PRO-ART Completes Record-Breaking 46th Season

Wise, VA –The Pro-Art Association ended its 46th season with record numbers of attendance and ticket sales. Since last August, the nonprofit has served more than 8,500 people through live programming, including over 5,000 students across the region. Thanks in part to an overwhelming response from young adults to a live performance of Old Gods of Appalachia featuring Yuri Lowenthal and Cecil Baldwin—and Wise natives and show creators, Steve Shell and Cam Collins—Pro-Art ticket sales increased over 600% for the second season in a row.

Swiss Theater Troupe MUMMENSCHANZ had children and adults alike in fits of laughter and awe, and the National Players put their spin on the classics “Fences” and “Much Ado About Nothing” during a residency at UVA Wise. Continued partnership with Mountain Empire Community College contributed to a successful 51st annual Home Craft Days celebration in Big Stone Gap.

“We enjoyed welcoming many new faces to the Pro-Art show-going community this year and are grateful for our many tried-and-true patrons who sustain our cultural efforts as we continue to stretch ourselves and grow,” said Executive Director Michael McNulty.

The organization is up 37% in local government contributions thanks to generous funding from the towns of St. Paul and Clintwood. In their 46th season, Pro-Art partnered with the town of St. Paul to bring legendary duo Robin and Linda Williams to the newly restored Lyric Theater. World-folk ensemble Project Locrea brought a profound fusion of world music to the Goodloe stage at MECC, and the VMFA Artmobile rolled through the City of Norton for a residency that allowed students and community members onto a mobile art museum! Traditional music was featured prominently this season with performances from Joe Troop & Friends, Tim O’Brien and Jan Fabricius, Eastern Kentucky’s CornMaiz String Band, April Verch & Cody Walters, and most recently, when foot-stomping string band After Jack played Clintwood’s Jettie Baker Center. The highlights of the spring were stunning performances from Richmond Ballet and Symphony of the Mountains.

Pro-Art would like to thank the community for the generous outpouring of support throughout the season and during their 46 years in service to the region. The organization is asking for feedback on the 2022-2023 season and calling for suggestions for those to come. Pro-Art invites its audiences to fill out the end of season survey at (approximately 3 minutes of your time). They also welcome your phone call or email at (276) 376-4520 or

Sign up for Pro-Art’s mailing lists to stay up to date with upcoming performances and receive a season brochure in the mail. Sign up at and follow the nonprofit on social media at @proartva.

Pro-Art is supported in part by the Virginia Commission for the Arts, which receives support from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the C. Bascom Slemp Foundation, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise, Mountain Empire Community College, the Columbus Phipps Foundation, and the Lee County Community Foundation.


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