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The Wait Is Over! An Appalachian Summer Festival Starts July 2! Comedian Paula Poundstone Kicks Off the 37th Season

The wait is over! Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts attraction, An Appalachian Summer Festival (AASF), kicks off its 37th season on Friday, July 2, 2021. The festival — a monthlong whirlwind of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming — is excited to offer a full schedule of events from July 2-31 with a variety of in-person outdoor and indoor performances, along with additional livestreaming and virtual options. Visual arts and comedy take center stage on opening weekend to welcome the return of audiences (in socially distanced seating configurations) to Boone with a celebration of new Turchin Center exhibitions and a performance by acclaimed comedian Paula Poundstone! 

Krista Elrick – Cincinnati Bluffs


Friday, July 2, 2021


Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Free Event; registration required

Celebrate summer and the opening of new exhibitions at the Turchin Center for the Visual arts – explore, discover and connect through the arts! This is an opportunity for art lovers to surround themselves with stunning artwork and meet the accomplished artists exhibiting in the galleries at the Turchin Center. Spend time with fellow community members who believe that art is something to be shared, cherished and celebrated. Experience diverse artwork by nationally and internationally renowned artists right here at the crossroads of Appalachian State University and downtown Boone. This festive evening will include live music by The Mercury Dames and is free and open to the public. In order to ensure the health and safety of our visitors and staff, Covid-19 protocols and procedures will be in place.

The celebration is generously sponsored by Allen Wealth Management, and is dedicated to the memory of Tina Silverstein, a long-standing friend, leader and generous supporter of the Turchin Center’s exhibition, education and outreach programming. 


Saturday, July 3

5pm & 8pm (plus ticketed livestream for 8pm show only)

Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts

$40 in-person / $15 livestream

Humorist, author and comedian Paula Poundstone is known for her clever, observational humor and spontaneous wit. Time magazine listed her HBO special, Cats, Cops and Stuff, as one of The 5 Funniest Stand-Up Specials Ever. Paula Poundstone continues as a panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!, and is recognized in innumerable lists, documentaries and literary compendiums noting influential standup comedians of our time. Paula can be heard weekly as the host of the comedy podcast Nobody Listens to Paula Poundstone. She has voiced several animated characters, including “Forgetter Paula” in the Academy Award-winning feature film Inside Out, has appeared on numerous TV shows, including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and has filed commentaries for CBS Sunday Morning.

Poundstone’s July 3 performance marks the first live and in-person App Summer event since the Punch Brothers took the Schaefer Center stage on Aug. 1, 2019. And she is looking forward to sloughing off the existential Zoom-induced pains that have tormented citizens of the world since March of 2020. “I can’t wait to be at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts!,” she says. “It’ll be so good to start a show without hearing, ‘You’re muted…Unmute yourself…It’s the little microphone in the corner…click on it…You’re still muted.” I think I’ll just flip out when I see a three-dimensional audience.” 

“Laughter’s on its way,” she promises.

All events this season, with the exception of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, will be performed without an intermission. Concessions will not be offered at events taking place at the Schaefer Center, but will be available for sale at other venues. The Cardinal, Village Inn Pizza, and Farmer’s Wife Fried Pies food trucks will be present at all State Farm Road Concert Lot events, as well as beverage tents (beer, wine, soda and water), and apparel and merchandise tents (for both App Summer and the performing artists). Individual venue policies are accessible here: Schaefer Center and State Farm Road Concert Lot.

Tickets for An Appalachian Summer Festival:

With ticket prices ranging from $5-$100, as well as several free events, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets.To purchase tickets or to register for virtual events, visit or call the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased at AppSummer.org. Registration is required for all streamed events with the exception of the chamber music concerts supported by The Violin Channel.