By Jessica Isaacs
Ready to explore the arts, check out up-and-coming performers and enjoy the classic summer sounds of The Beach Boys? Then make sure to get your tickets to this year’s An Appalachian Summer Festival, which is sure to keep you entertained this season.
The festival brings a little bit of everything to the campus of Appalachian State University every summer, offering local residents, college students and visitors a chance to delve into theater, dance, visual arts, film and various genres of music.
The university’s department of arts and cultural resources organizes the series each year. Anna Gaugert, the department’s director of marketing and public relations, said the festival is made possible by an array of sponsorships.
“We are very fortunate to be a part of such a great university and community that truly value and embrace the arts,” Gaugert said. “We’ve built a strong and loyal base of private supporters and corporate sponsors who sustain the festival and are committed to its future success.”
Gaugert said the festival has become a significant cultural asset to the community thanks to its ability to bring exceptional performances and programs to folks on any budget.
“An Appalachian Summer Festival strives to bring the best quality arts programming to the High Country while maintaining affordable ticket prices,” Gaugert said. “We provide memorable experiences, whether it’s in the concert hall, outdoors at Kidd Brewer Stadium, at sculpture sites across campus or in the Turchin Center galleries.”
The festival is a great way to bring more people to the university’s beautiful campus, she said, as well as to introduce the community and its visitors to local businesses.
“We coordinate with restaurants to provide pre-show appetizers at the Schaefer Center,” Gaugert said. “Local businesses are represented in our playbill, which is handed out at all festival events, and local business owners that are part of our group of sponsors have a chance to participate in pre-show announcements from the stage of the Schaefer Center.”
Arts and Cultural Programs Director Denise Ringler said she’s expecting to see a lot of excitement and enthusiasm from the community over The Beach Boys’ July 18performance — what’s sure to be a good time for folks of all ages.
“The High Country is a great place for summer concert events. We’ve enjoyed putting on the outdoor fireworks concert for many years and this is a similar type of event staged indoors at the Holmes Center,” Ringler said. “Their music is fun and epitomizes the feeling of summer.”
Bringing The Beach Boys helps the department fulfill one of its primary goals — to offer performances that will span various interests and appeal to different age groups.
“Many of our patrons associate it with a time in their lives that was very exciting,” Ringler said. “Many of their children and grandchildren have been exposed to that music, too, which makes it rather timeless.”
Many ‘festival favorites’ are returning to the campus this year, too, including Parsons Dance, David Grisman and pianist Awadagin Pratt. Also, many newcomers will be featured, like Lisa Fischer, Brian Stokes Mitchell and Postmodern Jukebox.
“We’re excited about this year’s line-up, which features a balance of emerging and established artists,” Gaugert said.
Don’t forget to check out this year’s line-up.