Written by Carrie Eobbi, Liberty University Intern
We had the privilege to host Susan Martin, Executive Director of the Bower Center of the Arts on our weekly radio interview on The Mike Show and then follow up with some questions about upcoming events:
Q: What are some past events that have stood out to you?
A: Bower Center for the Arts has been in existence for 17 years as Bedford community’s Visual and Performing Arts Center and has held many events over the years. Some of the more memorable events that have taken place include an Annual Crawfish Festival; Bedford’s Finest Fare, one of Bower Center's major fundraising events, which celebrated Bedford’s vibrant food, beverages, music, and art! Local chefs offered samplings of gourmet appetizers, entrees, and desserts; Art of Pairing: Wine, Chocolate & Cheese; and our annual Murder Mystery event, an interactive murder mystery event where you play a character, solve clues, and interrogate all the suspects to figure out who done it.
Q: Why is Bower Center's location in Bedford so important to the community?
A: Bower Center for the Arts is an innovative regional Central Virginia Arts and Cultural Center, promoting the unique cultural narrative of the region and its creative economy by developing and offering arts, cultural and community programs. We are the cultural center of visual and performing arts, education, community engagement and personal enrichment, promoting inclusivity and diversity and contributing to a high quality of life for the community.
As a downtown anchor of Bedford, the Bower Center is an active component and partner of the downtown revitalization process by building collaborations and partnerships with merchants, governmental, corporate, and other organizations.
Q: What makes your upcoming The Art of Pairing: Tacos & Tequila Event stand out compared to those in the past?
A: This event will be a fun, interactive evening offering tacos and tequila pairings, margaritas, live music by Music Road Co, salsa dancing with Lynchburg Salsa, art making experiences, a silent auction and more, all while being immersed in one of Bower Center's largest and most diverse exhibits, the 3rd Biennial Fiber Arts National Juried Exhibition.
This unique event will expose attendees to all different forms of art and enable them to access their creative side in a fun, party atmosphere. It is intended to expose the participants to different art forms such as music, dance, culinary arts, painting, drawing and much more, all in one evening!
Q: Do you have a patron story that really made an impact?
A: One of our favorite stories is from the mom of 8-year-old twin girls Jessica and Sophie who participated in several of our summer art camps for the first time. Following the end of our camps their mom contacted Bower Center to let us know how proud they were of their artwork. According to their mom, “they couldn’t wait to show off their creations to anyone that came to their house, even the refrigerator repair man.”
Another positive response came this summer from a mom who received notification that her daughter received a scholarship to attend summer art camp. Her response was, “Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity for my daughter! She is over the moon excited! Last night, after we told her that she could go, she danced around the house all night long!”
Q: What are some upcoming events you're looking forward to this fall?
A: The upcoming events we are looking forward to is the continuation of our concert series which include the following:
Aug 26 - Kinnfolk - Celtic Folk Duo
Sep 15 - Jeff Black - Grammy nominated songwriter & performer - American Country Music
Oct 21 - David Starr - International Touring & Recording Artist-Classic American/Folk
Nov 18 - New Standard Bluegrass – Bluegrass
In addition, we will be holding our Annual Mistletoe Maker’s Market on Saturday, November 25, 10 am – 3 pm. Guests can celebrate Small Business Saturday and shop for local handmade goods at Bower Center for the Arts! With more than twenty exhibitors of handmade or repurposed goods from around the Bedford region and beyond, you are sure to find the perfect holiday gifts!
And lastly, we will be hosting John Hardy: A CHRISTMAS CAROL, a one-man play for the holidays on Saturday, December 9. This is a Charles Dickens classic performed by one actor, John Hardy, playing over forty roles.
To learn more about Bower Center for the Arts, visit their SHARE Greater Lynchburg profile HERE.