What I’m Doing: Charles Phaneuf, President of the United Arts Council

Even without leaving his house, local arts advocate and musician Charles Phaneuf is filling his hours with culture.

Charles Phaneuf is President of the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, our county-wide arts agency. On the off hours from working from home, Phaneuf and his wife Emily are perfecting the staycation with virtual stops to 17th century England, jazz clubs in NYC and other far flung locales (or at least—as far as the Greenway will take them).

Reading: Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. (Quail Ridge Books will deliver it to you for free!)  Mantel just put out the third book in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, so that reminded me to pick up the first one which I’ve been meaning to read. As a bonus, once I finish the book the series is available to stream on Amazon!

Watching: Travel Man on Hulu. Richard Ayoade goes on 48 hour trips with a different guest in each episode. My wife and I have cancelled trips and realize that we’re not going to travel for a while. We also enjoy things that make us laugh and this show combines travel with comedy in a way that’s fresh and lighthearted.

Playing: Jazz Standards on the Piano. We recently got a small upright piano from a family member who’s moving. In the evenings, we like to sit by the piano with a glass of wine in hand and play songs from the Real Book, which is the go-to fake book for jazz standards.

Phaneuf also reminds us to “support artists and local businesses during this time. United Arts is partnering with VAE and several other groups on an artist relief fund. My wife and I are planning to enjoy a pie from Oakwood Pizza Box this weekend, and will rotate which local restaurants we order takeout from.”

He also recommends checking out these links to stay connected to arts and culture:

Kennedy Center Digital Stage
Social Distancing Festival