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Volume 26, Number 7 — July 2019

Festival of the Arts held in Southwest Virginia

Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant
Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant

By Leslie Grace | A! Magazine for the Arts | March 27, 2019

Southwest Virginia Community College presents the Festival of the Arts from April 5-17.

This year’s theme is Spotlight on the Movies: The Music, the Dance, the Fashions, the Stories. The many performances, exhibits and events that make up the 13-day festival focus on aspects of the movies from the first silent black and white films to today’s blockbuster extravaganzas.

The core part of the festival includes performances by the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra accompanying the SWCC Community Chorus and pianist Pavlina Dokovska and soprano Clara Lisle. There will be three performances by Camerata Virtuoso New York, each performance with a different theme and program. These performances are in Bluefield, Tazewell and Elk Garden. The festival includes the popular Piano Times Three featuring pianists Pavlina Dokovska, Vladimir Valjarevic and Joseph Trivette.

A special feature of the festival is Remember the Titanic: The Facts, the Fiction and the Fare. This special event is based on the Commemorative Special Edition CD for the Centennial Anniversary of the tragic ending of the Titanic. The evening features a dinner selected from authentic menus of all three classes of passengers. The program includes narrative and musical tracts from the history of the voyage, music composed and performed by Arvel Bird. Scenes from the movie and the PBS mini-series of the Titanic enhance the evening. Guests at the dinner represent passengers on the Titanic. Advance tickets/reservations are required for this event.

The Hot Club of San Francisco: Cinema Vivant present an early 20th-century European Gypsy Jazz tradition with live gypsy swing music accompanying black and white silent films.

“The Lion King” is shown at the newly restored Raven Theater and includes free popcorn and door prizes.

Of special interest is an exhibit, “A Peek at Stardom: Hollywood Memorabilia from the Weisfeld Collection,” featuring Hollywood star items such as Betty Grable’s shoes from “Belle Starr” and Clint Eastwood’s autographed helmet from “Kelly’s Heroes.” The opening for this exhibit is April 7 from 1-3 p.m. in the Ellen von Dehsen Elmes Gallery in the King Community Center at SWCC.

Voluntary donations are taken at the door for most festival events. For festival information, contact Mary W. Lawson, 276-964-7348, or Annette McClanahan, 276-964-7349, or visit the SWCC web site at

Topics: Music