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Email Announcements We Received This Week: See What’s Going On Around The Community

1) MerleFest Mobile App Now Ready for Download

The mobile app for MerleFest 2014 is now available for download, when MerleFest – presented by Lowe’s and slated for April 24-27 – launched its free mobile app last year, fans enthusiastically embraced this convenient way to access details about the annual four-day festival. The mobile app once again provides the MerleFest lineup and stage schedules, artist biographies, maps, announcements, social media links and more. The app is compatible with Android and iOS platforms. People who already have the app on their device may download this year’s updated information through the app itself. The app is available at www.MerleFest.org. A bonus for MerleFest fans is that once downloaded, the app will be fully functional without having connection to phone service. “We encourage fans to download the app before the festival,” said Hagaman. “This will allow fans time to use the lineup, schedule and artist biographies to plan their itinerary for the event so that they can catch all of their ‘must see’ performances.” “Also, by downloading the app prior to the festival, users will be able to use the app during the festival at any time or location onsite; when so many people are trying to work off the same cell phone towers, service can sometimes be spotty or overloaded during the festival.” This year fans can even plan their festival meals in advance. The food menus are available on the mobile app in the FAQ section. And they may be found on the MerleFest website – in the “Vendor” section under “food menus.”<http://www.merlefest.org/foodmenus> Music fans can preview their many food options onsite, ranging from deep fried pickles to a rice and grilled veggie plate, from chopped barbecue to tofu. The WCC Culinary Arts department’s food booths – some of the most popular at MerleFest – features such diverse fare as shrimp and grits, red velvet cupcakes and vegetarian red beans and rice. As fans discovered last year, a few clicks on the festival’s official website will yield a wealth of other details. Wondering about parking, festival hours and where to check a cooler or backpack? Details like that can be found under the “Information” section of the site. Need directions? Click on “Getting There” to map out a trip right to the festival site. The “History” tab will allow festival attendees to learn a little bit more about MerleFest, and – of course – the “Lineup/Schedules” tab will allow a fan to plan their MerleFest experience by day, by artist or even by stage. Additionally, there are Wi-Fi hotspots around the campus and inside the buildings that are open during MerleFest. Those planning their MerleFest 2014 experience will be pleased to learn that the “early bird” ticket discount has been extended to March 24 at 5 p.m. To purchase tickets, visit www.MerleFest.org<http://www.merlefest.org/> or call 1-800-343-7857. Additional details about this year’s festival lineup and other MerleFest information may also be found at the website. MerleFest, considered one of the premier music festivals in the country, is an annual homecoming of musicians and music fans held on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. MerleFest was founded in 1988 in memory of the late Eddy Merle Watson, son of the late American music legend Doc Watson. MerleFest is a celebration of “traditional plus” music, a unique mix of music based on the traditional, roots-oriented sounds of the Appalachian region, including bluegrass and old-time music, and expanded to include Americana, country, blues, rock and many other styles. The festival hosts over 130 artists, performing on 13 stages during the course of the four-day event. The annual event has become the primary fundraiser for the WCC Endowment Corporation, funding scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs.

2) High Country Seed Swap and Growers School March 15

On Saturday, March 15, all aspiring and practicing area gardeners are invited to Ashe Family Central (the former Ashe Central High School in Jefferson) to the High Country Seed Swap. The event features a day-long open exchange of seeds, plus a workshop apple tree grafting taught by area experts. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., gardeners will be able to display their own surplus seeds and view the offerings of others on tables set up in the cafeteria space. A seed swap will continue throughout the day. Coffee and food locally prepared by Subs 2 GO, A&M Concessions and Reid’s Catering will be available for purchase on-site at Family Central throughout the morning and early afternoon. The grafting workshop and fruit-scion-wood exchange will be held from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. led by nationally known apple experts Ron and Suzanne Joyner. Gardeners are encouraged to bring any surplus seeds, bulbs, corms, plants, and fruit scion wood they can to exchange. Seed swaps operate on the honor principle that gardeners will bring whatever they can this year, grow what they take from this swap, and bring more seeds from their crops to next year’s seed swap. The Seed Swap takes place in the Community Space (i.e.- former cafeteria) of Ashe Family Central, located at 626 Ashe Central School Rd., in Jefferson, NC (28640). North Carolina Cooperative Extension sponsors the event, with support from the Ashe County Farmers Market.

3) Wilkes Playmakers Presents Boogieban March 1-9

We have always known how to send our young to war, known to welcome them back with parades, garlands and trumpets. We have never known how to bring home their hearts and souls. Boogieban is the story of a young soldier returning from Afghanistan with nightmares. The story has strong elements about war but is not a play of war. It is a play of the journey of two men from two different military generations take together, a journey they take to that mystic place where hearts alter. Wilkes Playmakers will present Boogieban, featuring Ryan Walsh in the role of specialist Jason Wynsky and Justin Gambill in the role of Lieutenant Colonel Lawrence Caplan. This riveting drama will be presented as a Black Box Production allowing the audience an intimate venue for experiencing the story which is so relevant to today’s society. Seating is limited to 50 people. Due to the adult content and language of the show, it is recommended for mature audiences.  This production is an add-on to the Wilkes Playmakers 2014 season and is being presented as a fundraiser for the community theatre. Tickets will be on a Pay What You Can basis in the $2 – $10 range. Tickets may be purchased in advance at www.wilkesplaymakers.com or will be available at the box office on a first come basis. Performances will be March 6, 7, and 8 at 7:30 pm and on March 9 at 2:00 pm. Box office opens one hour prior to each performance. The Black Box Theatre is located on the first floor of Benton Hall, 300 D Street, North Wilkesboro, NC. For further information, please email office@wilkesplaymakers.com.

4) 14th annual Queer Film Series Starts March 19

The film “deepsouth,” which explores four individuals affected by HIV living in a region of the United States that is often ignored by politicians and the public, will be presented March 19 as the first of three films featured in the 14th Annual Queer Film Series presented at Appalachian State University. Each film will be followed by a discussion facilitated by the filmmaker or an Appalachian faculty member. The series is presented by the Office of Multicultural Student Development with generous support from Belk Library and Information Commons.  Admission is free.

The films are:

  • “deepsouth” (2012) 72 minutes
  • Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m.
  • Blue Ridge Ballroom, Plemmons Student Union
  • Discussion with filmmaker Lisa Biagiotti

“deepsouth” explores the rural American South and four people who redefine traditional Southern values to create their own solutions to survive life with HIV. Josh, a college student, seeks the support of an underground gay family located miles from his Mississippi Delta hometown. With no funds and few resources, Monica and Tammy try to unite reluctant participants at their annual HIV retreat in rural Louisiana. Kathie, an Alabama activist, fights a bureaucracy that continues to ignore the South. Each of these stories shares a particular perspective, which is both educational and inspirational.

Lisa Biagiotti is an independent journalist and filmmaker. She has written and/or produced for the Los Angeles Times, PBS, Current TV and Human Rights Watch. Her work focuses on complex, under-reported social issues, from the sanitation crisis in South East Asia to homophobia in the Caribbean. Her awards include the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and a Fulbright grant to research Italian colonialism in Africa and current trends in Muslim immigration to Italy. She holds a master’s degree from Columbia University’s School of Journalism.

  • “Pariah” (2011) 86 minutes
  • Thursday, March 27, 7 p.m.
  • 114 Belk Library
  • Film screening and discussion

A Brooklyn teenager juggles conflicting identities and risks friendship, heartbreak and family in her search for sexual expression. Wondering how much she can confide in her family, she strives to get through adolescence with grace, humor and tenacity – sometimes succeeding, sometimes not, but always moving forward. A world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this contemporary drama is the feature-length expansion of writer/director Dee Rees’ award-winning 2007 short film by the same name. Spike Lee is among the feature’s executive producers. At Sundance, cinematographer Bradford Young was honored with the Excellence in Cinematography Award.

  • “The New Black” (2013) 80 minutes
  • Wednesday, April 2, 7 p.m.
  • Blue Ridge Ballroom, Student Union
  • Film screening and discussion

“The New Black” is a documentary that tells how the African-American community grapples with the gay rights issue in light of the recent gay marriage movement and the fight over civil rights“The New Black” takes viewers into the pews and onto the streets and provides a seat at the kitchen table as it tells the story of the historic fight to win marriage equality in Maryland and charts the evolution of this divisive issue within the black community. “The New Black” premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2013 and went on to win Audience Awards at AFI Docs and Philly Q Fest and Frameline LGBT Film Festival as well as a special jury mention at Frameline.  The film continues to to be shown at festivals around the world and will air on PBS’s Independent Lens in June. For more information about the film series, contact multicultural@appstate.edu or 262-6158.

5) Luck o’ the Lassie Fundraiser Held March 17 to Benefit Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run of the High Country will host its 4th annual Luck o’ the Lassie fundraising event March 17 at The Best Cellar in Blowing Rock, located at 203 Sunset Dr., from 6:30-9 p.m. Tickets are limited to 100 guests and will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. Prices in advance are $50 for one ticket or $75 for two.  Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $60 for one ticket or $100 for two. All proceeds from the event will support the GOTR program.  Tickets may be purchased online at gotr.appstate.edu/lucko, by calling the Girls on the Run office at 828-262-7557 or by sending an email to Mary Sheryl Horine at horinems@appstate.edu. The event features wine tasting, an olive oil tasting provided by The Art of Oil, heavy hors d’oeuvres prepared by the Best Cellar chefs and a live auction. Auction items include Wells Fargo Golf Tournament tickets; Appalachian State University athletic event tickets; custom jewelry designed by Gaines Kiker; Appalachian Summer Festival tickets; Deer Valley Racket Club membership; area accommodations; and many other items.  Those attending are encouraged to dress in St. Patrick’s Day attire. GOTR is sponsored by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services in Appalachian’s College of Health Sciences and is a non-profit prevention program that encourages girls in grades 3 through 8 to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles. The 12-week program is now at nine sites and has 42 coaches. Its curriculum and activities address girls’ physical, emotional and social well-being and culminates in a 5K run that the girls train for. Local organizers believe the program is important in order for girls to resist peer pressure as they enter middle school and high school. Almost 60 percent of the girls receive financial aid to participate. Learn more about Girls on the Run International at www.girlsontherun.org.

6) Screening of 1984 at Watauga County Library

The Watauga County Public Library invites you to join us for an encore viewing of 1984 on Thursday, March 13 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. This film is an adaption of George Orwell’s classic science fiction novel and is rated “R.” For more information or for special accommodations, please contact the library at 828-264-8784.