Arts and Culture thrive in Page County
In a pioneering county that saw some of the first settlers west of the Blue Ridge, artists and musicians are taking their places alongside historic sites, world-class tourist destinations and breathtaking scenery.
The people of Page County, Virginia, are making a concerted effort to bring arts and culture to this popular destination and the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center is at the core of this movement.
Chamber President, Briana Campbell is passionate about fostering this creativity, working with both private and public entities to that end. Several organizations and businesses fall under the Chamber’s umbrella, from those teaching dance, music and art to galleries and a performing arts venue at the center of Luray.
Performing Arts Luray is a grass-roots effort celebrating its fifth season and is housed in the former BB&T bank building. At the heart of the program are the PAL Players, a local troupe offering popular dinner theater performances. In addition, regional artists bring a variety of music from Big Band to Bluegrass to an audience made up of locals and tourists. Summer finds nearly 100 residents of all ages onstage for the annual Summer Musical Theater Workshop.
“We are blessed to have so much talent and support in our community,” says PAL Board member and PAL Players’ Technical Director Linda Dudley. “We appreciate the opportunity to provide a creative outlet for our performers and our patrons!”
Singers and musicians also find creative outlets with the Page County Community Choir and the Regional Wind and String Ensemble. The annual Christmas Concert by the Community Choir has become a staple of the holiday season. And local eateries have developed weekly performances that augment the live music scene.
In the county seat, the Luray Downtown Initiative is developing an Arts and Cultural District.
“Our goal is to strengthen the performing arts, visual arts, art education, festivals and special events within the downtown area. While doing so, LDI hopes to draw our arts community closer and project a magnificent feel of the arts to locals and tourists alike,” says LDI Executive Director Catherine Stewart. LDI also has completed several successful seasons of outdoor concerts. “The Evenings on Main Concert Series has blossomed beyond our wildest dreams. How lovely it is to see both locals and tourists enjoying a wide variety of live performing musicians on the Ruffner Plaza in the center of Downtown,” Stewart adds.
In the neighboring towns of Shenandoah and Stanley, beloved annual festivals give residents a sense of place and foster the celebration of local heritage. Stanley’s Homecoming during Independence Day and Shenandoah’s Annual Craft Show are but two examples.
With so much synergy and enthusiasm on the part of these groups, Page County is set to become a hub of arts and culture in the Shenandoah Valley. Be sure to come for a visit and take advantage of our arts community.