By Peter Wood

mbailey-140422-0206-3327548025-o (1)It has been a tough winter to walk the streets of our small Piedmont towns. Snow and ice piled up on the sidewalks of Middleburg, yet many art lovers braved the wind and weather to enjoy gallery openings, artist talks and painting demonstrations. Now it is March and it’s time to act on the arts!

Middleburg will once again be home to Shakespeare in the ‘Burg, an amazing weekend festival that brings performances by the internationally acclaimed American Shakespeare Center. The festival is set for March 27-29, 2015, and kicks off with “movie night.” This year, the organizers have selected “West Side Story,” based on the Shakespeare play, “Romeo and Juliet.” It will be a fun night to enjoy hors d’oeuvres  and a glass of wine or two before seeing the movie in the wonderful Sheila C. Johnson Performing Arts Center at the Hill School, located on the edge of town.

The weekend continues with workshops on stagecraft and two plays, Hamlet on Saturday, and Much Ado About Nothing on Sunday. Another highlight is the midday performance by local actors of the one act play from the play writing completion. While that might be enough for an exciting afternoon, there is also a performance by the Crooked Angles, a husband and wife music duo. Find out more at www.shakespeareintheburg.com.

That is just one weekend! Throughout the spring, summer and fall, you will hear music in the air! Starting in April, the new 4th Friday night concert series, “Open Late” will be hosted by the National Sporting Library & Museum. Several more concerts are planned by the Middleburg Community Center on their front steps. Music will also play a role during the local summer art fairs – Art in the Pink Box Park, and at the town-wide arts celebration Art in the Burg, on June 20th.

There is more art outside Middleburg too. Traveling west you will find Millwood, VA, where the Duvall Designs Gallery reopens, featuring Winslow McCagg on March 14th. Don’t forget to stop at the historic Locke Store for lunch or to pick up a bottle of wine. Down the road from Middleburg you will find fresh works in The Plains at Live An Artful Life Gallery and Zig-Zag Gallery. So much variety of arts in our small towns.

The Piedmont region is home to so many talented artists – authors, musicians, visual artists and performers. You can find all the art events on www.middleburgarts.org. Come enjoy the arts with us!

Peter Wood is a local metal sculptor, founder of the Middleburg Arts Project and Chair of the Middleburg Arts Council. More about his art: www.rustymetal.com. Learn about the art events in the region at www.middleburgarts.org