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THE ART OF MUSIC:  A Partnership Fund-Raising Event to Benefit
This Century Art Gallery and The Williamsburg Symphonia


A History of the Organizations


The Williamsburg Symphonia was founded in 1984 by Carl Andersen, Elnore Andersen, Marian Harding, Mary Selby, and Rebecca Siegel for the purpose of presenting educational programs for children featuring classical music ("Peter and the Wolf" was the first). Their initial performances were so well received that the founders planned a schedule of concerts for the general public. The Symphonia continues to introduce young audiences to classical music in a way they can enjoy and understand, and it presents subscription concerts that attract a wide following and achieve critical acclaim. This season the Symphonia continues its mission to be a world class professional chamber orchestra in the Williamsburg community as well as a major player in the larger cultural arts scene throughout the greater Peninsula area. As a result of the conductor search last year introducing four highly qualified candidates, the Williamsburg Music Association Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the appointment of Janna Hymes-Bianchi as Music Director of The Williamsburg Symphonia. Concertmaster Jonathan Mott continues to provide his outstanding artistic leadership.

     

This Century Art Gallery, established in 1959 as The Twentieth Century Gallery and renamed at the advent of the 21st century in 2001, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural life of Williamsburg and the Hampton Roads artistic community. When it was founded, the Gallery was intended to provide "a stimulating and meaningful new dimension to the Williamsburg cultural life, seeking to balance contemporary art against the traditional background of the eighteenth-century capital." The Gallery's vision today is to be recognized as the leading resource for outstanding contemporary arts and crafts in the greater Williamsburg area and in the surrounding Historic Triangle region. For close to half a century, the Gallery has presented eight or more annual exhibitions of original works of art by national, international, regional, and local artists. This Century Art Gallery has engaged the talents of its member artists in extensive public outreach programs, including workshops and demonstrations in area schools as well as art classes for inmates at the Peninsula Regional Jail.


The Williamsburg Symphonia League, originally called "Symphonia Obbligato," had its origins in the late 1980s as an auxiliary group charged with providing much needed financial and volunteer support for the Symphonia's performances and other activities. In 1991 Obbligato became a separate tax-exempt organization with its own Bylaws, board of directors, and officers. Obbligato was reorganized in 1994, and its name was changed to The Williamsburg Symphonia League to attract broader volunteer interest and support. The League's mission and tax status were unchanged by this reorganization, but its volunteers, now members, gained the right to elect their own directors and officers and to have a greater voice in planning activities. The League and its volunteers remain essential The Williamsburg Symphonia's operations. Current fund-raising projects to benefit the nonprofit music association include the Stay Away III (a clever "nonevent" designed by Fred & Peg Czufin), a cookbook, and The Art of Music, a collaborative painted-violins project benefiting both the Symphonia and This Century Art Gallery.

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Karen Schwartz