Dave Eggar

Dave Eggar, a Grammy-winning cellist, will lead an all-star lineup of musicians to kick off the Pro-Art Association’s Picnic with the Arts Summer Series.

The Pro-Art Association invites friends and families to get back out and enjoy the arts with its Picnic with the Arts Summer Series. The series offers opportunities for local communities to celebrate the arts and one another’s company in safe outdoor settings across Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties in Southwest Virginia.

Dave Eggar & Friends will kick off the series with ChamberGrass on Saturday at 5 p.m. on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap. Admission is free, and the event is open to the public.

Local food trucks will be on site. Community members are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to picnic on the lawn.

Eggar, a Grammy-winning extreme cellist, joins forces with the Knoxville Symphony’s Sean Claire and blues singer extraordinaire Jamen Denton in an adventurous evening of classical music, bluegrass, blues and rock. From Bach to The Beatles, bluegrass to Brahms, the event will take the listener on a fun and rambunctious musical journey. Classical guitarist Phil Faconti and world percussionist Levi Trent fill out the band to create an experience the audience won’t soon forget.

Then, on June 26, Pro-Art Association will welcome Symphony of the Mountains’ celebrated string ensemble, the Mountain Strings, for two outdoor performances. The ensemble will perform at 3 p.m. at the Cumberland Bowl Park Amphitheater in Jonesville, Virginia, and at 7 p.m. at the June Tolliver Playhouse in Big Stone Gap. The performances, which are also free and open to the public, will include a variety of styles, including pieces by Mozart, Strauss, Bizet and others.

Additional Picnic with the Arts events will be announced as the programs are finalized. Anticipated projects include a community art installation, Indian dance classes, and Rangoli workshops in sand art. The series will culminate with the 10th anniversary of the Symphony by the Lake concert at UVA Wise at sunset on July 24.

Pro-Art’s mission is to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for residents and students in Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties and the city of Norton.

The Pro-Art Association is offering all the events in its 2020-2021 season at no cost to the community. To learn more, visit proartva.org or follow the Pro-Art Association on social media (@ProArtVA). You can also call the office at (276) 376-4520 or email pro-art@uvawise.edu.