Tryon Fine Arts Center’s celebrates anniversary

Published 12:30 am Friday, September 6, 2019

Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo to perform at concert on Saturday

The Tryon Fine Arts Center will celebrate 50 years of fine arts with award-winning jazz duo Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo on Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a reception prior to the concert at 6:00 p.m.

The sketch by Ronald Mosseller, generously shared from the collection of Laurence Wassong, depicts the opening night gala at Tryon Fine Arts Center in February 1969. 

In the mid-1960s, Prominent Tryon citizen Violet Erskine Parish-Watson made a bequest of $25,000 for creating an auditorium and arts center for the Foothills. To assure community support, Violet insisted the bequest be matched with donations from more than 100 individuals, rather than one single large gift. The bequest was more than matched in a month’s time, and organizations from across the county came together to plan, build, and equip TFAC. Ground was broken on the existing building on Melrose Avenue on December 13, 1967 and a black tie gala was held the evening of February 12, 1969 when Tryon Little Theater presented “The Madwoman of Chaillot.” 

Mosseller’s sketch captures the excitement of the community welcoming a new gathering place for arts lovers. Now, five decades have passed with Tryon Fine Arts Center serving as the creative driving force for performances, exhibits, arts education, and community partnerships in the Foothills. 

“It is truly the community center that Violet envisioned over 50 years ago,” said Tim Brannon, past President of the Board and long-time supporter of Tryon Fine Arts Center. 

The reception and concert of incomparable jazz on Saturday, September 7 will celebrate TFAC’s history while looking towards the future. 

For more information about Tryon Fine Arts Center programs, visit or by calling 828-859-8322.


Michelle Fleming

“Opening Night at TFAC, 1969” by Ronald Mosseller