Arts education in North Carolina Schools includes four separate and distinct disciplines: dance, music, theatre arts and visual arts — each with its own body of knowledge and skills. The N.C. School Board of Education and Superintendent jointly issued a proclamation in support of Arts in Our Schools Month. They urge all citizens to celebrate and acknowledge every day, but especially in March, Arts Education as an essential part of every student’s education in N.C.

The Ashe County Arts Council has a long-standing commitment to increasing the availability of arts education opportunities for students in Ashe County. The Arts Council enjoys a strong partnership with Ashe County Schools in bringing interesting, entertaining and quality programming for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Programs are chosen for their connections to the core curriculum supporting education through the arts.

In the 2018-19 school year, the Ashe County Arts Council has provided more than 30 performances for Ashe County students. Students in each grade level have enjoyed programs in theatre, music, dance, storytelling and the literary arts. This school year, John McCutheon, Catawba Science Center, Dancing Drum, the Billy Jonas Band, Bubble Trouble, the Todd Wright Appalachian State University Jazz Ensemble and Barter Theatre Players have provided performances that created arts learning experiences for students. The Arts Council is in the process of selecting programs for the next school year.

The Ashe County Arts Council sponsors a week-long theatre residency by Missoula Children’s Theatre, the Young at Art visual art exhibit and supports the Ashe County Choral Festival. 2019 is the 34th year for Spring Fest on April 6, with hands on art activities, face painting, a talent show and more. The theme is “Where the Arts Things Are.”

The Junior Appalachian Musicians Program is still going strong. This is the 17th year of teaching young people the traditional music and culture of the High Country. Students receive instruction in banjo, guitar and fiddle.

The Arts Council strongly believes that the arts are a necessary component of a well-rounded education providing students with a positive vehicle for self-expression, creativity, problem solving and understanding of cultures around us.

For more information on school or community arts programming please call the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-2787.

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