BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University’s An Appalachian Summer Festival has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a second consecutive year.
The 2011 edition of Appalachian’s annual summer arts festival has secured an NEA grant of $20,000. In 2010, An Appalachian Summer Festival received $25,000 in support from the NEA.
An independent agency of the federal government, the NEA advances artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. In total, the NEA will distribute more than $88 million to support the arts endeavors of not-for-profit national, regional, state and local organizations this year.
An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music festival and has developed over the years to become one of the nation’s largest regional multi-arts festivals with more than 26,000 people attending annually. Presented by the Appalachian’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, the annual arts celebration is held every July on and around the university campus and features an eclectic and diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film. For many years, the Southeast Tourism Society has named An Appalachian Summer Festival one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast.”
In keeping with its status as a university-based arts program, the festival continually seeks to enlighten and educate. This focus is reflected in such initiatives as the festival’s discounts for children’s tickets and community outreach programs, through which young people are exposed to performances, demonstrations and presentations by artists in partnership with area schools.
The 2011 Appalachian Summer Festival will offer approximately 50 different performances, exhibitions, films and workshops from June 26 to July 30. Those performing include the African Children’s Choir, Eastern Festival Orchestra with guest artists Susan Graham and Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, k.d. lang, Dierks Bentley (an outdoor fireworks concert), the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Mountain Heart with Tony Rice, and The Manhattan Transfer. For a complete schedule of events and ticket information, see www.appsummer.org/ or call 1-800-841-ARTS (2787).
“NEA research shows three out of four Americans participate in the arts,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “The diverse, innovative, and exceptional projects funded by the NEA ensure Americans around the country continue to have the opportunity to experience and participate in the arts.”
“Support from the NEA, along with a loyal base of individual supporters and corporate sponsors, make it possible for An Appalachian Summer Festival to maintain its commitment to world-class artistic programming, at ticket prices that are affordable for residents of our region,” said Denise Ringler, director of arts and cultural programs at Appalachian. “This summer, Appalachian invites members of our local community, as well as residents and visitors from across North Carolina and beyond, to join us in Boone for a month-long celebration of the arts, while enjoying all that our campus and the beautiful High Country have to offer.”
The U.S. Congress established the National Endowment for the Arts in 1965. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at www.arts.gov.
Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Appalachian State University (www.appstate.edu) offers a challenging academic environment, energetic campus life and breathtaking location. Appalachian combines the best attributes of a small liberal arts college with those of a large research university. Known for its value and affordability, Appalachian enrolls about 17,000 students and offers more than 140 undergraduate and graduate majors. Small classes and close interactions between faculty and students create a strong sense of community, which has become an Appalachian hallmark. Appalachian, located in Boone, N.C., is one of 16 universities in the University of North Carolina system.