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This edition is sponsored by Raleigh Convergence. 
Here’s what’s happening now:

Today at 5 p.m. North Carolina will shift to Phase 2. 

But that doesn't mean that all your favorite places will open up. Here's a few questions answered:

Which restaurants are opening?

Since Wake County is following state guidelines, all restaurants can open at reduced capacity, but not all will choose to. Some restaurants are opting to continue only takeout, such as Trophy Brewing's pizza restaurant and Postmaster's temporary Gov't Cheeseburger project. Others have announced later opening dates for their dining room, such as Lady Luck and 

Are the libraries open?

Not yet. Wake County libraries say they're evaluating cleaning and social distancing and haven't yet shared a re-opening date. 

What's the difference between a bar and a restaurant?

The difference between a bar and a restaurant is defined in the executive order, but the gist is a place that's not an "eating establishment" and its business is primarily on-site alcohol consumption. But many are critical of the move to open restaurants and not bars, INDY Week reports.

Here's where it gets more complicated: Are breweries considered bars? As the N.C. Craft Brewers Guild is still seeking the answer, the News & Observer reports

What questions do you have? Hit reply and share.

➡️ List: [What's open and what's not]

➡️ Read more in-depth: [What to know about COVID-19 in Wake County]

How to help:

You may have seen All Hands Raleigh signs around town or many of them at 301 Wade Avenue. All Hands! raises money to support immigrant restaurant workers and others who aren't eligible for government assistance. You can buy a shirt, a yard sign or donate a yard sign to the Wade Avenue collection. [learn more]

➡️ Updated regularly: [how to help] + more resources at

What else to know:

🎓 NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill will start fall semester early and end early to avoid potential second wave. [WRAL]

🔜 A new type of unemployment benefit will be available for people in N.C. without a job who have already used their state benefits. [News & Observer]

The first case of a COVID-19-related illness seen in children reported in North Carolina. [News & Observer]
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Message from Raleigh Convergence:
When you support Raleigh Convergence with a sponsorship, you're supporting the future of independent local media based right here in the Raleigh area. [sponsor kit]
Hi y’all,

Does anyone else sometimes forget which day it is? Or maybe you also get to the end of the week and it's been both long and short? 

Within this time that feels like a blur, I've found moments of brightness, meaning and connection. Some of those moments have been during preparations for the stories that community members will share on Monday night. 

It's easy to get lost in the pandemic haze. But if you're looking for connection around universal themes, a night of short personal stories that remind us of our shared humanity, Converging Stories is for you. 

Three 10-minute stories from three of your neighbors, plus a short one from me, will be told live on Monday night.

Converging Stories: What If?, from Raleigh Convergence x Transfer Company, is a ticketed virtual live storytelling event.

If you’ve received newsletters for a while, you’ll know that events are a part of Raleigh Convergence’s revenue strategy. Events changed significantly for people to stay safe during this pandemic, so we're moving to a night of storytelling in place.

I hope you’ll consider attending for the empathy-building connection and community storytelling. I also hope you’ll consider attending to support Raleigh Convergence.

Limited tickets are available for this live event, which will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday (Memorial Day). [Get your ticket now]

Get your ticket in advance so you'll receive the link to the Zoom and can get set up to watch much like you would attend in person. 

Make a night of it and consider picking up dinner from Transfer Co. Food Hall to enjoy a dinner together while in place. 

Now, more than ever, we need each other’s stories. Please support community storytelling and this modern local media company and purchase a ticket.

Thank you for your support,
Sarah Day 
Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen, editor & publisher
Children's book by Raleigh creatives shows staying at home

Through the pandemic, one creative output is a book for children by a few Raleighites, including a mother-daughter duo.

“The World’s Locked Up,” is a story by Alnita Coulter and illustrated by her daughter and well-known Raleigh artist Dare Coulter (see her #DareToDissent mural in Downtown Raleigh). It’s designed by April Taylor.

The emailed interview below has been condensed for length. [Read longer version]

Raleigh Convergence: What’s the genesis of this project, and have y’all collaborated before on a project like this? How did the collaboration work?

Alnita: On April 14th, Dare and I were talking about the current state of everyone sheltering in place and the world being locked up. During the conversation, Dare said, “What about a story about a kid trying to find a key to unlock the world.” A couple of hours later, I headed upstairs, and while laying in bed started writing the story. 

Dare and I are always discussing ideas about everything: paintings, stories, inventions, life. We actually have other stories that we’ve written together, but that we haven’t published. ... 

April Taylor did the layout of the book in three days. We went from Dare and I having the conversation to having a completed book in 2 weeks, and 2 ½ weeks from that initial conversation, Johanna Colón, the little girl that went viral dancing to Aretha Franklin’s “Respect,” was reading it

RC: Could you describe, briefly, the synopsis of the book for those who haven’t read it yet? 

“The World is Locked Up” is a heart-warming story of a kid that wants to go outside to play, but their Mom reminds them that the world is locked away.

It invites the reader to go on a journey with the kid as they go on a quest to find the key to unlock the world.

Along the way, the kid discovers a lot of wonderful things that make it great being locked in with their family.

This book also includes activity pages and places for the reader to record their own experience for additional fun!

RC: What details were important to you to include in the book? 

Dare (at left): It was important that our kid felt like they could be anyone, because there was a lot that happened (good and bad) during this quarantine that really could have happened to anyone. So the objective was that something beautiful could happen to anyone, too. This kid realizes that this time had been happy, even while being quite unexpected. 

Alnita (at right): While this time has been quite daunting, I’ve noticed that although we have been socially distancing from each other, in a lot of ways people have become more connected. You have families doing things that they perhaps would not have done before or as frequently. 

I wanted to remind people of the good that has come from this time. Also, the bears in the windows was a shout out to my neighborhood.

Dare: We focused on something bright and happy, as far as quarantine is concerned. There are a lot of people who have not been and will not be okay after and during this time. That reality exists permanently for everyone that it is the case for, so we didn’t feel the need to make it the thing we focused on. We went for a silver lining!

RC: How does this mirror your experience? How is it different? [read more]

 On Amazon for $12.99 or a signed copy for $25 at

Driftwood Kitchen and Bar in Lafayette Village will re-open as Driftwood Cantina in mid- to late-June. They'll continue to offer takeout from their Southern-inspired menu for now. The new concept includes "fresh Latin-American inspired" food and cocktails and an updated look. [@driftwoodraleigh]

Some ideas for your weekend...
🌻 Apply to be on the Dix Park Community Committee [application]
💻 Fill out your Census form (it's important!). 
🌱 Get a discounted compost bin while they're on sale. [Wake Co.]
🎨 Get crafty with the PPE my LP project.
🧺 Pick up a picnic from Jolie. [more info]
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