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April 27, 2017

Downtown Statesville Spring Art Crawl Is This Friday, April 28

Statesville, NC - The 2017 Downtown Statesville Spring Art Crawl is set for Friday, April 28, from 5:30–8:30 pm. The Art Crawl will showcase more than 75 artists in 40 different galleries, shops, and businesses scattered throughout the heart of Downtown Statesville.

This free event welcomes everyone to come downtown, meet the artists and admire their work, enjoy music, browse through the shops, and stay late for live music, food, and drinks at one of our many restaurants and bars. A program/map directing attendees to all the locations and listing all participating artists will be available at each location. Along the route, you will find many forms of art—jewelry, pottery, acrylic and oil paintings, woodturning, and so much more. Find a piece you love, make a purchase, and support local artists!

Art Crawl deepens the community’s commitment and appreciation for the arts by highlighting talented artists of all levels and experience. At the Spring Art Crawl, you will be fascinated by the work of Edrie Knight, a lifelong, award-winning artist with many adventures and stories to tell. At 91 years young, she still inspires classrooms full of art students at Mitchell Community College every day. A sampling of her work is featured on the 2017 Spring Art Crawl poster, but you can see much more of Edrie and her art at McLelland Family Shoes during the Art Crawl.

More highlights of the evening include other well-known, accomplished artists, as well as new and emerging local artists. Find impressive pieces from middle and high school students, and one very special elementary student named Haden, recently featured on WBTV for selling his drawings to raise money for his little brother, Max. Among other medical conditions, Max was diagnosed with a condition called neurofibromatosis, which causes tumors to grow on his brain. Haden plans to use the money to buy toys and Legos for Max, hoping to find a way to make him “happy” during this difficult time. Haden will be featured in Groucho’s Deli. Be sure to see the program to plan your route and stops along the way!

Live music is another crowd favorite at the Art Crawl. In addition to the live music that happens most Friday nights in restaurants and bars throughout Downtown Statesville, you will also find musicians outside along your path around town.

You can find Live Music during the Art Crawl at the following locations:

220 Café - Eli Yacinthe at 7:30; Broad Street Burger Co. - Cameron Matthews at 7:30; D’Laney’s - The 4 Horsemen with Adam Perry at 8 pm; Risto’s - Audiophiles at 8 pm; Unwined Bar & Eatery - Tonya Wood Band at 7:30; Wine Maestro – Wicker & Jones at 6 -9 pm; Upper Room – Phil Hamrick at 5:30-6:30 pm; Rimfire Studios - LeeD Not Follow at 6 pm.

We would like to acknowledge our Art Crawl sponsors - Sheri Bistreich and Associates, a financial advisory practice, Ameriprise Financial and Statesville Jewelry & Loan for their support of this event. Parking during the Art Crawl is available on street and in nine public lots throughout the business district.

For more information, contact Downtown Statesville at 704-878-3436 or email:

LRU Playmakers Present Student Produced Work, April 27-29

Hickory - Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Playmakers will conclude its 2016-17 season with the second annual production of Making Scenes: An Evening of Student-Produced Work. The performance is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, April 27 – 29, at 7:30 p.m. in Belk Centrum.

The production features six short, one-act plays written, directed, and produced by LRU Theatre students during this semester’s Script Writing class. Plays include Victoria by senior, Katherine Minton; The Packaged Cult by sophomore, Matt Josten; Tommy’s Got a Gun by junior, Jordan Makant; Painful Memories and Starting Over by senior, Carla Robinson; and The Evil Inside by senior, Victoria Squailia.

Junior and senior theatre majors who took part in this semester’s Directing II class will be directing the short plays. Student directors include Justin Chapman, Abbey Hayes, Tylan James, Milissia Koncelik, Heather Osterer, and Victoria Squailia. Students from the theatre program are also responsible for designing the scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound for the production. Cast members for each play feature LRU students as well as actors from the greater Hickory community.

“The idea behind Making Scenes is to showcase an evening of original plays written, directed, designed, and performed by our theatre students,” said Josh Yoder, LRU Playmakers’ Artistic Director and Assistant Professor of Theatre. “This exciting project gives our students the opportunity to build a theatre production from the ground up.”

Admission to Making Scenes is free and open to the public. The production is intended for a mature audience due to adult language and content.For more info., contact Yoder at or 828.328.7161.

Hickory Police Supports Special Olympics Benefit Events 5/6 & 15

Hickory – Hickory Police Department is continuing our efforts to support Special Olympics North Carolina through fundraising and by bringing awareness.

The Hickory Police Department will be hosting two upcoming events – “Run With the Law” and our 20th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics. Both events encourage participation with Special Olympic athletes and help to raise much needed funding for the many programs offered by Special Olympics North Carolina.

The first event, “Run With the Law”, will be held on May 6th at the Floyd W. Lucas Police Headquarters, 347 2nd Ave SW, Hickory, NC. On-site registration will begin at 7:30am with the awareness run beginning at 8:30am. A minimum donation of $25.00 is required to participate and runners will receive a free Law Enforcement Torch Run t-shirt. (To pre-register contact Chrystal Dieter at 828-261-2642 or register on-line at ).

The second event, the 20th Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics North Carolina, will be held on May 15, 2017 at the Lake Hickory Country Club – Catawba Springs Course. If interested in becoming a sponsor or entering a team, please contact Chrystal Dieter at 828-261-2642. Our event would not be a success without the support of our sponsors: Mike Johnson Toyota, Texas Roadhouse, Homes for Heroes, Wize Home Direct, Donna Austin Team – Coldwell Banker, Harriet Kirkland – Coldwell Banker, Blue Ridge Fire Protection, Martin Marietta, Shuford Credit Union, Catawba Valley Insurance Agency, Growing Smiles, Arby’s, McDonalds, Smoothie King, Fran Redden – Coldwell Banker, Suzanne Williams – Coldwell Banker, Kay Schmucker Team – Berkshire Hathaway, Outdoor Supply Company, Food Matters Marker, Auto Spa and the Hickory Crawdads.

Hickory Police are still accepting participants for the Run with the Law and registrants/sponsors for the 20th Annual Golf Tournament.

Downtown Morganton’s TGIF Adds Up & Coming Artists

To Music Line-up! Kicks Off Friday, May 5

Morganton, NC - TGIF, downtown Morganton’s Free Friday night summer concerts, kicks off Friday May 5, and this year the series will be double the fun! TGIF 2017 will feature not one, but TWO acts each Friday night!

Prior to the main performance, talented up and coming artists from Morganton and surrounding communities will kick-off each concert during the 7 o’clock hour. The opening acts are competing for a $500 prize plus the opportunity to perform at the Historic Morganton Festival this September.

Performers will be judged based on three categories - quality of performance, crowd attendance during the performance, and stage presence. The winner will be announced by August 4, 2017.

Main acts will play from 8:00-10:00pm following the opening acts.

So, be sure to bring a chair or blanket and head to the Historic Courthouse Square Friday nights through July and enjoy the free weekly concerts. A selection of local food vendors open at 6:00 pm and there will be a wide variety of beer and wine options available.

All are welcome to dance the night away to a variety of music entertainment from 7:00-10:00pm. TGIF is the place to be on Friday nights. We are ready for a great season! Are you?

For more information about music and events downtown visit

Laughter As Medicine Workshop At Library On Thursday, April 27

Hickory - Come learn how to laugh your way to a Happy and Healthy life at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Thursday, April 27, 2017, 7:00 p.m. Join Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Laughter Yoga Leader, Robyn Diamond, as she shows you the way to reduced pain, improved oxygen flow and a lighter outlook on the stuff that isn’t funny at all. Please wear comfortable clothes, bring a water bottle and come with an open mind. Diamond promises you an experience you won’t forget.

This workshop is free and open to the public. For more information, please call 304-0500 ext. 7235. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block.

Lenoir-Rhyne Jazz Ensemble Spring Concert, Sunday, April 30

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Jazz Ensemble will present its annual spring concert on Sunday, April 30 at 5 p.m. in P.E. Monroe Auditorium. The concert is free and open to the public.

Musical features will include swing classics, Latin favorites, an original composition by regional composers, and a few ballads. Kendra Willford, an art faculty member at LRU, will perform My Foolish Heart on the trumpet, a song by Washington and Young.

Classic swing tunes such as Groovin’ Hard, Splanky, Big Dipper, and Blues in Hoss Flat will represent the libraries of Basie, and Thad Jones. The Jazz Ensemble will also perform newer contemporary selections such as Orilla Del Mar by Jim Marton and Fruitcake by Jeff Coffin, a Nashville-based saxophonist who tours with the Dave Matthews Band among numerous others. Snipe Hunt and Leaving are two pieces from Asheville-based composer and arranger, Dr. Dave Wilken. Central Park West, one of the more challenging pieces of the program, is an original composition by John Coltrane, and arranged by John Fedchock.

The LRU Jazz Ensemble is directed by David Wortman, adjunct instructor of music. Membership in the ensemble is drawn from current LRU students, alumni, and community members.

For more information, visit or call Beverly Hefner, Administrative Assistant of the Mauney Music Building, at 828.328.7147.

Caldwell Men’s Chorus Performs In Lenoir On April 29

Lenoir, NC - On Saturday evening, April 29th at 7:30 PM, the Caldwell Men’s Chorus will present its 2017 Spring Concert at Lenoir Presbyterian Church, 1002 Kirkwood Street NW, Lenoir NC 28645.

The concert is free and open to the public. Special guests joining the men will be the Youth Ensemble Singers, (YES), the Catawba Valley Community College Chorus, (CVCC), the Acappella Fellas, (an award winning barbershop quartet), Dr. David Abernethy and members of Puddingstone, Greg Knight, Matthew Davis and others.

Director Keith Smith says, “In my 12 years directing the men, this is our most eclectic, largest scoped concert that we have presented, with over 70 musicians on stage at one time.”

Caldwell Men’s Chorus

The music is varied with secular and sacred selections, among them, a Zambian Folk Song entitled “Bonse Aba,” “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord,” “Alleluia,” “Prelude to Peace,” “What a Wonderful World,” “Hallelujah,” “I’ll Tell My Ma,” “The Star Spangled Banner,” “I Don’t Know Why,” “Basin Street Blues,” “El Grillo,” “Blackbird,” “All Night, All Day,” “Nearer My God, To Thee,” “I’ve Got Six Pence,” “Danny Boy,” “Juanita,” “Colorado Trail,” “Praise His Holy Name,” “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” and “The Parting Glass.”

Smith says that no advance preparation is needed, there are no physical tickets; just show up the night of the concert. Smith adds, “Try to get there by 6:45. This concert will fill up very quickly.” The Caldwell Men’s Chorus is a non-profit chorus, singing throughout the Unifour area for the past 23 years. There are 21 members, ranging in age from 16-80.

The Youth Ensemble Singers are a traditional girls’ choral group, ranging in age from 9-18. For more information, call 322-3169.

Blue Knights Of NC’s Poker Run Benefit For Caleb Benfield, 6/10

Hickory – The Caleb Benfield Benefit Poker Run is Saturday, June 10 beginning at Blue Ridge Harley Davidson in Hickory NC.

Sponsored by Blue Knights NC XI, the registration is 10:30 am till 1:00 pm. Cost is $20 single and $25 for a double and includes one event t-shirt per bike and food at end of ride.

Also, 50/50 and extra hands are available. All proceeds go the Caleb Benfield Challenge a Junior firefighter challenge held annually in Caleb’s memory.

For more information, contact Cecil Cook at 828-413-9706 or

Romance Of The Home & Garden Tour In Hickory, May 20

Hickory - Tickets are now on sale for Hickory Landmarks Society’s 23rd Annual Romance of the Home and Garden Tour. Seven homes, and/or gardens are featured on the tour. All will be opened to the public on Saturday May 20 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Homes and gardens are grouped in easily accessible areas around the city. This year’s tour features a variety of homes which date from 1904 to 1973. Sites include the stately A.A. Shuford House, a mid-century Modernist house and a rehabilitated commercial building now used for convenient downtown living. The Kenworth Historic District is represented by three 1920’s bungalows with unique features and decor. A special surprise is the whimsically furnished 1973 home overlooking the lake.

Tickets are $20 in advance and may be purchased at Maple Grove (542 2nd Street NE), Bottega (262 1st Ave. NW), Jenny’s Gifts and Accessories (436 Main Ave. NW), The Sally Company(323 2nd St. NW), Pampered (14 23rd Ave. NE), Village Gardens(Hwy 127 at 19th Ave. NW) and Watson’s Furniture and Mattress Outlet (1210 2nd Ave. SW).

A.A. Shuford II House

Tickets will be available on the day of the tour for $25.00. Included in the price is a continental breakfast and guest speaker Holly Hollingsworth Phillips. Ms. Phillips is co-owner of The English Room in Charlotte, NC and a noted interior designer. For ticket information and telephone orders call the Hickory Landmarks Society at (828) 322-4731. Tickets can be purchased online at where complete information about the sites and speaker can be found.

Participants are provided with a map, driving directions and clear signage to find the tour sites located within a 10 mile radius of Maple Grove Museum Historic House Museum.

Special thanks to the sponsors of the 23rd Annual Romance of the Home and Garden Tour: Catawba Valley Medical Center, Allegra Print and Imaging, Hilton Garden Inn, Van Johnson Painting and Repairs, Hickory Sheet Metal, Graystone Eye, Turf Pro Inc., Wells Fargo Advisors, and It’s My Party.

The Hickory Landmarks Society is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

CVCC’s Chorus And Ensemble Perform Concerts On 4/29 & 5/11

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s Chorus and Ensemble groups will perform several spring concerts.

On Saturday, April 29, the CVCC Chorus joins the Caldwell Men’s Chorus at Lenoir First Presbyterian Church for a concert at 7:30 p.m. The church is located at 1002 Kirkwood St. NW, Lenoir, N.C.

The CVCC Chorus and Ensemble will give a spring concert on Thursday, May 11, at 7 p.m., at St. John’s Lutheran Church located at 2126 St. John’s Church Rd. NE, Conover, N.C.

These concerts are part of CVCC’s continuing dynamic, thought-provoking music and art offered to enrich the cultural climate of the campus and community.

There is no charge for admission and the community is invited to attend. For more details, contact CVCC Choral Director Caroline Simyon, 828-327-7000, ext. 4305,

Ridgeview Branch Library Hosts How To Speak Dog On May 6

Hickory - Dog lovers and dog owners are invited to Ridgeview Library on Saturday, May 6, at 2:00 pm to How To Speak Dog, where participants will learn more about canine companions. Do you know how to tell when a dog is feeling friendly or anxious, relaxed or threatened? Are you curious about what it takes to be a responsible pet owner?

Do you know what to do if a dog is chasing you? We’ll have volunteers here to answer questions about a variety of dog-related topics and to tell stories about true dog heroes. Registered therapy dogs will also be in attendance for participants to meet.

People ages 8 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Refreshments will be served. As a friendly reminder, no pets are allowed in city buildings so please leave your fur babies at home where they will be happiest.

Ridgeview Library is located at 706 1st Street SW, at the corner of 7th Avenue SW and 1st Street SW. For more information about this or other programs, please call the Ridgeview Library at 828-345-6037 or email Carole Dennis at

New Covenant Church Of God Car Show On Saturday, May 6

Hickory - New Covenant Church of God will hold a Car Show on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10am to 2pm at Marketplace Plaza in Mountain View (2936 Highway 127 Hickory, NC 28602).

Registration begins at 9:30am and there is a $15 car entry fee for each vehicle entered in the show. There will be awards, drawings, food and fun! People’s Choice judging.

All proceeds benefits New Covenant Church of God Children’s Missions. For more info., contact the church office at (828) 322-1463.

HCT’s Rent Pairs Newcomer With An Experienced Actor

In Fascinating Roles; Opens May 12

Hickory - The modern musical, Rent, features a central group of complicated characters connected to one another by complex relationships. Mark, who serves as the narrator of the story, is trying to get over his breakup with Maureen, who left him for another woman, Joanne.

Maureen is a drama queen, a performance artist who is quite flirtatious, leading to complications in her relationships with both Joanne and Mark. Joanne, on the other hand, is an Ivy League-educated public interest lawyer with very politically powerful parents; one is undergoing confirmation to be a judge, the other is a government official. In the Hickory Community Theatre’s production the two women are played by Ingrid Anna-Lisa Keller and Cornelia “CC” Cooper.

Cooper is a newcomer, making her stage debut in this production. She was prompted to audition by local playwright Molly Bass, who heard Cooper sing at Saint Luke’s United Methodist Church and urged her go out for a part in Rent.

A native of Statesville, where she manages an Arby’s restaurant, Cooper said she likes the HCT for its welcoming, non-judgmental atmosphere, and was drawn to this part because, “Joanne is serious and I like that, sometimes.” A military veteran who served three years in the U.S. Army, she is now a student at Catawba Valley Community College, where she is Secretary of the Student Government Association.

Keller is very experienced performer, she made her stage debut at HCT in the mid-90’s and has been in over a dozen productions there. More recently, she spent two and a half years in Seoul, South Korea, teaching English to students aged 16 months to 65 years, along with drama, music and art classes.

Then she spent two years in London, where she received her MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy from the University of London, Goldsmiths in 2014. When asked why she auditioned for this role she said, “A lot of people don’t like Maureen as a character. She’s dramatic, demanding and very flirtatious. If Maureen were a man, she would be called passionate, motivated and charming. I think she’s misunderstood as a character. I admire her strength and her refusal to change who she is to please people.”

Performances of Rent are 8:00 pm Fridays & Saturdays, 7:30 pm Thursdays, and 2:30 Sundays, May 12 through June 4, 2017. Tickets are $20. There is a senior discount of $2 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are just $10. Tickets for Thursday performances are $16 for adults and $10 for students and youth. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the theatre box office. The box office is open 12-5 Wed. through Sat. in person or by calling 828-328-2283.

Rent is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center and Robert Abbey. This show is the ninth production of the Theatre’s 68th season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

This production is recommended for mature audiences only because of adult language and sexual situations.

PHOTO: Cornelia “CC” Cooper (left) plays Joanne and Ingrid Keller is Maureen in the Hickory Community Theatre’s production of the rock musical Rent, on stage May 12 through June 4. Photo is by John Koval.

Call For Artists And Crafters For Hues & Brews Celebration On 5/20

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is now accepting applications from artists and crafters to participate in the Hues and Brews Artist & Craft Beer Celebration, Saturday, May 20th. The street festival will run from 11am- 6pm, and will be located along Main Street in Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC.

Artist booths are $30 for 10x10, $60 for 10x20, and all artist and craft work will be juried for acceptance.

All booth sites are accessible, prime locations with access to electricity at additional cost. There will be food vendors, artists and brewery booths mingled together along Main Street. Live music and children’s activities will also be on site for the whole family to enjoy.

Applications are available at or by calling the CAC at 828-754-2486. This is a fundraising event to benefit the Caldwell Arts Council.

Glen Alpine’s Turkey Tail Wine Festival Returns On May 13

Glen Alpine, NC – Glen Alpine’s Turkey Tail Wine Festival returns for its second year on May 13 in this scenic town in western Burke County.

The festival, which takes place on the five-acre grounds of the Inn at Glen Alpine, gets its unique moniker from the town’s original name. Before switching to Glen Alpine, the town was named Turkey Tail as a nod to a stump along the railway line that resembled a turkey’s tail.

“The name adds a little color to the festival,” said one of the organizers, Teresa Sellman of the Inn at Glen Alpine. “People find it to be a fun name and our logo with a turkey holding a wine glass is kind of whimsical.”

Tastings will be offered from seven wineries, anchored by five local vineyards from the Catawba Valley Wine Trail. There will be live music and festival food, plus arts & crafts vendors.

Attendees are encouraged to bring blankets and chairs to stake their spot on the lawn. Pets and coolers are not allowed. Folks can also opt to move about the lawn or listen to music in the event pavilion underneath a white translucent canopy.

“The vibe is very relaxing. It’s very unhurried,” Sellman said. “You can sit down and enjoy a glass of wine or go around the property at your leisure. It’s a fun afternoon and we will have live music playing the whole time.”

2016 Turkey Tail Wine Festival by Scott Reid

Music will be provided opening act Sorella Jack, followed by Roadside Attraction. Sorella Jack is a female trio that blends all three voices with a range of instruments, including dulcimer, mandolin, fiddle, harmonica and guitars. Roadside Attraction is a three-piece Americana band that plays a mix of original singer/songwriter material, along with covers ranging from Jimmy Buffet to Waylon Jennings to War.

The seven participating wineries are: Belle Nicho Winery, Lake James Cellars Winery, Native Vines Winery, Shadow Line Vineyard & Winery, Silver Fork Vineyard & Winery, South Creek Vineyard & Winery, and Waldensian Heritage Winery.

While the Inn at Glen Alpine hosts the festival, it is sponsored by the Town of Glen Alpine and organized along with Lake James Cellars Winery of Glen Alpine.

“This is a great thing the town is doing for local residents and also to bring people outside of Burke County into the county to see the beauty we have here,” Sellman said. “It’s also a nice way to treat mom on Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend.”

Hours for the Turkey Tail Wine Festival are 12-5 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the gate. Ticket sales at the gate are cash only.

For info or to purchase tickets online, go to and search for event number 672239. More details are available by calling 828-584-9264.

Senior Artists Aged 60+ Invited To Take Part In June Art Exhibit

Charlotte, NC - Grace Ridge Retirement Community is pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Creative Age Senior Art Exhibit in Morganton, NC which will be held June 8-21, 2017. This invitational exhibit will recognize and celebrate the creative talent of senior artists throughout North Carolina.

All North Carolina artists, 60 years or older, professional or non-professional, are encouraged to enter up to two (2) works of art for consideration. Entry deadline is Friday, May 5, 2017. All major media types are welcome.

A $5 display fee (per selected submission) is required with all proceeds benefiting the Burke Arts Council. Additionally, a People’s Choice award will be presented to the artist who receives the most votes from exhibit attendees.

The exhibit will be open to the public June 8-21 at Grace Ridge Retirement Community in Morganton. A VIP reception on June 7 will give the media and area civic and business leaders a sneak peek before the exhibit opens for public viewing. Selected artists are invited to attend the reception. Watch the recap video from last year’s event:

To learn more or to submit an entry, visit For additional questions, send an email to

FOCUS Models For The May 25th Swimsuit & Summer Guide

Issue Have Been Chosen!

Hickory - FOCUS thanks the many terrific men and women who entered its 2017 Swimsuit Model contest, which ended last Friday. Congratulations if you were chosen, and please try again next year, if not!

The contest is presented by RH Barringer, your local distributer of Anheuser Busch and Craft Beer.

The men and women who were selected win free swimwear & lots of goodies from our sponsors, The Olde Hickory Tap Room, The Hickory Community Theatre and photographer Spencer Huffman. The models will all be featured in the May 25 issue of FOCUS’ iconic Swimsuit/Summer Guide. The S/SG will be at through the summer as part of our Summer Guide online and on our mobile App.

The Olde Hickory Tap Room features daily food and drink specials and serves lunch, dinner & late night. The Tap Room has 20 taps, 200 wines, and 700 Liquors. Live entertainment this week includes Nunya Bizness on Saturday night and Jazz on Tap with Rick Cline, featuring Troy Conn & Mike Holstein on Sunday, April 30. Phone 828-322-1965, located at 222 Union Square Hickory.

Nathan Hefner presents Stardust, Pop Music’s Golden Age, at the Hickory Community Theatre on Saturday, May 6, at 8pm. The concert is a fundraiser for the Theatre, $20 reserved seating. Hickory Community Theatre’s next production is Rent, the hit musical based on La Boheme, beloved all over the world. It opens in the Jeffers Theatre on Friday, May 12. Rated R for mature audiences. For tickets go to or call 828.328.2283.

Hickory area professional photographer & sponsor Spencer Huffman of Pixelated Perceptions will photograph our models for the Swimsuit/Summer Guide, which will be on news stands on Thursday, May 25.

FOCUS’ Summer Guide is a handy reference for things to do & see - festivals, historic sites, amusement parks, conventions - within a day’s drive of Western North Carolina. Be sure to pick up this issue to plan a great summer!

Businesses should call 828.322.1036 to advertise in the Swimsuit & Summer Guide issue. It’s a great way to get the word out for your summer events and sales, as many readers keep the issue through the fall, using the Summer Guide to find events.

SC Brewery Takes Top Honor At 2017 Hickory Hops Festival

Hickory - On Saturday, April 22, nearly 2000 festivarians attended the Hickory Hops beer festival in downtown Hickory, NC to enjoy beer, camaraderie and breezy spring weather. The 15th annual beer fest, featuring craft brewed beer from over 50 breweries, was the reason for the assembly and to recognize the 252 medalists and Best of Show winners in the 12th Carolinas Championship of Beer.

The CCB starts with craft brewed beer. Each Hickory Hops brewery participants are encouraged to send bottled beer in for judging. On April 1, over 100 volunteers gathered at Olde Hickory Brewery to judge the unmarked beers for adherence to specific category characteristics. The beers, which totaled 401 entries from 33 breweries, were judged in 159 styles and sub-styles. When the first round finished three hours later, 51 beers had been awarded gold medals. 112 received silver and 89 bronze winners were identified.

For CCB round two, a smaller group of certified judges convened to determine the best of the gold medal beers. Called the Best of Show round, four beers – first, second, and third places and honorable mention – were proclaimed the best of the best.

Greenville, South Carolina’s Thomas Creek Brewing claimed First Place – Best of Show for head brewer Tom Davis' Up The Creek in the American Barley Wine beer category. Founded in 1998, Thomas Creek is one of the oldest operating breweries in the Palmetto State. Representatives from the brewery were on hand to accept the engraved plaque.

Second Place – Best of Show went to Deep River Brewing for Cottontown Lager in the American Lager style. The four-year-old Clayton, NC company claims to be the first legal brewery in Johnson County.

Nantahala Brewing of Bryson City collected the Third Place – Best of Show award for their American Cream Ale called Dirty Girl Blonde.

An Honorable Mention plaque was presented to Greensboro's Natty Greene's Brewing for American Sour in the Belgian-style Flanders Oud Bruin category.

Proceeds from this year’s CCB will be donated to the North Carolina Brewers Guild for use promoting the State’s 200+ craft breweries.

Meeting For Persons Considering Fostering Or Adopting On May 9

Hickory - Family Builders of Catawba Valley invites anyone interested in fostering or adopting a child to attend the resource family information meeting at 6-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 9. The meeting will be held at the Family Services Center, 3050 11th Avenue Drive SE, Hickory, N.C. 28602 (behind Catawba Valley Medical Center).

There is currently an urgent need for foster parents, especially those who can accept sibling groups.

“We hold the resource family information meeting on the second Tuesday of each month to help raise awareness of the great need for foster homes for Catawba County’s waiting children,” said Megan Burns, foster and adoption recruiter/trainer. “We welcome anyone to attend to ask questions and to learn more about ways they can touch the lives of our county’s children in foster care.”

Resource families include family foster homes and adoptive homes. Specific information about becoming a resource family will be available at the meeting. Guests also will learn about required training for resource families and hear stories about the rewards of helping Catawba County’s children in foster care.

For more information about the meeting, contact Megan Burns at Family Builders of Catawba Valley at (828) 695-4553 or email For information on all services offered by Family Builders of Catawba Valley, visit

Legal Nurse Consultants Speak At CVPA Meeting On May 9

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Paralegal Association (CVPA) will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. at the Catawba Valley Community College west wing Room 120 in Hickory, NC. Lisa Heidrich and Ruth Pierce, Legal Nurse Consultants, will present “Organizing & Navigating Electronic Medical Records.”

Topics of discussion will include Missing Records, Questionable Documentation and What’s Missing from the Medical Record? One hour of CPE (Certified Paralegal Education) credit has been approved by the North Carolina State Bar. There is no charge for CVPA members in good standing to attend.

There is a $25 fee for visitors requesting a CPE credit. The general public is welcome to attend at no charge. WPCC, CCC and CVCC students are encouraged to attend.

CVPA is a non-profit organization which encourages ethical and professional conduct within the paralegal profession, and promotes paralegal careers in Catawba, Burke, Caldwell, Lincoln, Alexander, Cleveland and surrounding counties. CVPA furthers education and quality fellowship among its members and guests through CPEs, regular meetings, networking and quarterly social events, and furthers the paralegal profession through its participation in community service projects. Membership in CVPA is open to paralegals, legal assistants, legal secretaries, students enrolled in paralegal programs, paralegal educators, employees of judicial entities, other recognized legal agencies, and anyone interested in the legal or paralegal profession.

For more information, visit: or Find us on Facebook:

3rd Annual Lion Prowl Freedom Ride Is On Saturday, May 20

Hickory - Spring has arrived and with it, the 3rd Annual Lion Prowl Freedom Ride (Motorcycle Poker Run). This year’s event will be held on Saturday, May 20th. Registration fee is $20 driver (motorcyclist) and $10 rider. Registration will be at 9am at Blue Ridge Harley- Davidson Motorcycle Dealership, located at 2002 13th Avenue SE, Hickory, NC.

Upon registering , each driver will receive a free T-shirt with rider T-shirts available for $10.00 each. After registration complete, each driver will receive two playing cards. Following a pre-determined route, they will make three additional stops and receive another card. At the conclusion of the trip, the motorcyclist and their riders will gather at Camp Dogwood, a therapeutic recreational camp for the blind, located at 7050 Camp Dogwood Road in Sherrills Ford for free meal and entertainment.

Prize money for best poker hand will be $500, $300 for second, and $200 for third. Motorcyclist remember to mark this event on your calendars.

The 3rd Annual Lions Prowl Freedom Ride has three level of corporate sponsorship on their T-shirts as follows:

$200 sponsors will have their company’s name, address and telephone number;

$100 sponsors will have their company’s name and telephone number and

$50 sponsors will have their name or company names.

To purchase an individual or corporate sponsorship, please indicate sponsorship level, with your name, address, telephone number. Checks should be made to payable to the Long View Lions Club, 211 Mount Herman Road, Hudson, North Carolina 28638 and received before April 20th deadline for printing of T-shirts. For more information, please call Karen Wineberger, Lion Prowl Freedom Ride Chairperson @ 828-302-6407.

ACAP’s Managing Symptoms Of Alzheimer’s

And Other Age-Related Dementia, Tues., May 9

Hickory - ACAP-Hickory will present, “Meet Me Where I Am: Managing Symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Other Age-Related Dementia” on Tuesday, May 9, 5:30-7:00 pm, in the Fellowship Hall of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Hickory. Speaker for the program is Mary Ann Drummond, RN/CEO, Angel Tree Publishing.

With 30+ years as a registered nurse, the last 13 as an executive in the assisted living industry, Mary Ann Drummond’s work focused on those who have Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related dementia. Learning from the greatest teachers of all, those who suffer daily with Alzheimer’s, Drummond gained a passion for educating others in ways to successfully meet the needs of the Alzheimer’s patient. She is a highly sought-after speaker and published author who sensitively and compassionately helps audiences and readers better understand Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias, sharing insights into how to best care for a loved one struggling with the cognitive diseases. Attendees at the May ACAP Hickory program will learn typical behaviors of Alzheimer’s and other age-related dementia, strategies to care for a loved one with dementia and techniques for managing difficult symptoms, and safe and positive methods for improving the quality of life of a loved one with dementia.

We hope you will join us for this important program. ACAP Hickory programs are free, although pre-registration is requested for planning purposes. Although designed specifically for adult-child caregivers, ACAP programs are open to all. To register, please call, toll-free, 1-877-599-ACAP (1-877-599-2227).

ACAP gratefully acknowledges Seniors Helping Seniors; Brookdale Hickory, Northeast; and Catawba Regional Hospice as sponsors for the May program.

The mission of ACAPcommunity is to provide information, resources, support and community for adult-child caregivers as they care for their aging parents and for themselves. ACAP-Hickory, the local chapter of ACAPcommunity, offers free educational programs the second Tuesday of each month, 5:30-7:00 pm, in the Fellowship Hall of Mt. Olive Lutheran Church. Although designed for adult-child caregivers, programs are open to all. To reach the Fellowship Hall: From N. Center Street / Hwy. 127, turn beside Mt. Olive Lutheran Church (2780 N. Center Street, Hickory) onto 28th Ave. NE. Park in the parking lot at the back of the church, and enter the fellowship hall via the door under the portico.

In addition to monthly educational programs offered through local chapters, ACAP also provides audio podcasts and other resources addressing a variety of caregiving issues. Please visit our website,, to listen to podcasts, review resource information, or to gain additional information about family caregiving and ACAP.

SBC Presents Doing Business With Catawba County, Friday, May 5

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Small Business Center will present a free seminar, “Doing Business with Catawba County,” on Friday May 5 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM at CVCC’s Corporate Development Center in Hickory.

From buying supplies to contracting for janitorial and lawn care services, Catawba County and other local governments use all types of small businesses. Debbie Anderson, Purchasing Manager for Catawba County Government, will lead this session and will describe the County’s vendor programs and purchasing process models.

There is no cost to attend this seminar, but pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, contact the CVCC Small Business Center at 828-327-7000, ext. 4117 or visit

32 SALT BlockHeaDS: Artwork By Dan Smith Reception Is May 4

Hickory - The United Arts Council of Catawba County has announced a free public reception for “32 SALT Block HeaDS: Artwork by Dan Smith” that will take place on Thursday, May 4, from 5 to 7 pm at 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory, NC. This currently installed one-person exhibit is open to the public and will run through Friday, June 30, 2017.

The artist will be available to speak informally with attendees at the reception.

Dan Smith’s new body of work includes mixed media photo-based portraits of individuals he selected for historical considerations and manipulated to emphasize his own aesthetic and perspectives. Each of these 32 artworks has been created in a square 8 ½” x 8 ½” format, and each is framed in sections of rulers. These units of measurement serve both as metaphor, and as a design element repeated throughout this idiosyncratic exhibition.

Smith’s investigation focuses on individual and group power, as well as dominance gained and lost. The artist’s satirical approach blends his personal expression of feelings and opinions representing a broad spectrum from ironic comedy to heartbreaking tragedy.

Some of the individuals featured in this exhibit were researched by the artist while working on two projects partially funded by grants from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Art Council with funding from the State of North Carolina. His mixed media “Philip Sheridan Burn”, depicting the Union General known for his 1864 destruction of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley Bread Basket, is based on the American Civil War research for Smith’s 2014-15 exhibition project entitled “US: A Civil War”. Smith’s “Chief Joseph” is based on research for his current project “GeNomecide” that involved conflicts between Native Americans and the US government before and after the Civil War. Examples of more contemporary “Heads” included are “Benazir Bhutto”, the first woman to lead a Muslim Nation, and “Edward Snowden”, of WikiLeaks fame.

About his current Arts Council exhibition, Smith explained: “I want people to come away thinking and questioning. I want them to look, think, question and research more on their own. My art is about life and death packed in with stories. It’s about me and my associations including art and nature. It’s also about moving outside my perspectives and then moving back in, constantly collecting”.

A Hickory resident for the past 13 years, Dan Smith earned a BFA from East Carolina University and MFA from the University of South Carolina. He has taught higher education art studio and humanities in Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina, including Hampton University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Caldwell Community College and Appalachian State University, and is currently teaching Art Appreciation at Catawba Valley Community College. His art has been featured in exhibitions around the country including New York City’s National Academy of Art and Design, Seattle’s Center on Contemporary Art, San Francisco’s Academy of Art, Taos Art Museum, Columbia Museum of Art, South Carolina State Museum, Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, and the Hickory Museum of Art. His artwork is also included in collections throughout the Southeast.

Guided Tour Of Historic Downtown Lenoir To

Benefit Heritage Museum Is On Saturday, May 6

Lenoir, NC - The community is invited to take part in a guided tour on Saturday, May 6, 11am, of historic Main Street in Lenoir!

Mike Gibbons, local historian, will conduct the tour, discussing and pointing out the history of surviving structures, as well as those long gone, on the first blocks of North and South Main Street in historic downtown Lenoir.

Learn about the three courthouses, the Confederate Monument, Taylor War Memorial as well as the many prior and varied businesses once located in surviving buildings on Main Street.

Historic Downtown Lenoir, NC

The tour is a benefit for the Caldwell Heritage Museum. The tour will take approximately one hour, concluding at 1841 Café for lunch at 12:30 pm. Those not wishing to walk have the option of viewing a pre-recorded version of the tour at 1841 Café, commencing at 11:30 am, and will be able to participate in additional discussion when the tour walkers arrive for lunch at 12:30 pm.

To participate, all must pre-register and purchase a ticket at the Caldwell Heritage Museum, located at 112 Vaiden Street SW, Lenoir, NC. If registered and ticket(s) purchased prior to April 28th, costs are $30/individual; $50/couple. If registering on site the day of the event, ticket prices will be $38/individual; $58/couple. Feel free to contact the Museum with any questions at (828-758-4004) or

All proceeds, beyond lunch expenses, will go toward the maintenance and support of the Museum. Please join us for this fun, informative event!

Western Piedmont Symphony Masterworks Concert V

April 22, 2017

By W. Gerald Cochran

Hickory - If anyone were to believe that the Western Piedmont Symphony was incapable to putting on a blockbuster performance, they would be sadly mistaken, as evidenced by their final concert of the 2016-2017 season, presented at the P.E. Monroe Auditorium of Lenoir-Rhyne University, and featuring works by Warshauer, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky.

Meira Warshauer (born 1949) is a composer who lives in Columbia, SC. She has devoted much of her musical career to Jewish themes and their universal message. If memory serves correctly, tonight’s work, As Waters Cover the Sea: A Tribute to Mozart, is her third composition presented to Hickory audiences. She wrote this piece in honor of the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death. The title is based on Isaiah 11:9, and the work is a musical and spiritual interpretation of Mozart’s work, quoting several phrases from his Symphony No. 40 in g-minor. This piece, like the symphony, tells of a haunting sadness, but, then in the final notes of the work moves to a final climax, with sound filling the hall, “as the waters cover the sea.” The orchestra could not have performed this piece more beautifully, filling the hall with both unhappiness and grandeur.

When Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) wrote his final piano concerto, Piano Concerto No 5 in E-flat, Op. 73, “The Emperor,” he was too deaf to perform it as soloist with orchestra. Its composition was, however, influenced by his own prodigious technical ability. The concerto received its subtitle, “Emperor,” due to the imperial nature of the music. These characteristics combine to make this an extremely grand and difficult work for both soloist and orchestra.

The soloist for tonight’s concert was Baron Fenwick, a 23-year-old graduate student of piano performance at The Mannes School of Music in New York City. Mr. Fenwick already has a very successful domestic and international career. His playing tonight was elegant, lush, nuanced, and far more mature than would be expected for a young man of his age. This is an artist to keep your eyes and ears on. I would expect great things. Again, the orchestra was stunning in its performance, providing gorgeous collaboration with the soloist.

The grand finale, and grand it was, was Symphony No. 5 in e-minor, Op. 64, by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky. The entire symphony is built on themes of fate. Movements go back forth between sadness and glory. All this change of mood gives each of the orchestral sections a real workout. The flutes, oboes, clarinets and bassoons were plaintive, the brass – trumpets, horns, trombones, and tuba – were triumphant, the strings luxurious, and the timpani providing a good foundation. The orchestra’s performance was one of the finest that I have heard from this group. It was precise, grand, and majestic.

For 2017-2018 season, Music Director John Gordon Ross has assembled a wonderful collection of works to present that will keep everyone entertained and delighted, and ending with a very grand concert that you won’t want to miss.

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