Keeping the Lights Burning

Virtual arts series continues to spotlight performers

Cape Fear Community College’s Wilson Center is aiming to keep the old adage “The show must go on” to entertain patrons during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a partnership with The Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County and WHQR, the organizations are not only seeking to continue to entertain but also to assist artists who might be struggling financially during this time.

“We developed a virtual series so that we can continue to entertain,” says Shane Fer­nando, executive and artistic director of the Wilson Center.

Known as the Ghostlight Series, the se­ries allows patrons to view a nightly show and includes a link for those who may want to donate to support the artist during this time. Singers, actors, and musicians (such as harpist Christina Brier shown above) all have already created virtual shows to entertain pa­trons.

The term ghostlight was an obvious choice for this series. Given the fact that no stage performances are happening at present time, a ghost light is a light left lit on the stage of a theater when it is unoccupied and would otherwise be completely dark.

Some superstitions say that the ghost light allows each theater’s ghost to perform on stage, while others say it is to frighten away the ghosts.

Fernando points out that the long-stand­ing friendship between the Wilson Center and the arts council shows how much the community comes together during times of crisis. He says it is a testament to the resolve of all who love local arts to continue on even in time of the pandemic.

“We wanted to be able to help artists. We wanted to be able to continue to entertain for our many patrons who are at home, so it was another great collaboration between the arts council and Wilson Center,” Fernando says.

Besides giving patrons access to favorite local actors, singers, and entertainers, even more important is that through the do­nations of viewers, it is helping an artist to continue making a living. For talent seeking assistance, the applications can be found at A committee chooses the artist based on the greatest need. The artist, however, must live in New Ha­nover or Pender counties.

The virtual show ensures the show will go on for the time being and keep good enter­tainment on people’s minds.

“It’s a great time to view local theater and local actors and see how they affect our com­munity in a good way and you can do it all from your home,” Fernando says.

The Ghostlight Series premieres a differ­ent local artist every night at 7 p.m. For more, visit

Ghostlight Series

CFCC’s Wilson Center and Arts Council partner to continue entertaining patrons and offer financial support to artists during COVID-19.

When: Every night at 7 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook Live (Encore presentations are the next day at noon.)

How to help: Sit back, watch the virtual performance, and then viewers can donate for a good cause to support artists who have lost income due to COVID-19.

Info: or

To view more of photographer Michael Cline Spencer’s work, go to

Click here to read the rest of the May WILMA digital issue.

Categories: Culture