffee & Books in Duck ahead of the event so that they can begin reading and are prepared to discuss the book at the end of February.

“As a part of this wonderful program, Dare Arts has received a small batch of books from NC Humanities to give out to people who would like to participate in the event, but may not be able to afford to purchase a book,” said  Sands. “If you want to participate and need a free book, please stop by the Gallery and see me or give us a call. We want everyone to have access to the literary arts and are excited to get these books out into our community.”

Dare Arts and Downtown Books will be holding another book club discussion in the spring for The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb, which is “a riveting fictional story about a young black musician who faces racism, poverty, and social stigmas while pursuing his dream.”

North Carolina Humanities’ North Carolina Reads is a statewide book club exploring issues of racial, social and gender equity and the history and culture of North Carolina.

For more information about this event, go to, call Dare Arts at 252-473-5558, or call Downtown Books at 252-473-1056.