A! Magazine for the Arts

SVCC presents Festival of the Arts

March 28, 2018

Southwest Virginia and southern West Virginia have a rich and vibrant history, the foundation of which has been “written” by the early settlers whose families settled here from many countries abroad. To celebrate diversity, the 2018 Festival of the Arts, sponsored by Southwest Virginia Community College, explores the theme From Across the Pond to Southwest Virginia: A Fusion of Cultures. The dates are April 12-22. It incorporates elements from the background of the early settlers, including Native American Indians, those of Scots-Irish heritage and others who came “across the pond,” African Americans and symbols of mountains, valleys and water, representing “the pond.”

The core part of the festival includes performances by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra accompanying the SVCC Community Chorus and pianist Pavlina Dokovska, soprano Sharin Apostolou and Celtic Indian Arvel Bird. There will be three performances by Camerata Virtuoso New York, each performance with a different theme and program. These performances will be in Bluefield, Tazewell and Elk Garden. The festival includes the popular Piano Times Three featuring pianists Pavlina Dokovska, Vladimir Valjarevic and Joseph Trivette. A performance by the SWCC Community Chorus includes Fusion of Musical Cultures. Much of this programming is music written by composers from the many European and British Isles countries from where settlers came.

There will be Festival Café and piano master classes, concluding with the “Spotlight on Talent” featuring piano students of Pavlina Dokovska and Vladimir Valjarevic. The Blue Grass Kinsmen present “From Across the Pond to the Blue Ridge: Our Musical Heritage.” Festival theme-related art exhibits are “Art from the Heart of Home: Johnny Hagerman’s Brick Sculptures,” “Ellen Elmes’ Murals” and Edith Boothe’s Paintings. An exhibit “The Goodwin Family Weavers: from England to Cedar Bluff” displays treasured woven coverlets and historical mementos from the Goodwin Family.

African-American storyteller, Sheila Arnold Jones offers opportunities to share the region’s African American culture in “History’s Alive! An Evening of Storytelling and Poetry,” hosted by Crab Orchard Museum. Readings include poetry written by Tazewell County’s poet laureate, George Dickerson, and storytelling by Sheila Arnold Jones.

The musical group Che Apalache, from Buenos Aires and co-sponsored by The Crooked Road and Ralph Stanley Museum, presents a program that blends bluegrass and Latin Rhythms. Scots Irish heritage is illustrated by Jack Beck and Wendy Welch who share their “Gifts from our Scottish Heritage: Music and Stories.” Early inhabitants in the area, before those who arrived from “Across the Pond,” include the Native American, represented by Arvel Bird, Celtic Indian with mixed-blood American Indian and Celtic heritage. Bird is a classically trained violinist who plays the violin, “fiddle” and native flutes and whistles. He shares a glimpse into his Native American heart and Scottish soul as he performs his own compositions with Camerata Virtuosi New York and Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra and in a solo performance.

For more information, contact 276-964-7348 or 276-964-7347, mary.lawson@sw.edu or www.sw.edu.