CCSA Becomes an Affiliated Venue of the Crooked Road

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will be presented with a banner acknowledging their recent inclusion as a Crooked Road Affiliated Venue.  Affiliated Venues represent the best in traditional music gatherings that the region has to offer.  As an Affiliated Venue, Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) will be represented in Crooked Road publicity and promotional materials and recognized as a regional destination to Trail followers.

The Crooked Road will present the banner to representatives of CCSA on Saturday, March 1, at 7:00 p.m. just before the start of the Music of the Crooked Road Concert with Eddie Bond, Kirk Sutphin and Joe Dejarnette.  Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is located at 100 North Main, Galax, Virginia.

Jack Hinshelwood, the Executive Director of the Crooked Road, said that “Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is the first Affiliated Venue of The Crooked Road devoted to providing learning opportunities related to traditional music and craft.  It’s great to be able to connect Crooked Road travelers with opportunities to learn from accomplished artists from this region.”

CCSA is a year-round art school that believes that art is for everyone and everyone is an artist. Programming includes classes and events for all ages and skill levels in traditional music, heritage crafts, and contemporary arts.  Classes are offered in Appalachian music and dance, drawing & painting, weaving, basket-weaving, felting, sewing, dyeing, jewelry, pottery, wood and stone carving, and more. Classes are offered for adults, teens, and children.

The Crooked Road’s mission is to support tourism and economic development in Southwest Virginia by celebrating and preserving this Appalachian region’s unique musical and cultural heritage. A complete listing of the Affiliated Venues and Festivals and the Major Venues of The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail can be found at

For additional information about The Crooked Road, call 276-492-2409 or send an email to  For more information about CCSA go to

Click here to download the press release

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CCSA ARC Projects Requiring an Environmental Assessment

Following is the posting of the Environmental Assessment Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) certified by DHCD required for demolition and construction of the new Woodworking Studio.



 Date of Posting:  January 7, 2014


 Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Woodworking Studio Virginia

-The demolition of a deteriorated single family residential unit and a cinderblock garage owned by the City.
-The construction of a 4,700 square feet woodworking studio including classrooms and work areas to train 180 participants over a two year period after construction. The split level building will front Oldtown Street and includes a courtyard, covered porch and elevated stage for art displays and musical performances.
-The hiring of a facility director and eighteen artisan instructors to provide skills training to forty workers and forty students during the same two year period.
-It is expected that eight entrepreneurs will grow their own businesses and that twenty five hobbyists will improve their skills with studio time.

 It has been determined that the release of Appalachian Regional Commission funds to be expended for construction of the above referenced project will not constitute an action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment. Accordingly, the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development has decided not to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement under the National Policy Act of 1969 (PL 91‑190).

 An Environmental Review Record respecting “Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Woodworking Studio” has been certified by DHCD which documents the environmental review of the project and more fully sets forth the reasons why such Statement is not required.  This Environmental Review Record is on file at DHCD’s Richmond office (see address below) and is available for public examination and copying, upon request, at the DHCD between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on normal work days.

All interested agencies, groups and persons disagreeing with this decision are invited to submit written comments for consideration by DHCD to the office of the undersigned.  Such written comments should be received at the address specified on or before February 7, 2014. All such comments so received will be considered and DHCD will not release any ARC funds or take any administrative action on the project prior to February 7, 2014. Comments should specify which aspect of the environmental review they are addressing.

 Comments must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the required procedure (24 CFR Part 58, Sec. 58.76), and may be addressed to:

 Mr. William C. Shelton, Certifying Officer
c/o David Adams, Community Development Specialist
Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development
Attention: Project Administration and Assistance Office
600 East Main Street, Suite 300
Richmond, Virginia 23219

 (804) 371-7000 / Virginia Relay Center 7-1-1

Click here for a PDF copy of the ARC FONSI Document

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RFP Announcement


The City of Galax, a governmental municipality in Galax, Virginia, is seeking architectural services in conjunction with the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Woodworking Studio, the building of a fully functional, multi-purpose woodworking studio serving primarily as an educational facility to complement school’s existing two properties, completing the downtown campus in Galax, Virginia. A complete Request for Proposals is available by contacting Chris Shackelford, CCSA Executive Director.

Responses to the RFP are due no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, January 17, 2014 to the Office of the City Manager, 111 E. Grayson St., Galax VA 24333.

The City of Galax is an Equal Opportunity Employer and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or handicap. Minority and female-owned firms are encouraged to participate.

CCSA Woodworking Studio AE RFP
City of Galax
ATTN Chris Pollins-Shackelford
P.O. Box 417
Galax, VA 24333

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Videos from Fiddlers Week Showcases

Steve Parks has posted videos from the showcases from our Fiddlers’ Week Showcases on YouTube.

“Old-time and Bluegrass, What’s the Difference?” featuring Ivy Sheppard, Johnnie Williams, Jeremy Stephens, Corrina Logston, and PJ George.

OT/BG Video 1

  • Ivy and Jeremy: Sourwood Mountain
  • Ivy, Jeremy and Johnny: John Browns Dream
  • Corrina and Jeremy: Wilsons Hornpipe (Clark Kessinger)
  • Corrina, Jeremy and Johnny: Leather Britches
  • Ivy with the South Carolina Broadcasters: Let Me Fall

OT/BG Video 2

  • Corrina and Jeremy: Don’t Trade
  • Corrina, Jeremy, Johnny and PJ: Gloryland Way (and bass philosophy)
  • Ivy, Corrina, Jeremy, Johnny and PJ: Cotton-Eyed Joe (with 2 banjos)
  • Ivy: God Gave Noah the Rainbow Sign (old-time 2 finger picking)

OT/BG Video 3

  • Ivy, Corrina, Jeremy, Johnny and PJ: Sally Goodin

“Guitar Styles” showcase featuring Mac Traynham, Chester mcMillian, Andy Edmonds, Steve Kilby and Scott Fore.

Guitar Video 1

  • Mac, Chester and Andy discuss back-up guitar

Guitar Video 2

  • Chester backs up Andy on Leather Britches
  • Mac talks about his guitar and style, and plays Wildwood Flower
  • Mac plays Wreck of the Old ’97 with guitar and harmonica

Guitar Video 3

  • Mac discusses his use of the capo and plays I Love My Savior

Guitar Video 4

  • Steve discusses Doc Watson’s style and plays Deep River Blues
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Fall Into Art – Call for Art

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts announces a CALL FOR ART

3rd Annual “Fall into Art” Fundraiser Celebration

“Young at HeART”

This 3rd Annual Fall into Art Fundraiser and Celebration is a free event celebrating that art is for everyone and everyone can be and benefit from being creative. The event is also the kick-off for the school’s Annual Friends Campaign, with tax deductible donations off-setting ongoing and growing operational expenses ($35 Family/$25 Individual +$5 Youth upgrade). Festivities are planned for Saturday, September 21st from 11am-4pm and will take place at our main facility located at 100 North Main Street and along the adjacent block of Grayson Street in downtown Galax.

This year’s theme “Young At HeART” was chosen to focus on and celebrate youth and the arts in mind, body and spirit.  We believe being creative makes you young at heart.  The theme also commemorates the successful kick-off of our youth program this past spring and our desire to celebrate the arts with our community.

Each artist may submit up to three entries. Please see the attached documents: Standards and Policies Chestnut Creek School for the Arts and Exhibited Works Inventory List Both documents are required to accompany entries. Artists may choose whether or not entries are available for sale.

Entries will be accepted from now until Friday, August 30, 2013 from 2-5 pm each day.  There is no entry fee but we welcome suggested donations of $5.00 per entry.

The exhibit will be in place from September 3 until October 31. The show will be taken down November 1st. Unsold work must be picked up the week of November 4-8, 2013 during regular business hours. Any work not picked up by November 8 will become the property of CCSA.

There is an Opening Kick-Off Reception scheduled to take place on Tuesday, September 3 from 11am-2pm here at the main building located at 100 North Main Street. Voting will be done by people’s choice, beginning at the opening reception and continuing until 2:30 pm on September 21 (the day of the festival), and announced at 3:15 pm that day. Prizes will be awarded to the top three vote-getters in both youth and adult categories. In addition, the Festival Committee will select one winner’s work from each category to be used in marketing the event.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. Viewing and voting for the People’s Choice award will take place during regular business hours from September 3- October 31, 2013. CCSA’s hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 11am-3pm. Questions can be directed to: Anne or Chris (276)236-3500.

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, a collaborative partner with the City of Galax, preserves and promotes the cultural heritage of southwest Virginia by fostering artistic and individual growth through classes and events in traditional music, heritage crafts, and contemporary arts, and by providing an environment and resources conducive to learning. For more information, you may call (276) 236-3500, visit the website at or main facility located at 100 North Main Street, Galax.


Young at HeART Poster

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Oldtown Pottery Building for Sale

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is renting the space at 110 E Oldtown Street where Oldtown Pottery resides. The owners have decided to sell the building, and we would love to help them sell it to someone who continue renting the space to us.

Picture of the buidlings

Click here for the real estate listing (

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Leaf and String/Music Makers Guild Workshops

CCSA to host Guild Instrument Workshops at Leaf and String

The Blue Ridge Music Maker’s Guild is organizing Instrument Workshops to provide an added musical experience at the Leaf and String Festival on Friday,June 14, and Saturday, June 15. These workshops will be held at Chestnut School of the Arts, 100 North Main Street, Galax, VA.

There will be 11 workshops in all with each workshop featuring a different instrument. These workshops are designed specifically for people interested in stringed instruments who want to learn more about them with an eye toward trying one out. Each workshop will have musicians and an interviewer asking the players questions about the instruments: how they work, how they are played and what advice the players would give to people who are interested in playing the instrument. There will also be some picking to demonstrate the instrument.

The workshops will end with an opportunity for the members of the audience to see what the instrument feels like to play using instruments provided by the Guild’s Instrument Lending Library. People will also learn how to borrow one of these instruments from the Lending Library if they want to start taking lessons.


1:30-2:15 Dulcimer (both playing it and how it is made)
2:30-3:15 Autoharp
3:30-4:15 Dobro
4:30-5:00 Old-time Banjo

10:00-10:45 Bass Fiddle
11:00-11:45 Bluegrass Banjo
12:00-12:45 Guitar Building
1:00-1:45 Guitar
2:00-2:45 Guitar Care and Maintenance, with Bill Anderson, a Martin Authorized Warranty Repairman
3:00-3:45 Mandolin
4:00-4:45 Fiddle

These workshops are free and open to the public. The audience will be able to observe up close and personally how the instrument is played. Questions will be encouraged and the audience members will have an opportunity to try the instrument out at the end of each workshop.

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Public Art Project

More information for Galax’s Bass Fiddle public art project:

Click on the image to view it full size

CMP Recommendation Sheet

Artist Paint Tips

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City of Galax Public Art Project – Call For Art

City of Galax- Public Art
Phase I- Bass Fiddles throughout City of Galax
Call for Art
March, 2013

(for a pdf version of this announcement click here)

The City of Galax Public Art Committee announces Phase I of the City’s Public Art Project and invites artisans to submit proposals.
The committee is made up of representatives from The City of Galax, Galax City Council, Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, Department of Tourism, The Arts Council of the Twin Counties, The Galax Downtown Association and community advocate and Gallery Owner.

Phase I of Public Art in the City of Galax includes nine (9) six-foot bass fiddles, cast in Fiberglass strategically placed throughout the City of Galax to provide a narrative of the City’s history and culture, heighten visitation and an awareness of all there is to see in Galax. Each fiddle will be artistically designed with acrylic paint, mosaic tiles, or the like. Artists’ design submissions will be selected by citizens of the Twin County community. In their absolute discretion, the Public Art Committee and the City of Galax have the right to reject or exclude any submission.

Call for Art: Artisans are encouraged to submit design entries to communicate the values of the City. Artistic interpretations of the community will be created by the artisans on one of nine bass fiddles strategically placed throughout the City in highly visible public outdoor places. It is the intent that every piece will be fully accessible and accessed. Artists are welcome to submit site-specific entries, for the list below. Site specific entries are not guaranteed for designated site, however. Entries must not exceed 24” x 36”. Entries must include an artist statement as well as a resume. DEADLINE: May 15, 2013. Submission must be postmarked by this date and may be sent to: Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA), 100 North Main Street, P.O. Box 417, Galax, VA, 24333. Questions may be directed to Chris Pollins-Shackelford, Executive Director (276)236-3500.

Digital entries will be accepted, but there are restrictions which are the responsibility of the submitter. Receipt of digital entries must be acknowledged by email within 72 hours of submission. If receipt is not acknowledged within 72 hours, it is the responsibility of the submitter to inquire within the time frame. Digital entries will be printed on 8.5” by 11” ordinary paper and will be displayed un-matted and un-mounted.

The Public Art Committee and the City of Galax have the right to reject or exclude any piece from display at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

Submitted entries will be displayed from May 20, 2013 to June 15, 2013 at CCSA and members of the community will be invited to vote on their favorite designs. Final Design winner(s) will be announced on June 21, 2013 based on People’s Choice votes and in keeping with the standards of the City of Galax and the Public Art Committee. The Public Art Committee will determine the winning entries’ locations and communicate the final assignments in the artisan contracts. Winning artists will have six months or by January 3, 2014 to complete their work and deliver it to vendor selected by the Public Art Committee for polyurethane coating. Winning artists will be given $1,000 to include their time and materials.

Pieces will have polyurethane professionally applied in Galax to protect the work. This will be done by the Public Art Committee once designs on the Bass Fiddles are complete and before being permanently installed. Each Fiddle will include a plaque commemorating the artist who has designed it as well as a rubbing as part of a trail map being designed by the department of tourism.

Final site locations will be determined once winners are selected. At present, public sites under
consideration for placement are the following:

  1. The Crossroads Rural Entrepreneurial Institute
  2. Felts Park
  3. Galax-Carroll Regional Library
  4. Jeff Matthews Museum
  5. Mountainview Park
  6. Harold Snead Public Safety Building
  7. Galax Municipal Golf Course
  8. Galax Farmers Market
  9. Oldtown Street at the future site of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Woodworking Studio

(Click here for a map of locations)

History and description of the City of Galax: Named after the native woodland plant with heart-shaped leaves, the City of Galax was incorporated in 1906 when the Norfolk and Western Railway extended the railroad line to Galax Station. The railroad was a lifeline for furniture and mirror manufacturers, the mining industry, textiles, lumber and farmers. In 2003, textile and furniture plants in southwest Virginia, which had been the bread and butter of the economy, were closing and going overseas. The economy in the region looked bleak. The City of Galax, a community of 7,000 residents, lost more than 1,200 jobs in a short period of time. The reality of growing unemployment in a distressed regional economy stimulated the need for economic diversification. The City of Galax and community leaders decided to reinvent their economy highlighting traditional music and visual arts as a vital component of the renewal. This creative economy is based on the artisans and musicians who have been a part of the community for generations. Their creativity is an economic driving force for the future. The objectives

of the revitalization are to support regional economic development; encourage activities that diversify the economic base; enhance entrepreneurial activities; develop a highly skilled, competitive workforce; and provide training and technical assistance to citizens engaged in economic development.

Galax is designated as the World Capital of Old Time Mountain Music and the home to the Old Fiddlers’ Convention. This year, the second weekend in August will mark the 78th anniversary of the event.

Besides the Fiddlers Convention, Galax has the increasingly popular Houston Fest, a music festival named after young volunteer firefighter and musician Houston Caldwell who died at the age of 18 in 2010. Galax is also home to Smoke on the Mountain, the state barbeque championship, and to the Leaf and String Festival. All these events, along with outdoor recreation and the natural scenic beauty of the New River Trail and the Blue Ridge Parkway make Galax a popular destination. The area is rich in Appalachian history and home to innumerable musicians, luthiers and artisans. Bands and musicians from the area are world renowned and travel internationally to teach.

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, downtown Galax is the home of Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, a community art school which offers classes and events year-round. Classes are offered for all ages and skill levels in traditional music, heritage crafts and contemporary arts. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts has two locations downtown and the school is working toward establishment of a fully outfitted wood working studio providing classes for instrument building as well as furniture design and fabrication.

Additional information on the area available from:

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Woodworking Studio Article in the Galax Gazette

The Galax Gazette ran a wonderful article about the grant and the plans for the woodworking studio – check it out!

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