Justin Poole, portraying Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and Jerry Holsopple, both professors at Eastern Mennonite University, received funding to present their multi-media production “Bonhoeffer: Cell 39,” at Court Square Theater, in March 2022. They are among several EMU-affiliated grantees to win arts outreach and education funding from the Arts Council of the Valley. (Photo by DN-R)

EMU arts prominent among local spring grants

Theater and music programs at Eastern Mennonite University received Advancing the Arts grants this spring from the Arts Council of the Valley. The grants cover projects to be completed by October 31, 2022.

Professors Jerry Holsopple and Justin Poole received funding to present “Bonhoeffer: Cell 39,” a multi-media performance on the life and legacy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer at Court Square Theater, in March 2022.

Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival Executive Director Amanda Gookin earned one of three Arts for Education grants. “’Book Notes’ is a musical storytelling hour Saturday, June 18 at 1 p.m. at Massanutten Regional Library. The event features a reading by Joanne V. Gabbin, professor at James Madison University and founder of the Furious Flower Poetry Center, along with performances by five Bach Festival musicians and opportunities for children to participate through dance and singalongs. Book Notes is one of several concerts offering during festival week June 12-19.

The Shenandoah Valley Children’s Choir and director Janet Hostetter received funding for “The Shapes of Home,” a YouTube video combining the musical talents of the choir with the creative talents of Australian composer Dan Walker and Pennsylvania quilt artist Nancy Hershberger.

Yi-Ping Chen, conductor of the Shenandoah Valley Youth Symphony, and her group Caravanserai Music earned funding for a project presenting music for the Latinx Community.  

The organization has awarded a total of $15,174 to 12 Advancing the Arts grant recipients.  

“Advancing the Arts grants invest in the vital arts infrastructure of our community,” ACV Executive Director Jenny Burden said. “These awards tangibly express ACV’s continuing commitment to creative projects designed to cultivate the arts and connect communities.”

More than $436,000 has been awarded to artists and art educators since ACV launched the program in 2001. Programs are supported, in part, by 2022 Cultivating the Arts Platinum Sponsors: Kathy Moran Wealth Group, Matchbox Realty, and Riner Rentals.

Since it was established in 2000, ACV has grown into a multi-faceted community organization that fosters innovative partnerships among area businesses, civic organizations, schools, and artists. Today, ACV manages Court Square Theater and Smith House Galleries, funds local art projects grant program, and coordinates monthly First Fridays of the Valley community gatherings. ACV is supported in part by the City of Harrisonburg, Rockingham County, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. To learn more, visit valleyarts.org.