May 2021 Newsletter

Download your copy here! HCAC May 2021 Newsletter

Mark your Calendar: May 8th, 7p Concert: Martha Spencer Trio

If you love music rooted in the Appalachian tradition, you won’t want to miss the Martha Spencer Band! Coming to the Highland Center in Monterey, VA as part of the Arts Council’s Second Saturdays Series, Martha and her bandmates take the stage at 7 p.m.

Martha Spencer is a singer-songwriter, mountain musician and dancer from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. She grew up in the musical Spencer family and learned to play several instruments (guitar, fiddle, banjo, bass, dulcimer, mandolin) and flatfoot/clog at a young age. She performs and has recorded with various groups and has been involved with several roots music projects.

She has played shows, festivals and led workshops across the US, Australia, UK, and Europe. Martha just released a solo album and has been included in articles in Rolling Stone Country, No Depression, Wide Open Country, Cowboys & Indians Magazine, Americana Highways, PopMatters and more.

You can purchase tickets through Eventbrite by clicking the link via our website:

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

Member Message: Nancy Mohlmann

It is a pleasure to be a beneficiary of the arts in Highland County.

My life has been spent in Augusta County where I grew up, in northern Virginia where I worked in Washington DC and raised two children, and now in Highland where my husband Neal and I have retired. In our adult life in northern Virginia, we visited Highland enough to know it would be a great location to retire.

In 2016, we bought a house on Spruce Street in Monterey, and in mid-2017, moved here full time.

Since moving here, I have always made a point to take in the Highland County Arts Council concerts. There is nothing better on a Saturday night than to view artists’ work on the walls and listen to Wayne Henderson and Helen White inside the Highland Center, or listening to Tyler Hughes on a chilly evening outside as it gets dark. The talent brought to Highland County for our enjoyment is amazing.

I look forward to participation on the Arts Council which brings programs and events that enhance the quality of life the Highland experience already provides.

A video glimpse of The Highland Arts Academy

The Highland Arts Academy begins its 3rd year with a full line up of exciting workshops and a new promotional video.

The Arts Academy video was filmed throughout the 2019 workshops. With COVID impacting plans in 2020, the finalization of this project was put on hold but is now ready for distribution to promote the workshops and Highland County as a destination for the arts.

It features interviews and highlights from the 2019 workshops and a few images taken during the 2020 summer programs.

To view the video, find out more about workshops and their talented instructors, and registe for your favorite, visit Several workshops filled up quickly in previous years, and size is still limited, so register early!

Thanks to Chris Swecker of Seed & Fruit Media for this video.

Creativity Corner: Priscilla Maloy

My discovery of the ancient technique of felting came by way of my need to utilize the wool from our flock of North Country Cheviot sheep, as well as, to serve as the creative outlet for which I had been searching. I

hand wash, dye, card, and blend my wool to create the necessary hue of colors.

Two methods of creating felt fabric that I enjoy are; wet felting a process of using water, soap, wool and some form of agitation, and needle felting which may be described as the stabbing motion that you make when pushing the barbed needle into the wool and pulling it out again.

As I continue my journey into fiber art, I am learning to look at the world more closely and clearly. I am inspired by the beauty of our natural world!




HCAC Room Upgrades at The Highland Center

The Highland County Arts Council room at the Highland Center is used for Council meetings as well as a place for workshops and meetings for other groups such as the Monday Art Group.

Because of the historic significance of the space, the Council has not been able to host groups that may use paints or liquids that could stain the original wooden floor

Thanks to the good work of Arts Council members Liz Delahoussaye and Caroline Smith the Arts Council room has a protective floor covering. The Council also bought a rolling cart for the printing press which will serve the Arts Academy’s 2021 Print Workshop.

Thanks to Arts Council’s angel, Gary Kirby, a set of track lights have been added to the room. These will light that walls and allow for hanging of art works.  Arrangements may be made to use the room for appropriate activities.

We Need Your Help! Arts Council Trailer Seeking Home Base

Mark your calendars and join us for our concert series this Spring/Summer season!

  • June 12: Larnell Starkey & the Spiritual Seven: 2 pm at the Highland Fair Grounds

Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven have been singing for over 40 years. Their music, a zestful blend of traditional gospel with a twist of contemporary, showcases the group’s amazing vocal harmonies from the high flying falsettos of the first tenor, to the deep rich sounds of the low bass.

  • July -TBA
  • August 7 Terra Nova – 7pm at The Highland Center -a Memorial concert in honor of Dorcas J. Lohr

Terra Voce delights audiences with virtuosity, a conversational style of presentation, and genre-­‐expanding programs that explore an uncommon mix of classical and traditional folk music styles. Their concerts defy expectations, testing the limits of what is possible on just two instruments.

  • August 21: Storytelling in Word and Music (details TBA)

  • September 11 : Lori Botkin in Concert at The Highland Historical Museum in McDowell

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