July of this year finds the Pro-Art Association on the threshold of it’s 44th season—one that looks much different from how Executive Director Jan Zentmeyer envisioned as she began booking shows for the upcoming season almost a year ago. “Sixteen public shows were scheduled and another eighteen school shows were planned for our Wise County, Lee County, Dickenson County, and City of Norton students,” Zentmeyer says.
Pro-Art had to cancel 10 school performances and 6 public performances in March and April of this year as a result of the pandemic. “We had hoped to reschedule a few of those performances but obviously, the restrictions on gathering and safety issues remain.”
Even with the Governor’s move to phase 3 on July 1, Zentmeyer is concerned that several of the shows scheduled for August, September, and October are unlikely to proceed as planned because of the expected audience size or the closeness of fixed seating. Unfortunately, the annual Symphony by the Lake at UVA Wise will not be held this year due to the necessitated close proximity of the musicians to each other. Symphony of the Mountains plans to be back in Wise on July 24, 2021 to continue the tradition of this beloved event.
“While we are concerned, we are also hopeful that we can minimize risk in order to hold several events this fall that would be permissible and safe.” Zentmeyer mentions a brass quintet performance from Symphony of the Mountains that she and Cornelia Laemmli Orth plan to host at an outdoor venue in mid-September in which both musicians and patrons can safely socially distance. “Shows in which we expect a large crowd or tight spacing for artists or audiences will likely need to be rescheduled for 2021. We are carefully examining available performance and audience spaces to see what events we can hold with modifications to our normal procedures. We have a piano concert utilizing the new Steinway D at UVA Wise scheduled for October 30 that will allow us to host a small live audience, and can perhaps be recorded or telecast for those unable to attend in person.”
Entering its 44th year, the organization continues to strive to provide a valuable service to the community by fulfilling its mission to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for the citizens and students of the region. “We absolutely want to continue our work— when it is safe for our patrons, artists, staff and crew. Health and safety must be priority one.” Zentmeyer says.
“When we do return to live theater and music,” Zentmeyer continues, “it will include masks, sanitizing, social distancing, and other precautionary measures. Pro-Art works with 10 venues and we realize that some of them will be more conducive to gatherings than others. We will make the changes necessary to continue to bring the arts to our area.”
Zentmeyer is beginning her fourth year as Executive Director, and she expects to make more decisions in the coming weeks and months concerning the upcoming season as we all continue to weather this storm. To stay up-to-date with all things Pro-Art, email email@example.com to join the organization’s mailing list, or follow Pro-Art on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @proartva.
44th Season Preview
The Symphony of the Mountains Brass Quintet celebrates some of the most notable brass composers of history across a variety of styles including Scott Joplin, Johann Sebastian Bach, Duke Ellington, Lennie Niehaus and more during this outdoor afternoon concert on Sunday, September 13th, 2020. Enjoy the end of the summer while safely indulging yourself with a picnic and live music as the audience spreads out on the lawn behind the Goodloe Center at Mountain Empire Community College. This performance is dedicated to the late May Harman Bartlett Straughan, who was a founding member of the Pro-Art Association and served as a faithful member of the board for many years.
Annual favorite, American Shakespeare Center returns like we’ve never seen them before! Twelfth Night will be presented this fall as a broadcast from the Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton, Virginia. Love flows freely and confusion runs rampant in Shakespeare’s tale of shipwreck, mistaken identity, and unrequited love. Nobles and servants alike navigate twisted paths on their quests for love. American Shakespeare Center’s vibrant, unplugged, and live music underscores this hilarious, heartwarming, frolic through imagined Illyria. Information about how to tune in for this event will be made available in the coming weeks!
After a stunning performance last fall, pianist Bomin Park returns with a concert entitled Amazing Grace—Hymns on Piano featuring classic and popular hymns arranged for piano including favorites Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee, Breathe on me, Breath of God and Amazing Grace. This performance is scheduled for Friday, October 30, 2020 at 7:30 PM in Cantrell Hall on the UVA Wise campus. Reservations are required for this event in order to minimize risk for patrons, the performer, and our staff. If you would like to reserve your spot, please call the office at 276-376-4520 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2021 brings together pianist Peter Ryan and world-renown cellist Dave Eggar for a performance entitled Kickin’ it Old School on March 25th, 2021. The duo will be performing classics from the 17th century, including selections from Brahms, Debussy, Beethoven and others—promising a noteworthy and one-of-a-kind collaboration between these accomplished musicians.
Richmond Ballet II will return to the area for the first time in five years to perform The Legend of the Swan Queen: Selections from Swan Lake on Friday, April 9th, 2021. Juxtaposing innovative new works with highlights from the timeless classic Swan Lake, audiences have an opportunity to follow the evolution of classical ballet into a more progressive, current form all in one evening.
All dates and venues put forth in our current season schedule are subject to change. Other programs may be added to the schedule as safety concerns for the programs continue to be addressed.
The Pro-Art Association works tirelessly to fulfill its mission to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for residents and students in Wise, Lee, and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton. We would like to stress that all students are free to attend all of our performances all season long. If you would like to help support this effort, please consider visiting proartva.org to make a tax-deductible contribution.
For updates in regards to performance modifications during the pandemic, please visit proartva.org.
To request a season brochure, please call the office at (276) 376-4520 or send an email to: email@example.com.
Pro-Art is thankful to have been able to make an impact within our community for the past 44 years and is grateful to each and every individual, organization, school district, and locality for their support over the years.