Local Women in the Arts Honored
'Minds Wide Open' Kicks Off in Abingdon
March 16, 2010ABINGDON, Va. – Several local women in the arts were recognized during a reception held on March 6 at The Barter Café in Abingdon.
The event kicked off the regional celebration for the statewide initiative, "MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts."
The Southwest Virginia regional honorees are:
• Amanda Aldridge, Resident Costume Designer and Choreographer, Barter Theatre;
• Anndrena Belcher, Nationally Recognized Storyteller;
• Bonnie Elosser, Executive Director, Pro-Art;
• Quinn Hawkesworth, Actor and Illustrator;
• Merry Jennings, English and Journalism Teacher and Newspaper Advisor, Abingdon High School;
• Nancy Johnson, Resident Artist, The Arts Depot;
• Barbara Kingsolver, Award-Winning Novelist;
• Cornelia Kodkani-Laemmli, Conductor, Symphony of the Mountains;
• Heidi McElroy, Fine Arts Chair, Abingdon High School;
• Jane Morison, Director, East Tennessee Children's Choir;
• Charlotte Parsons, Director, Washington County Public Library; and
• Michele Plescia, Artistic Director, Bristol Ballet.
"MINDS WIDE OPEN" is the first statewide celebration of its kind. Between March and June of 2010, thousands of special programs and events including plays, choreography, compositions, and exhibitions of paintings, photography or films that have been created by women or feature women as the primary focus, will occur across the Commonwealth to honor contributions by women to arts and culture.
Barter Theatre productions that are part of "MINDS WIDE OPEN" include "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Dead Man's Cell Phone" (currently playing through April 2010), "Violet" (a southern musical celebrating the courage and adventures of a young woman as she discovers the true meaning of healing and self), "Always...Patsy Cline" (a true story celebrating the musical pioneer) and "The Blue-Sky Boys" (a celebration of the creative and playful genius that landed the first man on the moon and winner of Barter's Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights) by contemporary playwright Deborah Brevoort.
Many events throughout the region are also part of "MINDS WIDE OPEN", including William King Museum's exhibition "An Educated Woman: Art from Girl's Schools and Woman's Colleges" on view through July 11, 2010 in Abingdon, Va., and the Pro-Art Association's exhibition "Women In and Out of the Kitchen" on view March 31, 2010 in Wise, Va.
For more information on "MINDS WIDE OPEN: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts," visit www.vamindswideopen.org. All events held in conjunction with the statewide initiative are listed.