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Today’s Email Announcements

Call for Artists: “Thinking Inside the Box” Exhibition

The Caldwell Arts Council invites artists to create and exhibit work in the “Thinking Inside the Box” Exhibition August 5-October 1. Participating artists will design and provide artistic boxes or works that contain a box or boxes for display on walls and pedestals in the upstairs gallery. Each artist is invited to submit up to two works for the exhibit.

Instructor Jane Wells Harrison will provide instruction and brainstorming on use of assemblage elements, encaustic and other mixed media possibilities for these works in a workshop to be held June 20-23 (9am-4pm daily) at Patterson School in Happy Valley/Lenoir.

Those who participate in the workshop will have guaranteed inclusion of at least one work in the “Thinking Inside the Box” art exhibit at the Caldwell Arts Council. It is not necessary to participate in the workshop to enter this show; however, work done outside of the workshop experience will be subject to a jurying process by artists Jane Harrison and Bob Ebendorf.

All details are available on the Caldwell Arts Council website: http://www.caldwellarts.com/337-art-classes-at-patterson-school/

The Patterson School Campus is located in Lenoir on Highway 268, just past the Chapel of Rest (mile marker 3). To register for the workshop, call the Caldwell Arts Council at (828) 754-2486.  Fee for the 3-day series is $80.

State of Origin Beer Fest: June 11 in Morganton

Several of North Carolina’s premier breweries will showcase beers from NC-sourced ingredients at the State of Origin Beer Festival Saturday, June 11.

This popular event returns to downtown Morganton’s courthouse square for its third year and features approximately two dozen breweries. The festival was created by the owners of Morganton’s Fonta Flora Brewery to spotlight NC breweries making ales from NC ingredients.

All breweries, with the exception of three special “ambassador” breweries, are located in North Carolina. The beers they serve at the festival must use North Carolina ingredients, and many will be special one-time releases made exclusively for the event.

“The entire event is a celebration of local ingredients,” says Fonta Flora co-founder David Bennett. “One of our main focuses at our brewery is local culture and local agriculture. We practice what we preach every single day and the festival is a natural extension of that.”

For example, Fonta Flora, which earned back-to-back gold medals at the Great American Beer Festival in 2014 and 2015, uses grain from Riverbend Malt House in Asheville. And one of its most surprising locally-sourced ingredients is kiwi from Burnsville.

In addition to Fonta Flora, participating breweries are: Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone; Birdsong Brewing in Charlotte; Brown Truck Brewing in High Point; Burial Beer in Asheville; Catawba Brewing Company in Morganton; Free Range Brewing in Charlotte; Fullsteam Brewery in Durham; Haw River Farmhouse Ales in Saxapahaw; Highland Brewing Company in Asheville; Lenny Boy Brewing in Charlotte; Mystery Brewing Company in Hillsborough; Newgrass Brewing Company in Shelby; Salud Beer Shop in Charlotte; Steel String Brewery in Carrboro; Triple C Brewing in Charlotte; Trophy Brewing in Raleigh; Wooden Robot Brewery in Charlotte; Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville; and Zebulon Artisan Ales in Weaverville.

The three out-of-state ambassador breweries are: Arizona Wilderness Brewing in Gilbert, Ariz.; Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas; and Scratch Brewing in Ava, Illinois. All use ingredients from their areas and represent a nationwide movement to support local farmers and producers.

Mipso, a noted bluegrass quartet based in Chapel Hill with Appalachian influences, returns to the festival this year. Band member Jacob Sharp is a Morganton native. Food will be provided by an assortment of local vendors, including JD’s Smokehouse and Farmhouse BBQ.

Festival hours are 3-7 p.m. Basic tickets are $50. Added value tickets are $86 and include two bottles of Funk Fuzz beer, an Appalachian wild ale. Designated driver tickets will be available at the festival for $25. For details and tickets, visitwww.FontaFlora.com/Festival.

Who’s New on the Toe River Arts Tour?

For 23 years, the TRAC Studio Tours have encouraged involvement of local artists who open their studios and of those from outside the area who show in participating studios. Each tour features over 100 artists and galleries. This year’s event is just getting bigger and better—many studios and many artists. And five of those artists are first time tour participants; two returning after several years.

Rona Kritzer will be showing her clay work at the High Country Ceramics (#80). A transplant from the Miami area, where she was an art teacher in the schools, Rona now makes her home in Yancey County where she is continually awed by the beauty of these mountains and the welcoming handshakes of other artists. Vena Grebenshikov (#94) is returning after a hiatus of several years. He is a classically trained painter, originally from Russia and maintains a gallery in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Using his knowledge of the history of art and techniques of the masters, Vena innovated his own technique imbuing his works with their distinct style and texture.

In and around Bakersville, discover the work of Andy Palmer (#96). Andy was the ceramics program coordinator at Cornell University. He moved to the area as gallery manager at the Crimson Laurel Gallery and now operates his own studio just north of downtown Bakersville on NC261. For Victoria Hicks, showing in John Britt’s studio (#11) is something of a homecoming: John taught her to throw nearly 20 years ago, long before either of them called Western North Carolina home.  Ron Slagle (#97) returns to his studio off NC226 just past Loafer’s Glory for this year’s tour. He includes his drawings, paintings, and his wood-fired sculptural work in the gallery and visitors should find it an interesting stop on the tour.

Tara Underwood opens her doors in Celo this year (#98). Most recently from Asheville, Tara is a studio potter who has been working in clay since the age of six and after study and determination, hasn’t outgrown the desire to play in the mud. And one new glass artist—Colin O’Reilly will be showing with Kenny Pieper (#46) in Celo. A new TRAC gift shop artist, Colin moved from his studies in New Mexico to Penland and creates his blown and cast glass elements in creative narrative sculptures.

Whether you are looking for something to look through, serve on or serve to, or just to set on the porch for viewing on those warm summer evenings, you’ll find these new artists worth the extra curve in the road. The TRAC Studio Tours, always the first weekend in June and December, hits in 2016 this June 3-5. The tour runs from Friday through Sunday from 10am to 5pm. Hours have been expanded on Friday to give visitors more time to meander and visit studios. The first night of the tour ends with a reception at the Spruce Pine TRAC Gallery at 269 Oak Avenue, from 5:30 to 7:30pm. The tour is free—all you need is the Tour Guide (available at all participating venues, including both TRAC Galleries); then follow the red arrowed tour signs.

An exhibition of participant work is currently on display at the Spruce Pine Gallery through the last day of the tour, June 5. Participating artists and galleries have representative work displayed geographically. Make plans for the weekend. You can purchase that can’t-wait-item or just view the work of artists who call this region home. Gallery hours are 10:30am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. For more information, please call 828-682-7215 or 828-765-0520 and visit the website, www.toeriverarts.org where you can download the guide, maps, and get information about our sponsors. The bi-annual Studio Tour—truly a journey of the arts.

Carolina Farm Credit Recognizes Grant Recipients

North Carolina Agri-Women was recently awarded a Corporate Mission Fund Grant from Carolina Farm Credit. It plans to use the grant to pay application fee to apply for non-profit status.  The organization represents and provides resources to women involved in every segment of North Carolina agriculture. The mission of the North Carolina Agri-Women is to offer a united voice for advocating agriculture through education, networking and communication opportunities.

STATESVILLE, NC –Praley Street Acre of Grace Community Garden was recently awarded a Corporate Mission Fund Grant from Carolina Farm Credit. It plans to use the funds to purchase supplies to maintain, improve and increase community garden yield. The mission of the Praley Street Acre of Grace Community Garden is to raise produce for our older and lower income neighbors and to provide them with healthy produce that is organically grown.

A luncheon was held in Statesville, N.C., to honor and bring awareness to the efforts made by the recipients of Carolina Farm Credit’s Corporate Mission Fund Grants to stimulate the local agricultural economy. Local officials and members from the communities of the recipients, as well as members from the board of directors of Carolina Farm Credit attended the luncheon.

Carolina Farm Credit awarded $100,000 in grants and scholarships to 20 North Carolina organizations and 8 college students in late 2015. Over 70 organizations applied for the grants from all over the 54 counties that Carolina Farm Credit serves. Grants were awarded for a number of reasons from funds to purchase livestock to funding for advertisement expenditures.

A special drawing was held during the event, to award an additional $1,000 to one of the groups in attendance. The winner for the drawing was Sun Valley High School FFA, who plans to use the additional funds to further their project. To learn more about the Corporate Mission Fund and to apply visit CarolinFarmCredit.com.

“We were very pleased with the turnout and positive feedback the luncheon received. Several of the attendees told me they were glad they came because they don’t often receive public recognition for their work.  Programs such as our Corporate Mission Fund allow us another way to give back to the local communities in which we work and live.”—Vance C. Dalton, Jr., Carolina Farm Credit CEO.

Grant recipients:

Agribusiness Henderson County: funds awarded to develop a website to help with product marketing.

Ashe County Cooperative Extension: grant awarded to purchase a trailer and scales to allow producers to weigh their animals.

Back In The Woods Again(Bennett, NC): funds awarded to provide adaptive hunting equipment for participants.

Carrboro Farmers’ Market (Carrboro, NC): grant awarded to support their Healthy Food Incentives; an outreach program targeted to low income families.  The program will match SNAP/EBT moneys spent up to $5, allowing families to purchase more locally grown food from the market.

Cove Creek Gardens (Greensboro, NC): funds awarded to finance courses that offer hands-on field experience and conservation methods to students.

Eastern Randolph FFA (Ramseur, NC): funding given to construct small ruminant barn and hay storage facility.

Firsthand Foods (Durham, NC): funds awarded to implement a comprehensive labeling, reporting, and tracking system.

Foothills Farmers’ Market (Kings Mountain, NC): grant awarded to help establish the Downtown Kings Mountain Market, and build a base of community support.

The Hunger and Health Coalition (Boone, NC): funds awarded to purchase a trailer for transporting manure and other materials to garden to develop compost supply.

King Farmers’ Market (King, NC): funding given to support their SNAP/EBT Nutrition Outreach program, matching dollars spent by SNAP/EBT customers to increase the availability of quality foods.  This program will allow low income families the opportunity to buy more locally grown foods from the market.

Mountain Folk Farmers’ Market (Murphy, NC): funds awarded to promote farmers’ market via advertising and promotional events.

Polk County Schools (Columbus, NC): funds awarded to purchase raised bed mulch layering equipment for use in the classroom.

Praley Street Acre of Grace (Valdese, NC): funding given to purchase supplies to maintain, improve and increase community garden yield.

South Stokes FFA (Walnut Cove, NC):  funds awarded to purchase livestock showing equipment to allow students to show livestock on a local, regional, and state level.

Southern Alamance FFA (Graham, NC): grant awarded to construct a small ruminant barn on campus to advance student learning.

Sun Valley FFA (Monroe, NC): funds awarded to purchase and install a hydroponic system to produce fresh produce and herbs for local food banks and soup kitchens.

WNC Communities (Asheville, NC): funds awarded to equip the covered arena at the Mountain State Fair so the youth have a suitable place to show livestock.

Yadkin County Economic Development Partnership (Yadkinville, NC):  grant given to purchase a nine frame extractor and holding tank used in honey extracting.

Veterans Healing Farm (Hendersonville, NC): funding given to purchase and install storage shed to house equipment.

Scholarship recipients:

From North Carolina A&T University: Rycal Blount, Nicholas Cobb, Lauren Blackwell, and Caleb Bryson.

From North Carolina State University: Christina Harvey, McKayla Newsome, Olin Austin, and Nicole Mauldin.

More information about the scholarship recipients can be found at CarolinaFarmCredit.com.

Carolina Farm Credit is a stockholder-owned cooperative providing financing to full and part-time farmers and agricultural-related businesses and also provides financing for the construction and purchase of homes in 54 counties through 34 branch offices.  Other financial services available are credit life insurance, appraisal services, leasing programs and financial planning.

For 100 years Farm Credit has been supporting rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services.

Carolina Farm Credit serves over 9,200 members with loans outstanding totaling more than $1.4 billion.  The association’s territory covers the western half of North Carolina, with branch offices located in Albemarle, Asheboro, Asheville, Boone, Browns Summit, Burnsville, Carthage, Concord, Conover, Ellerbe, Graham, Hendersonville, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lenoir, Lexington, Lincolnton, Monroe, Murphy, Pilot Mountain, Roxboro, Rural Hall, Salisbury, Shelby, Siler City, Sparta, Spindale, Statesville, Taylorsville, Wadesboro, Waynesville, Wilkesboro, Yadkinville, and Yanceyville.

Carolina Farm Credit was recognized as a 2015 Best Employer in North Carolina.  The list of the Best Employers in North Carolina was created byBusiness North Carolina, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) – NC State Council and Best Companies Group.

Directors for Carolina Farm Credit are L. Kim Starnes, Chairman, Salisbury; W. Rex Bell, Vice-Chairman, Statesville; John M. Barnard, Statesville; E. Bernard Beck, Seagrove; Mark A. Bray, Lawsonville; David M. Coltrane, Pleasant Garden; Susie J. Gambill, Sparta; Joseph A. Lail, Shelby; Clark M. Newlin, Haw River; Thomas E. Porter, Jr., Concord;  Tony L. Ragan, Sanford; D. Kaleb Rathbone, Waynesville; Lewis E. Smith, Lincolnton; Vickie N. Smitherman, East Bend; Dr. Alton Thompson, Summerfield.