Arts & Culture
The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center is a great place to take a class, explore ideas about the world around us, shop for something unique, or just relax for a bit. We have a small professional and a large number of dedicated volunteer so the Center is also a great place to learn more about other fun things going on in the Alleghany Highlands. We represent more than 260 working artist and crafts people who work with everything from oil and watercolor to baskets and wood;and a whole lot in between! It has all been made by hand and juried or selected for its originality , good design and fine craftsmanship. We also have regularly changing gallery exhibits. Whether you want to learn how to paint, draw, needle felt or just explore your own creativity, we have classes and workshops for a wide variety of ages throughout the year. We live in a beautiful part of Virginia and hope you will enjoy both our community and the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center. Welcome!
The Alleghany Highlands arts and Crafts is supported by its members, contributors, The Alleghany Foundation, the Town of Clifton Forge, City of Covington, County of Alleghany, the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Appalfolks of America Association (AAA) was founded by M. Ray Allen in 1985 to promote the literary and performing arts via programs that promote drug-free creativity. “Encyclopedia of Appalachia,” a 2006 publication by the University of Tennessee Press, cites Allen and AAA for its good work with youth in Appalachia in general and at the Historic Stonewall Theatre in Clifton Forge, renamed the Historic Masonic Theatre following AAA’s donation of the theatre to the Town of Clifton Forge in 2003.
The Historic Masonic Theatre serves as the home for AAA where its office is located on the ground floor level. For more than two decades, AAA has served as both producer and presenter of programs at the Historic Masonic Theatre. In 1992, AAA founded The Virginia Opry, a country music troupe patterned after the Grand Ole Opry. In 1993, AAA founded STARS (Special Theatrical Artists Revue & Showcase) serves to provide an opportunity for all special needs performers who wish to perform, and no audition is required for a mentally or physically challenged individual to join the troupe that currently consists of 20 members. Both The Virginia Opry and STARS have performances scheduled at the Historic Masonic Theatre in 2016 and 2017 (see schedule).
P.O. Box 613
Clifton Forge, VA 24422
Our Mission: Offering opportunities for learning and training in the fine and applied arts to adults and to children. Located in the heart of historic downtown Clifton Forge, Virginia, the School provides a two-fold program that is recreational and vocational; promotes economic development; and encourages cultural enrichment and creativity.
Opened as an opera house and Mason Hall in 1905, the Historic Masonic Theatre has served the Alleghany Highlands for 105 years as a performing arts theatre and for a short time, a movie theatre. Steeped in local history the Historic Masonic has hosted Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Tex Ritter, Hopalong Cassidy in addition to legends such as Burl Ives, the Drifters and the world famous Count Basie Orchestra. The Theatre is undergoing renovation to restore it to its former glory to serve the entertainment and community needs of the Clifton Forge and Alleghany Highlands community.
The Masonic Amphitheatre–Voted American-Architects 2012 Building of the Year!
The Masonic Amphitheatre and Smith Creek Pedestrian Bridge (Smith Creek Park) were recognized with the Popular Choice award in the Architecture + Urban Transformation category of the 2014 Architizer A+ Awards. The category celebrates projects that are “revitalizing abandoned infrastructure, creating new public spaces out of neglected areas, and building new ways for the world’s citizens to live more densely within existing urban fabric.” Another award for the Masonic Amphitheatre and Bridge’s design/buildLAB Team!
The Art Store is located just inside the Clifton Forge School of the Arts at 518 Church St, Clifton Forge, VA. We carry materials suitable for children, beginners and the accomplished artist. If you need guidance in choosing materials Judith and Norman are both artists with broad experience and are well qualified to advise you.
We carry oils, acrylics, canvases, raw canvas by the yard, stretcher bars, watercolor paper and drawing paper by-the-sheet, brushes, drawing pencils, drawing pens, pastels, crayons, markers, clay, easels, aprons, hand-painted wool yarns, Virginia Alpaca yarn, books, storage & care for your materials.