Shenandoah Conservatory has received $19,500 in grant support from Mid Atlantic Arts and the regionally based Marion Park Lewis Foundation in support of performances and engagement by internationally acclaimed guest artists during its 2023/24 season. The programming will be presented as part of the conservatory’s Performing Arts Live series, which features world-renowned masters and innovators of music, theatre and dance.
Mid Atlantic Arts has provided support for two projects this season. The foundation’s Folk and Traditional Arts Community Projects grant will support performances of “The Book of Life,” a theatrical work featuring renowned Rwandan artist and activist Odile Gakire “Kiki” Katese and the Women Drummers of Rwanda. Co-produced by Volcano, Canada, and the Woman Cultural Centre, Rwanda, the production blends storytelling, hand-crafted projections and original live music. While on campus, the artists will also lead a lunchtime community drumming session at Abrams Creek Amphitheatre and present an educational concert for first-year students. Additionally, the conservatory has been awarded a Mid Atlantic ArtsCONNECT grant in support of a performance and educational engagement by Sphinx Virtuosi. As the flagship performing entity of the renowned Sphinx Organization, the 18-piece chamber orchestra embodies the nonprofit organization’s dedication to transforming lives through the power of diversity in the arts. During their visit to Winchester, members of Sphinx will conduct a lineup of masterclasses and educational engagement for conservatory students.
The Marion Park Lewis Foundation, which provides arts education opportunities to residents of the Northern Shenandoah Valley, has also awarded the conservatory a generous grant in support of the Sphinx Virtuosi residency.
“We are so grateful for the ongoing support of Mid Atlantic Arts and the Marion Park Lewis Foundation,” said Shenandoah Conservatory Executive Director of Performances and Engagement and Artistic Director of Performing Arts Live Courtney Reilly ’18, M.S. “Their grants make it possible to bring award-winning artists to our region and to expand our academic reach.”
Mid Atlantic Arts nurtures and funds the creation and presentation of diverse artistic expression and connects people to meaningful arts experiences within the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Established in 1979, Mid Atlantic is one of six regional arts organizations in the United States. It works in close partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts and member state and jurisdictional arts agencies in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Virginia and West Virginia.
The Marion Park Lewis Foundation was established by Marion Lewis in 1992 to award scholarships for Northern Shenandoah Valley students of music, theater, dance, painting, sculpture and creative writing and to provide grants to area arts organizations. Since that time, the foundation has continued to grow to include support for nonprofit organizations in their efforts to offer specific educational projects that actively engage participants to develop their artistic skills or provide a unique enhancement of the arts experience within the community. To date, more than $3.3 million in grants have been awarded.
To view an entire calendar of events, purchase tickets and learn more, visit Conservatory Performs online at www.conservatoryperforms.org, in person at the Shenandoah University Box Office located in the Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre lobby or connect by phone at (540) 665-4569. Regular box office hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m.