Festival of the Arts Schedule

The Festival of the Arts has been postponed. It will be offered in its entirety in the Fall, dates to be announced.

design by Johnathan Keene


Artists Schedule

Events & Exhibits

Dates & Locations

Directors & Sponsors

Thanks to ...

Full Schedule

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roy and dorothy wright

Roy and Dorothy Wright have supported the Festival for many years.

They have been cultural advocates in the area since the inception of CART, where Dorothy served as an original organizer of CART which celebrated its 39th season this year.

As soon as the Festival began in the early ‘90’s, Roy and Dorothy jumped on board to be sponsors and attended most Festival events.

Our loss of Roy has left a great void but Dorothy will carry on and we remain appreciative of their generous support.

The Belle of Amherst

April 16-18 A one-woman play about the life of the reclusive yet visionary poet, Emily Dickinson.

The play, written by William Luce, was first produced on Broadway in 1976 and starred Julie Harris. Sybil Rosen, knowing she would be performing in libraries and living rooms with small audiences, adapted the play to an hour-long version. The play is an intimate glimpse into the poet’s unusual life – her legendary seclusion, the close circle of family, the men who loved her. Rosen says “the language, most of it taken from her letters and journals, is so beautiful and witty.”

Rosen’s interest in the play is her love of the play and of Emily Dickinson. She also wants to raise awareness about libraries – to help remind us of what they give us and why it matters. Dickinson was a voracious reader, books brought her the world, making her able to be a recluse and still write vividly and visually about the world. Her imagination was the wellspring of her humanity.

Thursday, April 16: 7:00 p.m.

Norfolk and Western Section Foreman’s House
1542 Front Street, Richlands, VA
Co-Sponsored by the Richlands Branch of Tazewell County Library, Friends of the Library

Friday, April 17: 7:00 p.m.

Bluefield Branch of Tazewell County Library, Friends of the Library
108 Huffard Drive, Bluefield, VA

Saturday, April 18: 7:00 p.m.

Honaker Community Library, a branch of Russell County Public Library
Friends of the Library and Honaker Red Bud Festival
10 Library Drive, Honaker VA

A $5 Suggested Voluntary Donation will be accepted to support these sponsors. A reception will accompany each performance.

Camerata Virtuosi New York

April 21st, 23rd & 25th This ensemble of internationally acclaimed musicians will perform in three unique concerts to reflect the festival theme.

Inventors and Innovators

Music by composers Mozart, Bach, Schumann, Beethoven, Liszt, Debussy and Bruch.

Visionaries and Virtuosos

Tim McClure, Special guest violinist

Music by composers Schumann, Vivaldi, Gershwin, Chopin, Hindemith, Debussy, Bruch.

Teachers and Trailblazers

Music by composers Bach, Mendelssohn, Fauré, Liszt, Beach, Ravel and Gershwin, Bruch

Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 p.m.

Inventors and Innovators
The Gaynelle Lockhart Albert Memorial Concert
Elk Garden United Methodist Church
217 Hayter’s Gap Road, Rt. 80 East, off Rt. 19 in Russell County

Thursday, April 23, 7:30 pm.

Visionaries and Virtuosos
The Jan McClure Memorial Concert
Tazewell Baptist Church
141 Tower Street, Tazewell, VA

Donations received will support the Jan McClure Music Scholarship awarded through the Tazewell Music Club.
A Reception will be hosted by Claudine and Larry Blankenship.

Saturday, April 25, 7:30 p.m.

Teachers and Trailblazers
The Betty T. Corte Memorial Concert
First United Methodist Church
200 South College Avenue, Bluefield, VA

Richmond Ballet

Visionaries of Dance

Monday, April 27, 7:00 p.m.

Festival Finale |King Community Center
The Richmond Ballet performance is an added performance for CART Members

Background Photo: Richmond Ballet dancers in Chiaroscuro by Ma Cong.
All Photos | Richmond Ballet 2019. All Rights Reserved. Photos by Sarah Ferguson.

Ancient Airs and Dances

by Stoner Winslett

Richmond Ballet Ancient Airs and Dances

Ancient Airs and Dances was choreographed by Stoner Winslett, Richmond Ballet’s Founding Artistic Director. This is her 40th year with the company. Ancient Airs and Dances is wrought with beauty and charm.

Cody Beaton and Mate Szentes in Ancient Airs and Dances


by Ma Cong


In a creation of today, enjoy acclaimed choreographer Ma Cong’s Chiaroscuro. It is filled with design and choreographic contrasts, as well as love, passion and power of humanity.

Richmond Ballet dancers

Swan Lake

Black Swan pas de deux

Richmond Ballet Swan Lake

Join Richmond Ballet in an evening of intrigue, elegance and passion. The Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake has captivated audiences for 125 years. This dance shows classical ballet at its best.

Shira Lanyi and Thomas Garrett in Swan Lake by Nicholas Beriozoff after Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov

Richmond Ballet Sponsors...

The Richmond Ballet Residency is made possible through special funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Virginia Commission for the Arts



knoxville symphony chamber orchestra

Sunday, April 19, 4:00 p.m.

Southwest King Community Center

Always a highlight of the festival, the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Maestro James Fellenbaum, will perform works by Kozeluch, Handel, Fauré, Mozart, Puccini, Beethoven, Bach, Copland, Gershwin, Still.

Guest soloists will be pianists Pavlina Dokovska and Vladimir Valjarevic and Clara Lisle, soprano.

The SWCC Community Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Joseph Trivette, will be accompanied by the orchestra.


Pavlina Dokovska | Vladimir Valjarevic | Dr. Joseph Trivette


Sunday, April 26, 3:00 p.m.

Southwest King Community Center

The concert will feature selections arranged for one, two and three pianos featuring Pavlina Dokovska, Vladimir Valjarevic and Dr. Joseph Trivette.

Composer features will be Bach, Mozart, Beethoven Chopin, Debussy, Tchaikovsky, Dvořák, Percy Grainger/ Gershwin and Lecuona.

A Reception will be hosted by Kathy and Larry Mitchell following the concert.

piano x three


Monday, April 20

6:30 p.m. Dinner | Reservations required by April 10

7:30 p.m. Cultural Walk Program | Southwest King Community Center

We are pleased to have the return of the popular Cultural Walk and Dinner. Dinner will be catered by Your Grate Escape and prepared from recipes by national and international visionary chefs. The cost of the dinner is $25 in advance with reservations required.

The Cultural Walk will be presented by Southwest students under the direction of Morgan Gilbert and Brian Wright. They will select visionaries from there area of study and interest, do research on those persons and prepare a monologue of them. They will “present” that visionary during the Cultural Walk, in costume with appropriate visual and musical accompaniment. Visionaries will represent the Arts, Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and Humanities.

Reservations Required by April 10.  

Call (276) 964-7348 or (276) 964-7347 or email or

Visionaries of the Culinary World Buffet

Clint Neel’s Cheddar Cheese Wafers

Thomas Keller’s Bibb Lettuce Salad with Vinaigrette

Julia Child’s Coq au Vin

Jose Andres’ Mashed Potatoes with Manchego and Oliva Oil

Marcus Samuelsson’s Spring Succotash

Fresh Baked French Croissants with Compound Butter

Jacques Pepin’s Vanilla Crème Brulee

Catered by Your Grate Escape

Dinner is $25 with advance reservations made by April 10.


Hosted by the Southwest Music Program

Tuesday, April 21: 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Southwest King Community Center

Hosted by the Southwest Music Program

Foods will be a celebration of culinary delights from visionary chefs.

Music performed by Southwest Jazz Ensemble

Tickets are $6; $5 students.

Call 276-964-7629 for tickets.


Visionaries Timeless & Universal

Thursday, April 23, 12:10 p.m.

Southwest Dellinger Hall 118

This popular game show, skillfully organized by the Library and Recruitment and Student Engagement Staff tests the knowledge of Southwest faculty, staff and students on subjects related to the Festival theme. Enjoy theme-inspired refreshments.


April 1 - May 30, 2020


Ellen von Dehsen Elmes Gallery

Photographic portraits of living visionaries of Southwest Virginia will create a historical record of those who have significantly impacted Southwest Virginia. The Southwest “School of the Arts” students conducted interviews with living visionaries of SWVA through photographs and interviews. This research will be displayed in the Ellen von Dehsen Elmes Gallery.

Sunday, April 19 2:00-4:00 p.m., Opening Reception

Southwest Community Center Elmes Gallery

visionaries coal miner


Visionary Textile Artist

This colorful exhibit of needle turned applique quilts, handmade by Marion artist Sylvia Richardson, celebrates an amazing woman, and her unusual, heavily embellished and beaded works of art. A prolific and completely unique artist, Sylvia, now 84, continues to work on a handful of pieces simultaneously, including large wall hangings, baskets and one-of-a-kind clothing.

Exhibit closes May 30.

Saturday, May 9, 1:00 p.m., Reception to meet Sylvia Richardson

Ms. Richardson will talk about her pieces, her inspiration and her life as an artist.
Appalachian Arts Center |  Hours: Tuesday- Friday: 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sylvia Richardson Quilt - Nine Ladies Dancing


2020 festival logo

2020 Festival Logo Designed by Johnathan Keene

The mission of the annual Southwest Virginia Community College Festival of the Arts 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.


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Mary Lawson

Mary has served as Executive Director of the Festival of the Arts since its inception in 1995.

Phone (276) 964.7348

Pavlina Dokovska

Festival Artistic Director | Chair, Mannes College of Music Piano Department. Ms. Dokovska also serves as pianist-in-residence and conducts master classes for area piano students with their teachers each year.

Vladimir Valijarevic

Assistant Artistic Director, Piano faculty Mannes College of Music

Dr. Joseph Trivette

Choral Director, Gaynelle Lockhart Albert Endowed Chair in Music

Cultural Walk Directors

Morgan Gilbert & Brian Wright

Visual Arts Coordinators

Morgan Gilbert, Sarah Romeo, Courtney Jennelle

Technical Directors

Joe Magee & Ryan Magee

Business Manager

Annette McClanahan

Facility Coordinator

Edna Sizemore

Marketing Coordinators

John Dezember, Travis Roberts, Teresa Pruett

Southwest Educational Foundation Executive Director

Susan Lowe

Festival Logo

Design by Johnathan Keene

Festival Brochure

Designed by associate professor, Michael Brown
Printing by Clinch Valley Printing, Tazewell VA


Whole Notes:

Nettie Peterson Estate

Stelio and Betty T. Corte Foundation

Ennio and Rosa Corte Foundation

Community Arts Council of Buchanan County

Virginia Commission for the Arts/

National Endowment for the Arts

Half Notes:

Randy and Julie Forehand

Dorothy Wright

Katharine B. Tierney Foundation

George M. Cruise Foundation

Tazewell County Board of Supervisors

Quarter Notes:

Altizer, Walk and White

Richlands Pharmacy Associates/ New Garden Pharmacy

Joe Adair

Gene and Martha Hurst

Mary W. Lawson

Lynda Stuart

Mary Sue Whitt

Sandra Whitt

Nancy Albert Wolf

Keene Family Foundation

Columbus Phipps Foundation

Frank L. Smoot Charitable Trust

Eighth Notes:

Clinch Valley Medical Center

David Mullins Wealth Management

Street Law Firm

TruPoint Bank

Mary G. Adams

Ken and Cynthia Anselmi

James and Becky Belcher

Donna Bell

Anne Adams Bishop

Nancy G. Brooks

Glenda Calver

Rod Cury

Joyce Gillespie

Charles R. King

Larry and Kathy Mitchell

Jane Thornhill

Sam and Martha Varney

Dr. Tommy and Tracey Wright

Southwest Cultural Arts Series

Russell County Board of Supervisors

Town of Bluefield, VA

Town of Richlands

Town of Tazewell

Grace Notes:

Anonymous in Memory of

Roy Wright

Appalachian Family Care

Maria Atanasov

Leonard Companies

Doug and Ginger Branton

Jim L. Dickinson

Ron and Naomi Levison

Kenny and Susan Lowe

Mike McClure

Larry and Kathy Mitchell

Rod and Linda Moore

Jim Morehead

Bob and Nona Nassif

Joe and Cindy Nicholson

Barbara Parker

Edmond Smith

Mary Ann Strong

Bob and Bonnie White

John and Jane Willis

Russell County Rotary Club

TCPL Friends of the Library

Town of Cedar Bluff

Town of Lebanon

Tazewell Music Club