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February 4, 2016

February 9th’s Poetry Hickory Set, With Ruark & L-RU’s Brandes

Hickory - St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t occur until March, but Poetry Hickory is getting an early jump on everything Irish by featuring two poets, Gibbons Ruark and Dr. Rand Brandes, with backgrounds in Irish literature at the February 9 reading.

Originally from Raleigh, a graduate of UNC, and a former professor at UNCG and the University of Delaware, Gibbons Ruark, is an internationally renowned author of 9 collections of poetry and a winner of numerous prestigious awards for his work, including a Pushcart Prize, the Saxifrage Prize, and three poetry fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Gibbons Ruark

His poems have been featured in a wide range of publications, including Poetry, The New Yorker, The New Republic, and X.J. Kennedy’s Introduction to Poetry. Ruark’s work is often compared to that of Pulitzer-Prize winning poet, James Wright, and Ireland’s Nobel Prize winner, Seamus Heaney.

Dr. Rand Brandes is the Martin Luther Stevens Professor of English at Lenoir-Rhyne where he has taught since 1988. Originally from Batesville, Indiana, he received his BA from Hanover College, and his MA and PhD from Emory University. During the past twenty years Brandes has worked regularly in Dublin with Irish poet and Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney and has received two Fulbright Senior Research Fellowships to assist Heaney in Ireland.

Brandes is the founder and Director of Lenoir-Rhyne’s Visiting Writers Series. Poems from his chapbook Balefires have been translated into Romanian by Nicolae Dabija. His chapbook, What Winter was published in 2010 by Goosepen Press in 2010 and seen unseen with photographs by Fanjoy/Labrenz in 2011.

Dr. Rand Brandes

Poetry Hickory is held on the second Tuesday of each month at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory and coordinated by Hickory poet and Taste Full Beans co-owner, Scott Owens. The readings begin at 7:00, and an Open Mic follows the featured readers. Attendance is free and open to the public.

Those interested in reading in the Open Mic must register at Taste Full Beans no later than 7:00. For information contact Owens at Taste Full Beans at 828-325-0108 or

Ruark will give a second Hickory reading on February 10 at 1:00 at Lenoir Rhyne University.

Scott Owens

Self-Defense For Women, March 19, Newton PD

Newton, NC – Newton police officers will lead a free self-defense class in March for women and female teenagers.

The class will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 19, on the lower level of the Newton Recreation Center at 23 South Brady Ave. Participants must be 16 years old or older. Participants 16 and 17 years old must have parental permission and be accompanied by an adult.

After a brief presentation, Newton police officers will provide hands-on self-defense instruction to participants.

The class is free, but registration is required. Lunch will be provided.

To sign up for the class, email Master Police Officer M.D. Hopkins at or call Alex Frick at 828-695-4266.

Suzan Anderson At L-RU’s Lee Leadership Series, Wed., Feb. 10

Hickory – Suzan Anderson, executive director of the American Red Cross, Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter will present the next Leadership Lecture on Wednesday, February 10 at 6 p.m. in the Fintel Room of the McCrorie Center. The Alex Lee Leadership Lecture Series is presented by LRU’s Charles M. Snipes School of Business & Economics and the Alex Lee Foundation.

For the past six years Suzan Bentley Anderson has served as Executive Director of the American Red Cross Blue Ridge Piedmont Chapter which serves 12 counties. She is a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill and also has a master’s degree from UNC Greensboro. Anderson has previously served as President of the Junior League of Charlotte, and Vice President at Bank of America. She has chaired numerous campaigns and boards for non-profits across North Carolina.

The Series will continue with the following speakers:

February 24

Paul Thompson, Founder and Chairman, Transportation Insight March 2

Roger Young, President of David E. Looper & Company March 23

Forrest A. Ferrell, private practice attorney and former Senior Resident Judge of Superior Court, U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

Suzan Anderson

April 6

Chad Bumgarner, Development Coach - Team Building Trainer and Leader, and author of “Chad’s Playbook for Effective Leadership”

The Alex Lee Leadership Lecture Series offers a unique opportunity to attend MBA level lectures and to learn from influential professionals both locally and nationally. The series is designed to help participants understand the dynamics of leadership and identify their own administrative traits and capabilities.

All events are free and open to the public; no tickets or reservations are required. For more information, contact Clem Geitner, Professor of Business at LRU, at

About Lenoir-Rhyne University:

September 1, 2015 marked the beginning of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s 125th anniversary year. Founded in 1891, the private, coeducational University houses its primary campus in Hickory, NC. Academic programs include more than 50 undergraduate majors and 24 graduate programs at its campuses in Hickory, the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, NC, and the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia which shares a campus with the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary (LTSS) in Columbia, SC. Today, more than 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled across the three campuses. Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious denominations and backgrounds. The website is

IFB Opens A Brighter Path Blind Idol Singing Contest

Winston-Salem, NC - Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind (IFB) is looking for this country’s best singers who also happen to be legally blind to participate in the second annual A Brighter Path Blind Idol singing competition. Interested singers can visit for competition details. Submissions open on February 1, 2016 and end on March 15, 2016.

The 2016 Blind Idol singing competition is open to any legally blind adult who is 18 years or older and a resident of the United States.

Entrants are required to provide proof of legal blindness as defined by the Social Security Administration.

The Blind Idol winner will receive a Grand Prize package of $1,000 cash, eight hours of recording time at a recording facility in Winston-Salem, N.C., and a professional headshot. The total prize package is valued at $3,000.

To enter, contestants must submit a video or mp3 audio file of an individual singing performance no longer than two minutes in length either online or by mail no later than March 15, 2016. The IFB staff will then select 20 semi-finalists to perform in a live audition in Winston-Salem, N.C. on May 14, 2016. Five finalists will move on to the live finale competition on August 6, 2016 at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art in Winston-Salem, N.C. Contestants will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging.

The 2016 Blind Idol singing competition is sponsored by A Brighter Path Foundation, the supporting foundation of Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind. Anastasia Powell, program associate for IFB’s A Brighter Path, and Chris Flynt, director of A Brighter Path programs, are returning as the event’s co-organizers. Powell and Flynt have not let their lack of sight deter them from pursuing their love of music, and they encourage everyone who shares that love to enter. “Music has the ability to move all of us – young and old, sighted and not sighted,” said Powell. “Blind Idol is a great opportunity to showcase our talents on a national stage and enjoy these tremendous performances.”

For more information regarding Blind Idol completion guidelines, contact Anastasia Powell at 336-245-5698 or

About IFB (

Winston-Salem Industries for the Blind (IFB) is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1936 that provides employment, training and services for people who are blind or visually impaired. As the largest employer of people who are blind or visually impaired in the United States, IFB operates manufacturing facilities in Winston-Salem, N.C., Asheville, N.C., and Little Rock, Ark., in addition to more than 50 office supply stores and optical centers across the country. IFB also provides outreach through A Brighter Path Foundation, which operates Community Low Vision Centers across North Carolina and Tracy’s Little Red Schoolhouse based in Winston-Salem.

Harlem Renaissance Celebrated With Programs & Events At HMA

Hickory – Celebrate art, literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance Era throughout the month of February during art exhibitions and programs offered by Hickory Museum of Art, together with Hickory Community Theatre and Patrick Beaver Memorial Library.

Hickory Museum of Art presents two new exhibitions influenced by the Harlem Renaissance, a time of racial pride in music, literature and visual arts. Tribute to the Harlem Renaissance: Works from the Permanent Collection, on exhibit in the Museum’s Windows Gallery Feb. 6 -May 29, features artists from this important movement, including Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, Sharif Bey, Juie Rattley III, Kara Walker and more. Museum admission is free.

Inspired by the music of Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, Gastonia, N.C. artist James Biggers depicts visual rhythm through colors, shapes and forms in Visual Jazz: Digital Imagery by James Biggers, on exhibit in the Gifford and Regal Galleries through April 10. Biggers describes his most recent body of work as an extension of the Harlem Renaissance Era. Museum admission is free.

Related programs during the month of February include:

Paint, Print, Collage
Hickory Museum of Art
Feb, 9, 16, 23 – 4-5:15 p.m.
This three-week art class gives young artists (second grade and older) a chance to collage like Romare Bearden, paint a fun, colorful picture on wood like Addie James and create a print in the style of Jacob Lawrence. Cost is $30 HMA members and $40 nonmembers. Call 828-327-8576 to register. Registration deadline is Feb. 5.

Tribute to the Harlem Renaissance
SALT Block Auditorium
Feb. 14 – 2 p.m.
Members from the cast of Ain’t Misbehavin’ will perform selections from the show, which opens Feb. 26 at Hickory Community Theatre. View a screening of the documentary film Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance, then stay for refreshments and explore related exhibitions at Hickory Museum of Art. Admission is free. An encore presentation of Against the Odds will be shown at 6 p.m. Feb. 15 at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, Hickory.

Poetry Pickens – Road Scholar Elisha T. Minter
Patrick Beaver Memorial Library
Feb. 13 – 6:30 p.m.
This program covering poets of the Harlem Renaissance is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Admission is free.

February Family Fun Day
Hickory Museum of Art
Feb. 27 – 1 – 3 p.m.
Collage a greeting card in the style of Romare Bearden and complete a scavenger hunt through the Museum’s galleries while learning about important artists in HMA’s collection. Admission is free.

Programs are presented in collaboration with Hickory Community Theatre’s production of Ain’t Misbehavin’, Feb. 26-March 13. Call 828-328-2283 to purchase tickets for this show. Program support is provided by City of Hickory Community Relations Council.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free.

For more information about these and other events, visit or call 828-327-8576.

Photo: The painting After the Demonstration by Juie Rattley III is among artworks influenced by the Harlem Renaissance Era on exhibit at Hickory Museum of Art, Feb. 6-May 29 in the Windows Gallery.

City Grants Offered For Community Programs

Supporting Diversity, Positive Human Relations

Hickory – The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently seeking projects to fund for the current year and is inviting qualified groups or individuals to submit grant requests.

Every spring and fall, the CRC allows businesses, organizations, and individuals to apply for the CRC grants. Priority will generally be given to projects that are designed to deliver the greatest impact on positive human relations, that are most effective in bringing different sub-communities of Hickory together, and that provide services and resources to the people who can most benefit. Agencies are encouraged to partner with each other to avoid duplication of services and to maximize efficiency in delivering needed services.

CRC Chair, Clise Plant, said, “We look forward to opening up our Spring Grant Cycle to the many organizations that serve the City of Hickory."

The grant application should be completed in full, approved by the director of the agency, and submitted to the CRC, care of the address on the application. Applications are reviewed twice a year. The deadline for submitting for the spring 2016 grant cycle is Friday, March 4, at noon. Applicants may include any 501(c)(3) or otherwise tax exempt organizations.

Funds from the CRC are provided by the City of Hickory and may not be used to pay salaries or to construct buildings, and will not be used to promote a particular political or religious point of view. Funds may be used for contracts for services and/or specific honoraria.

A report on the use of the funds is required from recipient groups. The CRC reserves the right to request an audit of funds allocated to ensure proper use. Projects may be funded partially or in full; however, priority will be given to projects for which matching funds are available.

Agencies receiving grant funding are asked to acknowledge the grant from the City of Hickory CRC in their publicity materials. A City of Hickory logo and a CRC logo will be provided for inclusion on all promotional materials.

Anyone submitting an application is asked to submit 17 copies of the grant request.

Applications can be found online at, Your Government, Boards and Commissions, Community Relations Council. (

For more information, please call staff liaison Thurman Whisnant at the City of Hickory Police Department, at (828) 261-2605 or email

HCT’s Outside Mullingar, Funny & Touching, Opens Friday, Feb. 5

Hickory - The romantic comedy “Outside Mullingar,” opens Friday, February 5th at 8:00pm in the Firemen’s Kitchen at the Hickory Community Theatre

The play takes place in Ireland, where two families have neighboring farms. Rosemary, the daughter of one household, harbors strong romantic feelings for neighbor Anthony but he’s clueless and more concerned with his own desire to give up farming.

Performances of “Outside Mullingar” are Fridays and Saturdays, Feb 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 and 20 at 8:00pm; and Thursdays, Feb 11 and 18 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $16. To purchase tickets, or for additional information click or call the Theatre box office (828) 328-2283. This play is suitable for general adult audiences and children over age ten.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “Outside Mullingar” is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Dr. George Clay, III, DDS. This is the sixth production in the Theatre’s 67th Season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World.

Photo: Christopher Honsaker and Elisabeth Bokhoven play lifelong neighbors and unlikely lovers in “Outside Mullingar,” on stage Feb 5-20 in the Firemen’s Kitchen at the Hickory Community Theatre.

For show times, tickets and other information go to or call the Theatre box office (828) 328-2283.

CVCC’s Small Business Center Start-Up Seminars In Feb. & March

Hickory - CVCC’s Small Business Center is presenting the “Step Up, Start Up” program, a series of seminars designed to help individuals interested in starting a business build a foundation for business success. The program consists of six seminars which will be presented on Tuesday evenings from February 9 through March 15 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM at CVCC’s Corporate Development Center. Participants can register for the entire series or individual sessions. There is no-cost to attend, but pre-registration is required.

The first session of the program is You, Inc., on February 9 to help participants understand the many roles and responsibilities of business ownership and compare them to their work experience, life goals, current and future financial needs, and their tolerance for risk.

Additional sessions include:

From Idea to Opportunity on February 16. Participants discuss market research, their target customers and their competition. They learn to identify niche opportunities and to convey their unique competitive advantage to potential customers.

Creating the Images, Crafting the Message on February 23. Participants learn the importance of branding and creating a unique image for their new company.

Reaching Customer Targets on March 1. Participants learn how successful business owners create targeted marketing messages and choose appropriate media for effectively marketing products and services.

Keeping $ Score $ on March 8. Participants are introduced to standard scorecards for tracking business performance, cash position and net worth. Participants will learn about sources of startup capital.

Roadmap to Success on March 15. Participants will compile data and conclusions from the previous five seminars into a draft of a business plan to be used to chart the course for their startup.

These seminars are provided at no cost to participants through the Small Business Center Network, which is funded by a grant from the North Carolina state government. Pre-registration is required. To register, call the Small Business Center at 828-327-7000, ext. 4117 or register on-line at the Small Business Center website,

FCA Members’ Exhibition At Bethlehem Library Opens Feb. 4

Bethlehem, NC - Bethlehem Branch Library will host members of Full Circle Arts for the upcoming Exhibiting Artists Series. The Exhibition is titled “360 Degrees” and features the following members: Meredith Janssen, watercolor, oils (White Irises pictured here); Ellen Schwarzbek, colored pencil, wax; Jan Jackson, pastels; Genie Greenlaw, fiber art; Zan Thompson, watercolor; P.L. Rhodes, metal sculpture; Harold Humphrey, stone sculpture; Heather Friday, painting; Varian Swieter, ceramics, photography; Tom Helfert, watercolors; Claudia Bujold, collage, mixed media.

“360 Degrees” will be on display at the Bethlehem Brach Library from February 4 to March 31, 2016. There will be an Opening Reception on Thursday February 4 from 5:30 to 7 PM, with a Gallery Talk at 6:00 PM. The exhibition is free to the public and refreshments will be served at the reception.

Bethlehem Branch Library is located at 45 Rink Dam Road, Hickory NC 28601. For Information 828-495-8753. Sponsored by Bethlehem Friends of the Library and Bethlehem Community Development Association.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW, open Wed-Fri and Sat; hours vary. Info about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. Write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email Visit their website at

Grace Ridge Has Color Me Happy Adult Coloring Event, Fri., Feb. 12

Morganton, NC – Seniors and guests are invited to color, blend and shade their way to a good mood at Grace Ridge Retirement Community’s Color Me Happy event, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Feb. 12.

The $10 cash admission at the door includes a packet of 10 coloring sheets, coloring supplies and lunch. Attendees also will learn about different coloring tools and techniques, and have a chance to win happy-themed door prizes.

“The holidays are over and it’s cold outside so it’s a perfect time to gather with friends, sit down with a warm bowl of chili, listen to some cheerful music and let your inner artist run free,” said Evelyn Beaver, Grace Ridge’s director of life enrichment.

Seating is limited. RSVP by Feb. 5 by contacting Evelyn Beaver at 828-580-8328 or The event will be held in the Ervin Community Room at Grace Ridge Retirement Community, 500 Lenoir Road, Morganton, NC 28655.

Grace Ridge is a Life Plan Community spanning 52 acres in Morganton, NC, owned and operated by Carolinas Healthcare System, Blue Ridge. To learn more about Grace Ridge, visit or call 828-580-8300.

Emmy Winner Anita Woodley’s Show Boomerang,

Sat., Feb. 6, At Ridgeview

Hickory - Award winning actress/journalist Anita Woodley will perform her one-woman show “Boomerang” at the Ridgeview Branch Library on Saturday, February 6 at 2 p.m. in honor of Black History Month.

“Boomerang” is a performance about Anita’s transformation through struggles with racism and sexism in the workplace. These struggles were the motivation to researching her heritage through DNA testing, enabling her to trace her heritage back to the Tikar tribe in Cameroon Africa in 2010. They gave her the name Princess Bekang, which means “Boomerang” (to go and return). She was the first African American of Tikar descent to return to the village.

Ms. Woodley is a national award winning journalist and former producer for the NPR affiliate WUNC-FM’S The Story with Dick Gordon. She won an Emmy with CNN news for her coverage of September 11, 2001 attack at the World Trade Center and has been awarded the Ella Fountain Pratt Emerging Artists Grant from the Durham Arts Council. Anita’s most popular solo theatrical performances include “Bucking the Bull”, “Mama Juggs” and “The Men in Me”, and has performed them throughout the US and internationally. In addition to her performances, Anita also writes a column for the News & Observer newspaper and is lead vocalist for N4HC Improvisational Jazz Band.

Spring Veggies Class, Thurs., Feb. 11, Beaver Library

Hickory - Join Dr. George Place, Catawba County Cooperative Extension Director, at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Thursday, February 11th at 6pm for a presentation about growing some of your earliest spring crops including potatoes, snap peas, kale, collards, beets, and others. Learn of the recommended varieties, pest management strategies, and how to extend the growing season.

Participants that attend 9 out of the 11 presentations and conduct 20 hours of community garden service in 2016 will receive certification as Advanced Gardeners with additional gardening incentives (coupons and gift certificates) from some of our local garden supply businesses and an official library gardening program T-shirt! Come out and be a part of this great gardening group!

This workshop is free and open to the public. Registration is required. To register, call 304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Keith McCutchen, Internationally Known Composer,

Is Music Director Of Ain’t Misbehavin’

Hickory - Keith McCutchen, internationally known composer, as well as the Director of the ASU Gospel Choir, Men’s Glee Club and the Jazz Vocal Ensemble is the Music Director for the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of the musical revue, “Ain’t Misbehavin’”

McCutchen's compositions have been recorded by the St. Olaf Choir, Dr. Anton Armstrong, director; The American Spiritual Ensemble, Dr. Everett McCorvey director; and numerous collegiate and community choruses.

In 2013, McCutchen premiered his “Jazz Vespers for Chorus, Orchestra, Soloist and Jazz Quintet” with the Camerata Antiqua de Curitiba in Curitiba, Brazil. His composition “Spiritual Medley” was composed for National Endowment of the Arts recipient, jazz bassist, Richard Davis.

His arrangement of “Amazing Grace” was performed at the World Choir Symposium in Seoul South Korea. In the fall of 2014, McCutchen's “We Shall Lift Every Voice and Sing: A Historical Narrative for Chorus and Orchestra commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act,” was premiered and commissioned by the Des Moines Community Orchestra.

McCutchen received his Masters of Music in Choral Conducting from the University of Minnesota and is currently completing his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Indiana University Jacob’s School of Music. He and his wife Noel have five daughters Monica, Morgan, Maya, Ella and Lyvia. “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” is his second production with the Hickory Theatre, following last season’s award-winning production of “Crowns.”

In addition to his work as a choral director at ASU, he also teaches Jazz Piano and Improvisation.

Performances of “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” begin on February 27th and continue through March 13th. Regular price tickets are $20, seniors are $2 off; tickets for students and youth 18 & under are $10. Thursday nights, all adult and senior tickets are just $14.

To purchase tickets, or for additional information go to or call the Theatre box office (828) 328-2283. The play is rated R for adult language and violence.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “Ain’t Misbehavin’ ” is produced by Alex Lee, Inc. and is the seventh production in the Theatre’s 67th Season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World.

Photo: Internationally known composer and ASU professor Keith McCutchen returns to Hickory as Music Director for “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” The production opens February 27th at the Hickory Community Theatre.

For information and tickets go to or call 828-328-2283.

OUTright Youth Of Catawba County’s 5th Annual

Signature Event Is Saturday, Feb. 6, Café Rule

Hickory - The OUTright Youth board of directors will host the 2016 Annual Signature Event, “An Evening of Distinction – Silhouettes on a Winter’s Evening” Saturday, February 6th, at 6:30 p.m. at Café Rule, 242 11th Ave. NE, Hickory, North Carolina.

Volunteers Ralph Doernberg, Wendy Johnson and Kate Cameron will be honored with the William E. Long Service Award at OUTright Youth’s 5th annual Signature Event on February 6 at Café Rule. The William E. Long Service Award is presented to individuals who provide outstanding support for the LGBT youth of the Catawba Valley region.

OUTright Youth of Catawba Valley, a non-profit organization, was chartered in early 2010 by a group of community leaders led by Dr. William E. Long, to serve the dual purpose of promoting a safe and accepting environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth and to educate parents, caregivers, schools and the faith community about the needs of our LGBT youth in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba and Lincoln counties.

Special reserved seating is available with a minimum donation of $100 per seat. For more information about OUTright Youth or to reserve seating for the 5th Annual Signature Event, call 828-320-1937; or visit .

Dan Smith’s US: A Civil War, Opens Thurs., Feb. 11, Newton

Newton, NC - An artist reception will be held for Dan Smith from 5-8 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 11 in the McCreary Modern Gallery at Newton-Conover Auditorium.

Smith has his MFA in Painting from the University of South Carolina and his art has been featured throughout the country, from New York City to San Francisco. This exhibition titled, “US: A Civil War,” is part of a larger body of work made up of mixed media paintings, photographs and installations all inspired by the American Civil War. To draw that inspiration, Smith traveled throughout the U.S. visiting Civil War sites and observing historical reenactments. He also read extensively on the subject and used his experiences and even some physical materials he acquired on battle sites to produce the collection that is now on display at Newton-Conover Auditorium through March 31.

While Smith’s work is abstract, much of it is rooted in history and inspired by the stories of individuals. Previous exhibitions focused on specific historical characters, such as John Smith of Jamestown, VA and frontiersman, Daniel Boone.
“My art is about death and life packed in with stories,” says Smith. “Matthew Brady’s story and work are woven into the US: A Civil War exhibition.”

Matthew Brady was an early photographer who documented much of the Civil War. In addition to people, specific battle sites are the focus of some pieces, many of which draw connections to Catawba County.

Matthew Brady Coming and Going by Dan Smith

The reception on Feb. 11 will include a panel discussion with Professor Richard Eller, Sylvia Ray and artist, Dan Smith. In addition to teaching for CVCC, Eller is in residence at the History Museum of Catawba County and a local Civil War expert. He, along with Sylvia Ray, will be offering a historical perspective to Smith’s work and making connections to local Catawba County Civil War history. The panel discussion will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Piano music will be provided by John Wepner and a local reenactor will be on hand with a few uniforms for display. Refreshments will be available throughout the evening.

Partial funding for this exhibition was provided by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Art Council with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.

The Newton-Conover Auditorium is located at 60 W. 6th St in Newton.

For more information, please visit the Auditorium website at or call the Auditorium office 828-464-8100.

HMF’s Student Concerts At SALT Block, Sat. & Sun., Feb. 6 & 7

Hickory - The annual Hickory Music Factory student concert will take place at the SALT Block auditorium on February 6th (1-6pm) and February 7th (1:30-3:30pm). Over 90 students will sit in and perform with professional musicians and play a variety rock/pop songs. Come out and help support these rising musicians.

HMF Youth Big Band: The second semester of the HMF Big Band will resume on February 10th. Rehearsals will take place at the Hickory Music Factory on Wednesday evenings from 6-7:30pm. The tuition cost for the semester is $40 for HMF student members. If you are not a HMF student member, there is an annual registration fee of $40 ($80 total).

This spring, we'll be recording for a submission to the Essentially Ellington competition and will wrap up the semester with a performance at Swingin' Under the Stars (downtown Hickory) with the Hickory Jazz Orchestra on May 29th. Any middle and high schools sax, trumpet, trombone, guitar, bass, piano and drum students interested in participating should contact Chris Nigrelli,, 828-638-3487.

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