The High Country was historically isolated from the conveniences of city life. People here sustained homesteads through hard work, and learned to utilize what they harvested to create what they needed. Many of those arts and crafts developed long ago are still being produced by local artisans and craftspeople. In the heart of every town and hamlet here, you’ll find shops and co-ops, galleries and studios, and festivals as well as art supply outlets where you can watch demonstrations of authentic crafts and original artwork, sign up for a workshop or purchase a one-of-a-kind treasure as a gift, or for yourself.
An Appalachian Summer Festival
*The 36th Season of An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone NC on the Appalachian State University Campus was to take place July 2020. The festival has been cancelled and will be replaced with online productions and exclusive content. Stay tuned!!
Presented by Appalachian State Universityâ€™s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features a diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming.
The festival has risen in stature to become one of the nationâ€™s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming.
The festivalâ€™s roster of notable artists has included: The Beach Boys,Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jennifer Nettles, Sutton Foster, The Avett Brothers, Kelli Oâ€™Hara, Pat Benatar, Melissa Etheridge, Pink Martini, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers, Jerry Douglas Band, Chris Botti, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Patti Lupone, Ralph Stanley, Doc Watson, Willie Nelson, Dierks Bentley, Bruce Hornsby, Chicago, The Doobie Brothers, kd lang, Sheryl Crow, Triad Stage, the Eastern Festival Orchestra, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Pilobolus, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Lily Tomlin, Garrison Keillor and Idina Menzel, among many others.
A global film series, lectures and workshops, and a world-class visual arts program featuring two national, juried competitions and a dynamic exhibition program are also key components of the festivalâ€™s distinctive programming mix.
The Historic Orchard at Altapass
The not-for-profit Orchard is open May-October, 10 to 5. During August-October, itâ€™s open for heirloom apple picking on the hours from 10 to 4, Wednesday-Sunday. Just purchase a bag at the Apple Shed, and enjoy the guided experience in the field. Donâ€™t want to pick? Fresh bagged apples are also available for purchase in the Shed. EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS
While waiting to U-Pick with the expert, learn about the Orchardâ€™s missionâ€”visit the Monarch Butterfly and honeybee habitats to learn about the eco-system, watch the working model train to find out how the Clinchfield Railroad originated the Orchard, read about the regionâ€™s history, or take a stroll through the Butterfly Garden now under renovation. MUSIC AND FUN
The orchard offers free, live music Saturday and Sunday afternoons from June-October under the pavilion roof. Listen to the old-time music and dance a bit, or play a game on the back deck, take a picture â€œin an apple,â€ or a walk through the fields. REFRESHMENTS
Enjoy a bowl of apple pie or apple blossom with ice cream or several other delicious apple treats including fresh pared apples dripping in hot caramel.
Ashe County Arts Council
The Ashe Co. Arts Council is the "hub" of the arts in West Jefferson NC. Changing gallery exhibits,concerts,festivals, downtown murals and barn quilt information is all here!
Established in 2009, Ensemble Stage is the NC High Country's only year-round professional theater. Located in the heart of Banner Elk, our professional main stage productions, performed throughout the year, are a mix of heart-warming comedies, historical dramas, suspense thrillers, comedy farces, and thought-provoking dramas.
Our live staged radio plays pay homage to the golden days of radio as we perform adapted radio classics from the 30's like, War of the Worlds, Miracle on 34th Street, Dracula, A Christmas Carol, etc. and present them similar to the way they were originally, including all the sound effects being performed live on stage.
Our theater camps and acting classes are all conducted by theater professionals and provide a wonderful creative outlet and encourage the use of imagination. Our kids summer theater camps are limited to only 12 students and the kids write and perform their own plays.
If you are looking for something that's a lot of fun yet a little risque' our musical interactive murder mysteries will certainly fulfill your needs.
During the Summer we also have our Kids Summer Saturday Theatre Series with shows specifically selected for a child's enjoyment and performed by local college theater majors.
Finally, our annual holiday musical variety has become a Christmas time tradition. This fast-paced show is patterned after the Andy Williams and Bing Crosby television Christmas specials of the 60's and 70's with women in beautiful dresses, guys in tuxedos, lots of singing, dancing, comedy sketches and more.
Ticket prices for a show at Ensemble Stage range from $6 to $25 depending on the production.
Jones House Cultural Center
Located downtown, the 1908 Jones House is the cultural hub of Boone. Drop by daily (except Monday) for historic information on the town of Boone.
MAZIE JONES GALLERY Located in the Jones House, the rotating gallery features art from local artists and community groups. Artists receptions are held the first Friday of the month.
OLD TIME JAM Held every Thursday from 7:30-11pm, the jam is free and open to the public. Bring an instrument and join along or listen and observe.
CONCERT SERIES Indoor concerts are held in the cooler months. Check the website for dates,performers and tickets.
Summer concerts are held on the Jones House lawn every Friday at 5pm. Concerts are free, just bring a chair or blanket for seating. (Downtown parking is free after 5!)
Horn In The West
Premiering in 1952, Horn in the West is considered one of three legacy outdoor dramas in America. The play tells the story of the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution, including historic characters such as Daniel Boone, Governor Tryon, Nancy Ward of the Cherokee, Dragging Canoe and Attakullakulla. Open at 8 p.m. nightly except Mondays from late-June through mid-August. On-site Hickory Ridge Living History Museum opens at 5:30 p.m. during the Horn in the West season, as well as Saturday mornings, May-Oct.
Watauga County Arts Council
Watauga County Arts Council's features a gift shop offering local arts/crafts, four galleries, and classrooms filled with arts workshops, classes, music lessons, and Arty Parties.
Saloon Studios Live
Saloon Studios Live, West Jefferson NC, is a 19th-century western town replica and saloon on 23 acres, complete with two live stages and a recording studio. Our concerts & events are unlike anything you've experienced before!
We have video and live streaming capabilities available for all sessions.
Rent our Old West Town for your corporate or private event
"The Schaefer Center Presents..." Performance Series at Appalachian State
Presented by Appalachian State University's Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual performing arts series features the finest in touring performances from September-April.
World-class jazz, theatre, film, dance, world music and more, designed to enrich the cultural landscape of our region.
Lees-McRae Summer Theater
Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is committed to producing quality theatre experiences.
This 2022 season we present:
THE DROWSY CHAPERONE MUSICAL
7 p.m. Shows: June 28 and July 1, 2 2 p.m. Shows: June 26, 29, 30 and July 3
When a lover of classic musicals puts the vinyl of his favorite 1920s productionâ€”The Drowsy Chaperoneâ€”on his turntable, the record comes to life and the zany characters come busting through his refrigerator door! Often referred to as â€œa musical within a comedy,â€ The Drowsy Chaperone won five Tony Awards and was called â€œthe perfect Broadway musicalâ€ by The New York Magazine, praised for its humor and heart. This production will have audiences sore from laughing as they tap their toes to one show-stopping song and dance number after another.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
7 p.m. Shows: July 21, 22, 23, 26 2 p.m. Shows: July 23, 24, 27
Based on the award-winning book, Matilda tells the story of a bright young girl who decides to right the wrongs in her world by using her wit and cleverness. Teaming up with her school chums, Matilda takes on Miss Trunchbull, the evil headmistress of the school, and in the process discovers just how powerful believing in yourself can be. Full of high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs, this musical has won more than 47 international awards, with critics raving that it is â€œbrilliantâ€ and â€œnot just for the kids.â€
Appalachian Theatre of the High Country
The newly-renovated 1938 art deco landmark, the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country is now open!
The 629 seat theatre showcases regional, national and international acts, movies and corporate events year round.
The theatre also features a meeting space with separate entrance that can accommodate 113 guests.
Mountain Home Music
Mountain Home Music celebrates Appalachian musicians, dancers, storytellers and poets. The Appalachian tradition includes celtic, old-time, bluegrass and African American forms of artistic expression.
Performances take place in climate controlled indoor venues with comfortable seating in the Boone and Blowing Rock NC area from May-December.