November 2020 Newsletter

Arts Council Takes to the Road: With support from the Little Swiss Fund, the Council purchased a trailer, which will house the Council’s sound and lighting systems as well as many of its portable platforms. The Council will have the means to take its performances throughout the County. The trailer was designed and brought to Monterey by Gary Kirby, who has been responsible for the steps to make the Highland Center Auditorium a viable performance space.  The portable system will make it possible to do performances inside and outside throughout Highland County.  It will also be available at a reasonable fee to other organizations that have goals consistent with those of the Council.

Amazon Smile:  Remember if you use Amazon to make purchases of items not readily available in Highland County, you can make a percentage of your purchase a contribution to the Highland County Arts Council by noting the organization.  It is a small amount, but it will be added to the total that Amazon will contribute to the Arts Council.  It adds nothing to the cost.

Second Saturdays at Seven:  The Arts Council will resume with Second Saturday performances on November 14th at 7 pm.  Classically trained banjo artist, John Bullard, will be performing at The Church at the Old Oak (previously Pisgah Presbyterian Church), 3898 Meadowdale Rd., Hightown. As a classically trained musician and the first graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Music to earn a degree in performance with the banjo, Bullard understands that accepting the banjo—a “folk” instrument with a complex pedigree—into the classical fold is a challenging proposition for traditionalists. He was recently interviewed on National Public Radio and mentioned his Monterey concert.  The Arts Council will follow COVID guidelines for seating that will limit the available space. To make reservations, email the Highland Arts Council at or call 540-499-2879 before November 13th for seating to be arranged prior to the concert.

Annual Membership Meeting goes Virtual – The 2nd Saturday performance on December 12th will be a new experience for our members and the Arts Council. We will try our hand at bringing an event safely to our members in the form of a virtual performance. The Boogie Kings will provide live support while local talent will be featured. This will also be a memorial for Susan Blanchard and a short membership meeting will include an introduction of new Board members. Stay tuned for plans but reserve the date for a new experience.

The 2021 Performances: The winter/spring season will begin in February with Bill Heid, jazz and blues pianist.  April will bring performers from the Crooked Road.  May will present the Martha Spencer Trio with June being a special evening of music by Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven Gospel Singers.  Because of the unknown future caused the pandemic, the Arts Council may present the Second Saturday Performances virtually.  Exploratory discussions are in the works to broadcast performances over Allegheny Radio.

The Highland Arts Academy:  An Intro to Appalachian Broom-making: The Saturday October 17th workshop led by Emily Bell was by all accounts a success.  Donna Bedwell is working to schedule a second broom workshop. 

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