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This weekend is a very big event for Galax and the Twin Counties. Chestnut Creek School of the Arts is holding its grand opening, with a colorful black tie gala on Friday night and then a Parade of the Arts on Saturday, with something for everyone.
I do hope that you will be coming to celebrate!
Chestnut Creek School of the Arts has been a vision of many people for a long time. While there are too many people and organizations to name them all, I do want to mention the late Bill Moncrief who, while president of the Twin County Arts Council, was the very first person to sign up for the very first class at CCSA in 2004.
Galax City Council saw all this as an economic development opportunity. Our cultural heritage (music, woodworking, weaving, dance, among others) is something that cannot be sent overseas.
Dan Campbell, Keith Holland and Keith Barker have promoted the school heavily and we are grateful for their strong efforts.
These city managers all realized that this school brings new businesses, tourism and service industries that help us all to prosper.
In fact, spending on accommodations — hotels, motels, cabins, etc. — in Galax alone increased by 232 percent from 2004 to 2007. Just think what the official opening of CCSA can bring!
President Franklin Roosevelt had this same vision when he introduced the New Deal during the Great Depression. His goal was first to feed everyone, and then get them back to work. The Blue Ridge Parkway is an excellent example of providing jobs and bringing a lasting economic development tool to this area.
But he also put painters, sculptors and writers to work. Between 1933 and 1942, 10,000 artists produced a staggering amount of work: 100,000 easel paintings, 18,000 sculptures, over 13,000 prints and 4,000 murals, not to mention posters and photographs.
These works graced post offices, public buildings, were used in tourism posters, etc. Writers collected stories and histories all over the United States, providing a rich history of every day life. Concerts and jams were held all over the country.
In 1941 the president said, “a few generations ago, the people of this country were taught by their writers and their critics and their teachers to believe that art was something foreign to America and to themselves…. But recently… they have discovered that they have a part.
“They have seen in their own towns, in their own villages, in schoolhouses and post offices… pictures painted by their sons, their neighbors — people they have known and lived beside and talked to….. all of it painted by their own kind in their own country, and painted about things they know and look at often and have touched and loved.”
Chestnut Creek has a goal to show the world our rich heritage and share our talented citizens with the world.
Join us this weekend, and in the years to come, by taking a class, teaching a class, bringing family and friends to the school. Then, start a business, sell your art, open a bed and breakfast — the possibilities are endless!