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Arts Ball slated for Feb. 17

The Surry Arts Council will be hosting its annual Arts Ball on Friday, Feb. 17 at Cross Creek Country Club.

As always, the Arts Ball features a silent auction, seated dinner, and dancing to live music — this year, from the Band of Oz — for the annual fundraiser for the arts council.

The gala will have a Mardi Gras theme that will be present throughout the club. The Surry Arts Council will again have centerpieces provided by Airmont Florist, Cana Mount Airy Florist, and Creative Design Flowers to enhance the atmosphere.

Melissa Sumner is coordinating the Arts Ball and working with volunteers, school personnel, and Surry Arts Council Board members. The event will feature passed hors d’oeuvres and soup followed by a seated dinner.

“The fundraising goal this year is $30,000 to ensure the arts remain a part of our area school programming in 25 schools,” arts council officials said of the coming event. “The auction will have items ranging from tickets and gift cards to dinner experiences and jewelry. The community is always generous with donations that everyone will want. A photo booth provided by Ish & Ash Productions will be a new feature at the Arts Ball this year.

“This year, thousands of students have already enjoyed arts programming provided by the fundraising from the Arts Ball. In addition to directly paying for arts programs, the Arts Ball proceeds leverage grants from the North Carolina Arts Council and South Arts,” the group said.

The Traditional Arts Program grant provides support for several hundred students to have a hands-on experience with traditional stringed instruments. Jennie Lowry spends a week in each of three schools introducing students to fiddles, guitars, and Surry County’s traditional music heritage. Students are then able to attend the weekly free year-round lessons at the Historic Earle Theatre every Thursday afternoon if they wish to continue lessons.

Other cultural arts programs provided during the current year include; two performances of Shrek, JR. performed by the Surry Arts Players; four performances of Junie B’s Essential Survival Guide to School, performed by TheatreWorks USA; two performances of The Wright Stuff: First In Flight, performed by Virginia Repertory Theatre; two school performances of The Nutcracker, performed by Ballet for Young Audiences; two performances of Elf, JR. performed by the Surry Arts Players at the Andy Griffith Playhouse; and performances by The Bremen Town Musicians (Piedmont Opera) hosted at eleven area schools.

Additional programs include two performances of Cinderella by the Surry Arts Players; Mike Wiley will be featured in six performances of One Noble Journey: A Box Marked Freedom; multiple monthly free movies, and additional programs that target students with special needs that are sponsored in part by the United Fund of Surry coupled with Surry Arts Council support.

The Surry Arts Film Festival for Surry County High School and Surry Community College Students will again be hosted at the Earle Theatre and students will have the opportunity to see their work shown in a movie theatre setting.

Arts programs funded by the Arts Ball last year, school support, and grant funds resulted in more than 15,000 student contacts during this school year. Students receive free arts programs in their own schools and have the opportunity to bus to the Blackmon Amphitheatre, the Historic Earle Theatre, and the Andy Griffith Playhouse. Students also have field trips to the Andy Griffith Museum, the Old-Time Music Heritage Hall, and the Siamese Twins Exhibit at no cost. These field trips include guided tours, scavenger hunts, and music.

The Surry Arts Council provides its venues to the schools for holiday and year-end choral and band programs at no cost to the schools. The Surry Arts Council also works with schools to host interns and provide art instruction in both in-school and after-school programs and many other partnerships.

The Arts Ball begins at 6 p.m. on Feb. 17. Tickets are $100 per person. Table requests are welcome — a table for eight maybe be purchased for $800 — and black tie is optional. Tickets are available online at, via phone at 336-786-7998, or at the Surry Arts Council office at 218 Rockford Street. For additional information, contact



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