Highland County Arts Council

March 2019

Art Exhibits: Highland Seasons continues at the Highland County Library through March 27. The exhibit expresses, according to Michael Bedwell, “the joy of living here and appreciating the mountains and valleys in four distinct seasons, each with its own personality.” He goes on to say, “Highland photographers have favorite locations where a good shot is guaranteed, but even in in those spots, the scene is ever changing from one day to the next.  That makes it doubly important to seek out new views and not get stuck in an artistic rut—there is always something new and wonderful to catch your eye and excite your imagination.”

Prints by Elizabeth McClung will open on March 28 and run to early May.  The exhibits consists of print and watercolors both early works and new pieces.  The Reception for the exhibit will be on April 7 from 2 to 3:30.

Painters’ Weekend: The annual weekend will be from June 29-30.  Artists from around the state and beyond will join those of Highland for what is call a low-key event, “just for the joy of it.” A Sunday, June 30, Wet Paint Show will be open to the public at the Highland Center.  For more information check the Highland Chamber of Commerce website or contact Liz Delahoussaye at edelahoussaye@yahoo.com

Performances: The April and May performances at the Highland Center are a bit of a departure for the Council.  After Jack, a trio of female folk singers will be the Arts Council’s April 13 performance at the Highland Center. Named 2014 Americana Vocal Group of the Year by the Appalachian Cultural Music Association, the trio couples a modern sensibility with distinctly old-time energy to seamlessly blend bluegrass, gospel and folk elements. The group’s style is largely centered around their signature vocal harmonies.  The three members play an assortment of traditional instruments to compliment the sound.  Audiences can expect to hear elements of old-time, bluegrass, county and other folk styles in every performance.

The May 11 performance by Bobby BlackHat Bluesis led by Bobby “BlackHat” Walters a harmonica player, vocalist, songwriter, comedian, and actor who has been playing harp for over 40 years. In 2017, he won the nationwide “USAA & We Are The Mighty’s Mission: Music talent competition.”  He was also a featured performer at the 50th Anniversary Hampton Jazz Festival.  In 2016, the Bobby BlackHat Band advanced to the FINALS of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, TN.  Bobby has won two Blewzzy Awards for “Song of the Year” (I Hear Mama’s Voice, 2012 and Please Mr. BlackHat, 2015).  He was also awarded two 2016 VEER Music Awards for “Best Blues” and “Song of the Year” (HRBT Blues).  Bobby has had the honor of opening for Blues Legends B.B King, Taj Mahal, and Steady Rollin Bob Margolin.

 2019 Arts Academy: Creative learning in a tranquil environment

A combination of workshops in several media of the visual arts will be held in Highland this summer. These workshops are sponsored by the Highland Arts Council because it believes art is essential to communities. Participants will have the opportunity to learn new skills alongside other members and enjoy hands on instruction from talented instructors. Workshops will be offered in basketry, pottery, stained glass, and barn quilt painting during the week of July 29 – Aug. 2, 2019, with extended time for pottery during July 22 – 24. For more information, class descriptions, and registration materials, visit www.highlandcountyartscouncil.org. Registration opens on April 1, 2019.

Drama Camp: The summer drama camp is back!  Campers will perform How to Eat Like a Child by Delia Ephron.  This musical romp through the joys and sorrows of being a child is hilarious. Children give twenty-three lessons in such subjects as how to beg for a dog, how to tortureyour sister,how to act after being sent to your room, and how to laugh hysterically. Camp will be held at the Highland Elementary School the week of June 24-28. Performances will be the 28thand 29th.  Tuition is $85 with a $10 script fee.  Scholarships are available.  Contact Caroline Smith at carolineandough@htcnet.orgfor more information.

Highland Center Auditorium: The audience at the Center can now enjoy comfortable seating as well as the improvements in the acoustics of the space.  More work is contemplated to make the auditorium a vibrant performance center.

Grants: The Council has submitted grant proposals to the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge and the Virginia Commission for the Arts.  The first is to support the continuing program of performances at the Highland Center and includes a proposal for an internship for a student to work with Gary Kirby to learn about sound and lighting of the Center’s performances.  The VCA grant proposal is for operational costs.  The VCA grant is a very difficult grant to obtain.

Long Range Planning:  The Arts Council Board of Directors will spend an afternoon in the coming month to discuss what the work of the Council should be in the next five years and map out strategies to accomplish those goals.

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