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Watauga Arts Council thrives in 2009

Article Published: Jan. 21, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011

The Watauga Arts Council held its annual meeting Wednesday, Jan. 13, at the Jones House Community Center to induct new board members, honor those who had served, and review its involvement in 2009.

The council expanded its involvement this year through instructional seminars, personal tutoring, gifts of grant funds, sponsorships, dances, concerts and exhibits.

Turnout to the wine tasting events encouraged the council to renew the gatherings this year. Mark Freed, folklorist for the council, said that seeking funding for the years' events is the task of this season.

Happenings this year, such as the Artfull Palette, to be held Friday, March 12, will draw support for the benefit of local artists. Executive director Cherry Johnson noted that fundraising efforts in 2009 brought in $50,000 through general funding.

From these funds raised, the Regional Artist Project Grant sponsored 12 artists, and together they received more than $10,000 in funding. Six of those artists were from Watauga County.
During 2009, fiddle, banjo, mandolin, guitar and other instrument lessons where given to 60 students. Community dances were hosted, and a total of 49 weekly acoustic jams were held, along with 16 concerts on the Jones House Lawn held during the summer and early fall.

2009 saw grants renewed for the Grassroots Grant Fund and, in conjunction with eight other community organizations, the council reached and assisted 26,000 citizens. A monthly arts newsletter was produced, and, throughout the year, the Art Crawl celebration of local and outside artists was held on the first Friday of each month.

One-hundred radio broadcasts were produced, and 52 television segments aired in the High Country. The Tellabration Festival, a community folklore and storytelling event, was held at the Watauga County Library. The list of accomplishments goes on.

To learn more, stop by the Jones House, located at
604 W. King St. in downtown Boone, call (828) 262-4576, or visit

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