Highland County Arts Council to Celebrate 25 Years


With the belief that the arts are essential to communities, the Highland County Arts Council has been active in their mission to strengthen and maintain cultural activities in Highland County.  They are currently in the middle of a concert season, and the next performance will be a community celebration of their twenty-fifth anniversary.

Treasurer Caroline Smith tells us more about this silver anniversary event that will be headlined by the Richard Williams Trio.  She says, “They used to be known as The Boogie Kings.  There’s a pianist, a drummer, and a man named Richard Adams, who plays every instrument you can imagine.  He will be a familiar face to many school children in Highland County, because he is also known as the “I Can Man,” who always comes to the schools and talks about bullying.  In addition to that group, local performers will be joining in.  Our beloved band teacher, Jason Canze, will be playing saxophone with the group.  Claire Sax will be singing songs from the American Songbook.  We have a young man called David Musick, who’s actually going to play the piano that we’re dedicating to the community at that point, and then Bucky and Norma Reynolds will be telling stories.  In addition to the concert, we have a silent auction.  Several local artists have donated works for us to auction off, and it’s a very nice event that people of all ages can come and enjoy.  We’ve set it up so that there’s no charge.  None of the music goes on for too long.  There are lots of cookies, and we really hope it’s a way that we can say how much we’ve enjoyed being part of the community and welcome people in to our party.

“One of the ways that the Arts Council has been able to bring this concert series is that we received a grant from the Community Foundation of the Central Blue Ridge.  We’re helped with all of our concerts by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.”

Ms. Smith continues by explaining why the Highland County Arts Council is a significant organization in the local area.  She says, “I think the most important thing that the Arts Council does is really support all of the different ways that people can think about art.  You know, we have dance, we have music, we have poetry, we have painting, we bring school programs every year in a variety of formats for our school children.  We work with the Highland County Fair Association to support the art and photography show.  We always have art shows hanging in the Mountain View Room of the Public Library.  We have special programs like our concert series.  Every summer, we have Drama Camp.  We really feel like we are part of the community here in Highland County.  All studies have shown that people who are involved in the arts, generally, have better social experiences.  Kids do better in school if they play in band.  To me, the arts are critical to a high quality of life, and I think that the Arts Council contributes its part to that aspect of Highland County.”

The twenty-fifth anniversary celebration will be held at The Highland Center on Sunday, November 5th at 2:00 p.m.   More information can be found online at  www.highlandcountyartscouncil.org or at the Highland County Arts Council Facebook page.


Story By

Chris Swecker

is the Assistant Station Coordinator and a News Reporter for WVLS. He has roots in Highland County going back several generations, and he grew up in Monterey. Since graduating from James Madison University with a bachelor’s degree in Media Arts and Design, he has pursued his career at a news station and advertising agency in Virginia, on Microsoft’s campus in the state of Washington, and in both states as sole owner and employee of a video production company. He enjoys exploring life with his wife, Jessa Fowler, traveling, hiking, hunting, gardening, and trying new foods, all while discovering more about what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He feels blessed to be a small part of this talented AMR team to help give back to the community that has provided him with so much.

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