The mission of the Meherrin River Arts Council is to produce an annual concert series that features nationally known entertainers who perform a wide genre of music at a reasonable cost to our patrons. To provide various performing arts programming in the local schools.
In 1978, after perceiving a tremendous need for a performing arts series in the Emporia-Greensville area, a group of concerned citizens formed the Meherrin River Arts Council (MRAC). The MRAC--named after a historical river that runs right through the heart of the City of Emporia and Greensville County--took on the unusual task of bringing national-quality arts entertainment to a small-town setting in Southside Virginia.
The group's goals have been two-fold: create a series that showcases a variety of entertainment styles and genres while keeping tickets affordable to all segments of the population. In fulfilling this mission, an annual concert series of four performances was begun in 1979. The series is developed and administered by an all-volunteer board of directors, which meets year round.
This year the MRAC will be celebrating its thirty-fourth anniversary season. Over the past quarter century, the MRAC has hosted over 100 performances. Local audiences have enjoyed everything from opera and ballet to plays and symphonic concerts. National and international stars have brought the sounds of jazz, country, contemporary and popular music to the region.
The completion of the Emporia Greensville Performing Arts Center has greatly enhanced our concert series. The facility, located in a new local elementary school, not only provides exceptional viewing capabilities from all of its 906 seats; it also boasts theater-quality sound and lighting systems, highly unusual in any school setting.
The opening of the new center is the most recent example of the MRAC's dedication to bringing quality entertainment to all of the citizens of Southside Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina for many years to come.
In addition, the MRAC produces a performing arts series for students in the local schools. The students have seen performances that have featured ballet, opera, theater, chamber orchestra and plays. Many of these programs show children the importance of math, reading and science through the performing arts. Students experience programs that are both challenging and entertaining.