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This Week at An Appalachian Summer Festival, July 14-19; Film, Visual Arts, Live Music and Theatre Take the Virtual Stage this Week

Julian Gargiulo—photo by Tina Ravitz

Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts event, An Appalachian Summer Festival, enters its third week of the all-virtual month-long series with a stellar genre-spanning lineup: a highly decorated foreign film, thought-provoking visual art, live streamed local bluegrass, an award-winning regional theatre company, a Tony-winning playwright/comedienne, and a piano performance brought to you live from somewhere in Europe.

All events are free. The all-virtual festival runs daily through July 31. Take your seat at appsummeronline.org.

Weicholz Global Film Series:

Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Tuesday, July 14 | 7-9pm

Registration Required

‘Sold’ Out

Set in 18th-century France on a small island off the coast of Brittany, Portrait of a Lady on Fire brings together two women from very different backgrounds. Marianne is a working-class, portrait artist who has been brought to an isolated island to paint Héloïse, a young noblewoman who has recently left the convent. As the two women orbit one another, intimacy and attraction grow as they share Héloïse’s first moments of freedom. Héloïse’s portrait soon becomes a collaborative act of and a testament to their love. France; Rated R; Directed by Celine Sciamma (2019); 122 minutes; in French and Italian with English subtitles

Exhibition Showcase Series:

Matrilinear with Elizabeth M. Claffey

Wednesday, July 15 | 2-2:10pm

Turchin Center for the Visual Arts exhibition

Matrilinear is an ongoing series that addresses embodied memory and its relationship to personal, familial, and cultural identity. Family folklore and ritual are explored through photographs revealing the physical remnants of a body long gone; including stains, tears, and loose thread from clothing that was kept close to the body for comfort and protection.

Kraut Creek and Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road

Live from Rosen Concert Hall:

Kraut Creek Ramblers & Liam Purcell and Cane Mill Road

Thursday, July 16 | 7-8pm

YouTube Live event!

…with a special introduction by Mark Freed, Hayes School of Music and Appalachian Studies faculty.

Visit our YouTube channel to comment and share your thoughts throughout the event.

Tune in for a special double-bill concert featuring local bluegrass bands Kraut Creek Ramblers and Liam Purcell & Cane Mill Road performing an energetic set live from Appalachian State University’s Rosen Concert Hall.

Center Stage:

My Life in the Theatre: featuring NC Black Repertory Company Artistic Director Jackie Alexander

Friday, July 17 | 7-7:45pm

…with moderator Ray Miller, Professor of Dance Studies and Theatre Arts, Appalachian State University

Sit down for an informal and in-depth chat with Winston-Salem-based NC Black Repertory Company Artistic Director Jackie Alexander, as the award-winning playwright-director talks about the history of the acclaimed company and the importance of sharing the black experience on the stage.


In the Spotlight:

Introducing Sarah Jones and Friends* (who live in her head)

Sarah Jones

Saturday, July 18 | 7-7:15pm

Called “a master of the genre” by The New York Times, Sarah Jones is a Tony® and Obie Award-winning performer and writer known for her multi-character, one-person shows (Broadway hit Bridge & Tunnel, originally produced by Oscar® winner Meryl Streep, and her current, critically-acclaimed show Sell/Buy/Date). Renowned as “a one-woman global village,” she has given multiple mainstage TED Talks garnering millions of views, and performed at The White House for President and First Lady Obama.

Broyhill Chamber Series Sneak Peek:

Pianist with the Hair: Live from Paris Somewhere in Europe

Sunday, July 19 | 2-2:30pm

Facebook Live event!

Visit our Facebook page to comment and share your thoughts throughout the event.

Where in the world is Julian Gargiulo? Originally scheduled to perform live from his Parisian flat, Julian finds himself country-hopping this week and could wind up in Athens, Verona, or another exotic European locale, where he’ll locate a piano and entertain us with his incomparable artistry, charming wit and distinctive mane.

Steinway artist Julian Gargiulo, commonly referred to as “Pianist with the Hair,” is a renowned classical pianist and composer who performs all over the world. Julian captivates his audience not only with his technical precision but also with his Woody Allen-ish wit, inviting his audience to abandon all preconceived notions about classical concerts. On stage he presents a program that includes classical standards, Tango transcriptions, and his own compositions, as well as personal stories, anecdotes from the lives of composers, and his home remedies for jet-lag.


All events are free and can be accessed via the website. For a complete line-up and details, visit appsummeronline.org or call the box office at 800-841-2787.

Box Office hours through July 31:

Mon & Wed 9am-4pm; Tue, Thu & Fri 9am-8pm; Sat 5-8pm; Sun Noon-3pm 

About An Appalachian Summer Festival:

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. With an audience of 27,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society in recent years.

This year’s pivot from an in-person to online festival was created in response to the coronavirus pandemic, which forced the cancellation of live events for the first time in festival history. App Summer, which typically draws more than 27,000 visitors to the High Country each summer, presents its 36th season of special programming daily through July 31 with a mix of livestreamed and specially pre-recorded concerts, live chats with artists, film screenings, and virtual tours. Every day features a diverse selection of music, dance, theatre, film, and visual arts:

Mondays: Behind the Scenes

Tuesdays: Weicholz Global Film Series

Wednesdays: Exhibition Showcase Series

Thursdays: Live from Rosen Concert Hall

Fridays: Center Stage

Saturdays: In the Spotlight

Sundays: Broyhill Chamber Music Series Sneak Peek