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Art school announces grand opening events

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Chestnut Creek School of the Arts will celebrate its official opening in downtown Galax with a black tie gala on Friday evening and a community celebration of the arts on Saturday.

The Colorful Black Tie Gala is planned for Friday evening from 7 to 10. The school will host “Women of the Blue Ridge Plateau,” the opening exhibit for “Minds Wide Open: Virginia Celebrates Women in the Arts.”

In addition, the gala will honor the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a juried exhibit and present awards for “Memories: The Blue Ridge Parkway in Retrospect.”

A juried collection of metaphorical or literal artworks pertaining to the parkway, this display honors not only the scenic beauty, the flora and fauna, but also the people and their craft who have contributed to the arts and cultural heritage of the communities along the parkway.

The evening will also feature live artisan demonstrations and the musical talents of Helen White and the High Tone Hepcats, Acoustic Heritage featuring Debbie and Tim Yates and Solid Stride — piano and bass duo David and Sherry Hoffman.

Tickets are on sale at $50 per person and can be purchased at the school or by calling 236-3500.

Kicking off the community celebration on Saturday at noon, the Galax High School Band will lead a parade of dignitaries, artists and performers north on Main Street, circling to Grayson Street for an afternoon of music, artisan demonstrations, food and the official opening ceremonies.

Featured on the outdoor Grayson Street Stage beginning at 1 p.m. will be live entertainment including Tremayne Blair, the Galax High School and Middle School choruses, Eddie Armbrister’s Magic, the Young Actors Co-op of Floyd, the Conservatory of Dance & Theater, Laken and the Savages (jazz), Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) students and the Galax Theatre Guild.

Vendors and live demonstrations will continue throughout the afternoon on Grayson Street, ending with a cake cutting ceremony at 4:30 p.m.

The Gerald Anderson Band will perform at the Rex Theater at 5 p.m. Anderson, an accomplished guitar player and luthier, will be joined by Jimmy Edmonds on fiddle, Butch Barker on bass and Paul Trianosky on mandolin.

Admission is $5 and proceeds will benefit CCSA.

For more information on the Chestnut Creek School of the Arts Grand Opening Celebration, visit www.chestnutcreekarts.org, call 236.3500 or visit CCSA on Main Street in Galax.