As a Floyd-based nonprofit, Blue Cow Arts has an interest in working within our local and regional community to initiate dialogue, spark awareness, and cultivate an understanding and appreciation of our collective cultural heritage — its interesting similarities and its beautiful diversity. BCA achieves this by raising funds through its own operations and from the generous support of grants and donations, and by using these funds to present a variety of annual programming, including:
BCA in Central America!
In 2011, FloydFest co-founder Kris Hodges travelled with filmmaker Erich Woodrum to the heart of the Garifuna culture in Belize, doing outreach in the Garifuna Children’s School, and recording thoughtful conversations with Garifuna cultural leaders and ambassadors, including musician Paul Nabor and producer Ivan Duran. The Garifuna are a cultural jewel, their tradition and music laced with history and meaning, their heritage persevering despite persecution and challenging odds.
The annual music and arts festival FloydFest — at which BCA joins forces with Ferrum College, Virginia Tourism, and a host of additional supporting organizations — presents the finest gems of Appalachian musical heritage on the Workshop Porch, and diverse and engaging programming throughout the beautiful, non-commercial venue, located directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Performances over the years have ranged from the forlorn a capella of The Rev. Frank Newsome singing from his true life experiences as a Virginia Coal Miner to the 14-year-old fiddle prodigy Montana Young, from the iconic performance of Levon Helm on the Dreaming Creek Main Stage, to the high-flying balloon ballet of the Yard Dogs Road Show.
Cultural Exchange Opportunities with Musicians Beyond our Borders
In 2002, BCA travelled to Ghana, Africa, and initiated a one-year host-community program with the Nii Tetti Tettey & the Kusun Ensemble and a three-year program with the African Showboyz, and worked to create cultural ties that enabled unique and fruitful collaborations with well-known Western performers and eager audiences across the country. Since then, Blue Cow Arts has worked with local production company Across-the-Way Productions, Inc., to bring to the FloydFest stage musicians from the world over, from Louisiana’s very own The Savoy Family Band to Belize’s foremost Garifuna performer, Andy Palacio.
Networking & Support
Since it’s 2002 inception, BCA has donated over $250,000 to local and regional nonprofit organizations, all with the common mission of creating and maintaining a diverse, culturally rich community environment in Floyd and the Southwest Virginia region. Our NPO partners and affiliates include: