April 2021 Newsletter

Download your copy of the full newsletter: April 2021 Newsletter HCAC

Mark Your Calendar: April 10, 7p; THE CROOKED ROAD

The Crooked Road On Tour will feature Gayheart & Freeman in performance at The Highland Center in Monterey, Virginia on Saturday, April 10 as part of the Highland County Arts Council’s Second Saturdays Concert Series.

The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail performances celebrate the traditional music that has been kept by families and communities of Southwest Virginia since colonial times. Settlers of this mountainous region since the 1700’s have brought various ingredients – a cappella gospel music from German tradition that lives in the Old Regular Baptist churches today; spirituals, emotive singing and a musical gourd we now call a banjo from African tradition; and ballads and fiddles brought by the Scots-Irish and English.

Mixed together, these ingredients have produced one of the richest musical traditions on earth.

Willard Gayheart and Scott Freeman are consummate musicians, storytellers, teachers, songwriters and tunesmiths. Though grounded in old-time tradition, their music is adventurous and ready to roam the edges for new sounds and songs that fit within the tradition.

Willard and Scott’s April 10th performance at the Highland Center will have limited seating.

The concert will also be live-streamed on the Highland County Arts Council’s Facebook page- @HighlandCountyArtsCouncil

You can purchase tickets through Eventbrite


Allegheny Mountain Strings Project- Solo Highland Recital

The Highland Studio of the Allegheny Mountain String Project presented their Spring Solo Recital on Sunday, March 21 at the Highland Center in Monterey. The recital was a “virtual” event, with thanks to Rick Hill for videotaping the students and to the Highland County Arts Council for sponsoring this event.

The entire program can be seen through the Garth Newel YouTube Channel

13 Highland students presented their solos. David Musick was the accompanist as well as two parents, accompanying their own children. Students are under the direction of Gretta Sandberg.

Picture Description: Rosemary and Ben Witman

The Man Who Made It Happen- Gary Kirby

Gary Kirby, long-time benefactor of the Highland County Arts Council, has announced he is closing Kirby Sound and moving to Hawaii. His skills and commitment to supporting the Arts Council’s performance and to making the auditorium at the Highland Center a usable performance space are a lasting legacy.

Gary designed and installed the acoustic panels that made it possible to converse and to hear performances of any kind in the auditorium. He installed a hanging rail that allowed for exhibitions in the Auditorium. He built and installed the hanging speakers and upgraded the Council’s sound system. He sought out reasonably priced platforms and personally made the trip to bring them to Highland.

The latest innovation he led for the Arts Council was the design of a trailer to house a portable lighting and sound system as well as the Arts Council’s platforms. Altogether, the trailer will allow the Arts Council to mount performances anywhere in the county that has electricity.

One of Gary’s last project was a proposal for improving the light system in the Center, adding black out curtains and a remote-controlled movie screen and projector. If his proposal had been implemented, the Highland Center auditorium would have become a multi-purpose performance center.

We will be forever grateful for the work Gary Kirby did for the Art Council and the Highland Center, most often at no cost. Without his investment of time and resources, Highland County would not be able to host the variety of performances it has enjoyed over the last four years

Member Message- Caroline Smith

When I was little I liked reading, drawing, dancing, music and seeing plays with my great aunt. Until I moved to Highland County in my late forties, I didn’t realize that there was an organization that celebrated everything I liked both then and now. The move to a smaller county taught me the value of umbrella organizations where people with lots of different interests work together to support them all…just like the Highland County Arts Council.

Moving here with two daughters 13 and 11 was pretty perilous and one of the events that made everything work was asking the arts council if a group of high school students and I could perform plays under the council’s umbrella. Delighted by a positive response, we jumped in. With the help of several adults, we presented two readers’ theatre plays, Feathertop by Nathaniel Hawthorn and The 51st Dragon by Heywood Broun. It was wonderful!

Twenty-four years later, the arts council has produced an impressive list of plays featuring adults and drama camps for children. These are just one part of a vital organization that promotes the arts in this lovely county. You will find the Highland County Arts Council at the county fair, in the schools, at the library and in venues all over the county.

Save The Date- 2021 Arts Academy Workshops

The Highland Arts Academy is in the final stages of preparation for the 2021 season.

Six workshops are currently scheduled so mark your calendars and save the following dates!

  • May 28 & 29 – Broom Making – Emily Bell will be teaching two sessions back to back – Whisk Brooms for beginners on the 28th and Sweeper Brooms for the more experienced on May 29. This workshop filled up in 24 hours in 2020.
  • June 11 & 12 – Ecoprinting – Theresa Brown is back this year and will lead two workshops – one for beginners on the 11th and one for those who have some experience on the 12th.
  • July 22 – 24 – Print Making – Karen Milnes. This local artist will be sharing her talent with those interested in learning the art of print making.
  • August 6 – 8 – Barn Quilt painting – Margie Boesch will teach these ½ day sessions at her studio once again.
  • August 12th – 14th Basketry – Judith Saunders love of basketry and ability to work with beginners or experienced basket enthusiasts fills up this workshop each year.
  • August 19 – 21 -Photography – Elizabeth Larson has over 12 years’ experience teaching workshops and will be leading Taking Better Pictures with a DSLR Camera.

More information, workshop descriptions and registration will be available at www.highlandartsacademy.com.

All workshops will be conducted with safety in mind, held outdoors where possible, and masks required. Highland County Arts Council members receive a 10% discount on all workshops offered.

Creativity Corner- Barbara Hevener

Art has always been a part of my life. My parents supported my enjoyment of drawing and painting.

I chose my education to be in support of art. Even though I had other interests and family obligations I always got back to my painting.

I married a successful artist who also supported my work. I have been very fortunate.

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