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Today’s Email Announcements

Sculpture Artists Needed for 33rd Annual Sculpture Celebration

Who:                Caldwell Arts Council, Lenoir, North Carolina

When:              Saturday, September 8, 2018, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where:            T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, 945 Lakewood Drive, Lenoir, NC

Cost:                $50-80 (Discounts available for early registration)

Caldwell Arts Council announces the 33rd annual Sculpture Celebration in Lenoir, NC on Saturday September 8, 2018 at the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Sculptors are invited to bring up to three sculptures for this one-day competition for $11,000 in cash awards, along with potential sales and commissions. This annual event attracts sculptors and buyers from the eastern United States to Lenoir. Last year, over 4,500 people throughout the southeast attended the family-friendly celebration.

Early registration discounts are available.  For additional details, contact the Caldwell Arts Council, 828-754-2486, info@caldwellarts.com, or visitwww.caldwellarts.com.

Appalachian State High Country Alumni Chapter Networking Breakfast June 14

Join your local High Country Alumni Chapter on Thursday, June 14, 2018 from 7:15 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. at Boone Bagelry’s Water Wheel Cafe for our monthly networking breakfast! Make professional connections with other local Mountaineers and share information about local employment opportunities and community events.

For more information, please contact High Country Alumni Chapter President Rebecca Murray ’14 at murrayrk@appstate.edu.

High Country Soccer Association Announces 2018 Summer Camps

This summer, High Country Soccer Association is hosting its 2018 Summer Day Camps for U6-U14 players aged 1/1/2004-12/31/2012. Our day camps are designed for players of any level interested in further developing technical and tactical skills. High Country Soccer Association is a501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit soccer club that provides instruction led by licensed professional coaches who follow a curriculum of fun, age-appropriate activities and small-sided games to develop player’s skills while fostering enjoyment and appreciation for the game of soccer.

Summer 2018 Camp Dates
June 25-29 Day Camp Session 1 @ TMSC in Boone
July 9-13 Day Camp Session 2 @ Family Central in Jefferson
July 23-27 Day Camp Session 3 @ TMSC in Boone

Camp Fees

Full Day (9:00-3:00): $120 
Half Day (9:00-12:00): $80

* Multi-child families are eligible for a 15% discount after their first child pays in full or if a child pays in advance for 2 or more camp sessions.

Schedule Monday thru Thursday 
9:00 Camp Demonstration 
9:30 Training Session/GK Training 
10:45 Snack Break, Daily Contest 
11:15 Small Sided Games 
12:00 Half-Day Campers Dismissed 
12:00 Lunch 
12:45 Stump the Staff Soccer Trivia 
1:15 Skills Challenge/Soccer Video 
1:45 Dr! Dr! – Soccer Related Game 
2:20 Full Sided Games 
3:00 Full-Day Campers Dismissed 

Schedule Friday 
9:00 Camp Demonstration 
9:15 Training Session/GK Training 
10:15 Snack Break, Daily Contest 
10:35 Small Sided Games 
11:30 Closing Ceremony/Awards 

High Country Soccer Association, which opened in 1986, offers soccer training to youth ranging from U6 to U18 and competes in the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association. HCSA also operates winter futsal youth training and the local adult leagues. In all, HCSA has more than 600 youth players and more than 300 adult players from five different counties. 

Cre8tive Drama Day Camp Provides Fun Learning Opportunities for Children

The Department of Theatre and Dance at Appalachian State University, in partnership with Cre8tive Drama, will present its annual 2018 Cre8tive Drama Day Camp June 25–June 29 on the university campus. The camp is a fun-filled week of theatre activities for students aged six to 16 years. The camp costs $150 per student.

Gordon Hensley, professor and director of the theatre education program, will facilitate the camp along with trained teaching assistants. The Cre8tive Drama Day Camp focuses on eight drama structures: pantomime, drama games, storytelling, story drama, social drama, improvisation, process drama and puppetry. These structures help young students foster collaboration, communication and creative skills through self-expression and storytelling.

“The camp teaches and focuses on certain goals, which include things like flexibility, adaptability, collaboration, decision making, leadership, responsibility, and empathy. These are all goals garnered through specific theatre activities where students ‘practice for life’ by participating in the activities,” says Hensley. “It’s an overarching goal of theatre at all ages, but it is particularly important and impactful during the K-12 era of someone’s life.”

The mission of Cre8tive Drama is to transform young people through drama and theatre arts. The camp uses process-style drama activities led by trained theatre teachers to develop and strengthen language and communication, problem-solving skills and an understanding of the art of theatre while encouraging a positive self-concept, social awareness, empathy, values and attitudes. 

“Drama and theatre are the primary ways children learn about life, about actions and consequences, about customs and beliefs, about others and themselves,” Hensley said. “This camp is unique because it focuses on the process instead of trying to produce a play in a week.”

The workshops are offered in age-appropriate blocks when possible. Block one is for ages 6–8, block two for ages 9–12 and block three for teens 13–16 years of age. Camp pre-registration is required by June 15. For a registration form and more information, please visit theatreanddance.appstate.edu. All students must bring their own packed lunch and a refillable bottle of water. Light snacks are provided. Please note early drop-off and late pick-up are not available. 

High Country Jazz Society Presents The Page Brothers this Sunday, June 10

The Blue Ridge Chapter of the North Carolina Native Plant Society meets June 13

The Blue Ridge Chapter invites you to our monthly meeting on June 13 in Boone. This month’s topic will be Fern Identification with Tracie Jeffries with a focus on fern morphology and terminology using our local native ferns as examples.

Tracie graduated from NC State with a masters degree in Botany. She has taught biology for 25 years and is currently teaching microbiology at Catawba Community College in Hickory N.C. She enjoys hiking, macrophotography, and pétanque. Tracie is also the current chairperson for the Western NC Chapter of the NCNPS and offering a number of hikes that might be of interest for our chapter as well. So come join us for an informative presentation on ferns and a chance to network with one of our neighboring chapters!

The meeting will be held at the Holiday Inn Express on Blowing Rock Road in Boone and starts at 7 p.m., but the room will be open around 6:30 if you would like to come early and chat with other native plant enthusiasts.

The University Campaign for Lees-McRae Surpasses Fundraising Goal of $30 Million

Announced during a recent celebration in Evans Auditorium within the Cannon Student Center, the University Campaign exceeded its goal of $30 million in funds with a final balance of more than $32 million.

The campaign was created to raise funds to enhance academic programs with the addition of new faculty and graduate programs, strengthen scholarship assistance, modernize campus with improvements to classrooms, laboratories and athletic complexes as well as bolster essential endowment and operating funds.

The celebration brought together the campus and High Country communities to mark the end of the campaign.

Campaign co-chair and trustee Dianne May presented the final total on behalf of herself and fellow co-chair and trustee Barbara Miller Whitton who was not in attendance.

“We are most grateful to all of you, our donors and constituents, for your participation and support of this transformative initiative that will make a difference in the learning and teaching experience for our students, staff and faculty here at Lees-McRae,” said May. “I am pleased to share with you that to date we have secured $32,177, 477 in cash and documented pledges.”

Before the campaign was publicly announced in 2017, many projects were completed as part of a silent phase. This included building of the May School of Nursing and Health Sciences, renovations to the Dotti M. Shelton Learning Commons as well as the establishment of the BB&T Leadership Institute within the School of Business and Management.

With the closing of the campaign, improvements will begin on projects such as renovations to the Arthur Student Recreation Complex and the development of an arts village—a renovated home for the communication arts and design program.

The celebration not only marked the end of the campaign, but also the final days of Dr. Barry M. Buxton’s tenure as president of Lees-McRae.

W. McNair Tornow, Board of Trustees Chairman, shared his thoughts on the completion of the campaign as well as his sentiments towards Buxton’s leadership through the years.

“We wouldn’t have tonight, a Board of Trustees or Lees-McRae if we didn’t have Barry,” Tornow said.

He continued his remarks with a lighthearted comparison between Buxton’s passion for cycling, and Lees-McRae’s climb “onward and upward.”

“Just like in cycling, [Lees-McRae] continued to move forward,” he said. “Regardless of the obstacle, a flat tire, getting a little lost or otherwise, we never lost sight of our goal—the finish line.”

Learn more about the University Campaign for Lees-McRae at lmc.edu/campaign.  

Watauga County Arts Council News

The Watauga County Arts Council is bursting into summer with their 5th Annual Petal Pushers exhibition. The show will be judged by John Bond, owner of Art Mart in downtown Boone and a former board member and gallery chairperson for the Watauga County Arts Council. Among the exhibiting artists are Marion Cloaninger, Kathy Rosenberger, Janet Montgomery, Wade Evans, Gale Champion, Rita Hennings, Julia Ralston, Ginger Bryant, Deb Tatonetti, and Anna Basnight.   Prizes donated by Art Mart will be awarded at the 2nd Saturday Celebration of the Arts on Saturday, June 9th between 5:30 and 7:30 pm.

The Open Door Gallery features the work of Tara Belk, who has been living and creating art in the Blue Ridge Mountains for the past twenty years.  She grew up in Minnesota of Scandinavian descent and attended college there.   Like most children, she loved to draw from a very early age…. moving from crayons to pencils and then to paints.  She took her first oil painting class at 14 receiving the lessons as a gift from a close family friend and her mother.  Never dreaming her most enjoyable pastime could actually become a career, she focused on other studies in college.  Afterwards, moving on to Arizona where she worked, married and honed her drawing and painting skills under brilliant desert skies.  Eventually, she moved east and earned a Creative Arts Degree from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.  Her artwork found its way into numerous exhibitions, receiving awards and a place in both private and public collections.  After visiting the Blue Ridge Mountains and sensing a deep connection, she knew she’d found her permanent home.  

She now divides her time between teaching drawing, painting and pottery at her Tennessee studio and also at ASU in the Craft Enrichment Department, and creating her own personal expressions in clay, pastel, and paint.   The inspiration for her work stems from her love of the mountains, a grateful heart and a desire to honor her Creator.

During May, the Serendipity Gallery is once again presenting a group exhibition of paintings and drawings.   This exhibit is called “Chasing Color”.   Artists who exhibit in this gallery are participants in art classes at the Lois E. Harrell Senior Center in Boone and the Western Watauga Community Center in Cove Creek.   Art classes are taught by Marsha Holmes and are free on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Young Artists Gallery is presenting an open exhibition called “Flower Power” which is a companion to the “Petal Pushers” exhibition for adults. Artists under the age of 19 are invited to participate in several open exhibitions this year with various themes such as SuperHeroes and Villains (in July), Self Portraits (in September), and Fall Colors (in October). Participants in the “Flower Power” exhibition include Emma Stein, Grace Stein, Aidan Stroud, Siah Moretz, Charlie Williams, Maggie Schlake, Maia Carter, and Lila Carter.

The Blue Ridge ArtSpace will celebrate these exhibitions at an open reception on Saturday, June 9th from 5:30 to 7:30 pm at their location at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone.   Besides the four new exhibitions, each of the four classrooms of the building will also feature interesting demonstrating artists and participatory activities.  Among these will be Nate Harris, of the Spice Creek Ramblers, who will be sharing some of his originals plus a few well-known cover songs and traditionals on vocals and guitar. Janet Montgomery will be demonstrating the use of alcohol inks. Wade Evans will demonstrate palette knife painting techniques and color blending with oils. Marianne Evans will be sharing a variety of fiber mediums including needlepoint, cross stitch, knitting, and more.

The 2nd Saturday Celebration of the Arts is a free, family friendly event. Refreshments are served. 5:30-7:30 pm.

For more information, sign up on the Watauga County Arts Council’s website to receive monthly updates, check their website at www.watauga-arts.org, watch their Facebook page, or come by the Blue Ridge ArtSpace at 377 Shadowline Drive in Boone. You may also call them at 828-264-1789.

Torch Club to Meet on Monday, June 11

The monthly meeting of Torch: A Forum For Reasoned Discourse will be Monday, June 11 at the Sagebrush Restaurant in Boone. 

Those arriving at 11:30 may choose from a $10 menu and enjoy the presentation at noon. The topic this month is Justice And Daniel Lee presented by Wayne Clawson, retiree from ASU administration.  Guests are welcome. For more information call 828-264-4275.

The High Country Audubon Society Announces Research Grant

High Country Audubon Society (HCAS) is pleased to announce a grant opportunity to support bird research in the High Country of North Carolina. HCAS is the local chapter of the National Audubon Society and Audubon North Carolina, serving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Alleghany and Avery counties. 

The Sue Wells Research Grant will award up to $500 to a high school or college student to support research or field work in ornithology, or in an area of study that will directly benefit birds or bird habitat in this area of North Carolina. Only undergraduate or graduate students currently enrolled in degree-seeking programs or high school students may apply. High school and undergraduate students who are graduating seniors must plan to complete their research prior to graduation.

The Sue Wells Research Grant was created in 2012 to support local students involved in bird research in the High Country. The first award went to Jessica Krippel, a Master of Science student at Western Carolina University. Jessica used her grant to support her research of Song Sparrow mating success.

In 2013 HCAS selected Morgan Harris, a graduate student at Appalachian State University, as the recipient of the Sue Wells Research Grant. Morgan looked at reproductive pressures on local Eastern Bluebirds resulting from tree swallows moving into their territories.

Appalachian State University student Angela Langevin was selected in 2014 and studied the interactions of the Western North Carolina cliff-nesting avian community with the cliff-face ecosystem they inhabit. She is a graduate student in ASU’s Biology program.

In 2015 Kristen Content was awarded the grant for her work looking at the relationship between behavior and avian stress hormones of Tree Swallows. Kristen was also a student at Appalachian State University.

ASU graduate student Anna Pierce received the grant in 2016 for her work examining how host density and individual personality traits influence disease prevalence in Eastern Bluebirds and Tree Swallows.

Last year’s recipient, Tyler Pyle is a graduate student in the biology program at ASU. His research is examining parasite-host interactions in Eastern Bluebirds and how the influence behavioral and physiological traits and populations.

The late Sue Wells was a driving force in the creation of High Country Audubon Society and served on the Board of Trustees until 2010. Sue was also instrumental in creating the National Bird-Feeding Society and led the movement to help make backyard bird feeding the successful hobby it is today.

Grant information and application are available at http://www.highcountryaudubon.org/grantsandscholarships/suewellsresearchgrant.html

Applications are due by June 30, 2018 and the award recipient will be announced July 17 at the HCAS annual membership meeting.

Pretty in Pink Fashion Show is Friday, June 15

The 14th Annual Pretty in Pink Fashion Show, a sellout event, will take place Friday, June 15th, at Beech Mountain Club. The event will begin at 11:30 am with a champagne reception followed by a fashion show and luncheon at noon. This year’s show will feature fashions by Belk, modeled by local cancer survivors and caregivers. The featured speaker will be Dr. Anne-Corrine Beaver, a beloved physician and general/breast cancer surgeon at Watauga Surgical Group in Boone, NC.

Proceeds from Pretty in Pink will be used to provide free, first time mammograms to uninsured women in Avery County. Additional services and information are available to patients and their families through the Avery County Cancer Resource Center located at Cannon Memorial Hospital.

Limited tickets are now available for this event and can be purchased atapprhs.org/prettyinpink or by contacting Addie Cardwell at 828-262-4391.

Great American Backyard Campout happening June 30 at Elk Knob State Park

Novice campers are invited to join the Rangers at Elk Knob State Park for an enjoyable night of camping on Saturday, June 30 beginning no earlier than 2:30 pm.

This is the 10th year that Elk Knob has participated in the campout which introduces families to the joy of camping without the expense of buying equipment. It is a great event for two main reasons: it allows participants a night of supervised camping at Elk Knob State Park, and we provide the tents, dinner, s’mores and interesting programs to fill the night with entertainment.

Participants should bring their own snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, breakfast for Sunday morning, and their own sleeping bags or blankets. The campout is free, but REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED by June 25. You may register by calling 828-297-7261. Adults must accompany children. Children must be 6 years and older. Pets are not allowed. Don’t miss a great opportunity to try camping without the expense involved. It may be the start of a new hobby for the family.

Planned activities include a demonstration of cool camping equipment by Footsloggers, an informative “Leave No Trace” presentation by Mast General Store, a live animal program by the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and viewing of the night skies.

Activities begin at 4 pm so arrive early enough to get set up and be ready to enjoy the activities. Activities are subject to change.

Author Julia Nunnally Duncan to Speak at the Watauga County Public Library June 14

Julia Nunnally Duncan will be the featured speaker at the regular meeting of the High Country Writers at the Watauga County Public Library on Thursday, June 14, 2018, at 10:00 am. The program is free and open to the public.

Julia is an award-winning North Carolina author whose publication credits include nine books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry and scores of stories, essays, and poems in literary journals and anthologies.

Her literary works often explore life in a Western North Carolina textile mill town and confront issues of poverty, unemployment, and alcohol abuse. Family, community, place, and home are central concerns of her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. In all her writing she focuses deeply on characters and their struggles.

A Place That Was Home (published in 2016 by eLectio Publishing), her first nonfiction book, is 21 personal essays about growing up in Marion, N.C. She was inspired to compile a book of personal essays after reading Flora Thompson’s Lark Rise to Candleford. A Place That Was Home traces her life from around 1960 to the present day.

She has said the most important thing for a budding essayist to realize is that “his or her experiences are indeed important and unusual enough to record. Every life is unique and each perspective different…. Through recollecting and writing, I discovered that much drama and occasional strangeness have permeated my seemingly normal rural world.“

Julia holds a BA in English and an MFA in Creative Writing from Warren Wilson College. She recently retired after teaching English and Southern Culture for 30+ years at McDowell Technical Community College, and she continues to teach part-time. She lives in Marion, N.C., with her husband and their college-age daughter.

Julia’s newest poetry collection, A Neighborhood Changes, can be preordered from Finishing Line Press. Advance sales period ends on June 22, and books will be shipped on August 17. www.finishinglinepress.com/product/a-neighborhood-changes-by-julia-nunnally-duncan/. Her New and Collected Works is forthcoming from Red Dirt Press.

High Country Writers has been “energizing writers since 1995.” Regular meetings are at the Watauga County Public Library on the second and fourth Thursdays of most months from 10 am to noon, and speakers’ presentations are co-sponsored by the library. HCW members present writing / publishing skills workshops from 10 am to noon the first Thursday of most months, partnering with Watauga County Arts Council to offer them at Art Space. Guests are welcome. Membership is $15 annually.

Wordkeepers Next Meeting is June 16

The next Wordkeepers event will be held Saturday, June 16, from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Ashe County Arts Council in West Jefferson (303 W. School Street).  Wordkeepers is free and open to the public and refreshments are provided.

Wordkeepers features writers reading their latest works in five-minute open microphone time slots. Writers interested in reading from their writing should email Chris Arvidson at chris@chrisarvidson.com to secure their first-come, first-served 5-minute slot on the bill.  Wordkeepers was created by local writers Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend and Scot Pope who are also the editors of the anthology “Reflections on the New River” from McFarland Publishers, which features many regular Wordkeepers readers.

CCC&TI Hosting Open House Events at Caldwell and Watauga Campuses

Caldwell Campus
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute will host an Open House on June 21 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on the Caldwell Campus, 2855 Hickory Blvd., Hudson. Open to anyone interested in learning more about CCC&TI, the event will provide the opportunity to tour campus, meet instructors, explore programs, learn about financial aid options and more. Food and prizes for participants will be provided, while supplies last.
Watauga Campus
Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Watauga Campus will host an Open House on June 26 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 372 Community College Drive, Boone – off the Highway 105 BypassOpen to anyone interested in learning more about CCC&TI, the event will provide the opportunity to tour the campus, meet instructors, explore programs and certifications, learn about financial aid options and more. Food and prizes for participants will be provided, while supplies last.

Join Maryrose Carroll for a Book Roll-Out, Talk, and Book Selling & Signing Featuring her New Book, Tales from Beaver Dams.

Where: Watauga County Public Library, Library Meeting Room

When: Saturday, June 30 at 10 a.m.

About the Book:

“‘What You Don’t Know About Life in the Appalachian Mountains

You may have visited Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk, Todd, or Valle Crucis when traveling through Western North Carolina without knowing about a hidden paradise, Beaver Dams. A pastoral land of cattle, horses, goats, and families with antebellum histories. Have you had a chance to see their wagon trains traveling on weekends through the area? This is the book to tell you about them and more.”

About the Author:

“While I was an old sculptor who had to quit before it killed me, now I am a new author. My first book, Beats Me, Love, Poetry, Censorship from Chicago to Appalachia was a valentine for my late husband, Paul Carroll. It told of our love and his historic win against censorship in 1960. It won designation as a ‘100 Notable 2015 Indie Book’ from Shelf Unbound Magazine. 

In February 2016, I had the esteemed privilege of interviewing my husband’s old pal, Lawrence Ferlinghetti for a documentary being made about Paul. He, Lawrence, and Barnie Rosset were the three publishers who successfully fought censorship of books I first began to write poems in the Spring of 2016, after finishing my book. Not knowing if my first poem warranted consideration I emailed Pulitzer Poet, Stephen Dunn, on Memorial Day and he responded that he thought ‘Song for a Dead Lover’ was a wonderful poem. The book Beats Me, Love, Poetry, Censorship from Chicago to Appalachia was a valentine for my late husband, Paul Carroll. It told of our love and his historic win against censorship in 1960. It won designation as a ‘100 Notable 2015 Indie Book’ from Shelf Unbound Magazine. 

I first began to write poems in the Spring of 2016, after finishing my book. Not knowing if my first poem warranted consideration I emailed Pulitzer Poet, Stephen Dunn, on Memorial Day and he responded that he thought ‘Song for a Dead Lover’ was a wonderful poem. The book Conversations with a Dead Lover was published in 2017 by Finishing Line Press.  

I hope to live what remains of my live here on the farm in Beaver Dams.”

Cone Manor House Tours Begin This Weekend


Open House (Informal Tour) 9 am – 10:30 am

Formal Guided Tour (reservations required) 11 am

Open House (Informal Tour) 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Formal Guided Tour (reservations required) 10 am

Formal Guided Tour (reservations required) 11 am

Formal Guided Tour (reservations required) 2 pm

Formal Guided Tour (reservations required) 3 pm


Open House (Informal Tour) 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm


Open House (Informal Tour) 1:30 pm – 3:00 pm

Reservations for Formal Guided Tours can be made by signing up at National Park Service Information Desk at the manor house or calling 828-295-3782. Reservations are accepted beginning at 10:00am Friday for the upcoming weekend only. No advance reservations, please.