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President's Message



Kathryn Orth

SMAC President


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January-February 2018


Dear Fellow SMAC Members,


We were glad to see so many of you at SMAC’s last 2017 event, the annual holiday concert, featuring the Wiley and Matheson families. Thanks to the Special Events committee for their hard work in getting this organized!


The Special Events committee, SML Photo Club, Photo Show organizers, Lake Players, Lakeside Singers, Lake Writers, and other SMAC committees are already preparing for 2018’s events. Make sure to check your newsletter and the website www.SMAC-arts.com for events, meeting times and information updates.


Among SMAC’s projects, we are proud to support the Franklin County Chapter of Junior Appalachian Musicians, which teaches old-time Appalachian music to middle and high school age students. The Franklin County group, with more than two dozen active students, is one of 40 chapters in Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina. We do this for many reasons. On a historical level, we want to help keep this music alive. On an educational level, we know that music lessons have a beneficial effect on students’ general school performance. But, in addition to these, we hope that there will be a positive effect on the local economy.


In case you missed the lead editorial in the Roanoke Times on December 23, you may enjoy looking up “Break out the banjos” in the editorial section of the paper’s website www.Roanoke.com.


It is a tale of some Newfoundlanders, whose music is closely related to our Appalachian music, breaking out their instruments while delayed at Pearson International Airport. Videos went viral, but one newspaper columnist in Newfoundland found the performance an embarrassing stereotype.


And yet . . . The Roanoke editorial writer points out the economic success of Southwest Virginia’s Crooked Road, based on our musical heritage, and suggests that Newfoundland could learn from us. Importantly, the piece also points out that both areas could market the “creativity, confidence and culture” of their populations as draws for high-tech development.


I think it’s worth a read. Our JAM director, Jim Mullens, was the first to comment on the editorial online. He pointed out that our JAM kids are eager to play anywhere, any time. They represent us well.  That is why we support Junior Appalachian Musicians.


Thanks for being a member of SMAC!


Kathryn Orth




The Smith Mountain Arts Council (SMAC), established in 1989, is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization and serves a large geographic area surrounding Smith Mountain Lake.

SMAC is partially funded by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.



Copyright SMAC 2009 - 2017 - SMAC is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization
P.O. Box 70 - Moneta, VA 24121


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