Maple Festival:  The Arts Council facilitated the two 3 pm performances at the Highland Center and a matching grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts.  The Chamber provided the match through its members.  The March 14th performance will be Tyler Hughes and the 21st will be John Bullard.  Both are outstanding banjo players.  Admission to each is free with the festival keychain.

The evening performances are at 7 pm and made possible by VCA grants and admission fees. March 14th features Bill Jenkins and the Virginia Mountain Boys.  The 21st will bring After Jack to the Highland Center stage.  Admission is $10 and $5 for students.  Both groups are known for their musical skills and a range of offerings.

February 16th Membership Meeting: The meeting was a glimpse of the creative richness of Highland County.  The exhibits included crafts, art works, publications, and food that is every bit as creative a work as the others.  Mountain Air and the Highland County Orchestra provided music for the occasion.  At a short business meeting, changes to the bylaws were discussed and accepted.

Board Members: Rick Hill has joined the Board in the place vacated by Lee Beasley. Rick is the Pastor at Monterey and Beulah Presbyterian Churches.  He is a lifelong musician playing a wide variety of acoustic instruments.  He has been involved with presenting live music in a variety of settings.  For six years he directed a coffeehouse in Harrisonburg, VA.  While in Harrisonburg, he was also the director for the Court Square Summer Concert series.  For nine years he ran, with Sonny Ochs, a monthly concert series in New York that raised money for local non-profits.  He has recorded three CD’s – two solo and one with “The Barefoot Boys.”  Hill has a BA in Speech and Theatre from Muskingum College, a MA in Christian Education, and a MDiv degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary. 

Guitar Lessons:  Given the success of the ukulele workshop, the Arts Council offer group guitar lessons later in the Spring. Watch for announcements or let Donna Bedwell if you are interested.

Little Swiss Fund Grant Technical Interns:  Four Highlanders have signed up to be part of the intern program funded by the Grant.  Two are adults and two are high school students.  Gary Kirby will begin sessions with the four and eventually fold them into the technical staff.  The interns will receive a small stipend and become viable candidates for employees for any activity at the Center that uses the equipment purchased through the efforts of the Arts Council.

Highland Arts Academy– Registration is open for the 2020 Arts Academy which will be held from July 26 – August 7. Workshops in basketry, barn quilt painting, pottery, stained glass, painting with wood (marquetry), eco dying and fiber art, and photography will be offered in 3 or 5 day sessions. We are proud of the quality and range of both instructors and workshops and know it will be a hard to decide which new skill you want to learn.  As a special thank you to the support we receive from members of the Highland Arts Council, you will receive a 10% discount off registration for a workshop of your choice. For more information, complete schedule, and registration form, visit Use promotion code HCAC2020 for your discount.

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