WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG – December 8, 9 & 10!


Clockwise from the top: Shelby Luskey, Derrick Davis, Denny Brooms and Sue Revels

THE WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG by Norman Corwin is an amazing evening of theatre wrapped in poetry and serenaded with music!  Featuring Galax’s favorite radio personality Derrick Davis, Sue Revels, newcomer Shelby Luskey and Denny Brooms on Guitar, THE WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG uses the poet’s famous verses as dialogue and includes the holiday favorite “Mary Did You Know” which was inspired by the poetry of Carl Sandburg.

Performances of THE WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG are Thursday, December 8th (7:30pm) at the 1908 Courthouse in Independence, Friday, December 9th (7:30pm) at the Fries Theatre and Saturday, December 10th (7:30pm) at the Galax Public Library.  Tickets are $8 for Adults and $5 for Seniors and Students.  Tickets can be purchased through The Art Shop page on this website or at the door before each performance.

Sabrina Alderman – Volunteer, Member, Friend

035It is with a truly heavy heart, that the Arts Council acknowledges the passing of a great friend, volunteer and organizational whiz, Sabrina Alderman. Sabrina showed up at our office five years ago and said, “I heard you needed some help setting up a filing system. How can I help?” It was the start of a beautiful friendship. She set up the files, then designed a computer program to streamline the check-out procedure for our annual silent auction and brought her own computer and printer to ensure that the event ran as smooth as silk for several years. She came to all our events and even helped build the stacked stone benches for the Galax Theatre Guild/Carol Waddell Outdoor Stage. She was a painter, an Oscar Wilde devotee, an animal lover (she introduced me to the sanctuary where I personally found my newest kitty, Ellington) and a genuinely caring person. Her battle with cancer was fierce; her spirit valiant. We send our love and thanks to her family for letting us borrow her as often as we did. We will miss you, Sabrina.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet princess; And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ” borrowed & amended from Shakespeare

Sabrina is pictured here in happier times, first row, first on the left.

Tickets Still Available for AN EVENING OF RAFFLES – Saturday, November 5th!


Thirty years of presenting exciting, thought-provoking and entertaining arts programming is nothing to sneeze at.  From the Richmond Ballet to the Cashore Marionettes, the Winter Concert Series, Stories of the Stitch, Jazz on the Mountain and ‘marshaling the arts to feed more than just the soul’ through our EMPTY BOWLS events, The Arts & Cultural Council of the Twin Counties exists to provide cultural experiences for everyone in our community. We invite our friends to celebrate this legacy of artistic service with us at “An Evening of Raffles” on Saturday, November 5th from 7pm to 10pm at the Galax Municipal Golf Course Clubhouse.  Admission for the evening is $30 per person and the proceeds of the evening support our Arts in the Schools programs and the Marietta Carmichael Scholarship Fund.

bj-at-city-council-2We’ll also be honoring Ms. B.J. Carroll for her theatrical work in the Twin Counties.  Most of you have worked with her, and if you haven’t, you’ve seen her work on stage.  If you haven’t – HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? For over 32 years, B.J. Carroll has coached, directed and produced theatre at Galax High School and for the Galax Theatre Guild from 1988 to 2005 – producing 11 MAJOR productions on their behalf. As you may have seen in the paper, B.J. was recently inducted into the Virginia High School Hall of Fame.  Well, we felt it was time that her SWVA theatre friends raised a glass in her honor too!


The cost of admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres, a wine and beer bar, and a coffee and dessert bar along with music by The Crooked Road Jazz Trio.  Throughout the night, attendees will be encouraged to take their chances on several raffle activities. The Balloon Raffle features $10 balloons; each balloon contains the number of a prize guaranteed to be worth $20 or more. Simply pop the balloon and see what you’ve won!  Also on tap is a silent auction with a twist!  Two dozen, higher-end items will be available for everyone to “bid on” with raffle tickets which will be sold that evening ($10 book of tickets, 10 tickets/book).  Stuff the box with your raffle tickets and see who wins at the end of the evening.  The more tickets you put in an item’s box, the better chance you have of winning!  The grand finale of “An Evening of Raffles” is 50/50 Raffle. With only 500 tickets ($25/ticket) being sold, the winner of the 50/50 Raffle could take home up to $6,250 (based on 500 tickets sold).

Tickets for “An Evening of Raffles” are available on-line at or by calling the Arts Council at 276-238-1217.  If you want a chance at the 50/50 Raffle, but can’t make it to the November 5th party, have no fear!  50/50 Raffle Tickets are also available on-line, at the Arts Council, and from your friendly, neighborhood Arts Council Board Member.

See you there!




by Norman Corwin

The Arts Council is thrilled to announce audition dates for THE WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG which will be directed by Arts Council newcomer, Valerie Rives.  Recently returned to her hometown of Galax, Virginia, Valerie has enjoyed a very successful career as a professional production stage manager, director and actor in New York City, Texas and abroad.

Auditions for the show will be Monday, October 17th and Tuesday, October 18th at 7pm at the Arts Council offices (608 West Stuart Drive, in Galax).  Prepared monologues are not required though familiarity with the poetry of Carl Sandburg may help prepare you for the audition.  Perusal scripts are available at the Arts Council.  Rehearsals will begin the week of October 24th.

The play calls for 1 woman, 2 men and a singer/guitar player, but casting is flexible and more actors may be added to the program, depending on the audition results.

Performances of THE WORLD OF CARL SANDBURG will be December 8th at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence, December 9th at the Fries Theatre in Fries and December 10th at the Historic Carroll County Courthouse

Carl Sandburg was an American poet, writer, and editor who was widely regarded as a major figure in contemporary literature. President Lyndon Johnson once observed that “Carl Sandburg was more than the voice of America, more than the poet of its strength and genius. He was America.”

For more information, please call the Arts Council at 276-238-1217 or email us at



Get your tickets today!




Saturday, September 10th from 10am – 3pm at Matthews Living History Farm Museum, located at 467 White Pine Road (off Meadow Creek)
Special Musical Guests, Bill & Maggie Anderson, with vendors, demonstrators, food & beverages

Directions from Galax: take US 58 West toward Independence. Turn left onto Meadow Creek Road (1/2 mile after the blinking light at W. Stuart Drive). Continue on Meadow Creek Road 1.5 miles & turn right onto White Pine Road. The Farm is .3 miles on your right.
Admission to STORIES OF THE STITCH is Free of Charge, but donations are always welcome

STORIES OF THE STITCH is sponsored by Parkdale Mills of Hillsville

Handbell Ringers Needed – Auditions August 6 & 8!


The New River Bell Ensemble, a community English handbell group, has immediate openings for two ringers for its Fall 2016-Spring 2017 season.  Although experience ringing handbells is not required, ability to read music is essential. Simple auditions will be held Saturday, August 6, 10:00am, and Monday, August 8, 7 pm, at the Historic 1908 Courthouse in Independence, VA.  To receive details and audition music, interested persons should contact Tina Cunningham, 276-579-2123, or, by August 1.  Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 7:00-8:30 pm in the Historic 1908 Courthouse Auditorium in Independence.


Tickets On Sale NOW for Diversions & Delights

Wesley Young as Oscar Wilde


Wesley Young as Oscar Wilde in “Diversions and Delights”

Saturday, June 4th and Sunday, June 5th



He was known as the “Master of Conversation” and the “first media star.” He lived a topsy-turvy life, creating some of the most beloved works of dramatic literature only to sink into scandal, ruin and an early death.  Without a doubt, he is one of history’s most fascinating figures. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Oscar Wilde. Performing a final, fictional 1899 Paris lecture, Wesley Young of Virginia’s Radford University Department of Theatre and Cinema brings Wilde to life at the Rex Theatre in DIVERSIONS AND DELIGHTS.


DIVERSIONS AND DELIGHTS, by John Gay, is a one-man show that celebrates Wilde’s delicious wit and cutting intellect.  Originally performed on Broadway and toured extensively by Vincent Price, Gay’s intelligent script features some of Wilde’s most quotable quotes, yet ultimately unmasks Wilde’s humanity, with all its triumphs and its heartbreaks.  About Wilde, Young muses, “Even though he says that there is no such thing for him as a new emotion it seems that in the course of this evening in front of a final audience he wrestles with some old ones and maybe hits on a new one or two.  At least, I think he discover he feels more deeply than his glib talk lets on he does.”


Taking on this magnificent role is Wesley Young, a full Professor in Radford University’s Department of Theatre and Cinema. Young holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Alabama and is an active professional actor, director, and teacher. A native of Bowling Green, Kentucky, he has acted and directed in theatres across the country.  In fact, one of his favorite roles was Algernon Moncrief in Wilde’s own THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST.


Performances of DIVERSIONS AND DELIGHTS are Saturday, June 4th at 7:30pm and Sunday, June 5th at 2:30pm at the Rex Theatre in Galax, Virginia.  Adult tickets are $10 and Senior (65+) and Student tickets are $8.  Tickets are available at the Galax Visitor’s Center on East Grayson Street, at the Arts Council offices located at 608 West Stuart Drive in Galax, on-line at,  or at the box office, which will open one hour before each performance.  Purchases can be made with cash or checks only, with the exception of on-line ticket purchases via PayPal.

2016 Scholarship Recipients Announced

Wyatt & Ozer 2016 Scholarships



Congratulations to Emma Wyatt (left) & Whatley Ozer (right), the 2016 Arts Council Scholarship winners! Emma Wyatt is the first ever recipient of a Galax Theatre Guild Legacy Scholarship and Whatley Ozer is the 2016 Galax recipient of a Marietta Carmichael Scholarship.

Empty Bowls 2016 Proceeds Awarded

2016 EB Recipients


The Arts Council is proud to announce the 2016 Empty Bowls recipients: (l to r) Buck Coe with the Carroll County Ministerial Association Food Pantry, Susi Davis Tornow with P.U.S.H Ministries Food Bank, Stephannie Dees with Galax Backpack Buddies, Inc. and Larissa Venzie, Arts Council Vice President. Not pictured are Judy Bolt with Lambs’ Table & Jacky Arnold with Grayson County Backpack Ministries. In total. $4,205 was distributed to these very deserving organizations who care for the most vulnerable of our Twin Counties citizens.

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Your support of the Arts Council provides free arts in the schools programming, annual scholarships, and exciting public events that enrich lives throughout the twin counties!