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Cultural Center to celebrate FestivALL Charleston with art activities June 24 and a concert June 25

6/19/2006

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History will join in the celebration of FestivALL Charleston with art programs on Saturday, June 24, and Sunday, June 25, at the Cultural Center, State Capitol Complex, Charleston. Saturday’s activities, which include a drumming demonstration with audience participation and hands-on arts stations, will take place from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. On Sunday, FestivALL Charleston will present the Charleston Ballet and the Montclaire String Quartet in concert at 3 p.m. Both day’s events are free and open to the public.

Saturday’s art activities are geared for children, but visitors of all ages are invited to participate. Mark Davis, musician and educator, will lead participants in a “Different Drums, Drumming Circle” program. Davis will bring his collection of drums from various countries, share their history, demonstrate different drumming techniques and invite visitors to play them.

Davis, of Charleston, is a native West Virginian and graduate of West Virginia University (WVU) where he majored in voice and was a member of the highly acclaimed WVU African Drum and Dance Ensemble. He has studied at the African International Center of Music and Dance, University of Ghana in West Africa. His travels to Africa have made his love for drumming a lifelong passion. Davis will be returning to Ghana this summer for more studies. Davis teaches music full time at Elk Elementary Center, and plays drums with the VooDoo Katz, the Montaneros and Comparsa.

The art stations will feature artist and educator Caryl Toth who will invite visitors to create their own works of art. Participants will be able to try their hand at simple painting and mixed media projects.

A skilled artist for more than 30 years, Toth has had solo exhibitions at The Art Store, Charleston; University of Charleston; Maxine Gold Gallery, Mill Valley, Calif.; and Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, Del., among others. Her work has been in juried exhibitions nationwide and won awards at the West Virginia Juried Exhibition at the Cultural Center; Crosscurrents at the Stifel Fine Arts Center, Wheeling; Allied Artists of West Virginia Annual Exhibition, Charleston; and at the Print, Painting and Drawing Exhibition at the Parkersburg Arts Center, to name a few. Her work is included in numerous collections including The South Bank Corporation, Miami, Fla.; the First Huntington National Bank, Huntington; Museum in the Community, Hurricane; and many more.

Toth, of Hurricane, taught for more than 25 years. From 1980 - 2002 she was a teacher for the artistically gifted in Putnam County schools, earning a Teacher of the Year Award in Putnam County in 1982. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Marshall University.

Sunday’s program is a 90-minute concert in the Norman L. Fagan West Virginia State Theater of the Cultural Center, with classical and contemporary dance numbers performed by the Charleston Ballet and featuring live music by the Montclaire String Quartet. The ballet company is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season, having been formed in 1956 by Andre Van Damme. Kim Pauley, the company’s principal dancer and artistic director since 1989, began her career under the tutelage of Van Damme. The Montclaire String Quartet is marking its 15th season in residence with the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra. A large part of the quartet’s mission is to bring classical music to children throughout West Virginia and the musicians play 40-60 school programs per year.

For more information about FestivALL Charleston activities at the Cultural Center, contact Jeff Pierson, individual artist coordinator for the Division, at (304) 558-0240, ext. 717, or by e-mail at jeff.a.pierson@wv.gov.

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. The Cultural Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. Visit the Division’s website at www.wvculture.org for more information about programs of the Division. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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