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Television Show Spotlighting the Arts Premieres June 26

BOONE–Many people today experience music, dance and the visual arts only through electronic media, like television or the Internet.

But programs at Appalachian State University are making sure that live performances and exhibits—as well as public participation—remain part of residents’ everyday life.

The university’s cable television show “Appalachian Perspective” spotlights these initiatives in the episode “Keeping the Arts Accessible.” The program airs locally June 26 through July 28.

Chancellor Francis T. Borkowski hosts the 30-minute program. His guests are Denise Ringler, marketing director for Appalachian’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and Hank Foreman, director and chief curator of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.

The cultural arts “enrich the human spirit and bring beauty to our world,” Borkowski says. “But they aren’t simply performances to listen to or artworks to look at. They can be much more engaging.”

Among the university’s outreach programs in the arts are An Appalachian Summer Festival, which brings world-renowned and new and emerging artists to campus each July. Now in its 16th season, the festival consistently has been ranked among the “top 20 events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The festival July 1-29 includes the Duke Ellington Orchestra, now led by the grandson of the legendary jazz musician; internationally acclaimed violinist Pinchas Zukerman; Grammy Award-winning country music singer Kenny Rogers; the North Carolina Symphony; and innovative dance companies such as the Julliard Dance Ensemble.

Collaborations with local schools for activities such as “Creating Original Opera” tap into children’s creative potential, foster self-confidence and generate enthusiasm for the arts, Ringler says. In “Creating Original Opera,” rising fourth, fifth and sixth graders engage in all aspects of an opera, including writing, designing sets and costumes, and presenting their production July 28.

In the visual arts, the university presents exhibitions by artists such as American landscape artist Wolf Kahn, the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and the Halpert Biennial Exhibition. The Catherine Smith Gallery provides tours for school-age children and education packets for teachers, in order to help young people better understand the visual arts and use them to enhance learning.

Ringler and Foreman also discuss Appalachian’s partnerships with organizations such as the Watauga County Arts Council and upcoming community outreach programs through the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. The center will be located in the former Methodist church building in downtown Boone.

“Appalachian Perspective” airs locally at 6 p.m. weekdays on AppalNet’s cable Channel 76 and at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays on Charter Communications’ cable Channel 2. It is produced by Appalachian’s Office of Public Affairs.

For more information, contact producer Linda Coutant at (828) 262-2342.