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2013 features events, activities, performances and more

The gallery of the Ashe Arts Center features many exhibits throughout the year, including the Young at Art exhibit for area students to showcase their work.

2013 Ashe County Arts Council Events

(Doesn’t include individual concerts, Little Theatre or gallery exhibits)

Jan. 21                  Martin Luther King Day Celebration

April 16                 Ashe County Choral Festival

April 19                 Very Special Arts Festival

April 20                 Spring Fest

April 24-27           ARTifacts Yard Sale Fundraiser

May 18                 Feast for the Arts Dessert Gala

June-October    Gallery Crawls, the second Fridays. (June 14, July 12, Aug. 9, Sept. 13 and Oct. 11)

July 5-6                 Christmas in July Festival

Aug. 10                 Blue Ridge Brutal Bike Ride (fundraiser for the Ashe Civic Center)

Sept. 17-21         On the Same Page Literary Festival

Sept. 28                ART on the Mountain, crafts show

Oct. 21-26            Missoula Children’s Theatre residency

Nov. 25-Dec. 31                Tree Fest

Dec. 6                    Christmas Crawl

Dec. 7                    Saturday with Santa and Holiday Open House

Dec. 8                    Ashe County Choral Society Concert

About the Ashe County Arts Council

The building is located at 303 School Avenue in West Jefferson, and the staff, volunteers and board members are continually working to improve and add more artistic offerings to the area.

“Sometimes I think we couldn’t possibly add anything else on to our plate, but we seem to do that anyway,” Lonon said. “ … Suffice it to say that the arts council’s board of directors and staff are always coming up with new ideas on how to partner and collaborate with other organizations to continue enhancing the quality of life in this wonderful place we call home.”

They are working on some new routes for the popular Barn Quilt Trails and the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) is continuing to grow. Lonon said there are also whispers about a possible new festival, although no other information is available right now.

How to Help

Sponsorships are available through monetary donations or in-kind donations. Individuals interested in helping the arts can also provide complimentary lodging for performers and authors, food or meals for the performers, offer discounts on merchandise and volunteer at events.


“The arts council is a non-profit organization with a staff of three and therefore depends greatly on our hard-working volunteers,” Herman said. “We utilize over 200 volunteers for our large festival events with students and adult participation. Our volunteers help the arts council with refreshments, set up and break down, event planning, ticket taking, hosting, housing, committees and much more.”

To get more information about arts council events, to make a donation or to become a volunteer, visit, contact them by phone at (336) 846-2787, email ( or visit their office in West Jefferson. Their hours are 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The center will be closed on Saturdays until April 6.

Originally published: Jan. 3, 2013
Last modified: Jan. 3, 2013

Heather Canter

By Heather Samudio


In their role as a big provider of arts, entertainment and activities for the area, the Ashe County Arts Council is up and running, and has been preparing for a while for their plans set for 2013.

ACAC has their basic calendar set for the entire year with several events kicking off this month.

At 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 12, Al Pettway and Amy White, both award-winning, critically-acclaimed performers, will appear in concert at the Ashe Arts Center.

“The duo offer a blend of musical styles, including traditional, contemporary Celtic and Appalachian-influenced music with nods to rock and jazz,” said ACAC's Rebecca Herman.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students and can be purchased at the Ashe Arts Center or by phone at (336) 846-2787.

One week later, at 6 p.m., ACAC will host an intimate evening with Si Kahn, Saturday, Jan. 19, at the Ashe Arts Center. This concert will be held in conjunction with a special fundraiser chili dinner.

“Si Kahn is a singer/songwriter that uses influences from traditional old-time music, folk music, the blues and contemporary music to create songs of family, community, work and freedom,” said Herman. “His songs have become part of an oral tradition and are sung in folk clubs and living rooms, at rallies and on picket lines around the world.”

Chili, tossed salad, crusty bread, dessert and beverages will be available during the chili dinner. There will be a wintry theme in the menu with everything having a casual atmosphere and served buffet style. The meal will be an all-you-can-eat special.

“The food is cooked and donated by ACAC volunteers, and will be great,” ACAC Executive Director Jane Lonon said.

The theme for the night is chasing away the doldrums of winter and “A Black Squirrel Winter.” Guests can participate in special fundraisers throughout the evening. For a donation, an individual can get a song dedicated to someone, Si Kahn can be commissioned to write a song an individual and guests can even bid on a chance to have the performer come to their home for a personal concert.

Seating is limited to 70, but reservations can be made by calling (336) 846-2787. Tickets are $35 per person.

For the coming year, Herman said the ACAC has a full 2013 exhibit schedule with 10 exhibits in the Gallery of the ACAC.

“The first two exhibits of the year, Introspection and Works of Passion, require artists to look inside of themselves to find ways to represent their inner thoughts and passions,” Herman said.

The Gallery will again host the Young at Art exhibit for Ashe County Students. Herman said the arts council has plans to partner with organizations, such as the Blue Ridge Art Clan and the Ashe Camera Club to showcase their artists.

As the year comes to a close, they host the Best of the Blue Ridge, a juried art exhibit. During that same time, Tree Fest is held to showcase the decorated trees and handmade ornaments.

Other events, exhibits and activities are planned throughout the year and help bring in some of the funds as well as volunteers needed to keep the ACAC running smoothly.

As a new year rolls around, many organizations have already been thinking about funding and monies for a while. With all the other cuts different groups have faced, we asked if ACAC were facing the same.

“That's a complicated question,” said Lonon. “We hope not too much of a cut. Government funding is always tenuous. Grant funding is not as readily available as in years past and individuals and business contributors are pulled in many different directions.

“I hope that the case we make for funding of the Ashe County Arts Council is that the arts council and the arts are good for Ashe County,” she continued. “We help revitalize our communities; we add a strong component to the economic development of the region; we value the role that the arts play in education; and we support and encourage local artists and the role they play.”

The money raised and received is used to help continue programming for the community and for students in area schools. According to Lonon, during the 2012-2013 programming year, the arts council will present 25 concerts for the public and 42 programs for Ashe County School students.

For more information and stories, see Ashe Mountain Times.