SWCC Festival of the Arts

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Welcome! Southwest Virginia Community College is excited to present the Festival of the Arts.

The 2015 Festival of the Arts is set for April 9 through April 19th.  The 2015 festival celebrates its 21st year with the theme of International Folk and Classical Arts: Inspiration and Reinvention.

We will explore and celebrate international folk arts and classical arts as they relate to each other. While the folk arts come from and reflect the culture of the people of a region, the classical arts are often a spin-off or reinvention from the folk arts.  Likewise, the classical arts often reflect cultural traditions such as Aaron Copeland’s Rodeo and Appalachian Spring or Arensky’s Piano Quintet: Variations on Sur le Pont d’Avignon, a familiar song from childhood. And many more examples!

The festival will present some of the greatest melodic, rhythmic, most recognizable and emotional music and dance from around the globe. Examples will be music that ranges from nationalistic songs and dance to songs passed down from generation to generation to African-American spirituals. We will see and hear how traditional music and art has forever been an important source of inspiration for classical music, art, dance, visual arts  and literature. Composers from Bach to Bartok, artists from Gauguin to Picasso and other artists throughout the ages have always turned to folk traditions, music and legend as an unending wellspring of creative inspiration.

We hope you join us!  Mary

Since 1995, many countries of the world, including our very own Appalachian Region of the United States, have been the focus of the festival.

Our returning artists each year include Camerata Virtuosi New York (pictured) 

Learn more about our artists and sponsors and make plans now to join us!


The Festival began in 1995 with Spotlight on America-From Sea to Shining Sea!

Since that inaugural year, the countries of Germany, Italy, Austria, England, Russia, the Appalachian Region of the United States and France and others have been visited through the Festival. The mission of the Festival is to provide an in-depth exploration of the cultural riches of countries and cultures around the world to create a better understanding of those nations and cultures. The two-week long Festival consists of numerous musical performances, including vocal, instrumental and solo presentations. Dance, theatre, literature, visual arts and film are other areas of exploration.

Students from the theatre and music departments at Southwest participate, as well as community singers in the SWCC Community Chorus. SWCC art students design the Festival logo each year and prepare art exhibits that reflect the artistic heritage of the country in the spotlight. Workshops are conducted by visiting artists and a Spotlight event is held each year to showcase student talent.
Festival Themes Through the Years

Nationally and Internationally Acclaimed Artists

Most performances are presented by nationally and internationally acclaimed artists, among them:
pianists Pavlina Dokovska, ; violinists Yuri Vodovoz and Rob Taylor; violist Ariel Rudiakov; cellist Diliana Momtchilova; flutist Massimo Mercelli; sopranos Stefka Evastieva and Karen Bureau; the Kandinsky Trio and Garth Newel Chamber Players; Walt Michael and Company and Madeline MacNeil, dulcimer.

Special Guests

Special guests have been actor Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Dr. Gottfried Wagner, musicologist; Chandler Cowles and Henry Taylor, Pulitzer Prize winners; Dr. Gideon Waldrop, former Dean of the Juilliard School of Music and President of the Manhattan School of Music; composer David Tcimpidis; writers Lee Smith and Sharyn McCrumb.

Venue for many performances:

Southwest Virginia Community College
King Community Center
295 Community College Road
Dellinger Hall
965 Community College Road

Visit these sites for more information about the region:

Tazewell County Website

Appalachian Arts Center

Appalachian Authors Guild

Open for Business: Tazewell County

Virginia Festivals Information

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