January 2021 Newsletter



2nd Saturdays at 7- Bill Heid in Concert

Jazz pianist Bill Heid will be the next performer in the Highland Arts Council’s Second Saturdays Concert Series.  He will 

perform Saturday, February 13 from 7-9 PM.  The concert will be live-streamed from the Highland Center.

Bill has been a full-time blues and jazz pianist and vocalist for nearly 55 years and has worked with many famous blues artists including John Lee Hooker, Ko Ko Taylor, Roy Buchanan, Fenton Robinson, Jimmy “T-99” Nelson, and Billy Boy Arnold, and played on numerous Ko Ko Taylor, Fenton Robinson, and Roy Buchanan albums for Chicago’s ALLIGATOR Records. He has performed for the U.S. State Department’s “Jazz Ambassadors” program in Indonesia, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Singapore, and numerous countries in Africa. He resided and worked for more than five years in China and Japan. His music can be heard in films starring Robin Williams, Danny DeVito, and Matt Dillon.

Bill plays all styles of blues piano including boogie woogie, be-bop, funk, and neo-soul styles having learned from greats Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis, as well as more modern styles of Floyd Dixon and Amos Milburn.   To hear some of his music, visit his webpage: https://soundcloud.com/billheid  

The performance on February 13 will have extremely limited seating, but the concert will be live-streamed on the Highland Arts Council’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HighlandCountyArtsCouncil ).  You do not need to join Facebook to view the concert, simply click on the link and go to “videos.”  If you have “liked” the Facebook page, you should receive a notification of the concert which will contain a link to open the page.

Tickets to be in the audience at the Highland Center are $20 and will be limited to 15 people.

Silent Auction Recap:
In a year of trying new things, the Arts Council experimented with their first virtual Silent Auction in December.  This fundraising activity has been a part of membership meetings and special concerts in the past but the traditional way of handling the auction was not possible this year. So we adapted.

Thanks to the generous donations of local artists and Arts Council members Michael & Donna Bedwell, Liz Devenny, Tate Dunn, Elizabeth McClung, and Loraine White, $760 was raised with bids for all eight items. The pieces were showcased in the December newsletter, the Arts Council website and Facebook pages. Jennifer Warner Cox dedicated a window to display the items in her new main street business and High’s Restaurant provided a drop off site for bids next door.

But the final credit for the success of the auction goes to the wonderful supporters of the Arts Council who bid on the items. Thank you!

Planning Retreat
An important part of each year, is the time we take in January to meet as a group to discuss goals and plans for the following year.
In past retreats we have focused on our mission to “Make Highland County a Destination for the Arts” through:

– Our joint campaign with The Highland Center to outfit the grand room

– Holding monthly performances as part of our 2nd Saturdays at 7 series.

– Inviting talented artisans to take part in our Highland County Art Academy Workshops

While COVID-19 has thrown us for a loop, we have adjusted and continued to make the Arts an important part of our county.We are grateful for your support and we look forward to sharing our vision and our 2021 plans with you.

Look for a detailed report in our February newsletter.

Member Message: Donna Bedwell
Happy New Year! I recently heard a comment I would like to pass on as we prepare for a new year – If 2020 was a year to learn new ways of doing things, then 2021 should be a year to apply those things we learned”.  While some activities had to be canceled due to COVID concerns, the Arts Council learned new ways to hold concerts and workshops, our meetings and fundraisers.

My time as a Board Member for the Arts Council has also included many new experiences. I will make every effort to apply what I have learned about this organization and the importance of art to the community of Highland as I start the new year as President of the Arts Council Board.

Annual Membership Concert Recap

The Arts Council presented its first virtual concert on December 12—a variety show featuring many local performers with a very wide variety of talents to share. Thanks to Rick Hill and his technical crew of Neal Mohlman and Derek Simmons, it was lovely and virtually seamless.

Clair Myers and the Boogie Kings provided continuity for the evening, telling stories and providing excellent tunes between musical performances by Highland string students, Claire Sax and Rick Hill, spooky folklore by Chip Hill and hilarious jokes by Mike Bedwell.  The capstone event was Jason Canze joining band members Williams Hayes, 

Sam Brown and Richard Adams with his saxophone.  What a treat!

The concert was dedicated to one of the Arts Council’s and Highland County’s best friends, Susan Blanchard.

As next year’s council president Donna Bedwell said, “Susan was not only a talented artist, but a vibrant member of the community- sharing her love of the community through her painting, teaching, and support of local organizations.…the legacy of her talent and love of art lives on.”

Between acts, audience members could enjoy a variety of Susan’s paintings.

Special thanks to Rick Hill for providing beautiful visual introductions to each of the acts.  You can enjoy the concert at by clicking on www.facebook.com/HighlandCountyArtsCouncil/


The Highland County Arts Council wishes you a safe, healthy, and creative New Year

Artwork by Liz Delahoussaye

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