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Post-WAC, Freed in Charge of Jones House Programming; Will Coordinate Programs Through End of Year

By Paul T. Choate

June 5, 2012. In the wake of the Watauga Arts Council vacating the Jones House there was speculation about whether Concerts at the Jones House and other programming would continue to be offered.

Enter Mark Freed, programming director for the Jones House and formerly a member of the Watauga Arts Council.

“[The Arts Council] let me go when they decided to sign the contract with the Town … The Town of Boone came to me and said, ‘We like the programming there and it’s unfortunate that the relationship didn’t work out but we’d like to continue the programming,’ so they put up the dollars to keep it going.”

For the past six years, Freed had coordinated the programming at the Jones House for the Arts Council. Now he has been contracted to continue the same programming by the Town.

Freed will coordinate Concerts at the Jones House and the Thursday Night Jam Session, as well as music lessons.

Freed described this year’s lineup for Concerts at the Jones House as the best one he has put together in the seven years he has coordinated the series.

Freed’s contract will run until the end of the 2012 calendar year, at which time the Cultural Resources Board will be taking things over.

The Cultural Resources Board has not filled all their board member positions yet, nor moved into the Jones House.

Freed said that once the board is fully formed and moved into the Jones House there will likely be paid positions made available for coordinating programming and other positions.

“I’ve been encouraged by some people to apply for the job … I’m not currently ready to serve on the volunteer board … but I will certainly be interested in what the job descriptions look like once they have created them … Once I see what those job descriptions look like I think I would probably have some interest,” he said.

“In the time being I’m just happy to have the support to continue these concerts. I think it’s a great thing. I love that we can offer free music for downtown Boone on a Friday. It’s a great way to end the week and launch the weekend. It gets people outside and involved in the summer – gets them downtown to enjoy this wonderful grass and space we have here.”

The next installment of Concerts at the Jones House is Friday, June 8, and will feature renowned guitarist Wayne Henderson and the Elkville String Band (see our preview article on that coming later this afternoon).

For more information, visit joneshousecommunitycenter.org or call 828-262-4576.