Eastern Shore’s Own, Inc. (ESO) is a non-profit community arts center whose mission is to foster the development of the arts through instruction and performance. Our goal is to provide opportunities for local artists to teach, practice, perform and to make the arts available to all residents of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.

Our History

Eastern Shore’s Own, Inc. was founded in 1984 by Allen Derrick, a retired actor from New York and Joyce Holland, a local theater performer. Originally ESO was an adult theater troupe that expanded into instruction of the arts and became incorporated on August 1, 1986. ESO began leasing the Belle Haven School building from the Town of Belle Haven on September 1, 1986. ESO has been located in the facility since that time.

Our Facility

Many renovations and improvements have been made to the classic, three story brick building since ESO’s occupation in 1986. The ESO Facility currently includes:

  • a pottery/sculpture studio with four potters’ wheels and one kiln
  • a studio theater with stage, sound and lighting equipment
  • a kitchen
  • an art room
  • a small dance/fitness studio
  • a large dance studio
  • a “green room”/small dance studio
  • a costume shop
  • teaching spaces for music lessons
  • a performing music room
  • a hallway and lounge area
  • storage spaces
  • Main Office Suite with 3 work spaces
  • and updated restroom facilities

The ESO, at 15293 King Street in the Town of Belle Haven, is located in southern Accomack County and serves the residents of the Eastern Shore from the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel to the Maryland State Line. The ESO classes, facilities and productions are available to all residents of the Eastern Shore regardless of age, race, religion, ethnic origin, financial means, or level of ability.

Productions & Events

The ESO School of Dance, the largest area of enrollment at ESO, performs two full scale productions per year, with all ESO dance students participating. ESO has presented a production of the “Nutcracker” every December since 1991. The ESO LIVE! Series features musical performances monthly by local and regional artists, in an intimate nightclub-like setting. ESO Fest is our annual fundraiser, held each year in late summer, Celebrating ESO Arts Center and arts and culture of the Eastern Shore. Music student recitals are held periodically for both instrumentalists and our Youth Chorale vocal ensemble.