Music - Dance - Theatre - Visual Arts - Film

Golden Dragon Acrobats. Photo by Appalachian State University.


Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. Celebrating its 32nd season in 2016, the festival has risen in stature to become one of the nation’s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming. With an audience of 27,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

The Southeast Tourism Society

The Southeast Tourism Society has named An Appalachian Summer Festival one of the STS Top 20 Event in the Southeast for July 2016!

Festival Mission

An Appalachian Summer Festival is an annual arts festival presenting and producing programs in music, theatre, dance, film and visual arts. The festival forges a unique national identity through artistic excellence, innovative programming, commissioning new works, educational opportunities, and by bringing the most accomplished and respected creative and performing artists from around the world to the Appalachian State University community. Founded on the principle of promoting young American artists, the festival supports the overall university mission, enhances the cultural life of the Appalachian community through affordable access to its programs, serves as an important gateway onto the campus, and promotes the economic development of our region.

Festival Vision: Artistic Excellence, Innovation and Engagement

In keeping with its status as a university-based arts program, the festival continually seeks to enlighten and educate—a focus reflected in such initiatives as the festival's discounts for children's tickets, school coupons and ticket prices that are typically 30-40% lower than prices for comparable events in other venues. A rich variety of educational opportunities is part of the festival schedule each summer, including exhibitions, lectures, tours, workshops, student internships and employment opportunities for young people seeking experience in arts presenting. These experiences offer opportunities for lifelong learning and meaningful engagement with the arts. The festival holds central the belief that access to a strong and dynamic program of artistic excellence in the performing and visual arts is an important component of a vital and healthy community.

Founders Society

On July 22, 2000, the university created a Founders Society to recognize the people whose vision, generosity and hard work helped build An Appalachian Summer Festival. The festival owes its success in large part to these extraordinary individuals.

Charter Members, inducted July 22, 2000

The Broyhill Family Foundation:

  • J. Edgar and Satie H. Broyhill
  • James T. and Louise R. Broyhill
  • Paul H. and Faye A. Broyhill
  • Willard A. and Bettie B. Gortner
  • Robert E. and Allene B. Heilman

The Cannon Foundation:

  • Robert G. and Mariam Cannon Hayes
  • Armfield and Rachel Rivers Coffey
  • Berge H. and Meliné A. Markarian
  • Budd and Nanette Mayer
  • Arnold P. and Muriel S. Rosen
  • Martin L. and Doris B. Rosen
  • Robert and Minnie Snead
  • J. Bernard and Shirley S. Spector
  • Robert L. and Lillian A. Turchin

2002 Members, inducted July 14, 2002

  • John E. and Faye B. Cooper
  • Buddy and Charlotte Halpert
  • Florence R. Hecht
  • D. Grady Moretz Jr. and Reba Smith Moretz
  • Peter and Joni Webb Petschauer

2013 Members

  • Connie Adams
  • Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer

2015 Members

  • Frank and Kay Borkowski
  • Ralph Glaser Jr. and John A. Pfeifer
  • Doug and Teresa Johnson
  • Ralph and Venda Lerch
  • Neil and Nancy Schaffel
  • Mark and Nancy Tafeen

Festival Advisory Board

The Festival Advisory Board provides critical leadership for An Appalachian Summer Festival by offering overall guidance, fundraising assistance, programming ideas and long-term direction for the festival. Advisory Board members are representative of the festival audience, and in many ways they serve as the festival’s “eyes and ears” in the community – providing valuable feedback to the staff regarding festival operations, and serving as advocates and community ambassadors for the university and the festival.

  • Nick Friedman - Chair
  • Lynn Eisenberg - Vice Chair
  • Wendy Brenner
  • Natalie Broyhill
  • Sue Chase
  • Lisa Cooper
  • Lynn Eisenberg
  • Ben Henderson
  • Joan Keele
  • Venda Lerch
  • Jane Lonon
  • Susan Lutz
  • Joseph Miller
  • Daniel Mitchum
  • Allen Moseley
  • Mark Moskowitz
  • Peter Petschauer
  • Steven C. Price
  • Chris Robbins
  • Jamie Schaefer
  • Autumn Simmons
  • Keith Stoneman
  • Mark Tafeen
  • Shelley Tarbutton
  • Wright Tilley
  • Helene Weicholz
  • Renee Whitener

Ex-Officio Members

  • Susan Pettyjohn - Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
  • Hank Foreman - Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for University Advancement and Chief Communications Officer
  • William L. Pelto - Dean, Hayes School of Music
  • Denise Ringler - Director, Arts and Cultural Programs
  • LaTanya Afolayan - Director of Development, Hayes School of Music, An Appalachian Summer Festival and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts

Past Seasons

Click on the links below to see a snapshot of An Appalachian Summer Festival through the years.

2013-2015 Seasons will be added shortly. Historical event listings for seasons beginning in 2002 are below.