Southwest Virginia Community College is pleased to have sponsored the Festival of the Arts since 1995. We have celebrated the arts from Spotlight on American: From Sea to Shining Sea, as well as Germany, Italy, Appalachia, Austria, England, Russia, France, Spain and Latin America, Africa and Her Legacy, Eastern Europe, Along the Silk Road, Shakespeare, The Diversity of Dance, A Fusion of Cultures, Spotlight on the Movies and others.

The dates for this year’s Festival are April 16-28, 2020 and the theme is 20/20 Spotlight on Visionaries: Throughout Time, Around the World. The many performances, exhibits, and events that make up the thirteen-day festival will focus on individuals from around the world whose visions have shaped and changed the world. Visionaries will represent the Arts to include musicians, composers, dancers, choreographers, writers, visual artists, and other genres. The vast fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math will focus on inventors and inventions that have made huge changes throughout the world.

festival logo

The Festival logo, which reflects the theme, was designed by Southwest graduate Johnathon Keene.

The core part of the festival will continue to include performances by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra accompanying the Southwest Virginia Community Chorus and dynamic pianists Pavlina Dokovska and Vladimir Valjarevic and soprano Clara Lisle. There will be three performances by Camerata Virtuoso New York, each performance with a different theme and program. These excellent performances will be in Bluefield, Tazewell and Elk Garden. The festival will include the popular Piano Times Three featuring pianists Pavlina Dokovska, Vladimir Valjarevic and Joseph Trivette. The Richmond Ballet will perform works by visionary choreographers. A literary visionary, Emily Dickinson, will come to life in a one-woman show, The Belle of Amherst.

The Ellen von Dehsen Elmes Gallery in the King Community Center will host Visionaries Around Us, an exhibit of photographic portraits of living visionaries of Southwest Virginia The exhibit is planned and presented by Southwest’s School of the Arts. An exhibit at the Appalachian Arts Center will host Sylvia Richardson: Visionary Textile Artist. Richardson is an amazing and unique artist who creates turned applique and heavily embellished and beaded quilts.

The popular Cultural Walk will return and will be presented by the students, faculty, and staff at Southwest. During the Cultural Walk, students will represent specially selected visionaries, wearing appropriate costumes, by sharing their vision with the audience and why he/she has been important throughout time. A buffet, catered by Your Grate Escape, will precede the Cultural Walk, with cuisine prepared from recipes of visionary worldwide chefs. Festival sponsors at the $500 and above will receive two complimentary reservations to the dinner. Buffet tickets are $25 and advance reservations are requested by April 10.

For Festival information and Cultural Walk Dinner reservations, contact Mary W. Lawson, 276-964-7348 (mary.lawson@sw.edu), Annette McClanahan, 276-964-7347 (annette.mcclanahan@sw.edu) or visit www.sw.edu.