One month ago, Jefferson Center was able to safely welcome back patrons to not just one, but two, amazing performances by two powerhouse artists at the top of their professions, Bela Fleck and Gladys Knight. We hosted two packed rooms with audiences that were not only appreciative for the opportunity to be back together but understanding of the challenges we have faced and willing to be flexible when asked.

In April’s inaugural publication of The Session, I made the analogy of jam sessions to current times. Much like when jazz musicians come together to improvise and create together, Jefferson Center staff have worked tirelessly to do the same in what has continued to be confusing and chaotic times. All said, I am proud of the decisions we have made about the safest and most responsible way to gather nearly 900 patrons in Shaftman Performance Hall. They have been hard decisions with both expected and unexpected consequences and encouragements along the way. On the whole, I continue to believe masking and vaccination cards lower risk and increase overall safety and sense of security for the majority of our patrons. I trust that by doing so we are ensuring a sustainable comeback for our live venue that will continue into the spring, which is the driving force of my decision making—it has to be. 

The pandemic has caused sustainability discussions to evolve in the live music industry beyond just that of financial sustainability in the traditional sense, especially for nonprofits. COVID19 has pushed that conversation into risk mitigation where we now have to navigate how we protect our most precious commodity from future closures and loss of revenue that could result in shutting our doors either temporarily or potentially forever if rescue money is unavailable. 

I am confident Jefferson Center will continue to thrive due to having a strong and stable board and staff, a solid balance sheet, and generous donors who value and generously invest in Roanoke’s premiere performing arts and community center. I am so grateful to each of you for helping us prevail these past 17 months, not to mention the past 21 years!
Live music during the Season Celebration Party.
For the 50+ of you who were able to come, I hope you enjoyed the Season Celebration Party with all the good company, music, food and drink! It was so good to see you in person and welcome you back to Jefferson Center for the 2021-22 Season. Between now and March, I hope to visit with all Director's Circle members to share important information about the future sustainability of Jefferson Center. Your perspective and insights are important to me, and I hope you will have time to share them with me either in person, or by phone or Zoom. If you want to meet sooner rather than later, I invite you to email me directly to set something up.

Until then, I would like to close by sharing with you a sneak peek of a video that was just produced by Jordan Harman, our education coordinator. In addition to supporting our world class artists each year, your gifts help to underwrite our Harry and Lavon Webb Arts Education Center, including the Music Lab where this program takes place. This video highlights a weeklong artist mentorship summer program we hosted featuring Grammy-award winning producer 808-Ray Cobbs, a former Music Lab student who has worked with artists such as Beyoncé and Jay-Z. 808-Ray taught seven students the skills they need to become professional beatmakers. The week culminated with the entire group creating a new song together. The music used to sample for their final collaborative song was provided by the Patrick Henry High School Orchestra under the direction of Jeff Midkiff playing Felix Mendelssohn's String Symphony in B Minor. Please enjoy the melody—it’s killer!
Please mark your calendar to join us for these one-of-a-kind evenings! Director's Circle members receive 15 percent off all ticket and series subscription purchases.

It has been so good to be back this season, and we have had a few amazing shows we want to celebrate!

Our first show this season was actually a free concert for the community in the Downtown Market Square. We brought in New Orlean's street Jazz band "Tuba Skinny" and had an perfect evening of music, dancing, and summer night weather.
Tuba Skinny performance in the Downtown Market Square.
Then in September we were back in the Shaftman Performance Hall for two fulfilling nights. Béla Fleck "My Bluegrass Heart" brought together an all-star crew to give tribute to his bluegrass roots and then just two nights later, legendary Gladys Knight charmed and wowed a full house of music lovers.
Pre-Show in the Atrium.
Béla Fleck "My Bluegrass Heart"
Gladys Knight
The room felt great, and it was a wonderful treat to welcome music lovers back in our halls. We are looking forward to many more magical nights at Jefferson Center this season.
As a Director’s Circle donor, you are a part of a distinctive group of people who generously give $1,000 or more annually to support Jefferson Center’s mission. Membership runs July 1 through June 30 of each year, and the names below reflect people who have become members of the Director’s Circle since July 1, 2020. We are grateful for the support of this important group of donors who account for more than 80 percent of our individual donations every year. Your commitment to the performing arts is vital to the enrichment of many through unique arts and cultural opportunities in our community that transform thousands of lives every year. Thank you!!
Alvin B. Fink Memorial Fund
Dr. Timothy Andriano
Warren Bickel
Allen and Katherine Boaz
Mr. Joseph Brabant
Peter and Christine Brinckerhoff
Greg and Donna Brock
Mr. Joseph Mott and Ms. Sharon Burnham
Ceres Foundation Inc.
George and Katherine Clemo
Ms. Meredith Coleman
Community Foundation Serving Western
Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Crawford
Barbara and Warner Dalhouse
Dr. Kevin F. Ducey and Dr. Minh-Chau Dang
Chuck and Linda Eanes
Whit and Lauren Ellerman
Mr. and Mrs. William Elliot
Trista and William Farrell
Joe and Janice Fostek
Mr. and Mrs. Heywood Fralin
Ms. Katherine Fralin
Dr. and Mrs. Paul Frantz
Mr. and Mrs. Spencer Frantz
Bo and Krista Frith
Mrs. Marianne Gandee
Edward and Jeecy Goyette
Harry and Penny G. Schwarz Gift Fund
Ms. Anne Jenkins
Ms. Lucinda Jennings
Robyn and David Johnsen
Mr. George A. Kegley
Gail and Dick Kepley
Nathan and Angela Kerr
Ms. Verlyne Simmons Key

Anna and Tom Lawson
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Levan
Mr. Bill Lester
Mr. Jack Loeb and Ms. Heidi F. Krisch
Mrs. Laura Logan
Mr. Timothy Marshall
Mr. and Mrs. Tom Mohr
Mr. and Mrs. Bryan Musselwhite
Drs. Michael and Sue Nussbaum
Cyrus and Amber Pace
Robert and Jeanne Pitner
Mr. and Mrs. William Poe
Malcolm Quigley and Peter Volosin
Pat and Donna Sams
Cynthia and Henry Schaefer
Howard and Tracy Shumate
Mr. and Mrs. Charles E. Speck
Lori and Steve Strauss
Ms. Lesleigh B. Strauss
Drs. Marc and Cathy Swanson
Mr. and Mrs. Joel Tenzer
Ms. Marjorie Tenzer
Tom and Mary Evelyn Tielking
Alan and Kim Turner
Joe Vaughn and Connie Brockenbrough-Vaughn
Anthony and Gerald E. Wade
Ms. Karen Waldron and Mr. Shawn Ricci
Dana and Peggy Walker
Mr. John Walker
Ms. Katie Wallace
Linda Gavel Webb
Mr. and Mrs. J. David Wine
Scott and Bonny Winter
Mr. and Mrs. Allen Wirt
Mr. Walt Young
Ms. Caryl Zaronikos
Richard Zue and Mollye Otis