BOONE — The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is partnering with the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country for a unique fundraising event titled “Re-Energize Watauga: LIVE from the Appalachian Theatre.”

This virtual event will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 20, and involve live performances by prominent regional artists on stage at the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country.

Artists performing at the event include Darrin and Brook Aldridge, the Harris Brothers, the Jeff Little Trio, and Todd Wright and Friends. Their performances will be live-streamed from the Appalachian Theatre via local access cable, a dedicated YouTube channel and Facebook Live. Online donations can be made throughout the broadcast and a call center will be set up to receive donations during the benefit performance.

Proceeds benefit the Re-Energize Watauga Fund, which exists to provide a rapid source of financial assistance for our Watauga County-based businesses that have been negatively affected by COVID19.

The low interest loans can provide small businesses with capital to meet the most pressing needs and successfully navigate around the pandemic. Applications will be accepted as long as funds are available and businesses will need to be prepared to complete an online application, including submission of provide tax returns, profit and loss statements, and bank statements.

The fund is administered through Mountain BizWorks, a United States Treasury certified nonprofit. Learn more about Mountain BizWorks at

“Re-energize Watauga LIVE will be a great evening of live, local music,” said Laura Kratt, executive director of the Appalachian Theatre. “We are grateful to these talented artists, as well as the many folks who are volunteering their time and talents to make this happen.”

The steering committee for “Re-Energize Watauga: Live from the Appalachian Theatre” includes John Cooper, Laura Kratt, and Keith Martin from the App Theatre, along with David Jackson and Wysteria White from the Boone Chamber, and Danny Wilcox from Appalachian Mountain Brewery, who will serve as emcee for the event.

Jackson, executive director of the Boone Chamber, said, “Partnering with the Appalachian Theatre on this project helps solidify the community feel to the Re-energize Watauga in an even greater way. We have known the Appalachian Theatre to be one of the cherished community gathering points for Watauga County residents for generations, and there was such excitement about the revitalization and community use of this facility then the pandemic impacted our area.”

Cooper, outgoing chair of the theater’s board, said, “The Boone Chamber’s response to the pandemic has been nothing but stellar. This collaboration is a wonderful way that the Appalachian Theater can be involved in the chamber’s efforts to re-energize the business community. The Appalachian Theatre has become the community gathering spot and this event makes us the virtual gathering spot. We hope this is the first of many virtual events that we can host until we can safely welcome audiences back to the theatre.”

Additionally, Kratt noted that “while the theatre is still closed due to the pandemic, we are finding creative ways to help our neighbors, and North Carolina’s Phase 2 order allows for theaters to host virtual events. We plan to honor all sanitizing and social distancing requirements and do our part to keep Boone healthy.”

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