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Blue Ridge Music Trails Announces Virtual Workshops

The Trail Ahead: Current Trends and Innovations in the Music Industry

Join us for a series of free online workshops where you’ll find ideas and options for virtual opportunities for the music business. The three workshops will feature expert panelists including International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) award-winning artists who will share with participants what they’ve learned during the COVID-19 crisis. The workshops will be offered via Zoom and livestreamed on Facebook @blueridgemusictrails. Please register below for the individual workshops or learn more here.

Cutting through the Noise: Harnessing the Power of Social Media

Wednesday, June 24, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic has radically shifted the role of the arts sector. Panelists will discuss building a social media voice, strategies for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and emerging trends.

Presenters will include Darren Nicholson, award-winning traditional musician and member of Balsam Range; Laura Boosinger, traditional musician and director of Madison County Arts Council; Sandra Davidson, North Carolina Arts Council content director; and Leslie Hartley, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area communications manager.


Going Virtual: Tips and Techniques to Present Meaningful Streaming Events

Wednesday, July 8, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on live, in-person performances and lessons. Now, artists, venues, and presenters are turning to virtual opportunities to support their income and provide their constituents and communities with the art they need. Panelists will share emerging online trends for performance and arts education.

Presenters will include Sam Wharton, a member of Songs from the Road Band and founder of Bands2Fans livestreaming concerts; Kruger Brothers, internationally renowned, award-winning musicians; Beth Fields, Stecoah Valley Center executive director; Sandra Davidson, content director and Sam Gerweck, program administrator with the North Carolina Arts Council.


Necessity is the Mother of Invention: Adopting New Ways to Connect

Wednesday, July 15, 2 – 3:30 p.m.

From benefit concerts and online fundraising to pivoting their services, venues, arts centers, and artists are adopting new strategies to connect with their audiences and communities to generate income and help others in need.

Speakers include Frank and Allie Lee, traditional musicians; Emily Epley, Cleveland County travel and tourism director; Scott Woody, owner of Isis Music Hall; Carly Jones, senior program director and Zoe van Buren, folklife director with the North Carolina Arts Council.

Funding for the project is provided by First Citizens Bank and the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area with workshop content support by the North Carolina Arts Council.