BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University has received $7,500 in grant funding from the North Carolina Arts Council to support the university’s operations related to virtual performing arts programming — including live remote events, livestreamed performances and recorded content.
The grant was awarded to Denise Ringler, director of arts engagement and cultural resources, as part of the council’s efforts to help university arts presenters across the state who have lost ticketing income due to COVID-19.
“The ability to present virtual programming over the past year has enabled us to maintain continuity of our mission during a time when the inspiration and joy that come from the arts are more essential than ever," Ringler said.
She added, “During difficult times, the performing and visual arts promote dialog about important issues, offering insight that helps shape our perspective, bring us together and make sense of the world. Audience members also tell us that virtual arts programming has provided a sense of human connection for them, through a shared experience with others who are as passionate about the arts as they are.”
With this grant, the Schaefer Center was able to offer more than double the number of events in fall 2020, as compared to the previous fall, according to Allison West, director of marketing and public relations in App State’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs.
To date in the 2020–21 season, more than 6,500 people have registered for the center’s virtual performing arts programming.
More on 2020–21 Schaefer Center programming
Ringler’s grant proposal outlined the ways in which the Schaefer Center has converted live events to a variety of online formats — nearly all of which are provided as free, one-time-only showings — including the following:
- A live remote storytelling presentation with playwright, actor and professor Anna Deavere Smith.
- A livestreamed performance from the stage of the Schaefer Center by Grammy Award-winning bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers.
- Recorded content from BalletX, Philadelphia’s premier contemporary ballet troupe.
Several events have also included educational activities conducted by artists, such as workshops or master classes for the university’s academic units. In partnership with area public, private and home schools, the Schaefer Center is also offering its APPlause! K–12 Performing Arts Series in a virtual format.
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About the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
The Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts is a 1,673-seat, multiuse auditorium located on the campus of Appalachian State University. The center, which features orchestra and balcony level seating as well as a proscenium stage, is dedicated to enhancing the artistic and cultural landscape of Appalachian and the surrounding region by providing a venue devoted to the year-round presentation of campus and community events that enrich, educate, inspire and promote quality of life. The Schaefer Center is also home to the Smith Gallery, which presents work by students and faculty members during the academic year. Learn more at http://theschaefercenter.org.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the Southeast, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls nearly 21,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.