• Press Release




    Community Event Celebrates Students, Teachers and Families with an Evening of Performances, Arts Exhibits and Silent Auction

    Contact: Val Newcomb
    February 4, 2019
    Call: 434-806-1149

    ALBEMARLE, (VA)–Mark your calendar for the evening of February 22, 2019! ArtFest in the West will be held from 6 p.m.-9 p.m., in the Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) cafeteria, which will be transformed for a special evening of live music, dance, theater and song. More than 75 K-12 students will participate in performances that both showcase their creative talents–vocal and instrumental music, fine arts, photography, creative writing and drama–and celebrate their teachers and supportive families. 

    "It's an incredible event and unique because it is a fundraiser for arts programs in our schools, a showcase of student talent and an entertaining evening for families," said Michelle Jennings, President of Arts in Western Albemarle Education (AWE), the non-profit group organizing the event.  The event is free of charge and families can expect an evening featuring hands-on children's art activities and a silent auction with items donated from local restaurants, boutiques and a variety of other community businesses. "We also offer a wide variety of foods donated from local restaurants and bakeries in support of our fund-raising goal and that makes for a very affordable family night out," Jennings said.

    AWE's fund-raising goal for ArtFest in the West is $10,000 to support arts programming in the six Western Albemarle County public schools: Murry, Meriwether Lewis, Crozet and Brownsville Elementary Schools, Henley Middle School and Western Albemarle High School.  The organization was born out of a community desire to expand funding for arts programs. 

    As is tradition, the event will culminate with a preview of the WAHS upcoming spring musical "The Sound of Music." Families with children of all ages will be able to take part in a broad range of activities including ceramics, hands-on arts and crafts and performances by student groups that include: 

    • Meriwether Lewis Elementary Music Students
    • Henley Middle School Jazz Band
    • WAHS Jazz Band
    • WAHS Choir
    • WAHS Orchestra
    • WAHS Ceramics
    • Preview of the WAHS Musical "The Sound of Music"

    During the silent auction, families will be able to bid on music lessons, original art, gift certificates to local restaurants, services and more. 

    ArtFest in the West is sponsored by Western Albemarle County Schools' Fine Arts Departments and Arts in Western Education, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Any businesses interested in being a business sponsor for ArtFest or donating to the Silent Auction are urged to contact Val Newcomb at the number or email below.  

    About Arts in Western Education (AWE)

    AWE is a non-profit organization created to bring support, awareness, and celebration of the arts in the Western Albemarle feeder pattern schools.* AWE is a 501(c)3 non-profit charitable organization. ArtFest in the West is held annually in February or March and teachers in the visual and performing arts are encouraged to submit grants in the fall of each school year. Learn ore at ArtsInWesternEducation.org. 

    Media Contact: Val Newcomb, 434-806-1159, valnewcomb@icloud.com

    NOTE: if in the case of inclement weather, the event will move from February 22nd to March 1st. 

    Poster at right available for use in communications. Click here for a FULL SIZE version.

  • Download PDF Version


    Contact: Jennifer Aminuddin
    804/832-4493; snowdrifters@comcast.net

    ArtFest in the West Raises $13,600 for Arts Education

    Non-Profit Organization Arts in Western Education Awards Grants for Art sPrograms in Six Western Albemarle County Public Schools

    (Charlottesville,VA)–Following a successful fund raising event, ArtFest in the West, held on March 9, 2018,the non-profit organization Arts in Western Education (AWE) is distributing grants for a wide range of arts projects, fulfilling requests from arts teachers in western Albemarle County public schools. The Art Fest in the West event was a lively night of family fun with approximately 300 in attendance, featuring student music and drama performances,visual arts displays, a silent auction, and “Out of this World” kids’ activities.

    The event raised over $13,600 and will allow AWE to fund twelve grants submitted by arts teachers.

    The following grants have been made:

    • Western Albemarle High School (WAHS) Choir – concert dresses

    • WAHS Band – parade banner and sound system

    • WAHS Drama – speakers, transmitter/receivers, and microphone system

    • WAHS Creative Writing – Myriad publication printing costs

    • WAHS Fine Arts – Blue Trees Project and acrylic wall mount frame

    • Henley Middle School Choir – concert dresses

    • Brownsville Elementary – drying racks for art projects

    • Crozet Elementary – six Amazon Fire tablets and materials for costumes/props

    • Merriweather Lewis Elementary – sound system

      Jim Lambert, President of the AWE Board of Directors, said, “We appreciate the support of everyone who joined us for this extraordinary evening and supported our efforts to provide quality arts programming for all students in the western part of our county.”

      Platinum and Gold Sponsors of this year’s ArtFest in the West were The Boar’s Head Inn & Spa, Charlottesville Aquatics, Craig Builders, Light House Studio, Raising Cane’s, Stanley Martin Homes, Savvy Rest, and WorldStrides. The business community’s support, with sponsorships and in-kind donations, made the event a success.