Corks & Forks Is Happening (in a different way)

March 20, 2020

20th Annual ‘Corks & Forks’ fundraiser aims to bethe “social distancing event of the spring” amidst COVID-19.

The “social distancing event of the spring” is set for April 30th on a screen near you. That’s when Decatur Area Arts Council will present its’ 20th Annual Corks & Forks fundraiser as a virtual community event.

Originally scheduled to take place per usual at the Decatur Conference Center & Hotel from 6:30 to 9:30pm, precautions due to COVID-19 meant a physical event would prove impossible. It will now be presented during that same window as a live online broadcast.

“We reason if our community cannot come out to Corks & Forks, we’ll deliver Corks & Forks to our community,” says Jerry Johnson, DAAC Executive Director.

The broadcast is pitched as a hybrid of a network morning show (think The Today Show) and a classic telethon. Johnson says the idea is to keep it fun and informative while retaining the feel of Corks & Forks as best as possible in this format. It will be hosted by Johnson and Jayson Albright.

Numerous segments will be dedicated to wine and food tastings, as they are the hallmark of the traditional Corks & Forks. There will also be live art, music, and games that at-home viewers can play in real time (with real prizes). Guests will include event partners from restaurants, retailers, distributors, sponsors and beyond.

An online auction will be up and running. already has a raffle running for two round-trip tickets to see Hamilton.

An official list of suggested wines will be made available prior to the event at Famous Wine & Spirits on Mt Zion Road. Those planning to attend the virtual event are encouraged to pick up a bottle or two to enjoy during the broadcast. Johnson also encourages virtual attendees to pick up something curbside from a participating restaurant.

Famous is Corks & Forks’ new beverage retail partner after a 13 year partnership with The Decanter ended with that shop’s closing. “We are thrilled to have Famous on board,” says Johnson.

Johnson notes that Virtual Corks & Forks is not a replacement for the real thing, which is typically the Arts Council’s biggest and most crucial fundraising event of the year. His hope is that this plan acts as a fun “for now” event that allows everyone involved the chance to come together and stand strong in these uncertain times.

“It’s more important than ever to come together as a community and support one another when and where we can,” Johnson says.


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