Collin Raye and Catalinas to perform this week


It’s starting to sound like a broken record (to those who remember the records) – another event called off due to COVID-19.

This is the case with the annual Bal des Arts gathering, which would have taken place on Friday evening under normal circumstances. The Ball of the Arts, sponsored by the Surry Arts Council, is the annual night held at the Cross Creek Country Club. While the gathering typically has a different theme each year, it includes food, music, and a popular auction of various goods and services – with proceeds going to support many of the school arts programs held in County Surry. .

While the party for the evening may not take place, the arts council auction is currently underway, with over 300 items ranging from gift cards and handcrafted furniture to homemade baking for the party. buyer prepared at a mutually acceptable time. There are even a few overnight stays in some seaside resorts in the region.

All to support various artistic projects for the benefit of schoolchildren in the region.

Melissa Sumner, school events and programs coordinator for the Surry Arts Council, said she was overwhelmed with the response from schools and the community, and that the community and schools “were more generous than ever with donations than anything else. the world will want “.

Some of the specific items to be won in the auction include nights at a Kibbler Valley house with a trout stream, two nights at the River House Inn and Restaurant with breakfast and dinner for one, nights at a private house in Pinehurst, Craft Adirondack Chairs, Fire Pit, Massage Gift Cards, Family Zoo Pass, Greensboro Science Center Passes, Electric Toothbrush in Gift Basket, Jewelry, a private wine class, socks, a bespoke trestle table by Joey Martin, and many other great options.

The auction went live on Friday, February 19 at 9 a.m., the day the arts ball was scheduled, and the auction will run until March 1.

All funds raised will be used to support 2021-2022 arts programming at schools in Surry County, the Millennium Charter Academy and schools in the town of Mount Airy.

The Surry Arts Council and area schools thank Rogers Realty and Auction for hosting the online auction. Everyone is welcome to participate by going online at and registering. The minimum bid for each item is $ 5. Gift cards will be mailed to successful bidders. Other items can be picked up from the offices of the Surry Arts Council after auction closes. Sumner will work with those who purchase larger items at mutually acceptable pickup times during the week after the auction closes on March 1.

“Dozens of volunteers and school staff worked hard for the silent auction,” the Arts Council said in announcing the auction. “Melissa Sumner thanked the Volunteer Committee for their hard work during this logistically difficult time. The committee met through Zoom and early in the process decided that a face-to-face gathering would not be safe. “

This left the group to work with schools to coordinate the event online. All 25 schools participated with donations and support. Surry Arts Council board members, school staff and dozens of volunteers worked to ensure “the arts remain a part of our region’s school curriculum,” the council said.

Committee members included staff from Surry County schools, Tracey Lewis, Gaye Cooke, Lisa Parrish, Hollie Lyons, Antonia Cawley and Jessica McLeod. The efforts of the Millennium Charter Academy were led by TJ Lievsay, and the coordination of the Mount Airy City School was overseen by Carrie Venable. Surry Arts Council board members and their helping spouses, including Brooke Lowry, Meredith Simmons, Ashley Mills, Jennifer Nester, Ginny and Cooper Adams and Nicole Harrison. Jenny Lowry was added to support the effort along with many others downtown and in local and regional businesses.

In addition to directly paying for arts programs, the Arts Ball receives leveraged grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and the South Arts. The TAPS grant enables several hundred students to gain hands-on experience with traditional stringed instruments. Jim Vipperman spends a week in each of the three schools to introduce students to violins, guitars and the traditional musical heritage of Surry County. Students can then attend free weekly classes throughout the year at the Historic Earle Theater every Thursday afternoon if they wish to continue with the free classes.

There have been some limitations during the current school year, but the Arts Council has worked with schools in the town of Mount Airy and the Reeves Community Center Foundation on the ELISS grant to provide in-person arts programming. while following CDC guidelines. Arts Council staff brought dozens of craft kits, ginger cookie kits and other materials to special education classes in schools.

The Surry Arts Council has a grant from South Arts to provide programming with concerts of Sons of Mystro in school and in the community as soon as guidelines permit. Additionally, Mike Wiley is scheduled for several black history programs in schools as soon as in-person engagements are secure.

The arts council is working with school officials and will host the second Surry High School Film Festival. The winning works from each high school will be presented at the Historic Earle Theater on Tuesday evening, April 7 for attendees, friends and family. The Surry Arts Council worked with schools and continued to host interns during the current school year.

The artistic programs funded by the Bal des Arts facilitate more than 15,000 student contacts each year. The Surry Arts Council’s goal is to send at least one program to every school in the Surry County School System, the City of Mount Airy School System and the Millennium Charter Academy, the organization said. Most schools receive two or three programs. Students from these 25 schools are also invited to one or more programs at the Andy Griffith Playhouse, Historic Earle Theater and / or Blackmon Amphitheater. Students visit and have guided tours of the Andy Griffith Museum, Andy Griffith Playhouse, Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, and the Siamese Twins Exhibition at no cost. School concerts and theatrical performances are organized by the Surry Arts Council throughout the year at no cost to schools.

The arts council works with schools to host interns and deliver art classes in school and after-school programs, as well as many other partnerships throughout the year. In addition, Jimmy Lowry Endowment, Betty Lynn Endowment, Mildred Robertson Endowment, and Sandy Beam Endowment Scholarships provide scholarships for students in Surry County who wish to continue their artistic education.

All of these programs are supported by the annual Charity Ball auction.

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