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Lake Junaluska to form music and arts workgroup


In light of anticipated limitations on group gatherings due to the pandemic that could affect traditional concerts and large events, Lake Junaluska will not have a Lake Junaluska Singers concert season in 2021 and is forming a music and arts workgroup. The workgroup will explore ways Lake Junaluska can continue to embrace music and the arts while also envisioning a future beyond the pandemic.

Ken Howle, executive director of Lake Junaluska, shared more about the decision in an email sent Wednesday, Jan. 13, to the Lake Junaluska community. An excerpt from the letter is below:

Music and the arts are enduring traditions at Lake Junaluska even during the middle of a pandemic. Throughout this past year, Lake Junaluska has hosted artists engaged in photography and plein air paintings, our community organized an “art-in-place” collection of artworks throughout the grounds and the Lake Junaluska Singers recorded online concerts and performances that were used for online worship services.

The Covid-19 pandemic has ushered in unforeseen challenges— limits on the size of group gatherings, travel restrictions and social distancing requirements. Yet, Lake Junaluska remains faithful to living out our mission by being a light for the rest of the world in creative ways. In response to the challenges of the pandemic, we are adapting our ministry model to provide a safe haven for individuals, families and small groups who are seeking renewal in the midst of this challenging time.

During the October 2020 Board of Trustees meeting, our Board heard from travel and conference center experts who shared data and information related to the longer-term trends of the pandemic on travel, tourism and conferences. One of the takeaways from this presentation was that large group gatherings and concerts are not expected to return, in any significant way, until 2023 or beyond.

With the direction provided by the Board and the uncertain ability to have concerts, we have made the decision to not have a Lake Junaluska Singers season in 2021. We appreciate Mary Huff and Kathy Geyer McNeil’s service over the past 4 years. They have contributed significantly to our long tradition of enabling young people to explore their God-given talents here at Lake Junaluska. Please join me in thanking them for their service and for sharing their gift of music with others.

As we look towards the future, our Board has created a music and arts workgroup who will use this time to explore ways we can continue to embrace music and the arts while also envisioning a future beyond the pandemic. The members of this workgroup are in the process of being selected. If you would like to nominate someone to serve on this workgroup, please email or reach out to Mike Huber, General Manager. We will ask the workgroup to provide opportunities to receive input from many voices throughout this year.

This is certainly a challenging time as we all navigate the impact of Covid-19 and face many unknowns. Thank you for your continued support of our beloved community and ministry that continues to impact lives everyday.


Lake Junaluska Communications
Lake Junaluska