Friends of the Arts Needed

On Thursday, February 24 at 12 noon the Berkeley Arts Council has been invited to speak to the Berkeley County Council about a request that they designate March 19 as Arts Appreciation Day, supporting our Arts Expo event at the Mall that day. If you can spare a little time, just being at the Council session helps show that you care about the Arts in our county. We need to let others know that the Arts deserve attention!  Pass this on to your FB friends as well.

The Council meets in the Dunn Bldg., 400 W. Stephen St., Martinsburg. Allow time to park.

Want to Win $300?

Show Us You Can Dance!Cash Prizes await the top dancers at “Show Us You Can Dance!”

The Berkeley Arts Council announces a new dance competition called “Show Us You Can Dance”. It is open to young people in the four-state region. Dancers will compete for cash prizes and should register no later than March 19 to enter the preliminary auditions that will be held on April 10 at Musselman High School in Inwood, WV.  Finals competition for those selected will be May 7, also at Musselman.

There are two age levels (11 to 16 and 17 to 25) and two categories at each level (solos/duets and groups of 3 to 20). Registration fees depend on the size of the group. Dancers will compete against others performing in various styles.

Complete guidelines and downloadable registration packets are available online at Questions may be emailed to  Phone:  304-262-1611; leave message.

The project is co-sponsored by Martinsburg-Berkeley County Parks & Recreation. Proceeds will support the development of arts activities for youth and adults.

Announcing Arts Expo!

A brand new event aimed at Amplifying the Arts
is titled Arts Expo, and it happens at
Martinsburg Mall on Saturday, March 19.

Arts Expo will be a day of arts demonstrations, exhibits, and performances with opportunities for artists and non-profit arts organizations to participate.

Since March is National Youth Art Month, activities focus especially on encouraging Mall visitors to discover their own creativity. A group of mini-workshops will offer youngsters—and adults—a chance to see how local artists actually produce their work.

Activities will include painting, pottery, photography, basketry, marquetry, carving and music. Fifteen artists are participating. Nonprofit arts organizations will describe their activities and welcome interested neighbors.

Other opportunities include The Berkeley County Strings ‘instrument petting zoo’ and Musselman High School drama students will be on stage with selections from their current productions.

The Arts Expo program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture and History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

More details on the event including information about artists exhibit and sales opportunites and organizational information booths is on the Berkeley Arts Council Web Site.

Deadline Approaching Art and Earth Exhibit

Only six days to the February 15 postmark deadline!

The Berkeley Arts Council ( and The Arts Centre ( are joining forces to bring a juried art exhibit to The Arts Centre gallery in Martinsburg, WV. The exhibit will be held April 8 – May 1, 2011 in conjunction with the “Art and Earth Celebration” produced by ArtBerkeley, Inc. as an Earth Day observance.

The exhibit, which will be produced by the Berkeley Arts Council, will have the theme “Art and Earth: My Art – My World. ” Artists in all media from throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region are asked to submit works that express their feelings about nature and the environment.

The Juror for the exhibit will be Susan Bloom, Professor and Chair of the Art and Art History Department of McDaniels College in Westminster, Maryland. Ms Bloom is an accomplished teacher, artist, photographer and author.

Details, including entry forms and the full schedule are posted on the Berkeley Arts Council web site ( For more information contact Rip Smith at 304-596-0873 or email

City Club to hear about progress in the arts

Martinsburg’s City Club luncheon on Wednesday, February 16 will feature a report on progress in the local arts community, including breaking news about Berkeley Arts Council projects scheduled for the coming months. A continuation of an ongoing series of presentations to the informal noontime gatherings, this month’s speakers will recap the activities of the arts organization, which was founded partly in response to past City Club programs.

Presenters include Rip Smith and Malinda Shaver, who took action to create an arts council for Berkeley County with the mission of supporting artists and arts organizations. “We felt that a networking effort would help take advantage of the strong resources we already have, plus create more momentum and influence,” said Shaver.

The Berkeley Arts Council’s mission includes expanding communication and awareness about local arts resources, and making all arts available and accessible to area residents.

The monthly City Club gatherings are open to interested members of the community. Hosted at The MacFarland House, cost for luncheon is $11 if reserved by Feb. 14; or $13 if not reserved. Send email to

Arts Day at the Capitol

52 arts groups and advocates filled the upper rotunda of the WV state capitol building in Charleston on January 31

The Berkeley Arts Council was one of 52 arts organizations from all over the state that set up displays for the Arts Day at the Capitol event in Charleston. Our goal was to participate in a strong showing of support for the arts and take advantage of the opportunity to talk with our state legislators about why we believe that they should support the arts. We also talked about our partner organizations and other collaborative relationships as we continue to build opportunities for our arts community.

Our display emphasized three main themes: communication, collaboration, and opportunity.

We also took advantage of the opportunity to learn about other arts programs throughout the state and to talk with other arts leaders as well as staff from the Commission on the Arts.

Overall it was an interesting and informative day.