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Movies In The Park In Newton, At Dusk

Newton, NC – Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and enjoy a free movie as the Newton Recreation Department kicks off the annual Movies in the Park series on June 17.

The free movies begin at dusk at Southside Park, located at 1775 Southwest Blvd.

The first showing is “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Attendees are invited to dress up as their favorite Star Wars character.

Popcorn is free thanks to the local businesses that sponsor the series. This year’s sponsors are HealthSmart Pharmacy, The Law Offices of Leslie M. Yount, 2 Pink Magnolias, Tom’s David Beaver Vending, Geppeto’s, and Twin City Insurance.

Drink and snack concessions will be available.

This year’s Movies in the Park series includes:

Friday, June 24: “Guardians of the Galaxy”

Friday, July 1: “Minions”

Friday, July 8: “Paddington”

For more information, call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317 or visit

Free Badminton At Newton Rec, Mondays & Thursdays, 6:30pm

Newton, NC – Grab your racquets and shuttlecocks and head to the Newton Recreation Department for free badminton open gym on Mondays and Thursdays from 6:30-9 p.m.

The badminton games will be played in the gym at the Newton Recreation Department, located at 23 South Brady Ave., Newton.

Players should bring their own badminton racquet, shuttlecock and shoes.

Badminton is a fun activity for all ages, and everyone is welcome.

For more information, contact Charles James at 828-695-4350 or

HMA's Folk Artist Reception & Annual Members Meeting, 6/23

Hickory – Meet Boone, NC, folk artist Arlee Mains during a reception and book signing 6-7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23 at Hickory Museum of Art (HMA), 243 Third Ave. The reception is sponsored by Friends of Arlee Mains.

Memories of Appalachia: Paintings by Arlee Mains will be on exhibit through July 24, 2016 in HMA’s Regal and Gifford Galleries. The exhibition, which showcases the memory paintings of Arlee Mains, was made possible by The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk, NC, and local collectors.

Copies of the book Memories of Appalachia: Paintings by Arlee Mains will be available for sale and signing by the artist. The 128-page book by The Art Cellar Gallery in Banner Elk includes memory paintings by Mains and stories she wrote about the paintings. A limited number of copies will also be for sale in HMA’s Galleria shop. Books can also be ordered online at

Cost to attend the reception is free for HMA members and a $5 suggested donation for nonmembers. Call 828-327-8576 to make reservations.

Prior to the opening reception, HMA members and the public are invited to attend the Museum’s Annual Members’ Meeting at 5 p.m. in Coe Gallery. The meeting will include committee reports, a presentation and election of new board members. For more information about the annual meeting, call 828-327-8576.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information about Museum exhibitions, art classes, field trips, and events, visit or call 828-327-8576.

Painting: Arlee Mains, Old Water Mill and 50 Acres, acrylic on watercolor paper.

Lions Offer Chance To Donate Old Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids

Lincolnton, NC - Sight is a precious gift. Do you have unwanted eyeglasses and hearing aids laying around at your house, office, etc. Don't know what to do with them? Why not donate, deposit, and recycle them in a Lincolnton Lions Club boxes strategically located in the following businesses, optometrist, ophthalmologist offices, and funeral homes in Cherryville, Denver, and Lincolnton?

Businesses: Noblot Jewelers, 107 East Main Street (Downtown Lincolnton).

Audiologist, Ear Nose & Throat Physicians, and Hearing Aides Offices:

1) Alps Mtn. Affordable Hearing Aide- 1417 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Best Value Hearing Care Center-819 East Sycamore Street, Lincolnton; Carolina Ear, Nose, & Throat- 751 South Laurel, Lincolnton; Graystone Ear, Nose, & Throat- 1470 East Gaston Street, Lincolnton;

Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Chiropractic Offices: Dr. Robin Owings & Dr. Rob Schick- Pro Wellness Family Chiropractic- 1814 North Aspen Street, Lincolnton.

Funeral Homes: Carpenter Funeral Home- 1110 East Main Street, Cherryville; EF Drum Funeral Home- 201 South Academy Street, Lincolnton; Good Samaritan Funeral Home- 3362 North Highway 16, Denver; Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home- Cherryville; Warlick’s Funeral Home-125 Dave Warlick Drive, Lincolnton.

Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Vision Care Centers: Advanced Family Eye Care- 7547 Waterside Loop Road, Suite A, Denver; Carolina Eye Center- 623 North Highway 16, Denver; Carolina Eye Center-231 North General’s Boulevard, Lincolnton; Cherryville Eye Care-201 West Church Street, Cherryville;

Graystone Ophthalmology PA- 2311 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton; Wal-Mart Vision Center-306 North General’s Boulevard.

Pharmacies: The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive, Lincolnton and Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Due state and federal public health laws, unwanted eyeglasses are shipped overseas. Contact lens are neither accepted nor recyclable for health reasons. Prescription sunglasses are especially needed in nations located near the Equator. There is always a shortage of recyclable children eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Imagine your personal satisfaction if your recycled eyeglasses help a child to read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior maintain her independence. Provide a community with more opportunities to grow and thrive. The Lions thank you for your support!

Summer Pops - WP Symphony Under The Sails, Sunday, June 26

Hickory - Join the Western Piedmont Symphony orchestra for another FREE musical extravaganza on the square in downtown Hickory Under the Sails. The concert will be held on Sunday, June 26 from 6-8 pm. Invite your family and friends and spend a beautiful summer evening listening to the award-winning Western Piedmont Symphony perform many of your patriotic favorites, as well as familiar movie and TV show tunes.

Featured artists for this concert are the WPS Trumpet Section, the WPS Trombone Section and Typewriter Virtuoso Peter Shanahan.

Don’t forget to bring a lawn chair. Pack your own picnic or visit one of the downtown restaurants. What a wonderful way to celebrate our freedoms and our nation’s 240th birthday! Weather location will be Drendel Auditorium at the SALT Block.

This free concert is graciously sponsored by the City of Hickory, the Hickory Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, and Frye Regional Medical Center.

Western Piedmont Symphony is a grant recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council and a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Business offices are located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory. Box office hours are 10:00 am until 2:00 pm daily. Visit the Symphony’s website at or contact them at 828.324.8603 or

Humane Society Of Catawba County Requests

Financial Help To Recover From Burglary

From Facebook on June 14:


Unfortunately, we are sharing sad news. Last evening, a person or persons became so desperate that they chose to break through our double paned windows to damage areas in our shelter and steal cash from our lobby donation jars as well as narcotic related supplies from our Hope Clinic.

Pebbles is available for adoption

Our animals were traumatized by the intruder(s) and we found them scared and hiding this morning.

We are heartbroken that our limited funds to care for homeless animals now must be spent on repairs and replacement items.

We are asking for your help at this terribly upsetting time. If you can assist with a contribution, however small, it would be greatly appreciated. Please visit to help.

Thank you.

(Note: Donations can also be mailed to HSCC: 3224 20th Ave SE, Hickory, NC. Phone: 828.464.8878

Full Circle Arts' Tiny Arts Show Intake Is Set For July 7, 8 & 9

Hickory - Full Circle Arts is announcing a Call to Artists for those wanting to participate in the 4th Annual "Tiny Arts Show". This exhibition has always sparked curiosity and interest to view what artists devise to create with a very limited format.

Intake for the show is Thursday, July 7th and Friday, July 8th, from 11:00 am - 5:00 pm and Saturday July 9th, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm. Artists may submit up to 5 works of art for a $10.00 fee.

All work must be ready for hanging with proper wires. Anything (except sculpture or 3-D works) not presented with wires will be rejected.

This year requirements have changed slightly because of popularity and a limited amount of display area in our gallery. The parameters for the artwork this year have been decreased further to establish a truly "tiny" show.

An example of some tiny art

Artwork may be no larger than 7 inches in any direction, with the frame or base/pedestal limited to 12 inches on the outside dimensions. Work may not have been in a previous Full Circle Arts exhibition. FCA asks a 20% commission from Exhibiting members, 30% commission from Associate members and 35% from non-members.

Our judge for the competition is Clarissa Starnes, Galleria and Collections Manager, Hickory Museum of Art. "Tiny" prizes and beautiful ribbons handmade by our member Genie Greenlaw will be awarded. We will also have a People's Choice Award which we have had in the past. Reception for the exhibition will be held Thursday, July 14, 6:00 - 8:00pm, Refreshments will be provided.

Success for this show is only possible if all artists and the public in the area are aware of our competition and desire to show their tiny masterpieces to the rest of the Hickory public. The exhibition will be on display during Full Circle Arts' gallery business hours Wed.-Friday 11:00 am - 5:00 pm and Sat.10:00 am - 2:00 pm from July 14 through August 13, 2016.

Full Circle Arts is dedicated to offering artists in the Hickory area the opportunity to show their finest and most creative work in a gallery setting.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545.

You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email

Please visit our website at

Dates For Shindig On The Green & 89th Annual

Mountain Dance & Folk Festival Have Been Set

Asheville, NC – The Folk Heritage Committee announces its summer 2016 dates for two celebrated mountain traditions in Asheville, North Carolina: the 50th season of Shindig on the Green and the 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Each event features long-standing as well as the newest generation of traditional and mountain string bands, ballad singers, and big circle mountain dancers and cloggers, resulting in fun-filled and authentic evenings enjoyed by kith and kin of all ages.

The 50th Season of Shindig on the Green, a free event in the heart of downtown Asheville, with a stage show and informal jam sessions, takes place on Saturday evenings.

2015: The Dixie Darlins by Wendy Olsen

Kicking off on July 2nd this year, Shindig on the Green will be held on July 2, 9, 16, 23; August 13, 20, 27, and September 3, 2016. Shindig returns again to the heart of downtown Asheville at Pack SquarePark’s Roger McGuire Green. The stage show takes place on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, named for the founder of the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. Locals and visitors alike gather “along about sundown,” or at seven o’clock for those who wear a watch, for Shindig on theGreen. Since the outdoor event’s inception in 1967, hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the region and throughout the world have shared and enjoyed the rich traditional music and dance heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in this outdoor setting.

The 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk and Festival, a ticketed event at Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville with a different show each night, takes place at 7:00 p.m. nightly, Thursday through Saturday, August 4, 5 & 6, 2016. The sister event to Shindig on the Green, theMountain Dance and Folk Festival was founded by Bascom Lamar Lunsford in 1928. The nation’s longest running folk festival, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival showcases the bes tof the region’s mountain musicians and dancers during its three evenings of indoor performances.

The non-profit, all-volunteer Folk Heritage CommitteeTM’s mission is to preserve and present the musical heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains to audiences from throughout the region and world, for entertainment and education, by producing the annual Shindig on theGreenTM and the Mountain Dance and Folk FestivalTM events.

For more info about the 50th Season of Shindig on the Green or the 89th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, visit or call Brian Carter: 828-335-1263.

Taste Full Beans Is New Home Of HMF's Open Mic Night, June 25

Hickory -The six year old Open Mic Night coordinated by Hickory Music Factory has found a new home at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory.

In 2010, Tony Eltora, Executive Director of Hickory Music Factory and local guitar teacher, started taking his students out into the community to perform at local restaurants and coffee shops so they could gain experience playing out live and give them a goal to focus on. Through doing so, he quickly realized that there were a lack of places where the youth and adults in the community could go and play music and hone their skills before a live audience.

Eltora reached out to Copperbean Coffee where he began hosting monthly Open Mic Nights for the community.

A previous HMF Open Mic Night

Over the years, thousands of amateurs and touring musicians have stopped by to play a few songs and support the musicians. Recently the Open Mic has moved to Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse and Gallery(29 2nd St NW, Hickory, NC) where Eltora plans to continue the series for years to come.

The Open Mic meets the last Saturday of each month from 7-10pm and everyone is welcome to come and play or listen. A P.A. and microphones are provided and acoustic instruments are encouraged. There is a sign up sheet if you would like to perform and it is first come first serve.

The next Open Mic will be on Sat June 25th, 7-10pm at Taste Full Beans downtown Hickory, NC. For more information, please contact the Hickory Music Factory at 828-308-5659 or

Oktoberfest Seeks Bands & Musicians Between Ages 12-25

Hickory - Oktoberfest, held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 is looking for The Best of the Best local Teen Talent. Pull the band out of the garage, house or practice studio and get on stage! The selected artists/bands will play on the Hickory Music Factory Stage at this years Oktoberfest in downtown Hickory.

Interested artists/bands should be between the ages 12 and 25. To apply, send your info (bio, picture, music) to:

Tony Eltora

Please include name, address, email address and phone number of the person to contact if the band is chosen for more information. Parental consent must be obtained for musicians under the age of 18 years old.

For Oktoberfest information please visit the website or email

Edison Project Deadline Is July 22 - Entrepreneurs Wanted!

Hickory - The Edison Project is sponsored by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and is a celebration and recognition of the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that we have in our area. We are looking for entrepreneurs who have an idea for an innovative viable business in the Hickory Metro area they would like to submit for consideration and review by a panel of judges. You will compete with other start-up entrepreneurs for an economic incentive of $18,000 in cash: ($10,000 1st place; $5,000 2nd place and $3,000 3rd place) plus other pro-bono benefits for the best new entrepreneurial business ideas in the Metro area for 2016.

The application process ends on Friday, July 22nd at 5:00 p.m. Go to and fill out the application and Executive Summary on line. You can also learn more about the competition by reviewing a Q&A document on our web site at Complete the application/summary on line and submit your registration fee of $100 separately to the Chamber at 1055 Southgate Corp. Park SW, Hickory, NC 28602. The application can be no longer than 1,000 words (12 font) and must address all of the elements of the Executive Summary outline, which can be found on the Chamber’s website also.

This competition is for potential new start-up companies and for those current businesses that have cumulative revenues of less than $350,000, excluding grants. You can reapply if you were not one of the top 3 winners from the previous years. This competition is not applicable for non-profit organizations. The business must be located within the Hickory Metro area of Catawba, Burke, Caldwell or Alexander counties.

A judging panel will review all applications and announce the finalists on Monday, August 15th. The finalists will have until Monday, October 24th to prepare and submit a formal business plan based on their executive summary and a suggested business plan outline. The business plan outline will be given to all finalists to help them in developing their formal presentation to the judges.

Each of the finalists will be making a 15 minute presentation, with 10 minutes for Q&A, to a judging panel on Friday, October 14th at the Chamber. The final stage of the competition will take place on Monday, November 21st where each finalist will be given 5 minutes to present a more condensed version of their business plan/idea at a special reception/awards ceremony, open to the public.

You will be judged on a point system based on the elements of your written and oral Business Plan presentation. Your Business Plan presentation (Pitch) will account for 50% of your totals points, and written Business Plan will amount to 40% of your total points. Your final 5 minute presentation on November 21st will be judged by the audience and will amount to 10% of your remaining total points. The judges will combine all three scores that evening and award the Top Three winners during the Awards Ceremony.

Questions, please e-mail or call 828 431-7230.

Harper School Of Performing Arts Summer Camps Are Forming

Lenoir, NC – The Harper School of Performing Arts is proud to announce and invite you to join our 2016 Summer Camps!

Guitar Group:
Guitar Group is a fun and educational class offered for students interested in learning guitar for the first time or those interested in improving on basics skills they have already learned. In a group setting, students will learn guitar techniques including:
Chords, notes and scales of the guitar; Chord changes; Note and rhythm reading; Picking and strumming; Playing Melodies; Guitars and all materials will be provided.
Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays July 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28 and August 2, 4
Time: 6:00—7:00 PM
Ages: 9 and up
Instructor: Jonathan Beal

Music Seminar:
The Harper Schools Music Seminar Camp is the perfect class for those interested in a career in music or just wishing to increase their knowledge of music. This class will cover:
Music History; Instrument Families; Music Theory; Instrumental Ensemble Types; Choral Music; Folk Music; Swing/Jazz/Motown/Beach/Pop/Rock
Dates: Tuesdays and Thursdays July 12, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28—August 2, 4
Time: 7:00—8:00 PM
Instructor: Jonathan Beal

Beginning Band Camp:
In Beginning Band Camp children will learn the fundamentals. This is a great opportunity for your child to get a head start on band for the year. They will learn to take their instrument apart and how to put it back together, learn the first couple of pages in their book and the first 5 notes of their instrument. They will also learn the correct posture, breathing and rhythm. Students need to bring their instrument and all music will be provided for the week.
Dates: August 8th—August 12th
Time: 5:30 - 7:30pm
Age: Rising 6th Graders
Instructors: Erika Greer, Jim Shulstad and Jonathan Beal

Camp Treble:
Camp Treble is a two week summer music camp where you will experience fun and learning at the same time. You will pick a main music or performing arts category along with 4 additional options for a day full of fun and educational music curriculum. There will be 6 – 45 minute sessions each day and a lunch break (bring your own). Sessions for Camp Treble are as follows:

Elementary Piano, Guitar and Chorus Piano Voice Guitar Concert Band Rock Band
Brass Ensemble Saxophone Ensemble Jazz Ensemble String Ensemble Clarinet Ensemble
Percussion Ensemble Voice Pedagogy Music Theory Chorus Drumming
Dates: July 18th—21st and July 25th—28th
Time: 10:00 AM—4:00 PM
Age: Rising 5th Grade and Up
Instructors: Jonathan Beal, Erika Greer, Carla Reid, Terry Reid, Jim Shulstad and Matthew Snow

* Private Lessons (30 minute) will also be offered before and after the camp each day for $10

We also offer year round enrollment in private lessons for those who are interested in one-on-one instruction. Private lessons are perfect for those looking to improve on certain techniques, those who are uncomfortable with learning in large groups, or if an individual is unavailable to attend the group class times.

We invite you to stop by the school and experience “The Magic that Happens at the Harper School”.

For more information on the Harper School, including rates, contact us at 828-754-2297, or visit our new website and “Like” our Facebook page.

Tickets Are On Sale For The Appalachian Summer Festival

Boone, NC - For over three decades, Appalachian State University’s annual summer arts celebration, An Appalachian Summer Festival, has offered unique and enriching arts experiences to audiences across the Southeast, combining world-class performing and visual arts programming, and a spectacular mountain location in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The festival’s 32nd season, to be presented in June 28–Aug. 6, 2016, will feature the best in music, dance, theatre, film and visual arts. The festival has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeastern Tourism Society for its commitment to showcasing a vast array of exceptional artistic talent and entertainment.

With ticket prices ranging from $5-$50, as well as several free events, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at

2016 Festival Season
For videos, images and detailed information about each event, visit

Schaefer Popular Series:

Broadway and Beyond with Tony Award Winner Kelli O’Hara
Saturday, July 9
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Tony Award-winning Broadway star Kelli O’Hara has dazzled audiences and critics alike in the most recent revivals of “The King and I,” “South Pacific,” and “The Pajama Game.” Performing with a quintet, Ms. O’Hara takes the stage for an evening of Broadway showstoppers and familiar favorites from the Great American Songbook.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge
Saturday, July 15
8 p.m., Holmes Convocation Center
This co-headlining show will feature Grammy and Oscar-award winner Melissa Etheridge, with four-time Grammy-winning Benatar, performing with long-time bandmate and husband Neil Giraldo.

Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo and Melissa Etheridge, July 15

Performing their classics hits, fans can expect Etheridge’s “Ain’t It Heavy” and “I’m the Only One,” as well as Benatar’s chart topping “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” and “Love Is a Battlefield.”

Pink Martini
Monday, July 25
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Performing a stylish and sophisticated blend of jazz, classical, and old-fashioned pop on concert stages around the world, Pink Martini captures audiences by bringing together unique melodies and rhythms to create an eclectic and modern sound.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue
Saturday, July 30
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
New Orleans native Trombone Shorty is the bandleader and frontman for this hard-edged funk band that employs hip-hop beats, rock dynamics and improvisation in a jazz tradition.

Jerry Douglas Band with special guest Mipso
Saturday, Aug. 6
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Dobro master and 13-time Grammy Award-winner Jerry Douglas is a forward-thinking recording artist whose artistry incorporates elements of bluegrass, country, rock, jazz, blues and Celtic into his distinctive musical vision. Douglas and his band will be joined by Chapel Hill-based Mipso, known for infusing a traditional string band format with three-part harmony and modern influences.

Classical Music Programming:
Broyhill Chamber Ensemble
July 6, 20, and 31
8 p.m., Rosen Concert Hall
Every summer, violinist Gil Morgenstern, Artistic Director of the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble and its international “Reflections Series,” assembles several of the nation’s most exciting and acclaimed chamber musicians for an exquisite concert series embracing a diverse repertoire of chamber music works.

Eastern Festival Orchestra with Gerard Schwarz, Music Director
Sunday, July 10
4 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Under the direction of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the Eastern Festival Orchestra returns to the festival for an afternoon of memorable symphonic music featuring soloists Julian Schwarz, cello, and Marco Núñez, first-prize winner of the 2015 Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists.

Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists
Sunday, July 17
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
In partnership with the Hayes School of Music, the festival proudly presents the sixth season of the highly acclaimed Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young & Emerging Artists, featuring our state’s most promising young classical musicians. In the final live round of the competition, a panel of symphony conductors will select a First Place, Second Place and Third Place Winner and the competition audience will select an “Audience Choice Award Winner.”

Theatre Programming:

Reduced Shakespeare Company: “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play”
Thursday, July 7 and Friday, July 8
8 p.m., Valborg Theatre
This production of “William Shakespeare’s Long-Lost First Play” by the acclaimed Reduced Shakespeare Company is a comic misadventure that will feel strangely familiar yet excitingly new. Every famous character and Shakespearean plot device come together in a single story so comically outrageous it’s no wonder the Bard of Avon hid it away.

In/Visible Theatre: “Mauzy”
Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29
8 p.m., Valborg Theatre
In/Visible Theatre returns to the festival with its production of “Mauzy,” a play about tale-telling, about songs, about how storytellers can mix so deep into the stories themselves that they never find their way out—out of the story, or out of the mountains, or back to the world of the living.

Dance Programming:
RIOULT Dance NY: “Bach Dances” with live music by the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble
Saturday, July 23
8 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
“Bach Dances” is a series of powerful dances set to Bach masterpieces, characterized by a unity of music, movement, and art. The festival is proud to present an evening of music and dance that blends the artistry of a company at the forefront of contemporary dance today with the prodigiously talented musicians of its resident chamber ensemble.

The Helene & Stephen Weicholz Global Film Series:
Labyrinth of Lies (2014)
Tuesday, June 28
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Difret (2014)
Tuesday, July 5
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
The Dinner (2014)
Tuesday, July 12
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Baba Joon (2015)
Tuesday, July 19
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Three Hearts (2014)
Tuesday, July 26
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Tangerines (2013)
Tuesday, Aug. 2
7 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Young People’s Global Film Series:
Oddball and the Penguins (2015)
Thursday, July 7
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
On the Way to School (2013)
Thursday, July 14
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Belle and Sébastian (2013)
Thursday, July 28
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Marie’s Story (2014)
Thursday, Aug. 4
1 p.m., Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
Visual Arts Programming:

Summer Exhibition Celebration at the Turchin Center
Friday, July 1
6 p.m., Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
Celebrate summer at the Turchin Center and “engage, discover and connect through the arts!”

The Avett Brothers perform in September

The Summer Exhibition Celebration is an opportunity for art lovers to meet the artists, enjoy refreshments, and spend time with fellow arts patrons, while viewing the featured exhibitions in one of the most exciting venues in town: a collection of six galleries filled with a diverse mix of contemporary art from local, regional, and international artists.

30th Rosen Sculpture Walk
Saturday, July 23
10 a.m., Smith Gallery, Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts
A highlight of every summer festival season, the annual Sculpture Walk offers participants a fascinating journey into the world of contemporary sculpture, through the eyes of the juror. This walking tour, which is free and open to the public, includes stops at each of the ten selected sculptures, providing an opportunity to learn more about each sculpture and to be present for the announcement of the competition’s top awards.

Lunch and Learn Lectures
Wednesdays, July 6, 13, 20, 27 and Aug. 3
Noon, Turchin Center Lecture Hall
Workshops for Kids and Young Adults
Throughout the month of July
Schedule can be found

Special Post-Festival Concert (sponsored by Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation):
An Evening with The Avett Brothers
Thursday, Sept. 8
8 p.m., Holmes Convocation Center
With roots in traditional folk and bluegrass, The Avett Brothers’ sound combines a refreshing blend of country, punk, rock and roll, and pop that the “San Francisco Chronicle” describes as having the "heavy sadness of Townes Van Zandt, the light pop concision of Buddy Holly, the tuneful jangle of the Beatles, the raw energy of the Ramones."

About An Appalachian Summer Festival:

Presented by Appalachian State University’s Office of Arts & Cultural Programs, this annual celebration of the performing and visual arts is held every July in venues across the university campus, and features an eclectic, diverse mix of music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film programming. An Appalachian Summer Festival began in 1984 as a chamber music series, and retains strong roots in classical music, combined with a variety of other programming geared to almost every artistic taste and preference. Celebrating its 32nd season in 2016, the festival has risen in stature to become one of the nation’s most highly respected summer festivals, acclaimed for the breadth and quality of its artistic programming. With an audience of 27,000, the festival has been named one of the “Top Twenty Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Shellem Cline Sings On June 29! Seniors

Morning Out Has Many Fun Events For June

Hickory – Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities during the month of June, including a performance by Christian singer/songwriter Shellem Cline, a dramatic performance about the life of 19th century hymn writer Fanny Crosby, and a performance by Elvis Tribute Artist Ed Smith.

Anyone who is 60 or better who lives in Catawba County is invited to attend the special concert with Shellem Cline from 9am to noon on June 29 at the Huntington Hills Church of God, at 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory. A free lunch will also be served. If you wish to attend this event, you must register by June 21 by calling 695-5610. Cline has received numerous awards for his music. Some of his most well-known songs include “Bluejeans and Biscuits,” “Dinner with Jesus,” and “Halfway Down the Aisle.”

Seniors Morning Out is a free program offered Monday through Thursday at five different locations in the county. Any county resident who is 60 or better is invited to attend. Fun and educational activities are offered, and a free lunch is served. Bus transportation is available in some locations. If you wish to attend, please contact the site supervisor at least 48 hours in advance. Programs differ by location. Some of the highlights are as follows.

At West Hickory SMO, located at West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: June 6: Fanny Crosby presentation by Bobbie Curtis; June 7, Laughing Yoga with Judy Stowe and Ice Cream in a Bag; June 9, Play Family Feud and Dance to the Music of Sentimental Journey; June 13, Program on Human Trafficking in the Carolinas by Karen Birkedal; June 21, Bowling at Pin Station; June 23, Elvis Tribute Artist Ed Smith; June 30, Birthday Party and music by Alexander County Old Time Pickers. To reserve your place, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At East Hickory SMO, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: June 2, Legal Aid of North Carolina; June 7, Senior Safety with Sgt. John Helton with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Department;

Reserve by 6/21 to hear Shellem Cline sing 6/29

June 16, Shopping at Roses and Father’s Day Lunch at the Snack Bar; June 30, Birthday Party. To reserve your place, call Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

At Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main St., Newton: June 6, Dramatic Performance about Blind Hymn Writer Fanny Crosby; June 7, Ice Cream Bar (bring your favorite topping), and What You Need to Know about Arthritis; June 21, Music by Sentimental Journey; June 22, Legal Aid of North Carolina; June 30, Hawaiian Luau. Experience music, lei making and a cooking class on Hawaiian food. To reserve your spot, contact Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church, 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: June 2, Indoor Beach Party with snacks and games; June 7, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Honey’s IGA; June 9, Popcorn and Movie at Sherrills Ford Library, “90 Minutes in Heaven;” June 15, Cookout and Music by Sentimental Journey; June 16, Safe Travel Tips for Older Adults by Jackie Saunders of Bayada Home Health; June 21, Legal Aid of North Carolina; June 30, Craft Day and Sun Safety Program. To reserve your place, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

At Maiden SMO, located at Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second St. and Klutz Street in Maiden: June 2, Elvis Tribute Artist Ed Smith; June 9, Legal Aid of North Carolina; June 13, Effective Communication Strategies for Dementia with Meghan Lawton of Alzheimers Association; June 14, Ice Cream Social and Corn Hole Game; June 27, Proper Herbs and Spices as We Age; June 28; Corn Hole Game and Music by Sentimental Journey. To reserve your place, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

Senior Nutrition Services operates Seniors Morning Out, Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. Volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. For more information, contact Senior Nutrition Services at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, or visit the website at For the latest updates, like the program on Facebook at

Reserve by 6/21 to hear Shellem Cline sing 6/29

Hickory Metro Convention & VB Offers Local

& Regional Information To Visitors Year-Round

Hickory – The Hickory Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau greets visitors throughout the year at the Visitors Center at the Hickory Metro Convention Center.

In 2015, more than 2,000 people from across the nation as well as visitors from Russia and London signed the Visitors Center book, which is just a snapshot of the number of actual tourists and visitors in the center. In addition, thousands of locals and visitors attended 154 meetings/events/conferences (public and private) that were held in the convention center and attendees of these events often walk through and pick up brochures or ask questions about local businesses and events.

“We maintain a high degree of service to all visitors by maintaining inventory on local, regional and state attractions,” said Mandy Pitts, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Hickory-Conover Tourism Development Authority (TDA). “Our friendly staff is trained to provide information on attractions, shopping, lodging, places to eat and fun things to do for all ages. The Visitors Center also continues to promote community events on its regional online calendar, as well as highlights events and attractions on social media.”

Visitors Center Coordinator Terri von Drehle gets so many questions asked each day, but shared the most asked question which is “What is there to do in the Hickory Metro?”

“It’s an easy question to answer because there is so much to do in our community and some of the places I highlight include the SALT Block, Sails Original Music Series, Western Piedmont Symphony concerts, Oktoberfest, three farmers markets, shopping at locally owned boutique and stores, furniture shopping at the Hickory Furniture Mart as well as other businesses, and performances at Hickory Community Theatre, The Green Room Community Theatre, local breweries and distilleries tours, hiking, fine dinning at locally owned farm to table restaurants are a few of my answers.”

Terri von Drehle speaks with a visitor from New Orleans

von Drehle also gets asks by visitors to name positives and negatives in the area, but has a hard time coming up with negatives, but its easy to come up with positives, she said, adding that the only negative would be pollen for a few weeks a year for those with allergies. When answering that question from a visitor last week, they also inquired how long she had lived in the area and she told them she grew up in Hickory, then moved out of the area for almost 20 years and came back.

“We had six children in our family growing up and all of us moved away and all six of us moved back to raise our families,” said von Drehle. “I think that says a lot about the Hickory Metro as several of my adult children have chosen to stay in the area as well.”

Hickory Metro Convention and Visitors Bureau celebrated tourism the entire month of May with its “31 Days of May” campaign. The calendar can be found at and has events and attractions on each day of the month of May, although many of these events and attractions are activities locals and visitors can do throughout the entire year.

For more information call the Hickory Metro CVB at (828) 322-1335 or visit Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at 1960 13th Avenue Drive, SE in Hickory, which is the road parallel to I-40 near Exit 125.

When The Earth Shakes Exhibit Now Open At Science Center

Hickory - Find out what engineers do to keep our world safer at Catawba Science Center’s latest featured exhibition, When the Earth Shakes, which opened on May 28, will be open till August 28, 2016. Both children and adults will explore the science of earthquakes, tsunamis, tectonic plates, and earthquake engineering with hands-on and interactive exhibits.

Visitors will try and mimic a historic earthquake by jumping up and down on platform, changing the force of the jump, to match a seismogram in Quake Karaoke. Then, participants can see how the continents move and re-form while spinning the dial through geologic history from 600 million years ago to 200 million years in the future. They can also see where earthquakes happen all around the word, sometimes hundreds every week, on the Seismic Monitor that shows earthquakes and their magnitude in real time.

In Puzzled Earth, visitors are given two minutes to assemble a map of giant tectonic plates before the pieces fall. Then visitors can test their engineering skills by making their own earthquake-safe building out of block and reinforcement rods on the Table Shake platform; then start an “earthquake” to see if the structure will hold up in both minor and major conditions.

Guests can also build a structure and make waves crash on a beach in the 16-foot long Tsunami Tank to explore the science of tsunami waves. The participants will have a chance to improve their design after seeing what happened to their structure in slow motion, and will see what happens when a sea wall is added.

Admission to When the Earth Shakes is free for CSC members. The cost for non-members is CSC’s general admission fee plus $1.00. For more information about the When the Earth Shakes and other exhibits, programs, and activities, visit or contact CSC at (828) 322-8169.

When the Earth Shakes is sponsored locally by HSM Solutions, US Conec, & Commscope, and was created by the Sciencenter of Ithaca, New York, with funding from the National Science Foundation and NEES, the National Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination,

Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder.

Funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, CSC is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

Hickory Jaycees’ Conover Alive! Concerts Are Every Friday In June

Conover, NC. – The Hickory Jaycees are excited to announce the return of their summer concert series! Conover Alive! will be held every Friday night in June from 7pm to 11pm at Conover Station, located in downtown Conover. The concert series is free to the public, there will be food and beverages for sale, all shows are rain or shine. The City of Conover is extending the Splash Pad hours to 9pm during the concerts. The Jaycees will also be collecting pet food, toys and blankets to donate to the Humane Society of Catawba County and the Catawba County Animal Shelter.

The band line-up is:

June 24, 2016: Night Move Band

The Hickory Jaycees are a young professionals’ civic engagement organization. Through business projects, we gain professional experience while raising funds to support community projects like Christmas for Teens with Department of Social Services, GrandPals through Meals on Wheels, NC Jaycee Burn Center at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke Cancer Center and the Boys & Girls Homes of NC at Lake Waccamaw. We also work with local food pantries, soup kitchens, housing programs and animal shelters to raise funds and awareness about local needs to make our community a better place to live and work. For more information, please contact the Hickory Jaycees at

Newton-Conover Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen Tickets On Sale Now!

Newton, NC - ?The Newton-Conover Auditorium is offering 2016-2017 season tickets for the popular lunchtime concert series, Bach's Lunch 'N' Listen. As a season ticket holder, you will have the privilege of reserving tickets for any Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen concert before ticket sales open up to the public.

With the ten punches on your season ticket, you have the flexibility to reserve one punch for each concert or use multiple punches for one concert. At a cost of $120, it is the equivalent of getting two FREE tickets. Below are the concert dates for the 2016-2017 season. Performers will be announced July 1st.

August 19th, 2016; September 16th, 2016; October 21st, 2016; November 18th, 2016; December 16th, 2016; January 20th, 2017; February 17th, 2017; March 17th, 2017; April 21st, 2017;;May 19th. 2017. To purchase a season ticket, call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100.

Auditions For The Renaissance Festival Are June 18 & 25

Concord, NC - The Carolina Renaissance Festival, a combination of outdoor theater, circus, arts and crafts fair, jousting tournament and feast, will hold open auditions on Saturday, June 18th from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and Saturday, June 25th from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM at the Cannon School located at 5801 Poplar Tent Road, Concord, NC 28027.

The Festival is calling for actors, entertainers, musicians, performers and colorful personalities of all types to inhabit the Festival’s make believe Village of Fairhaven. Amateur and professional opportunities are available. Prepared material, head shots, and resumes are appreciated but not required. Auditionees should be age 13 or older.

Audition registration is available online at The Carolina Renaissance Festival returns for its 23rd season on weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, October 1st through November 20th, on a 325 acre site minutes north of Charlotte, between Concord and Huntersville, at the junction of NC 73 and Poplar Tent Road. This information and more can be found online at

Maynard Refrigeration Raffle For A Yeti 125 - Tix $5 Each!

Hickory - Drop by Maynard Refrigeration to purchase a $5 raffle ticket for a Yeti 125 cooler!

The drawing will be held on June 30, 2016, and all proceeds will go to benefit the NC Baptist Children’s Home.

Maynard Refrigeration is located at 215 11th St. SW, Hickory, NC 28602. Phone: 828.358.1711


Science Center's Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat Is Now Open!

Hickory - One of Catawba Science Center’s most anticipated and beloved exhibits, the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat, returned to the Science Courtyard on Saturday, May 14. Both children and adults will have the unique opportunity to see live butterflies and learn about these fascinating insects.

Visitors will learn about the life cycle of the butterfly as they stop by the butterfly nursery to examine the design, color, and texture of chrysalides containing future inhabitants of the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat.

With a provided field guide, guests will discover an assortment of North Carolina native butterflies such as Monarchs, Swallowtails, and Fritillaries. Guests will also have the opportunity to experience the presence of semitropical species such as Zebra Long Wing, Julia, and Queen butterflies.

Everyone will have the opportunity to learn about plants that attract butterflies. Some provide nectar while others serve as a food plant for caterpillars. A wide array of flowers, shrubs, and vines provide many different colors and shapes.

In conjunction with this special exhibition, a variety of special events are planned:

Photographer Mondays will be held on June 6, July 18, and August 22, while CSC exhibits are closed to the public, for photographers age 16 and older. Members of the Catawba Valley Camera Club will be available to share photography tips. There is a suggested donation of $10 for this activity. Preregistration is recommended.

Butterfly Lunches will occur on the second Wednesday of July and August from Noon – 1:30pm in the large choral room, and participants are asked to bring their own bagged lunch. Topics will include “Butterflies and Moths” on June 8, “Butterfly Gardening” on July 13, and “Mysteries of Monarchs” on August 10. Butterfly Lunches are free with general and Flutter-By Admission.

Two Family Field Trips have been planned, both to be led by CSC’s Lead Naturalist, Bruce Beerbower. The first trip will be held on Monday, June 20, to Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC, from 9am – 5pm. Highlights include flowers of all colors, water features, and a visit to the Carolina’s only glass house at the Orchid Conservatory. The cost is $30 for members and $40 for non-members. The second field trip will occur on Monday, August 15, to the Magic Wings Butterfly House, a part of the Museum of Life and Science, in Durham, NC, from 8am – 6pm. The group will explore exhibits, and receive a special behind the scenes tour of the Butterfly House and Insectarium. The cost is $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Costs for both trips include van transportation, snacks, and museum fees. Participants must provide their own picnic lunch. Pre-registration is required for both trips.

Admission to the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat is free for CSC members. The cost for non-members is CSC’s general admission fee plus $1.00. (Nonmember Adult $8.00, Senior (62+) $6.00, Youth (3 – 18) $6.00, Children (under 3) Free, Student (with ID) $6.00, Active Military (with ID) $6.00. Group Rate (10 or more) $6.00.

For more information about the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat and activities, visit or contact CSC at (828) 322-8169.

Lead sponsors for the Flutter-By Butterfly Habitat are Alex Lee, Lowes Foods, and MDI. Individuals providing additional sponsorship are Jerry & Loudella Francis, Pope & Peggy Shuford, Tom & Diane Taylor, Alan & Eleanor Barnhardt, Karen Bennett & Andy Brinkley, George & Carolyn Moretz, David & Pat Jones, David & Martha Underdown, Rob & Townes Wessels, Chip & Lynn Young, Benny & Cherrie Yount, and other 2016 Italian Dinner Fund-A-Cause Supporters.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions include featured exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination,

Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder.

Funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative, CSC is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

Kids' Summer Classes In Sculpture & Music At Caldwell Arts

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council will offer Sculpting Our Future Summer Sculpture Camp July 11-18, 10am-12noon, $65/child – call 828-754-2486 to register by June 1st.

Campers will focus on creating three-dimensional art forms using established public and outdoor art as inspiration - exploring, creating and using imaginations. Tuition covers cost of materials, and entry into the Youth Category of the Caldwell Sculpture Celebration. All entries will be eligible for prizes.

The Caldwell Arts Council will offer Summer music classes in our Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) program – learn to play guitar, mandolin or fiddle on Wednesday evenings July 13-August 31 & in downtown Lenoir, and on Saturday September 3rd at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention – and play on stage at the Fiddlers Convention! $80/student; call 828-754-2486 to register by June 1st.

Come pick your heart out this summer – join a band, learn how to play an instrument – Caldwell JAM helps you do both! Beginner classes Wednesday evenings 4:30-5:30pm, and Advanced classes at 5:30-6:30pm July 13-August 31 in downtown Lenoir; final camp day is September 3rd at the Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention. If adults want to join, you must have your own instrument and there may possibly be a slightly higher cost.

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue (corner of Norwood Street) in Lenoir; phone (828) 754-2486 or visit the website

This project is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources.

Oktoberfest Seeks Musicians & Bands

Hickory NC: Oktoberfest, held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 is looking for The Best of the Best local Teen Talent. Pull the band out of the garage, house or practice studio and get on stage! The selected artists/bands will play on the Hickory Music Factory Stage at this years Oktoberfest in downtown Hickory.

Interested artists/bands should be between the ages 12 and 25. To apply, send your info (bio, picture, music) to: Tony Eltora at

Please include name, address, email address and phone number of the person to contact if the band is chosen for more information. Parental consent must be obtained for musicians under the age of 18 years old.

For Oktoberfest information please visit the website or email

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Bingo Games Each Wed., 6 & 7pm

Newton, NC - Newton Elks Lodge #2042 will host a weekly BINGO program every Wednesday. The Lodge, located at 402 East J Street in Newton, will open its doors at 5:30 PM and begin Early Bird Games at 6 PM.

The “Regular Bingo Program” will begin at 7 PM. The total prizes for the regular program will exceed $2,000 each night, with additional prizes for the Early Bird games and other special games within the regular program. The bingo program is presented completely by the members of Newton Elks Lodge #2042, house rules will be posted at the door.

No smoking is allowed in the Lodge, and all children must be supervised at all times.

For additional information or questions, please call the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 at 828-464-1360 after 4 PM.

The Newton Elks Lodge invites you and your friends to join us every Wednesday for a fun night of bingo.

2016 Lincoln Idol Singing Contest Is Taking Applications

Lincolnton, NC - The ACLC is now accepting applications for our 2016 Lincoln Idol Singing Competition. Come perform your heart out with the chance of being labeled Idol status! Our competition will feature celebrity judges and DJ Chucky B. More than $3200 in cash & prizes will be awarded to the winners.

Applicants must be at least 14 years old to enter our contest. Applicants will perform as individuals. Contestant fee is $40 per application.

Contestant applications are available at

Auditions will be scheduled September 12, 13 & 14, 2016. Semi-finals will be September 23, 2016, 7-11pm. Finials will be September 24, 2016, 7-10pm.

Auditions, semi finals and finals will be held at the Lincoln Cultural Center at 403 East Main Street. Admission will be charged at Semi-finals and Finals, $10 per night, general admission seating, $5 per night for ages 4 and under.

For more information visit or please contact ACLC at 704 732-9044 or email

Foothills Folk Art Festival Is Taking Artists’ Applications Now

Newton, NC - The Foothills Folk Art Festival is now accepting artist applications for the juried festival, which will be held in downtown Newton on Saturday, Oct. 1.

The festival is a partnership between Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA) and Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). Formerly known as the Lake Norman Folk Art Festival, this event will make downtown Newton its new home in 2016. Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To participate, artists should be primarily self-taught and must submit 3-5 hard copy or high-resolution digital photos of their art to the selection committee. Artists are encouraged to apply now to take advantage of the early registration fee. Registration fees for those who are not accepted for the festival will be returned. Artists may obtain more information about the festival, and an application form, from Hickory Museum of Art by contacting Clarissa Starnes at or by calling 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival’s roots date back to 2005, when Hickory Museum of Art first acquired 153 folk art objects from Barry and Allen Huffman of Hickory. Since acquiring the Huffman collection, HMA has showcased contemporary Southern folk art through a variety of exhibits, public programs and special events. The Museum also has an ongoing and changing exhibition of folk art, Discover Folk Art: Unique Visions by Southern Self-Taught Artists, located on the third floor. The museum, located at 243 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. Shoppers can also purchase unique folk art in the Museum’s Galleria.

Admission to the Foothills Folk Art Festival is free. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of folk art directly from the artists. In addition, there will be special activities for children, artist demonstrations, and two stages with live music. The festival will offer food from local restaurants and food truck vendors, as well as two different beer gardens.

Festival volunteer committees are now being formed to organize everything from parking and signs to children’s art and food. To volunteer, contact Shannon Johnson, Newton Main Street Program manager, at 828-695-4360 or For the latest news about the festival, like its Facebook page at The Foothills Folk Art Festival website will be going live soon.

Call For Artists For Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts & Crafts, Vendors

Hickory - Be a part of Downtown Hickory’s 31st Annual Oktoberfest!!

Hickory’s Oktoberfest 2016 is now accepting applications for Arts and Crafts vendors. Celebrating its 31th year, this annual festival will be held October 7, 8, and 9, 2016 in Downtown Hickory NC. Estimated attendance is 100,000 for the three day event.

Hickory's Oktoberfest is an outdoor festival held annually on the second weekend in October. It features four stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors.

Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts and Crafts show is a juried event, with prizes given for the top three artisans. The Arts & Crafts area includes paintings, sculpture, pottery, handmade swings, candles, jewelry, photography and more. Booth spaces are 10 x 10 and limited to one craftsperson per booth. Registration will be accepted until Thursday, August 1, 2016. Booth fees are $200.00 for all three days with electricity available for an additional $25.00. Applications and guidelines are available on line at

Other vendors include foods from around the world, commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Applications for Commercial and Non-Profit vendors are available online at Food vendors are welcomed into the festival by invitation only. No food vendor applications are provided online.

For more information on Oktoberfest 2016, applications and guidelines or sponsorship information please visit the website and click on vendor applications or email

Hickory Music Factory Sets Dates Summer Music Camps

Hickory - Attention musicians 11-18 years of age. The Hickory Music Factory (HMF) is offering two summer camps in July. The first is the annual HMF Rock Camp (July 11-15, 9-2:30pm). Students will rehearse throughout the week with their band and learn the essentials needed to perform on stage.

There will be classes/clinics focusing on song writing, stage performance, music history, and music theory. The week will end with the students and their band playing a concert on Friday night at the SALT Block Auditorium. Bands for the HMF Rock Camp will also have an opportunity to perform at this year’s Hickory Oktoberfest.

The second camp is the HMF Recording Camp (July 18-22, 9-2:30pm). Students will learn the essentials they need to properly mix and record music. There will be classes focusing on the history of recording, microphone placement, layering of instruments and phasing. Students will also learn how to use Pro Tool recording software and record a live band. Cost for each camp is $225 HMF Students and $250 non HMF Students and the camps will take place at the Hickory Music Factory. To sign up, please contact: HMF 828-308-5659

Photo: Previous Rock Camp students

Hickory Brain Injury Support Group Meets Monthly

Hickory - Connect with survivors, families, and professionals at meetings that offer help, hope, and education, so you can live a happy and successful life after brain injury.

2016 Meetings: June TBD Crawdads Baseball; 7/26/16 Speaker; 8/23/16 Cookout at Glenn Hilton; 9/27/16 Speaker; 10/25/16 Spooky Bingo; 11/22/16 Speaker; and 12/13/16 Christmas Dinner.

Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of most months, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, at First United Methodist Church, 311 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC, 28601.

Times and locations sometimes vary, especially for social events. For more information, contact Travis Glass at (828) 781-0778 or

Also check them out on

Tucker’s Barn Singer/Songwriter Series

Lenoir, NC – The Harper School of Performing Arts is proud to announce the start of the 2016 Tuckers Barn Singer Songwriters Series!

The dates are first Thursday of each month, July 7, August 4 and September 1. The location is the 1841 Cafe, 117 Main St. NW, Lenoir, 28645. The time is 7 – 9pm and there is no cover charge though donations are gratefully accepted. All proceeds benefit scholarship programs at the Harper School.

Tuckers Barn Singer Songwriters Series is held on the first Thursday of every month through September. Each month performers come out to show case their talent by performing songs they have written themselves. April’s Kick Off showcase consists of Patrick Crouch, Kevin Leftwich and Chad Triplett. Please join us awesome music, good food, wonderful community sharing time and help us support and encourage our local artists. Stop by the school and experience “The Magic that Happens at the Harper School.” For more information on the Harper School, contact us at 828-754-2297, visit our new website and “Like” our Facebook page.

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

Hickory - While there are many groups working on the issue of homelessness in Catawba County, it has often been difficult to locate the help needed in specific cases.

A new website hopes to correct that problem, providing a virtual portal for citizens, law enforcement, or nonprofits to quickly refer persons experiencing homelessness to resources and information. It can be accessed at A multi-disciplinary team worked on the SAFE Connect project throughout 2015. The word "SAFE" in the name refers to the services that are often needed: shelter, assistance, food, and emergency care.

Now anyone with a computer or smart phone can access the site and immediately learn about available services and where they are located. The service can also use GPS to identify the closest service.

A person using the site selects the types of services they need and a series of links pop up listing the choices available in that area and how to contact them. Users of the service may also click on a button for immediate assistance, and a message is sent to a local person who can provide personalized information and assistance.

"We hope that governmental and non-profit groups in our area will use this site to refer persons experiencing homelessness to the most appropriate services," said John Eller, director of Catawba County Social Services. "Concerned citizens and persons who are experiencing homeless can also use the service if they have access to a computer or smart phone. The service is also a valuable resource when a person is at-risk for becoming homeless. This will be a great complement to United Way's 211 system and we will even have the 211 link visible so those interested can see their robust database should they want to obtain information other than homeless services."

The long term intent is for this service to eliminate the problem of persons contacting multiple agencies trying to find different kinds of assistance.

Bethlehem Library Accepting 2017 Artist Applications

Bethlehem NC - The Bethlehem Branch Library in Alexander County is now accepting applications for the Exhibiting Artists Series for the 2017 and 2018 schedules. All visual wall art mediums and photography may be submitted. Sculpture and wood carving is also now accepted for exhibition. Art is exhibited for two mnths with an Opening Reception and Gallery Talk on the first Thursday of the first month. The Bethlehem Branch Library has been one of the most successful and popular art exhibition venues in the region since its inception in 2010. The exhibition series is sponsored by the Bethlehem Friends of the Library and Bethlehem Community Development Association. Its purpose is to showcase local and regional artists work. For more information and submission guidelines contact Bud Caywood at Visit the Library Gallery at 45 Rink Dam Road, Hickory, NC 28601.

Women’s Resource Center Seeks Items For Pantry

Hickory — The Women’s Resource Center’s personal products pantry, which provides personal and cleaning projects to women and families in the area who are struggling to meet basic needs is in critical need of supplies to replenish the pantry.

“We are asking for help in re-stocking our shelves,” said Executive Director Cindy Rose. Families receiving food assistance from the government cannot use their allotment for these products. We rely on the generosity of community members to keep the shelves stocked so that we can make the items available to women who meet the eligibility requirements.”

Products needed include laundry detergent, hand soap, fabric softener, dryer sheets, bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, disinfectant, mouthwash, body wash, bleach, dish detergent, and all purpose cleaner (409, etc.)

Donations can be dropped off at the Center at 125 3rd Street NE, Hickory, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No donation is too small.

For additional information, visit the website at

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers assistance to women in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties through workforce development, advocacy, enrichment programs and community partnerships.

Hickory Cribbage Club Invites New Players, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM

Hickory - Hickory Cribbage Club “The CRIBBADIERS” is inviting new players to join our weekly tournaments of friendly competition. The club plays at 6:15 p.m. each Tuesday at Unitarian Universalist Church located at 833 5th St. SE Hickory, NC 2860. Members are willing to teach the game to newcomers or to help former players get back into the swing. Contact: Zig (828) 324-8613 or

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

Hickory - Caring for an older member of the family, who is ill, can be very rewarding and challenging. Karen Harshman willingly cared for her father John Godfrey during his illness and more so after he had to have surgery. During the time Karen cared for her father, she continued to work and raise her young daughter. Karen was glad to care for her father but found that she needed extra help. She was able to receive help from Health and Home Services of Catawba County through the Family Caregiver Support Program respite grant. Karen states, “The respite program benefited me by allowing me to maintain my employment and not have to take a leave of absence from work. It provided high-quality care for my father in his home, as opposed to putting him in a skilled nursing facility.”

Family members are the major provider of long-term care in the United States, with over 65 million individuals providing care to an older adult. Many caregivers have to remain in their jobs while being caregivers for family members. The responsibilities of caring for a loved one can often leave a caregiver inattentive to their personal health or leave little time for a break from their daily responsibilities. Taking a break from caregiving and focusing on their personal needs often renews the caregiver, allowing them to cope better and continue providing care for their loved one and their responsibilities.

While caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also have an emotional, physical and financial toll on the caregiver. When the stress of caregiving begins to have an impact on the caregiver's health and mental well-being, it is time to seek help and support. The Family Caregiver Support Program is a Federal and state program from the federal Older Americans Act that provides supportive services for those considered caregivers. Program services are available to adult family members who are caregivers for a person age 60 or older and priority given to caregivers providing care and support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and/or to individuals with disabilities.

Melody Beaty, RN, BSN, Agency Director for Health & Home Services administers a respite program in our area which provides much-needed breaks for caregivers who are caring for a family member. As Melody explains, “Every day hundreds of people are providing care to a loved one in our community. For most they do not even recognize themselves as caregivers. This labor of love can be stressful and overwhelming at times.”

The Family Caregiver Support Program serves Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba County caregivers and services are available to assist caregivers on their journey. It is important for caregivers to take a break or take some time for themselves during the time they are dedicating to caring for a loved one. If you are caring for someone and feel you need assistance or if you know someone who is a caregiver and could use a much-needed break, contact the following organization in your county:

·Alexander County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Burke County – Handi-Care, Inc., 304 South Main Street, Drexel, NC 28619. Phone: (828) 437-8429

·Caldwell County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir, NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Catawba County - Health and Home Services, Inc., 910 Hwy 321 NW, Suite 150, Hickory, NC 28601 or by phone at (828) 322-2710.

Photo: Left to right: Jennifer Godfrey, John Godfrey and Karen Harshman

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

Hickory/Newton, NC - Humane Society of Catawba County is looking for people interested in fostering homeless animals.

Fostering is often necessary when animals need a little more time and TLC prior to adoption; for example, mothers with nursing litters, orphaned litters, and shy animals that need extra socializing.

HSCC also has a growing need for short-term foster care, sometimes just a couple of weeks, for healthy dogs awaiting transport to another rescue.

HSCC will provide everything you need; the foster family will only need to bring the animal to the shelter occasionally for medical check-ups or for their transport date.

The time commitment and selected animal(s) are entirely based on what is convenient for the foster family.

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

Hickory - The mission of Family Guidance Center’s First Step Domestic Violence Program is to provide needed services to victims of domestic violence and to increase the community’s awareness of the problem.

Verbal abuse is a type of abuse that can leave deep wounds. There are no bruises or marks on your body, but verbal abuse pierces you to the core—it is the Hidden Hurt of domestic violence. Some forms of verbal abuse are obvious, such as name calling or sneering, but many more forms are less obvious and not as easy to recognize. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are being verbally abused:

Does your partner speak to you differently in private and in public?

Do you often leave a discussion with your partner feeling completely confused?

Does your partner deny being angry or upset when he/she very obviously is?

Does your partner act as though you were attacking them when you try to explain your feelings?

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

You feel as though no matter how hard you try, you just don’t seem to be able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner as he/she always seems to misunderstand you and/or it always seems to cause an argument no matter how you try to approach the subject?

Do you feel nervous or avoid discussing issues which disturb you with your partner because you ‘know’ that trying to discuss them will just leave you feeling even more upset?

Do you feel as though your self-esteem and your self-confidence have decreased?

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time working out either how not to upset your partner or wondering what you did or said which did upset your partner?

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

Verbal abuse is usually a part of a pattern which is difficult to recognize and it leaves us with a feeling of confusion and upset without really understanding why.

Verbal abuse uses words (or silence) to gain and maintain control.

From time to time, we may all be guilty of saying something which is nasty or abusive to our partner. But when we realize that what we said was hurtful, we regret it and apologize to our partner. Verbal abusers; however, are not likely to apologize. They are not sorry for what they said because hurting you was their intent!

Contact The Family Guidance Center at 828-322-1400. Located at #17 Hwy. 70 SE, Hickory, NC, 28602.

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

Hickory-Women’s Resource Center is seeking women volunteers who have a passion for giving back to their community and supporting women who are undergoing life-changing transitions.

We need support during our regular daily business hours. WRC Business Hours are 9:00am—4:00pm,Monday through Thursday.

Women’s Resource Center empowers women through Workforce Development, Advocacy, Enrichment Programs, and Community Partnerships.

If interested, please contact Cindy Rose, Executive Director at 828-322-6333 or email

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses. For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation, many people are forgoing scheduling annual eye examinations and purchasing new eyeglasses. That's why County Social Worker's with NC Division of Services For The Blind have established a partnerships with their Lions Clubs in the county to refer children and adults who need financial assistance in securing an eye examination and purchasing eyeglasses who meet their local Lions Club eligibility guidelines.

If Alexander, Burke, Caldwell,Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford County residents needing assistance with eyeglasses and eye examinations should contact these County Social Workers For The Blind with NC Division of Services For The Blind listed below , then they will forward their names and contact information to a Lions Club in their county:

Alexander & Caldwell County Social Worker For The Blind
1. Gary Smith
604 7th Street, SW
2345 Morganton Boulevard, Suite A, Taylorsville, NC 28681 Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Telephone: (828) 632-1080 Telephone: 828-426-8316

Burke & McDowell County Social Worker For The Blind
2. Sandy Freeman
700 E. Parker Road
207 East Court Street
Morganton, NC 28680 Marion, NC 29752
Telephone: (828) 764-9704 Telephone: 828-659-0844

Catawba Social Worker
for the Blind
3. Greg Morgan
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

Cleveland County Social
Worker For The Blind
4. Lucy Plyer
130 South Post Road
Shelby, North Carolina 28150
Telephone: 704-487-0661 ext. 317;

Gaston Social Worker
for the Blind
5. Charity Patterson
330 N. Marietta Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
Telephone: (704) 862-7622

Iredell & Lincoln County
Social Worker for the Blind
6. Tammy Loukos
549 Eastside Drive
1136 East Main Street
Statesville, NC 28687
Lincolnton, N.C. 28092
Telephone: (704) 924-4111 Telephone: 704-732-9024

Polk & Rutherford County
Social Worker For The Blind
7. Marian Corn
231 Wolverine Trail
389 Fairground Road
Mill Spring, NC 28756 Spindale, NC 28160
Telephone: (828) 894-2100 Telephone: 828-287-1241

To secure names, and contact information of other NC County Social Worker’s For The Blind not listed, please check out the NC Division of Services For The Blind website @

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

Hickory - The Child Wellbeing Project is expanding to assist adoptive families in an eight-county region of North Carolina.

The program uses the Success Coach model of post-adoption services. Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources, this service is now being made available to any family who has adopted and is currently living in one of the following counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga and Wilkes.

Children who have been adopted often struggle with their identity and may have trouble fitting into their new family or adjusting to a new school. Post Adoption Success Coach Services assign a Success Coach to these families, allowing them to receive additional help and support. This assistance is free for the adoptive family.

"We realize that many children who have been adopted continue to have struggles long after the adoption is finalized," said Chrissy Triplett, post adoption care supervisor.

"Success Coaches can work with adoptive families to provide helpful information and coaching in how to deal with these issues."

The Success Coach model has been used successfully with a limited number of families in Catawba County. It is now being offered to any family who has adopted in the eight-county region. International adoptions and adoptions through private agencies are included, as well as adoptions arranged by county Departments of Social Services.

The Child Wellbeing Project will work with several private therapy providers to offer Success Coach services. For more information about Success Coach Post Adoption Services, go to or call 828-695-4428. The Child Wellbeing Project and Success Coach Post-Adoption Services are a service of Catawba County Social Services.

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

Hickory - Angel of Hope House Inc. is a faith based not-for-profit organization that houses women ages 18 and over; who are motivated to recover from alcohol and/or drug abuse. It is a safe stable environment that practices a program of recovery to work and teach women to be independent and successful members of society. Angel of Hope is a spiritually based facility with diverse group of women; however, we all have the same goal: a happy and sober life.

Angel of Hope has partnered with Vision Outreach Ministries in Conover to help with their Homeless Program. Angel of hope helps with the feeding and clothing. Through this we are teaching the ladies humbleness and to give back what was so freely given to them.

Items Needed:

- contributions for utilities
- refrigerator
- deep freezer
- more dependable vehicle
- toiletries
- household cleaning supplies
- office supplies
- pantry items: coffee, sugar, creamer, beans, rice, peanut butter, jelly
- feminine products
- toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags
- sanitizing items: Lysol spray, Bleach, Clorox Wipes
- gas cards
- notebooks, pens, pencils, for step study work
- paper, pens, envelopes, stamps for writing letters to family and children

To make contributions. donations, or any further information please contact: Joyce Crouse (Asst. Director): (828)- 315- 0352 or Kelly Cook (Resident Manager): (828) 322-6211.

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

Claremont, NC - There is an urgent need for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound senior citizens in the Claremont-Catawba area of Catawba County.

Volunteers pick up the meals at Bethlehem United Methodist Church-Claremont between 10:50 and 11:15 am Monday through Thursday. You can volunteer as little as one hour a month and make a difference in the life of a senior citizen.

Volunteers are also needed to deliver meals in the East Hickory, West Hickory, Maiden and Newton areas. For details about how you can help, contact Vickie Redden, volunteer coordinator of Catawba County Meals on Wheels, at 695-5610.

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

Email a press release for your non-profit event, fundraiser, festival or other community event to Please include your contact information along with the name of your event, who it benefits, what it features, when the event will take place, and the cost of attending. Please send a text document, not a pdf or jpeg of text information.

Also, please put the name of the event in the subject line of your email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

In the United States, women are assaulted or beaten once every nine seconds; worldwide, one in three women have been battered, raped or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to women’s advocacy organizations.

“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine ( “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223), provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released, transferred, or escapes, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

Perhaps the best thing friends and family can do for a woman enduring domestic abuse is to be there for her – not only as a sympathetic ear, but also as a source of common sense that encourages her to take protective measures, O’Dochartaigh says. Before that, however, loved ones need to recognize that help is needed.

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

• Clothing – Take notice of a change in clothing style or unusual fashion choices that would allow marks or bruises to be easily hidden. For instance, someone who wears long sleeves even in the dog days of summer may be trying to hide signs of abuse.

• Constant phone calls – Many abusers are very controlling and suspicious, so they will call their victims multiple times each day to “check in.” This is a subtle way of manipulating their victims, to make them fearful of uttering a stray word that might alert someone that something is wrong. Many abusers are also jealous, and suspect their partner is cheating on them, and the constant calls are a way of making sure they aren’t with anyone they aren’t supposed to be around.

• Unaccountable injuries – Sometimes, obvious injuries such as arm bruises or black eyes are a way to show outward domination over the victim. Other times, abusers harm areas of the body that won’t be seen by family, friends and coworkers.

• Frequent absences – Often missing work or school and other last-minute plan changes may be a woman hiding abuse, especially if she is otherwise reliable.

• Excessive guilt & culpability – Taking the blame for things that go wrong, even though she was clearly not the person responsible – or she is overly-emotional for her involvement – is a red flag.

• Fear of conflict – Being brow-beaten or physically beaten takes a heavy psychological toll, and anxiety bleeds into other relationships.

• Chronic uncertainty – Abusers often dominate every phase of a victim’s life, including what she thinks she likes, so making basic decisions can prove challenging.

Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence. She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

Hickory - “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote poet Robert Frost.

But many foster children and youths have lost that type of family support system. Sid Daniels, who works with the Family Finding Program in Catawba County, will tell you that foster children are often very lonely because they have lost contact with their extended family. The longer they are in foster care, the more likely this is to happen. It’s his job to change that reality.

“We don’t want a kid feeling lonely — where the only people in their life are the ones that get paid to be there,” he said. Staff members go home at the end of their shift. Family members can form a lifelong bond. The Family Finding Program in Catawba County is a partnership between the Children's Home Society of North Carolina and Catawba County Social Services. Family Finders is a national program, developed by Kevin Campbell, that has shown strong results in many states.

Daniels' job as a Family Finder is part detective, part negotiator and part counselor. He first has to identify and contact family members who have lost their connection to the foster child. These could include grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, as well as parents and step-parents.

After he identifies these relatives, he tries to gauge their interest in reconnecting with the child in foster care. If they express an interest, he invites them to a couple of meetings. At the first one, he shows them a “video journal” of the young person talking about themselves and what they want in life. They discuss how the relatives may play a role in the child’s future.

Sid Daniels

In some cases, the relatives want to resume the relationship they had before, such as talking with the child on the phone, writing them letters, or visiting with them. In other cases, they might be willing to adopt the child if they cannot be reunited with their parents.
Then the process moves to planning how the relationship might be resumed. If a relative wishes to adopt or become the guardian of the child, he or she must undergo an evaluation process.

It is important to wrap the child in a network of family supporters who are willing to assist them, Daniels said. The goal is to find as many relatives as possible who are willing to participate in the process. Catawba County was one of the first counties in North Carolina to pilot Family Finding, beginning in 2008. Now it has fully embraced the model.

Daniels joined the team last fall. The process can be time consuming, but it is usually completed in three to five months, he said. “The ownership is on the family,” he said. “What do they want to do?”

Catawba County Social Services hopes that reuniting foster children with their relatives can produce a brighter future. Foster children usually age out of care at 18, although they can remain voluntarily until they are 21.

National statistics show that former foster care youths face some daunting prospects if they don’t have a support system in place. Some 49 percent are homeless within three years. Forty-three percent are high school drop outs. Fifty-six percent become unemployed within two years. Forty-two percent, of whom 60 percent are women, become parents within 2.5 years of exiting foster care.

Former foster youth are found to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at two times the level of U.S. war veterans. Fifty percent have used illegal drugs. One in four will be incarcerated within 2.5 years of leaving foster care.

Daniels believes his work can help change those statistics for local youths. That’s why he keeps on calling, emailing, sending Facebook messages, knocking on doors and meeting with family members of children and youths in foster care. He sees his job as finding “who’s going to love this kid no matter what.”

For more information, call 828-695-5600 or visit our website at
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

A week ago, my son woke me up to tell me Osama Bin Laden was dead. I got up and listened to president Obama tell the nation that our terrorist enemy had been killed by a special forces Navy Seals team. I felt sad. Sad for the pain and misery he has caused all over the world. Sad for the victims of 9/11. Sad that a shy, deeply devoted Muslim boy could grow into a mass murderer of innocent people in the name of holy jihad. I went back to bed, not realizing that people were dancing in the streets to celebrate that Bin Laden was dead.

I have heard many say since that justice was done. Really? The definition of justice in this sense is “the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” As a person of faith against the death penalty, I do not see this as “justice”. Killing people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong is not justice. It might help us feel that we have gotten the revenge we want for his horrific acts, but the Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to God.

If we dance in the streets to celebrate the fact that we shot an unarmed man in the head in front of his wife – are we any better than all those who burn the American flag, hang effigies of our president, and chant “Death to America”? God is the only one who can see all the pain caused by war in humanity as a whole. The causes and effects of global, generational hatred and bitterness stemming from the murder of civilians in the crossfire of war has poisoned international relations to the point where it is almost impossible for any country to claim innocence. We have all been murderers.

No, I would not call killing Bin Laden justice, but I would say that it was necessary to prevent the murder of more innocent people. We hope that his death will decrease worldwide terrorism, but only time will tell. Instead of dancing in the streets, we should have been praying that God would help us love our enemies. We should have been praying for his soul, his family, his people, and all those in the Muslim world who looked to him as a hero. They are truly our enemies because they have declared a holy war against us. His death will not end that. Loving our enemies is the hardest thing Jesus commanded us to do, and 2000 years later we have still not learned how to do it. Consider the words of the sermon “Finding Forgiveness” delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on Christmas of 1957:

“Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

"So when Jesus says 'Love your enemies,' he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

For the complete text of this incredibly Christ-like message, go to:

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