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Virginia Symbols of the Arts

Virginia has eight official symbols of the arts, some of which might merit a closer look. I confess I’m not intimately familiar with them.

Song (Popular) “Sweet Virginia Breeze,” by Robbin Thompson and Steve Bassett 2015
Song (Traditional) “Our Great Virginia,” lyrics by Mike Greenly and arranged by Jim Papoulis with music from the original American folksong “Oh Shenandoah” 2015
Folk Dance square dance Redundant Symbol 1991
Outdoor Drama The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Outdoor Drama 1994
Historical Outdoor Drama The Long Way Home 1994
Television Series Song of the Mountains 2017
Shakespeare Festival Virginia Shakespeare Festival 2013
Artisans Center Virginia Artisans Center, Waynesboro 1999
Virginia Symbols of the Arts

However, one symbol that catches my eye—or ear—is the official traditional song, “Our Great Virginia.” I’ll pass on the lyrics, but the music is taken from the famous folk song “Oh Shenandoah.” Is there a more beautiful song? Is there a more beautiful place name?

My favorite version was performed by the AMA Choir. I can’t remember where I got it, and I can’t find it on the internet now. The movie Shenandoah, starring Jimmy Stewart, is one of my favorites, too.

Another interesting symbol is Virginia’s official historical outdoor drama, The Long Way Home. It’s based on the true adventures of Mary Draper Ingles, who was captured by a band of Indians in 1755. After escaping from her captors, Mary walked hundreds of miles across Kentucky, West Virginia, and Virginia, finally reaching her home. What a beautiful place to be lost in.

Of course, that was over 200 years ago, before Virginia was an over-populated, militaristic state.

Loosely speaking, Virginia’s slogan, “Virginia Is For Lovers,” might be considered a symbol of the arts. It is said to be one of the most popular state slogans. However, it apparently hasn’t been officially designated a state symbol.

Virginia Slogan
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