1) Grape Growers Conference to Feature Dr. Frank King, President of KingBio Feb. 25
On Tuesday, Feb. 25, the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, the French Broad Vignerons and the Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard will host the 4th annual Grape Growers Conference at the Madison County Cooperative Extension office in Marshall. Come learn how to participate in the fastest growing industry in North Carolina that provides over $1.5 billion economic impact in NC. The conference will feature speakers who will share information on how to grow grapes, sell grapes, winemaking chemistry know-how, how to make homemade wines and some of the many value added products that can be made from grapes. Featured presentatoins in the morning will include an introduction to your local grape growers trade assosication by Pete Flant, President of the French Broad Vignerons. Dr. Frank King, President of KingBio will also make a presentation on the processing of grape based neutraceuticals. The conference registration fee is $25 paid in advance or $30 walk-in. Registration fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. Online registration is now available at www.GrapeSAVI.org – Sponsors and Trade Show Vendors may also register at the same website. People who register in advance will receive a copy of the agenda and directions to the conference location.
2) Heinz History Center Names Bathanti Inaugural Scholar in Residence
N.C. Poet Laureate and Appalachian State University creative writing professor Joseph Bathanti has been named the first scholar-in-residence at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh. Bathanti will produce an original body of work inspired by his research in the center’s Italian-American Collection, which consists of several hundred artifacts, thousands of archival records and more than 300 oral histories from local residents. The author of eight books of poetry, Bathanti also wrote the novel “East Liberty,” which won the Carolina Novel Award in 2001 and “Coventry,” which received the Novello Literary Award in 2006. Bathanti will review letters, photographs and other materials that are in the Heinz Center’s Italian-American Collection, particularly letters that Italian-American soldiers from Pittsburgh wrote to loved ones while overseas during World War II. As part of the residency, Bathanti will lead a memoir writing workshop, “Where You Live: Writing about Yourself and Your Family,” for Pittsburgh-area residents. Participants will develop a story about where they and their families live and have lived. Bathanti will discuss how memory, for better or worse, figures into personal writing. He also will participate in lectures and poetry readings in Pittsburgh throughout January. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Bathanti holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing from Warren Wilson College. He came to North Carolina as a VISTA Volunteer in 1976 to work with prison inmates. He joined the faculty at Appalachian in 2001 and is also the writer-in-residence for the university’s Watauga Global Community and director of the Writing in the Field program. The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
3) Appalachian’s Theatre and Dance Department Hosts Momentum Dance Showcase Jan. 24 and 25
The Appalachian State University Department of Theatre and Dance will present the 2014 Momentum Dance Showcase Jan. 24 and 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Varsity Gym Dance Studio on campus. Ticket prices are $5 for students and $7 for adults and are available at the door 30 minutes prior to each performance. Momentum is a campus-wide student dance organization. The annual dance showcase will feature eight original works choreographed and performed entirely by Appalachian students. Other movement-based groups on campus such as Entropy, Pulse, The Swing Dance Club and The Belly Dance Club are invited to join the production. “The Momentum Dance Showcase provides a vital link between the training and pedagogy of classes in the dance curriculum and the practical application of that learning, both in the creative process and performance,” said Marianne Adams, chair of the department of Theatre and Dance. Adams said that an equally important aspect is the chance for these emerging professional artists to demonstrate the full range of their chorographic and performance abilities while collaborating with fellow students. “I very much look forward to seeing their hard work come to fruition in performance,” she said. Choreographers whose works will be featured during the showcase are Maria Cain, Emily Goodall, Nisha Jackson, Raquelle Pollock, Jillian Robinson, Abbey Stuckey, Kira White and Lucy Winesett. White said, “The Momentum Showcase was the first dance performance I was a part of at Appalachian, and it was a great experience. The club has given me so many awesome opportunities during my time here and it is really neat to have been a part of both sides of the process of creating dance.” Varsity Gym is located at 530 Rivers Street. Parking for the showcase is available to patrons at any available parking lot or garage on campus after 5:30 p.m. on weekdays and at all times on weekends. Covered parking is conveniently located in the River Street Parking Deck directly across the street from Varsity Gym. The Department of Theatre and Dance is housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts. Its mission is to provide liberal arts education for the B.S. degree in teaching theatre arts and the B.A. degrees in dance studies or theatre arts. The department also values the opportunity to offer coursework for integrated learning through the arts to the general university student population. Vital to the support of this mission is a dynamic co-curricular production program that provides exemplary theatre and dance experiences to departmental students, the university community and the region. The departmental philosophy is to support the university’s liberal arts environment through a balanced and integrated emphasis on teaching, creative activity, scholarship and service.
4) Filmmaker Hosts Free Film Screening at Appalachian Jan. 27
Actress, director and writer Ciera Danielle Parrack is offering a free film screening of her new movie Daisy’s at the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 27 at 8 p.m. Parrack and the cast of the film will be available for a question and answer session following the screening. Joining Parrack are cast members Billy Joe Shaver, Jim Parrack, Jennifer Black and Andrea Dantas. The event is free and open to the public. The innocent and hopeful Daisy is on her way out of an abusive past and has decided to follow her dream of becoming a major musical sensation in Nashville. But her struggle to find real love within a world of broken people is perhaps too much for her optimistic heart to bear. Friendships are made, love is sought, tragedy flirted with and transformation found. Suited with only a camera and a crew made up of the actors themselves, Daisy’s is captured uniquely and beautifully on a micro-budget which only adds to the films raw, powerful talent, vision and moving story. Watch the trailer here.
5) Business of Farming Conference Slated for Feb. 22
ASAP’s Business of Farming Conference is a day of learning and networking for those involved in local food and farming. Each year, approximately 250 area farmers, agriculture professionals and business and marketing specialists attend tailored 90-minute workships, meet with restaurant and wholesale buyers, tour Warren Wilson’s farm and garden and celebrate the start of the season. If you’re currently farming or seriously considering farming as a profession, you won’t want to miss our 2014 conference on Saturday, Feb. 22 from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa. cost is $40 per person or $60 for two farm partners by Jan. 31. Cost is $60 per person or $90 for two farm partners after Feb. 1. For more information call 828-236-1282.