Jay Miller loves old buildings.
Even though the Murphey School building was in horrible shape, he said, he couldn’t stand to see it fall into decay — so he bought it.
ATTEND THE SHOW
Time: 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday
Location: Murphey School
Now the renovated building serves as the backdrop for the “Murphey School Radio Show,” a benefit held by The Shared Visions Foundation, which he created alongside his wife.
Saturday’s event will be the fifth radio show. The beneficiaries for February’s show are SEEDS, a community gardening education program based out of Durham, and Book Harvest of Chapel Hill — two organizations which cater to local youths.
“The Shared Visions Foundation serves Durham and Orange County, so it worked out really well that we could pick an organization from each of the two counties,” said Peter Kramer, a volunteer for the show.
Miller said his wife got the idea for the show, which is based on the National Public Radio Station’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” from the school’s auditorium.
“The auditorium was built in 1935, and when you go into the room, you kind of feel like you are in 1935. At that time this kind of variety radio show was a popular form of entertainment,” Miller said.
Kramer said the first four shows raised a total of $50,000, so he expects this show to raise anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000.
Donna Campbell, producer of the “Murphey School Radio Show,” said the event is an old-time variety show with live performances from some of the best musicians and writers in the Triangle.
“This event is a reminder that we live in a rich community full of people who come here and bring their talents,” she said.
Campbell said one of her favorite aspects of the show is that the performers are true North Carolinians.
“I grew up in North Carolina, and to me it’s a nice thing to shine light on our local talent,” she said.
“(The audience) may not have heard of Michael Parker or Elizabeth Hudson, but we hope these people will be better known when the audience leaves the school.”
Parker, a novelist, and Hudson, editor of “Our State” magazine, are just two of the invited performers at Saturday’s benefit.
Parker said this performance is terrifying for him.
“I do a lot of readings — but I’m not a performer. This is new territory for me,” he said.
Miller said the two beneficiaries for February are important because they nurture young minds.
Emily Egge, executive director of SEEDS, said the event will help the organization gain exposure and provide funding for it to run smoothly.
“The beauty of an event like this is that it draws such a wide audience,” she said. “It really helps us build awareness and reach a whole new audience of folks that we can turn into supporters.”
Ginger Young, a representative from Book Harvest, said the show will help the organization raise much-needed funds for the program and will also help raise visibility about Book Harvest’s mission.
She said the show will help Book Harvest anchor its Books on Break program, in which it equips low-income kids with 10 books each at the start of the summer to prevent summer learning loss.
Kramer, a volunteer at the show, said the show’s organizers are hoping to broaden the appeal of the show to a younger audience by lowering the ticket price.
“To make the show more affordable for people, we’re asking them to give $25 if that is what they can afford. It’s sort of give-what-you-can.”
Campbell said preparation for the show is about planning, timing and making sure everything goes the way it is supposed to go.
She said at the end of the day the show has a little bit of everything.
“We say sometimes we have everything except jugglers — and jugglers are hard to do on the radio.”
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