Hands and Harvest Festival: The Arts Council is joining with the Highland County Chamber of Commerce to bring two performances by storyteller Barbara Lawson on Saturday, October 12 as part of the Hands and Harvest Festival.  Lawson has been a favorite with both children and parents after her performances at the Highland Public Schools.  Both the 11 am and 2 pm performances are at the Highland County Library and are free.  Donations are gratefully accepted.  Funding for Lawson’s performance is partly covered by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Chamber, and an anonymous donor.

At 7 pm, the Council and the Jones Foundation will partner for a concert by The Original Rhondels.  The concert is the second annual concert in memory of long-time arts supporters and artists in their own rights, Elizabeth and Mary Hilley McCoy.    In the beginning the band was known as “Bill Deal and the Rhondels” and built a major career as recording artists, appearing first at Madison Square Garden and then traveling across country. Their recordings hit the top of the charts in the US, Argentina, Spain, Brazil, Germany and Mexico.  The Original Rhondels continued to perform following the death of Deal.  Their latest CD “Live” is now available.  The concert is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.  Cider by Big Fish Cidery will be available.

Second Saturday at Seven: The November Second Saturday will feature the Richard Williams Trio and local talent.  The Nov 9th concert is the Annual Meeting of the Arts Council and will be free.  However, like other ‘free’ performances, donations are gratefully accepted to help cover the cost of the performance and the use of the Highland Center.

Drama coming in December a first for the Council: a performance of the Christmas play, Exchange of Gifts by Dwayne Yancey.  The performance will be one of the first on the play’s tour. More information will be coming.

Grants: Besides six matching grants to support VCA performers in the Arts Council’s 2019-2020 season, the Council received its first operational grant from the Commission.   This is a major recognition by the Commission of the work of the Arts Council to promote the arts in Highland County.

The Council also received a Marketing Leverage Grant from the Virginia Tourism Corporation to promote Highland County as an “Arts Destination”.  Partners in the grant, the Highland County Chamber of Commerce and the Highland Tourism Council, enabled the Council to leverage $3000 for matching funds from VTC. The grant will fund newspaper and radio advertisements, publications, rack cards,  and other means of spreading the word about the availability and variety of the arts in Highland.

The Council will also apply for funds from the Little Swiss Fund to improve the ability of the Council to help with sound support for its concerts and other functions at the Highland Center.

Art Exhibits at the Library: The next art show is titled “Exploration, Experiments, and Learning”.  It is a collection of pieces produced by The Monday Art Group which meets weekly in the Arts Council Room.  The exhibit will be available at the Highland County Library from October 4 through November 20.

The Arts Academy: The success of the summer’s series of craft workshops will be followed by a new series of workshops.  Donna Bedwell is working to open new arts areas as well as continuing the popular workshops from 2019.  More information will be coming.

Membership Drive: The Arts Council will begin its annual solicitation for members and contributions this month.  New to the drive will be a corporate membership that will include the option of sponsoring a Second Saturday performance.

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