Jettie Baker Center celebrates local art, music and culture

March 05, 2020

Mark your calendars for March 14 from 4 to 9 p.m. for a very special celebration of the Jettie Baker Center. The day is full of activities and entertainment to support the work the Center is doing to promote Dickenson County as a destination for tourists and a Mecca of art music and cultural history for local Southwest Virginia citizens.

Award winning local artist Shawn Wallace will be on hand with some of his unique and one-of-a-kind art work. Shawn will also have on hand copies of the book “Petey the Pink-tailed Possum” that he illustrated, which has delighted children and grown-ups alike.

Local author Ron Kennedy will also be on hand with copies of his book, “Lacy and Oliver” a story of a local Dickenson County family and his kin, which is also available on Amazon.

And, “Petey Possum” author Jason Barton will explain how he came to choose to write a book about a possum and sign copies for anyone looking to take home a very special book.

The evening will round out with a concert starting at 6 p.m. featuring The Childress Family, a family of red-headed sisters. They are award winning songwriters and musicians, even though they are still in their teens. Their musicianship and family harmonies celebrate the music of Appalachia in a very special and personal way.

Pierceton Hobbs and The Virginia Creepers, will also be celebrating the release of a new CD. Pierceton is a past director of the Ralph Stanley Museum and The Center and now works with WMMT, Appalshop’s very special regional public radio station. Pierceton is a songwriter and the CD is a collection of his songs which celebrate life in the mountains.

Nationally recognized local musician, entertainer, storyteller Ron Short will finish out the evening. Many will remember Ron’s sold-out shows at the Jettie Baker Center and his work with the internationally famous, Roadside Theater. With Roadside Theater, Ron has performed at Lincoln Center, Smithsonian Museum and Festival, Left Bank Theater Festival in England and Wales, Another America in Sweden and Denmark and the Czech National Theater in Brno, Czech Republic.

These are only a few of his travels and he has performed in almost every state in the U.S.A but he says, “There is no better place to perform than at home in the Jettie Baker Center. I saw my first movie at the old Mullins Theater and I know how important this building is to the town of Clintwood, Dickenson County and all of SWVA. In any other community this building would be worth millions of dollars, not just because of the real estate, but for the opportunities it represents for the whole community! This fund-raiser is simply a way to let people know how much local talent and potential this region has and what a treasure this program is for the community. Present Director Dora Wallace is working hard to make magic and she needs support and a helping hand and I am delighted to help my hometown change and grow.”

“There is no charge for anything to the public for the event but it takes money to turn on the lights, heat the building, buy snacks for the performers, decorate the stage, —all the costs that are not covered by operational funds are coming out of staff and volunteer pockets. All the entertainers are performing for free but we are asking people who come to dig down and give what they can to insure the events can continue both for tourists and all the local people. Ten dollars, five dollars, one dollar or one hundred—give what you can!”