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New Outdoor Space at Appalachian Arts & Events Center

The Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation announces the construction of a new outdoor space at the Appalachian Arts & Events Center (The Mill, in Cedar Bluff), set to host an array of events, concerts, receptions, and more. 

The newly constructed outdoor feature will have a stage and a fireplace designed by brick sculptor Johnny Hagerman, who has built multiple brick sculpting pieces on the main campus of Southwest Virginia Community College and throughout Southwest Virginia. The unveiling took place during a reception on Tuesday, July 25th, at The Mill, where community members and donors gathered to celebrate. 

Johnny Hagerman and his wife Penny receive news from Susan Lowe about the naming of Hagerman's Pavilion.
Johnny Hagerman (center) and his wife, Penny (left) receive the news about the new space being named Hagerman’s Pavilion from Susan Lowe (right).

Susan Lowe, Executive Director of the Southwest Virginia Community College Educational Foundation announced that the pavilion will be known as “Hagerman’s Pavilion,” a heartfelt tribute to Johnny Hagerman for his decades of contributions to the community through his art. 

Johnny Hagerman’s artistic style and homage to local heritage will be evident through the fireplace design. Inspired by Appalachian quilting, the brick sculpted fireplace will feature intricate patterns like the quilter’s thimble, flying geese, bear paws, and barn squares. It will also pay tribute to Hagerman’s late mother, an avid quilter, with the thimble design. 

Crowd gathers at the new space located at the Mill in Cedar Bluff
The new stage and space will be located on the side of the Mill. Johnny Hagerman and Morgan Gilbert (School of the Arts at SWCC) speak to a crowd on July 25, 2023.

The total cost of the pavilion, fireplace, and stage will be around $160,000. The project is getting closer to becoming a reality, with donors already pledging nearly $80,000. 

In a special tribute, the “Bakers Dozen” donors, whose contributions have been instrumental in this project, will receive exclusive commemorative bricks and their names will be prominently displayed on a fireplace plaque. Among those donors are Dr. Tommy & Tracey Wright, John & Cathy Payne, Lynn & Charlotte Keene, The Stelio and Betty Corte Foundation, Mark & Lisa Singleton, Kenneth & Susan Lowe, Peter & Jane Mulkey, and Sen. Travis & Angel Hackworth.  

In addition, many other community members have supported this project through commitments of funding, service, equipment, and materials to aid in its construction.  

Brick sculpting for Bakers Dozen donors.
Special bricks are being created for “Bakers Dozen” donors by Hagerman.

“Each contribution is not just a donation; it’s an investment in a legacy that will resonate within our community for generations to come,” said Lowe. 

Hagerman’s Pavilion will be constructed on the side of The Mill closest to Cedar Valley Drive, along the Clinch River.  

For more information about Hagerman’s Pavilion, you may contact Susan Lowe at or call 276.964.7304. 

Aerial view of the mill along the Clinch River

About the Appalachian Arts and Events Center: 

The Appalachian Arts and Events Center is a dedicated space celebrating and promoting the distinctive mountain culture of the region through its arts and crafts, fine art, music, dance, storytelling, and writing. Local artists display their creations at the center’s retail location and are available for purchase. Additionally, the Mill space is available for rent, making it an ideal venue for conferences, receptions, and various gatherings. 

Location: 112 River Rd, Cedar Bluff, VA 24609 

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