The Bluemont Concert Series has been a treasured tradition in many Virginia communities, including our own, for a very long time. Many younger residents may not even remember a time before it was a part of life in Fauquier County. So many families would attend the free concerts given around the region for entertainment on hot summer nights. The concerts were popular, wholesome, cultural experiences for families to enjoy together, something that is difficult to find in today’s world. In addition to sponsoring other valuable musical, cultural and artistic events, BCS was also responsible for organizing First Night Warrenton, another family-friendly event that was looked forward to by many in Fauquier County every year.
Sadly, these wonderful traditions have come to an end due to financial hurdles that cannot be overcome. Our community will surely miss all aspects of the Bluemont Concert Series, and we sincerely thank them and their supporters for all the amazing things they have brought to our community over the years.
If you have enjoyed Bluemont Concert Series in the past, please consider donating to their gofundme page to help them tie up loose ends as they gracefully exit the stage one last time.
It is with a heavy heart that the Bluemont Concert Series Board of Directors announces the termination of Bluemont programs and administrative operations, effective June 30, 2018. Following a series of planning sessions over the past 18 months, the Board decided that the non-profit Bluemont Concert Series as currently organized lacked the financial footing to continue.
Since 1976, Bluemont’s unique public/private partnership has been a part of the cultural fabric of our 34 Virginia communities. It has presented more than 9,648 cultural programs in local schools, nursing homes, special events and summer concerts to 3.2 million families and visitors. Bluemont’s extraordinary cultural legacy was built on the generous support of local government and private donor partners as well as the participating communities it served. We are immensely proud of our history over the past 41 years and treasure the many wonderful memories created by quality entertainment and cultural enrichment that we were so fortunate to present.
In an ongoing attempt to maintain our popular cultural programs, Bluemont has been actively engaged in reactive downsizing for the past 10 years. Traditional funding from state and local government appropriations has been steadily reduced from $263,000 in fy2008 to $59,434 in fy2018.
Bluemont strived to maintain community programs while offsetting the funding deficit each year by cutting costs and seeking other sources of revenue. While we continue to believe that music and art are critical to a well-rounded education, and vital to our beloved communities, our programs require resources to operate. Despite a storied forty plus year history, and ongoing conscientious budgeting, our resources have been exhausted.
Effective January 1, 2018, the Bluemont Board of Directors has with great reluctance released our award winning Executive Director, Lily Dunning Widman and her staff. The Board greatly appreciates Ms. Widman’s outstanding professional service and we wish her much success in her future endeavors. She and her staff gave countless hours to make Bluemont truly special and their commitment to excellence is to be commended.
Bluemont began in 1976 as a series of concerts and old time country dances in the Bluemont community but grew to include regional cultural programming in many Virginia communities such as our Artists In Education, Healthcare Outreach in nursing homes, and various other music, theatre, and dance special events. Bluemont stepped in to fill this important need when school budgets in the cultural programs were non-existent. We built support for the programs through the years and have been blessed to share our passion for the arts with young and old alike.
Programs like Bluemont do not exist without leaders and visionaries. The Bluemont Board’s recognition and appreciation for our many volunteers and sponsors cannot be adequately expressed in words. We are mindful that without their commitment and energy, Bluemont would have never existed and flourished for over 40 years. They have given more to the heart, soul and vitality of Virginia than they know.
It has been an honor and a privilege to fulfill the Bluemont mission by helping to build our cultural programs for the people in our communities. We thank everyone for their support over the years, and will continue to treasure fond memories of families singing, dancing and sharing art in their own community.
Bluemont’s Board and volunteers are working hard to do the significant work involved with closing a 40 year institution. In order to make a graceful exit the organization has obligations to fulfill and a small debt to retire. Bluemont must raise $7,500 to close the doors gracefully and meet all obligations. Please considering making a donation today- visit our gofundme page at: www.gofundme.com/bluemont or mail a check to P.O. Box 802, Berryville, VA 22611. Every gift counts.