Roanoke Times article

Tonia Moxley from the Roanoke Times came to our Open House on Saturday, March 3, and published an article about us on Monday, March 5. Click here to check it out!

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Chestnut Creek School of the Arts “50 for 50” Award from Virginia Commission for the Arts

In honor of their 50th anniversary, the Virginia Commission for the Arts (VCA) awarded 50 arts organizations and individuals with “50 for 50” awards in one of five categories: Exemplary Programs and Pinnacle Events, Emerging Artists and Arts Organizations, Arts Leaders and Supporters, Outstanding Artists, and Bedrock Institutions. They received over 350 nominations for these awards. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts was one of the 50 awarded, winning in the Emerging Artists and Arts Organizations category. Winners in this category have been in existence for under ten years, have demonstrated artistic excellence, and are a benefit to the community. To receive the award, CCSA was represented by Exectuive Director Chris Pollins and Marketing and Development Director Marianne Kovatch.

The award ceremony was held at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond on January 31. Speakers at this event included Jane Chu, the Chair for National Endowment for the Arts as well as authors Adriana Trigiani and Nancy Bolmeier Fisher, founders of the Origin Project. Margaret Vanderhye, VCA’s Executive Director hosted the event along with Alex Nyerges, Director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

Following the awards ceremony was a reception in the Museum’s Marble Hall with Governor Ralph Northam.

Chris Pollins, Marianne Kovatch, Governor Ralph Northam, Margaret Vanderhye

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Galax and CCSA in Virginia Town and City magazine

The City of Galax and Chestnut Creek School of the Arts were highlighted in an article in the April 2017 edition of Virginia Town & City magazine, published by the Virginia Municipal League. Check it out here!

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Call For Art: Veterans Exhibit

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA) announces a call for art for a special exhibit as part of their program “Healing and the Arts: Focus on Veterans and Their Families” program. This exhibit will focus on the healing nature of art for Veterans, as well as their families and friends affected by the military experience.

This Call for Art is for anyone who has been affected by military service, whether you are a Veteran or in Active Military Service, or have a family member or friend whose military service has had an effect on your life. Artists are encouraged to submit up to 3 paintings, drawings, sculptures, poems, or essays that celebrate the healing power of the creative arts and communicate your experience of war and military service for fuller understanding of the effects of that experience.

All two dimensional entries must be ready to hang. For those submitting poems or essays, you may submit your entry ready to hang or email us an electronic version so we can prepare them for display. All entries must include an artist statement, focusing on how your art has helped you communicate your experience, aided your in re-entry to civilian life, or helped you heal from adverse experiences.

Submissions must be received by this November 1. Please fill out an entry form for each piece you are submitting, and bring or send it along with the artwork to Chestnut Creek School of the Arts (CCSA), 100 North Main Street, Galax, VA, 24333. Questions may be directed to Chris Pollins, Executive Director at (276) 236-3500 or [email protected].

The exhibit will be available for viewing from November 7 to January 6, 2016 at CCSA, located at 100 North Main Street, Galax, Virginia. Artwork is to be picked up or arrangements made for return by January 14, 2017.

This exhibit is part of the “Healing and the Arts: Focus on Veterans and their Families” program made possible, in part, by Virginia Commission for the Arts. Healing and the Arts is an ongoing series at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts. The focus through next spring is on Veterans and their Families, and is meant to enhance community support and awareness of our Veterans and to offer programming to support personal growth, healing, and understanding. In addition to the exhibit, the program will include special studio sessions with various themes for Veterans and Veterans’ families, and a symposium with speakers addressing the healing nature of creativity and struggles unique to Veterans and their families.

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Youth Art Exhibit

The City of Galax Public Art Committee announces its 3rd annual Youth Art Exhibit!  In efforts to celebrate the importance of art in our community and the talent of our youth, this committee is calling all youth to submit an original piece of work to be part of this Exhibit.

Students age 6-18 years old are requested to submit one piece of artwork that they consider best represents their skill and talent.  Artwork may be two or three dimensional work and ready to display.  Entries are due no later than April 30 and must be signed in at the front desk to be officially received.  Work is to be delivered to Chestnut Creek School of the Arts main building located at 100 North Main Street, Galax, VA. 24333.  Hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturdays 11am-3pm.  Work received after Thursday, April 30 will not be accepted.

The exhibit will be on display as of May 4th.  Members of the public are encouraged to come see the exhibit and place their votes to select People’s Choice votes in three categories:  Elementary, Middle and High School.  Each voter is limited to one ballot in which to make three votes, one for each category. Top Five winners in each category will then be professionally framed and placed on exhibit in one of six City of Galax Public Buildings:  Galax Recreation Center, Library, Courthouse, Municipal Building, Crossroads Institute and Chestnut Creek School of the Arts for a full year and then returned to the winners.  Announcements of winners will be made at the close of the exhibit on Friday, June 5, 2015 at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.  Please direct questions to: Chris Pollins (276)236-3500 [email protected]

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Pouring Concrete

Spring is sprung, the weather has warmed up, and so Coram Construction poured the concrete yesterday.

Pouring footers     Pouring footers     Wood studio footers

Poring footers   Puring footers    Pouring Footers

Pouring footers     Pouring footers     Pouring footers

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CCSA’s Groundbreaking for the new Wood Studio

February 3, 2015

Chestnut Creek School of the Arts had their official Groundbreaking Ceremony on Tuesday, February 3. This marks the start of construction on the new Wood Studio at 107 West Oldtown Street. The Wood Studio will offer classes in furniture building and design, instrument making, and general woodworking, and is expected to open this summer.

Mayor C.M. Mitchell spoke a few words about the facility and its importance to CCSA and the City of Galax. In attendance were Sandra Graham from The Lane Group; Tim Weatherman and Jerry Coram, Jr. from JG Coram Construction; Jeanie Barbrow from the USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant program, David Adams from the Department of Community and Housing Development’s Appalachian Regional Commission; Angela Wolfe from the Mt. Rogers Planning Commission; Galax City Mayor CM Mitchell, Vice Mayor Willie Greene, City Council Member Sharon Plichta, City Manager Keith Barker, and Grants Writer Brenda Marrah from the City of Galax; members of CCSA’s Board of Directors past and present Rebecca Cardwell (Chair), Irene Turner, Ches Helmick, Ken McFadyen, William Roberts, Becky Guynn, Jeff Sebens, Frank Plichta, and Theresa Lazo; Wood Studio Committee member Mac Traynham; CCSA staff and volunteers; and others interested in the growth of the school. Rebecca Cardwell and C.M. Mitchell wielded the golden shovels. CCSA’s mascot Arty was also in attendance.

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Groundbreaking for the new Wood Studio, February 3, 10:30 am

Groundbreaking for Chestnut Creek School of the Arts’ New Wood Studio
Please join us for the groundbreaking ceremony for Chestnut Creek School of the Arts’ (CCSA) new Wood Studio on Tuesday, February 3rd at 10:30am. The studio will at 107 West Oldtown Street, next to the parking lot at the corner of Oldtown and Jefferson Streets in Galax, Virginia.

Funds to build the Wood Studio came from multiple sources including grants from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), administered by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DCHD) ; the Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program (RBEG), which is a function of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and The Tobacco Indemnification and Community Revitalization Commission. Additional funding for the project is provided by CCSA and in-kind donations from the City of Galax. The building was designed by The Lane Group, Inc., and will be constructed by J.G. Coram Construction of Mt. Airy, NC.

CCSA is a collaborative project with the City of Galax The mission of CCSA is to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of southwest Virginia by offering classes and events for all ages and skill levels in traditional music, heritage crafts, and contemporary arts. Classes are tailored to serve both area residents within an easy driving distance as well as visitors to the area, with a mix of weekend workshops and weekday and evening classes. The main studios, gift shop, gallery and administrative offices are in the renovated First National Bank building at 100 North Main Street. The downtown campus also includes Oldtown Pottery at 110 East Oldtown Street. The new Wood Studio will complete the three-building campus planned at the inception of CCSA.

CCSA’s Wood Studio will provide equipment and teaching space for classes in instrument building, furniture building and design, wood turning, and other wood related skills, techniques and applications. The building is projected to be open in the summer of 2015, with the first classes in July.


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Fiddlers Week Videos

The videos from the Fiddlers Week Musical Heritage events are now online!

Old-time and Bluegrass Singing Styles Showcase

Tales From the Field Discussion

Old-time and Bluegrass Fiddle Styles Showcase

Luthiers Discussion on the Art of Making, Repairing, and Setting Up Stringed Instruments



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In a Days Drive

WSLS 10 out of Roanoke produced a segment on Galax for their “In a Day’s Drive” series that includes Chestnut Creek School of the Arts.

The series highlights various locations that are within a day’s drive of Roanoke. The reporter who came to visit also has a blog site where she had additional photos, including several at Chestnut Creek School of the Arts

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