Early in 2018, the leaders of the Bluemont Concert Series made the difficult decision to terminate its programs after four decades of providing cultural programing in 34 Virginia communities. Last week, the organization formally wrapped up its work with the presentation of awards to four of its longest serving supporters.
Bluemont’s most visible program locally was its Sunday night summer concerts on the courthouse lawn in Leesburg, which then operated as the county’s largest venue for musical performances long before the explosion of today’s entertainment scene that provides concerts on dozens of stages each weekend. Bluemont also brought performers, artists and storytellers into schools and nursing homes—more than 9,600 programs in total, reaching more than 3.2 million people.
The Bronze Bear Award was created in 1990 and was conveyed by vote of Bluemont’s regional board of directors to recognize long-standing and successful leadership in the arts in communities served by Bluemont. On Friday during a small gathering at the Downtown Saloon in Leesburg, the final four awards were presented to long-time board members Milton Herd and Robert Sevila, Executive Director Lily Dunning Widman and Business Manager Melissa Weaver Dunning.