Pro-Art Brings Mad River’s “Freedom Riders” to Big Stone Gap | Sunday stories

BIG STONE GAP, Va. — The Pro-Art Association, in partnership with the Appalachian African American Cultural Center and UVA Wise, will host Mad River Theater Works in Southwest Virginia this week for a special presentation of “Freedom Riders “.

The latest addition to the canon of American history plays by Mad River, “Freedom Riders” explores the valiant and courageous personalities behind one of the most critical chapters in the history of the civil rights movement.

Showtime is Friday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Union High School in Big Stone Gap, Virginia.

General admission tickets are $15 at the door, and all children and students are admitted free. Pro-Art season tickets will be honored for the show. For everyone’s safety, Pro-Art asks customers to wear a mask for the duration of the performance.

“Freedom Riders” demonstrates the importance of working together to make a difference and specifically how nonviolent protest has been used to combat the cruelties of segregation. In 1961, 15 years after the Supreme Court banned segregation, Southern bus lines and cities continued to enforce a rigid system separating black and white citizens. The freedom runners, black and white Americans, decided to travel together on buses that crossed state lines, deliberately ignoring the hateful segregation practices that were commonplace. The unforgettable heroes and facts behind the significant events depicted in “Freedom Riders” are essential to a comprehensive understanding of the Civil Rights era and American history.

Mad River Theater Works is an acclaimed touring ensemble that creates vibrant, evocative plays with music for families and young audiences, based on American history and folklore. Founded in 1978, Mad River presents original productions that explore traditional stories in a unique and innovative style.

Pro-Art’s mission is to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for residents and students of Wise, Lee and Dickenson Counties and the City of Norton. Pro-Art is supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Slemp Foundation, University of Virginia’s College at Wise, and Mountain Empire Community College.

People with mobility issues are encouraged to call or email the Pro-Art office to arrange parking, which varies from location to location. For changing conditions related to the global pandemic, severe weather, or similar unforeseen circumstances, customers are encouraged to visit proartva.org or call 276-376-4520 for the latest information. Customers can also email [email protected] to learn more.

Season passes can be purchased at proartva.orgin person at any salon, or by calling 276-376-4520.

About Bernice D. Brewer

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