Endstation Theatre Company at Sweet Briar College has been awarded $5,000 through the Tourism and the Arts Grant for a collaborative project with the Lynchburg Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Nelson County Conventions and Visitors Bureau, and Bedford Tourism and Welcome Center.
The Tourism and the Arts Grant is supported jointly by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the Virginia Tourism Corporation to fund marketing projects that stimulate new tourism spending through local partnership marketing initiatives. These partnerships leverage funds pledged by the grant applicants, which enables destinations to market in venues they would otherwise not be able to afford. The $5,000 award will match the funds pledged by Endstation and its partner organizations for a total of $10,000 to implement the campaign.
With the funds awarded through this grant, Endstation will promote visitation to its Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, an annual theatrical event beginning in late May and ending in late July, held at Sweet Briar College in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Central Virginia. The festival includes indoor and outdoor theatrical productions, new works, reinterpretations of classical plays, and original theatrical productions for the Central Virginia community based on the historical, current and cultural events specific to the area.
With the support of this grant, the marketing initiative will encourage visitors to “Come Play at the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival.” Travelers will be encouraged to attend the festival at night, and to spend their days exploring the region and all that it has to offer in local restaurants; vineyards and artisanal breweries; hotels and bed and breakfasts; and the vast array of historic, scenic and entertainment-focused attractions. In addition, the initiative will identify specific vendors and attractions as “Friends of the Festival.” These local businesses will offer discounts and specials for all Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival goers.
“The areas of Bedford, Lynchburg, Amherst and Nelson County have so much to offer travelers,” said Geoffrey Kershner, artistic director and founder of Endstation Theatre Company. “We have mountains, scenic drives and national forests, but we also have exciting activities and great local businesses. We want our audience members to come to the festival, stay for the weekend, and experience everything that is great about Central Virginia.”
The initiative will launch in February 2012 and will include a special section on the Endstation website, social media, free festival guide and weekend getaway packages.
For more information on Endstation Theatre Company and the Blue Ridge Summer Theatre Festival, visit www.endstationtheatre.org.